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Monday, April 30, 2012

More than we can handle.


I've learned some life lessons in the past couple of years. One big one is that each individual person has their own unique struggles and trials. And each person deals with them differently, with different levels of tolerance. In our church, we often hear the saying, "God will not give us more than we can handle." I'm guessing this saying stems from scriptures like Mosiah 4:27: "...it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength," or 1 Corinthians 10:13: "[God] will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able." Neither of these scriptures, when applied within context, really apply to situations of human suffering, such as stress, joblessness, illness, or death. But we like to reassure ourselves with the saying anyway.

But I'll say this. The Megan of three years ago was not able to handle her baby boy's death. The Megan of two years ago was not able to handle a child with special needs in her life. But the Megan of today is. Or at least she's doing her best, and she's still here, so I'm going to generously state that she's able to handle it. I'm thinking that God lets life happen to us, and life sometimes gives us more than we can handle. But God helps us become people who can handle those things.

So it's definitely not for me to judge when someone else is going through a trial that seems insignificant compared to mine. Because at that point in their life, it is more than they can handle. During my moments of grief over the past couple years, my mother never once said anything to the effect of, "It's really not that big of a deal. At least you're not dealing with _____." Even though she could have. Because my struggles have been nothing compared to hers. I've only lost one child. I only have one baby with special needs. That's just for starters.

And I quietly hope that my friends and acquaintances aren't hesitant to share their trials with me for that reason. Because grief needs to be shared, and I like to think I'm a pretty good sounding board. I want to listen to them gripe about how difficult that job search/house remodel/acute illness/bad hair day is. Because life is really hard, and it's usually not the huge things that make it that way. I really get that. And just because I have gained some extra perspective in the last couple years, that doesn't mean I don't struggle with things that pale in comparison to the big things.

So those big trials? The ones that make you think: This is it. This has to be the biggest thing I'll ever face. We all have them on varying levels. So for my imaginary friend Jane, Trial X is the one that rules her life right now, and it's more than she can handle. I don't understand Trial X. I've never gone through it. But I can definitely understand going through a trial I can't handle. It's the hardest thing imaginable, and it doesn't matter if there's a huge number of people who have been through Trial X, and more. When you're going through a trial like Trial X, whatever that might be for you, you don't care. So, for that reason, I feel for her, regardless of how her one big trial compares to mine.

Life is hard. Sometimes more than we can handle. But if we make it through, we become someone new. Someone who can handle it. And I'm sure God knew all along that we could.

5 comments:

103 Bookmarks said...

Thank you.

The Wallace Family said...

from Jenn :)

Christine said...

You'll probably think I'm a blog stalker. Nah, I'm just a blog hopper, and I stumbled across yours. ;)
I appreciated this post. There is so much about people that we just can't see. From my struggles I've learned to be more forgiving and less judgmental. Who knows how many people there are out there whose biggest struggles are with things they can't even talk about? Still, I agree with you that it's helpful to have somebody who understands pain, whether they understand your specific trial or not.
Sorry for spamming! I guess I just wanted to say good job! :) I admire your courage.

Jaime Lynne said...

"I'm thinking that God lets life happen to us, and life sometimes gives us more than we can handle. But God helps us become people who can handle those things."

I posted this in my journal, Meg. And this post is just one of a million reasons why you are one of my very best friends in the whole entire world!

I love you.

The Burk Family said...

I can't help but feel that the Lord also alows certain trials to test us and see weather we come closer to Him. And through those trials we grow and gain more understanding or knowledge. I think its easy for some to think that their trials are nothing compared to others, where others may feel overburdened with trials in their lives, but I feel that its what you take from them, and use is whats important. You have been through so much but thats why its so great having you as a friend because your someome I feel that has learned to take what has come at you and grow from it and learn how to become better. And I feels that what we are supposed to do, and teach others how they can overcome and grow closer to our Heavenly Father. Hope this makes sense! Your a great friend Megan, thanks for listening to me! :) (sorry this is long!)

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