When we feel like God has given us more than we can handle, how do we keep going?
When J and got I married, we were full of hope and dreams about our future and a growing family. We would lay in bed at night, arms and legs entwined, making blissful plans. We were married in November, and by February, I was pregnant. We were shocked and thrilled and ecstatic! We hadn’t wanted to start a family quite so soon, but we couldn’t help being overjoyed. I was deep in the throes of pregnancy symptoms and my belly was growing quite rapidly. It was obvious that we were welcoming twins into our family!
In April, I started feeling sick and then bleeding… It was our worst nightmare come true. We lost both babies at ten weeks. It was the worst moment of our lives. I felt as if my heart had been ripped from my chest, and I had been left an empty shell. I struggled with postpartum depression, as my hormones struggled to regulate themselves. I laid in my bed alone for weeks, longing for the babies I would never hold. J would hold me close, as I cried and tried to sleep. We hadn’t even been married for six months.
As with all grief, time helped us move on. We started to hope again, and I became pregnant in August. It was so short, only five weeks. By the time we realized I was pregnant, I was losing this baby, too. The shock was numbing, and again, we grieved a baby we would never hold. Then, I conceived again in October. I held my breath as I took the pregnancy test. It was positive. Fear gripped my soul. I was so scared of losing this one, as well. J held me tight, as he pleaded with the Lord to bring us peace and joy.
We were sure this was the one that would stick! This was our rainbow baby! We celebrated every new pregnancy symptom and bought maternity clothes. We made a cute announcement and told all of our friends and family. I loved being pregnant! J went with me to each of my appointments, and we eagerly anticipated hearing the heartbeat for the first time. I laid down on the sonogram table, as I had so many times before, but there was nothing… no heartbeat… Our baby never made it past six weeks. I miscarried in the Emergency Room in December, at eleven weeks. There are no words that can describe the pain of losing a baby.
In our first year of marriage, J and I had lost four babies. Our hope and joy were lost. We tried to just get through each day. Worse, we stopped being united. We were just numb inside, and it was tearing us apart. We had very little support, other than my parents. My body was ravaged by the physical losses it had endured, one right after another, and I was put on “rest” for three weeks. Dishes piled up. Laundry went undone. J still worked ten to twelve hours a day, fixed dinner, and went to bed. It just seemed to go on, day after day. We were exhausted, weary, and sick.
We tried to reach out for help, but were met with sentiments that hurt more than helped, from well-intentioned friends. “The devil is attacking your family.” “God must have had a reason.” “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” When we couldn’t take it any longer, I held onto my husband, tears streaming down my face, and we cried out to God… for His help, His strength, His joy, and His peace.
In that very moment, do you know what I learned? When we feel like God has given us more than we can handle, that is when we are trying to do it all on our own.
First off…. I want to be very clear. The statement “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” is not in the Bible. I do not believe that God took our babies to teach us a lesson. That’s not who our God is. He is good and merciful and loving. He is a life giver and a miracle worker. Nor do I believe that Satan took their lives to attack us. I am a child of God. Satan does not have the power nor the authority to touch me or my body. We live in a fallen and dark world, where death is a part of our lives. Sometimes, bad things just happen to good people. And there is no why.
When life feels overwhelming… when we can’t go on any longer… when it seems like something has to give… that is when God is asking us to give it over to Him and to let Him carry it. Our Father is a good Father. He trades us burdens. He takes our heavy load and works it all for our good, according to His plan. He gives His burdens, which are easy and light. He does this because He loves us and cares for us. 2 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
Our confidence is in Him. In His promises. In His Word. What a relief it is to be able to have joy in spite of our worldly circumstances! It is like a breath of fresh air, like a terrible weight lifted off your shoulders, to be able to give your burden to God and have confidence that He will work it to good. Where that burden once weighed you down, now hope, peace, and joy lift you up. All we have to do is give it to Him and watch Him perform miracles.
We’ve seen Him work miracles in our life. On our honeymoon, the bank extended our closing on our home by another month. We were homeless. We prayed and gave it to God. We were moving into our house two days later. When had no money and our roof was leaking, we prayed. It cost $24 to fix it. When we had no heat and it was cold outside, after struggling and finally giving it over to God, we only needed to replace the batteries. When I wasn’t sure what our next meal would be, I found ingredients in the cupboard that I didn’t know we had. When J had to take a week off sick, He provided the money to pay our bills. When citronella ants swarmed into the living room through our vents, we prayed Proverbs 91:9-10 over our home, “Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;” We’ve never had a problem since with pests, flooding, ice, or any harm to our home. We have confidence in God and His promises to care for us.
We might have a vision of how things should be or the type of help we need, but He has a plan for our lives and works in astounding ways. It might not turn out exactly like we want. But it will be good. It will be miraculous. And it will be in His timing. J and I haven’t started our family yet, but I still have hope. Before we were married, God promised J a full house. He will provide, and we will keep trying. Some days, it’s harder than others. It’s hard to leave it the Father’s hands. It’s hard to not worry and wonder and doubt. I have to remember that He has a purpose for our lives.
Now, I will admit that I struggle with worry and doubt, even after seeing God work so many miracles in our lives. I relate to the disciple, Thomas, in that way. I want to see the proof that God is working. I still struggle with worrying over finances, especially when I can’t see a way to pay everything at the end of the month, but each month, God provides. There is always more in our bank account than we had planned for. I have keep trusting Him. I remind myself, and sometimes J, that God feeds the birds and clothes the lilies, and He loves us more, so how much better will He take care of us. At each meal, we thank Him for our home, having food on the table, for a working car to transport J to his job, and for each other. When it’s really cold outside, we thank him for heat. When it’s hot, we thank Him for air conditioning. When our roof leaks, we give it to Him and thank Him for working on our behalf and going before us. When we lose a baby, we cry, we ask the Lord to hold our child close, and we thank Him for the day when we can hold them ourselves. Then we thank Him for His promises and the children yet to be born. And in this is our hope, our peace, and our joy.
I am a stay at home wife, dividing my time between taking care of our home, directing church outreach, and blogging about life lessons, joyful living, and Christian values. When I’m not writing, I am typically curled up with my husband, watching Netflix, drinking a caramel coffee, or snuggling our cats, Basil and Mocha Rose! Welcome to our married life! We’re so glad you have chosen to join us as we laugh and cry together in this amazing life adventure!