Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When Life Seems Like Too Much to Handle

On January 15, 1993, two days before my 29th birthday and me eight months pregnant, my parents announced they were getting a divorce. Two weeks later, my husband's grandmother died. Two weeks after that came the death of my uncle. A few weeks later on February 26 our second child was born. Two weeks later, our older child contracted chicken pox. Two weeks after that he suffered a couple of seizures, landing him in the hospital for a weekend and giving him a diagnosis of childhood epilepsy.

1993 was not one of my favorite years.

The emotional toll of my parents' divorce and the physical strain of having a newborn, living on little sleep with fluctuating hormones coupled with deaths and illness nearly did me in. I was sure God must have checked out of my life.

"Footprints in the Sand" hung in our bedroom, the poem about during the roughest parts of your life where there is only one set of footprints in the sand, Jesus carried you. But though it was meant to comfort, it didn't. Instead I thought, "Really?! You're really carrying me? Why can't I feel it?"

Yet my grief and exhaustion continually led me to one place. When there's nothing you can do, where do you go?


“God loves you. He loves you so much that He’s allowed this trial to push you to the point where you have no choice but to look to Him.”

~ When Life is Hard by James MacDonald ~

I can't say I'd like to live another year like 1993, but it was a bittersweet time. Though it was painful, I got a crash course in trusting God. I learned what pouring out my heart to Him really meant. I discovered only One can bring true peace, and though it may require me to walk through some tough days, I WILL get through them.

I do not walk alone.

Neither do you, friend. Are you in a difficult time of life right now? Are you wondering what God is doing or if He even sees your pain? Do what I did. Go ahead and cry your eyes out and scream at Him and tell Him what's on your heart and mind. Seek the God who hears and knows. You have nothing to lose and peace to gain. Let it out, all of it, and listen.

Give Him the chance to heal you.

You do not walk alone. This trial may be the very thing to jump start an amazing ride with God. Don't waste the pain. Use it to draw you close to Him.

If you'd like to join the In "Other" Words gang and/or read other thoughts this quote inspired, visit Debbie at Heart Choices. I highly encourage you to read Debbie's post of practical tips in surviving the tough seasons. It's well worth the click over. Thanks Debbie!

Go in God's grace this day, my friends.


Miriam Pauline said...

Bittersweet is a good description of these crash courses in trust. I am so glad that we have a God that can see us through those difficulties (and not only through them but stronger for them). Thanks for sharing today!

And....happy belated birthday!

Karen said...

What a classic example of "when it rains it pours." I'm so glad we do have a place to go to in order to find our rest, strength, and ability to endure. That place being in the arms of God.

I send my belated birthday wishes too! Hope you had a great time.

Bonnie W said...

What a difficult year that must have been for you! But I can relate to the idea of it being bittersweet because I've been there too. The trials were so hard, but the Lord's presence was so sweet through it all. It taught me an intimacy with God I never could have found otherwise.
Thanks so muc for sharing today and reminding me of those intimate times with Jesus!

Marsha Young said...

Tami -
Do you suppose we could be twins, given to separate families at birth?

No, wait, I am "almost" old enough to be your mother, so that cannot be it. But consider this...

I was 8 months pregnant when my father was killed.

When my second son was born, the day I came home from the hospital his 2 year old brother broke out in chicken pox.

And there are several other similarities, that I won't go into. Here is what I think, we all have suffered more than we ever anticipated that we would, and certainly more than we thought we could, and still stand up and make sense of our relationship with God.

But here you are, and here the rest of us are, attesting to his love and grace on IOWT today.

I appreciate your sharing your heart today. God bless you - Marsha Young

Debbie said...

What a crash course in trusting God you had that year. I'm sure it's one you don't want to repeat. Thank you for sharing your story with us. And happy birthday to you.

Blessings and love,

Yolanda said...

Tami ,

The post I did yesterday said much the same thing. Thanks for sharing this . It blessed me today.

Kathryn said...

Amen and Amen. God alone is our strength, and God alone gives us strength. Thank you for sharing this post with us.

Carol said...

When my son was battling leukemia and the doctor was giving us no hope I did spend time in the shower crying out to God. I told Him that I was bewildered and in pain. It is so hard to see God in the dark. I was grateful for people of faith that were willing to come along side me. I treasured the faith that they had when I didn't have any.

God placed people in my life, and gradually I saw God's love and care for me and our family. I know God better. The various blog posts are evidence of the In Other Words women walking along side. It is a joy to see the various posts.

Sarah said...

I've found that I can only see when God has carried me when looking back. At the time he's felt very far away. There's nothing quite like the times when you have to trust God because he's the only one keeping you going. But God uses those painful times to shape me and teach me. If it wasn't for those times I wouldn't be the person I am today.