I am calling BS on all of those well-meaning sayings, those signs you can hang in your home, those texts from a friend, the microphoned-voice of a pastor, even myself when words evaded me, all of those good-intentioned proclamations that our dear, kind, loving “God will not give you more than you can handle.”
that simply cannot be true. it cannot.
I wake up in a bed that is new with a ceiling fan that rattles in a way I have never known. my sheets are new. the light peering into my bedroom is new, I never had windows like these. there’s a new dresser here. a new bathroom is across from me, one I never imagined having.
there’s a new fridge in my new kitchen with a big island that I don’t really know what to do with. a new dog with a new red collar will run around my feet in a few days. each morning, I drive to a new job where I have a new role with new friends and new coworkers.
“new” seems to be the theme of this season. it feels, on most days, that nothing is familiar and that I am learning a new life (which I guess I am). my community has big time changed, my address has changed, my finances have changed. and, man, it has absolutely felt like “more than I can handle.”
I have laid down at night and sleep has evaded me because there are so many things buzzing around my head. I have forgotten too many things that I almost fear I am losing myself. I have felt this crushing weight on my chest as I lived in the “in between” – not quite grown, but surely not a child. it is there as I budget, there as I work more hours than I should, there as I confess to a friend that God has moved way up (not in the good way) on my priority list. it is absolutely there.
I have named myself Busy because of all the work that I do. I have named myself Overwhelmed because holy cow there is so much and I have literally thought, on more than one day, that there are truly not enough hours in the day for me to be good enough. I have named myself Inadequate because I never thought that I would fill out some twenty job applications and not receive a job. I have named myself Failure because duh I would settle into an easy job in an easy place, a circumstance that took next to no work for me to wind up with. I have named myself Lost because I have felt pretty aimless.
and it, oh it, has felt like way more than I can handle. I have struggled to catch up with my own life as it races ahead of me and I chase after it. my eyes grow wide as I consider, “is this adulting? is this my new life?”
and yet, as the dust settles, as the crazy week ends, as the chips begin to fall wherever they may, as the new wears off, hindsight becomes 20/20. perhaps there is a goodness in the “more than I can handle.”
perhaps He is doing something far beyond what I can dream up and this training, this trial, this time is necessary in order for me to know Him in it. perhaps I was made for such a time as this because I am pushed to the limits and He proves Himself faithful if only I am wise enough and sure enough to choose to see it. perhaps I find Him best in the waiting, in the “please Jesus, help”. perhaps He is near even now as I lay in this new bed, new sheets, seeing the new light, the new dresser, the new bedroom – perhaps this is only the start of something new and I would be such a fool to discredit Him for all the blessings that I did not even ask Him for.
I didn’t even know to ask.
I have this Post-It note in my bathroom that says, “My God is always willing to grant me encouragement. may I be bold enough, confident enough, and proactive enough to ask for it.” I don’t remember when I jotted that or when I decided that right beside the reflection of my face each morning, each time I wash my hands, each night before bed, was a good place for it, but I am convinced that Jesus arranged it. that perhaps He knew days, weeks, and months ago just how desperately I would need Him this day, this hour, all these moments.
and so, as I continue in the life that feels like so much more than I can handle, perhaps I will rest in the God that calls me to it, the God that handed it over to me. perhaps I will throw the notion that this is too much for me to bear right out my new window because my God is a God of restoration and perhaps this is some of that really good Isaiah 43, words that are a balm to this tired soul.
perhaps this was what He was saying all along. perhaps this is my September song and I just don’t know the words yet.
perhaps more than I can handle is the talk of love, a whispering of destiny as He does infinitely more than I could ask or imagine.
perhaps new are the words He is speaking and it took a new life for me to see it.