When “I Think I Can” Just Isn’t Good Enough

I have a million thoughts swirling through my brain at any given moment, but lately I have not been able to express those thoughts in a coherent or meaningful way. This leaves my soul reeling, longing for a return to writing. And so, I am going to make a feeble attempt today.

We’ll see how this goes.

My inability to write has been affected by a number of things. The most obvious is that my baby girl had to have surgery this week. Again. The impending surgery lead to a general upheaval in our family as the only possible date was on a day when my husband was planning to be at a pastor’s conference. When your husband only travels about once a year and when he is incredibly stressed by many pressing things, one doesn’t want to see him miss out on an opportunity to be poured into.

This left us scrambling. How are we to take care of our other three children when we both have responsibilities elsewhere?

But with God. Why do I forget this so quickly? I know that He is able to do abundantly above all we could ask or imagine, but then a difficulty comes and I forget. I think part of this is due to the fact that my job is a series of juggling escapades, trying to keep to the schedule, making sure everyone has all of their appropriate gear to match the given scenario. So when I am faced with a difficulty that I can’t plan, that I can’t handle by myself, I become overwhelmed by the enormity of it. And then, I have to ask others for help.

And there it is, friends. I have to ask others for help. It’s not that I have a hard time accepting help. But having to ask, specifically for something? Well, that is uncomfortable for me. Is it pride? Or insecurity? I don’t really know, but I do know that there are times when God dumps me into a situation when asking others for help is all that I can do.

As usual, He blew me away with how perfectly He arranged everything. That my out of town friend just happened to need a place to stay on the night when we needed her. That we would have mutual friends who could be here for the bus drop off and dinner. That friends would graciously provide meals for my family and bring us milk. That my daughter’s after school and before school activities would coincide with another friend’s schedule and that she would be picked up and dropped off.

Everything ran like clockwork. Not that it was easy by any stretch, but all of the pieces fell together perfectly. But with God.

Another reason for my inability to write is that life has been busy. I wrote about this in my last post on Lessons Learned Lately, but the truth is my head is spinning. Our church has grown numerically this past year and with that growth comes more responsibility for my husband. To give you some sense of what life is like, before the rapid growth, my husband was the only full time staff member for a congregation the size of our previous congregation where there were 3 full time staff members. And again, this was BEFORE the growth of this past year. And my husband is still the only full time staff member.

There are increased meetings, funerals, hospital visits, counseling, mentoring, planning and leadership training expectations. This means that we are trying to fit all of our burgeoning schedules into a cohesive plan that honors every member of our family. And still find time for rest…

Several friends have told me lately that they appreciate my transparency. I’m thankful for this, that others have been blessed by my honesty and willingness to be vulnerable. But sometimes, it hurts. A lot. Sometimes I open myself up and feel beat up as a result. Now, I am fully aware that this is part of it. God has given me a personality that is open (sometimes to a fault!) and I can’t imagine being anything but that. However, when you are a person who feels things deeply and yet you are still compelled to share your heart, you can leave feeling bruised and beaten.

God has done a great work of healing in my heart over the past few years. He has become in a deeper way my refuge and strength. I would not change my journey for anything. It has been excruciating at times, but I am learning about grace in ways that I didn’t understand before. I wouldn’t change that for the world, because we can only extend grace to the point that we have received it. In other words, if I haven’t accepted God’s grace for me, I can’t offer that grace to others.

Grace trees

But I don’t think I will ever enjoy being misunderstood. I am not a fan of criticism or unfair judgments on my character. I don’t particularly like disunity. And I will never be on speaking terms with rejection.

But with God. He is teaching me to rely on Him for the blessings and in the difficulties. I’m not supposed to take everything on my shoulders and handle it myself. That’s the whole point. It’s when I think that I can handle it that God has to remind me that I can’t. Sometimes life is meant to be too much for us for this very reason.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:16

I need Jesus and it is never more evident to me than in times like these. Sometimes thinking I can just isn’t good enough. But knowing that God can is priceless.

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