Thursday, March 27, 2008

His Grace is Sufficient!

There's that saying: God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Most people say this in an effort to provide comfort in the midst of crisis...but saying that makes it seem like God is up there saying: "I've got this sick baby...this cancer...this (fill in the earthly tragedy)... who can handle it? No..not him...oh, but here is somebody...I'll give it to her! And...that isn't how I look at my God. But people (and docs) told us this all the time. "You were chosen by God to have Kate...I don't know how you handle it...You're stronger than me!" After thinking about that in relation to Kate and her illness being "given" to us...I wanted to really go to the Bible and research...cause I know there is that verse about "not getting more than you can handle."

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Really, this verse is saying that there is no such thing as a temptation that is impossible to say no to, that there will always be a way to escape "handle" sin. And...Kate was in no way a temptation or a road to sin...so now what? Where do I go now to better understand "being given what you can handle?" And I found:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

God does give us more than we can handle. I think that’s His whole point. He wants to give us more than we can handle because it is only then that His strength is made perfect. So really it's not a question of if we can handle something with our own strength, it's a question of will we rely on God's strength and grace to handle it? And that is how I handle it...by His grace.

Scripture also tells us: In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Trouble is just life...we live in a fallen broken world. We will encounter more than we want or think we can handle. We have already...and I'm sure we will again. But God is so much bigger...and He is in control and I can honestly vouch for this during my past and present journey with Kate. Yes...Kate's sickness and death was (is) horrible...something no one who hasn't been there can even imagine going through...but God is faithful...and He is good...and He, even in the valley of the shadow of death...He is There! He knows me...He knows my Heart...and I really believe was in control...in control of our finances and in my "sense" of control of Kate's death.

I am kinda anal when it comes to finances. Before kids...I would spend hours (and sometimes it was hours) balancing my checkbook and looking for my mistakes even if it was only a penny (the bank has always been right!).... I don't really have time for that now...but I do save every receipt and double check it with the bank statement every month! (Once...I did catch a server adding tips to our completed receipt..she was fired!) I worry about finances too...I always want to have our "safety cushion" and I'm not even sure at what point I would feel comfortable with that cushion. I write down every penny we spend in an attempt to stay within in our monthly budget. Anyway...Kate's hospitalizations and medicines were obviously expensive...I'm sure she is very close to 2 million....and we have not had to pay a penny out of pocket for healthcare or prescription meds after her initial new-born (before she was diagnosed) bill. With Andy's awesome primary insurance, barely qualifying for Children with Special Health Care Needs (IN Dept of Health), supplemental AFLAC ICU insurance and some medicaid when she was hospitalized over 30 days...we have been blessed with coverage. Plus...so many friends & churches supported us with the extra expenses of being out of state with Kate. We have been blessed in that I could stay home with Kate (and Seth) full-time and we could make it on a one income teacher salary. God was looking out for us (even 16 years ago when Andy signed up for AFLAC at work) in the financial aspect....cause I know...having that financial burden would have put me OVER THE EDGE! (Note...for those heart families reading this who are struggling with medical debt...my heart is SO HEAVY for you. It isn't fair...it isn't right...and I am sorry.)

Secondly...I have control issues! I know...may be surprising (not to Andy!) I like control...I like being in charge...I like feeling like it was my decision. Not being in control of Kate's health was hard for me...and I learned lots of lessons about letting go...only after spending hours at times "knowing" that I could get Kate to eat..."knowing" I would be responsible for her gaining weight. I wasn't in control...and that was a hard lesson learned. But...I really do believe that God gave me (Andy and me) "control" of Kate's death. I know...sounds weird...but Kate passed once we said it was "okay" (not that it was ever ok..but you know what I mean) Kate did not die leaving me with any guilt...no guilt that "I" didn't get her to the hospital fast enough..."I" didn't think she was sick enough... "I" didn't do enough.... "I" didn't take her to enough doctors. She didn't die "on my watch." Had she died that day in August when she arrested...I would have lived my life feeling as if it was my fault because I didn't get her to the hospital sooner...I didn't get to say "goodbye." Had she died that day in Michigan when she arrested...Andy wasn't there...we weren't "ready!" I praise God for taking away any feelings of "Guilt"...cause that is what I think I couldn't imagine...living with the guilt. (To anyone who is reading this...struggling with guilt...again I"m sorry. All I can say: "Give it to God...He is so able to carry that burden for you.)

So...for ME...Krista...God did know my weaknesses... what I couldn't handle...and where I needed to rely on Him to be perfect . I give Him the glory for taking those burdens from me. The truth is: God won't give us anything HE can't handle. And I praise Him for being with us on every step of our journey with Kate. It's amazing how God uses even the worst experiences in one's life...to glorify Himself. He is so into teaching us lessons and showing more of Himself to us...if we are willing to look and listen.

Thanks for listening...I rambled..it's been awhile since I really dove into the bible to seek His truth. It felt great! Give it a try...you'll be amazed at what He wants to teach you.

12 comments:

Melissa said...

Wow, your words really touch my heart this morning. I have often heard people say that the best families are given the "challenge" of having to raise sick kids. You definately let me see that in a different way. You always knew what was best for Kate. You always knew when she "didn't look good." You knew when she needed medical help. And you were the one who could get her to eat, when no one else could. She was blessed to have you in her life just as you are bless to be her mommy!

I am glad that you are not dealing with medical bills after the loss of Kate! What a horrible thing to have to fight to get paid after the passing of your child. Thank God for the right provisions.

God bless you all!

The Portas said...

I am so glad you wrote this up and for digging deep into the Bible and picking apart the "you are not given more than you can handle" message. I will use this post as a reference when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Your spirituality and faithfulness in God is SO refreshing and I admire you and Andy so much for staying so faithful.

THANKS for writing this!!

xoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your Bible study with us. I lost my husband over 4 years ago. While he was so ill with cancer, I had many people tell me that "I was strong" so I would make it. I wanted to scream sometimes that I didn't feel strong and I didn't want to be strong, just so I could handle what we were going through. God gave me strength, He got me through, He made me strong when I was so weary I didn't even feel like I could stand up. It was all about God's grace. I, too, had to reach a place where I let my husband go. I've never lost a child, so I can't even imagine that, but loss is loss to some extent.

Thank you so much for sharing your self - those ups and downs that you are experiencing. God is still using you and I thank you for your willingness to be so open. May God bless you and give you strength for the days ahead.

Vicki - GP Church Sec.

Anonymous said...

Krista,

It's been awhile since I have had time to check in with your blog (just started back to work 3 weeks ago). Your post was amazing and made me tear up. It made me reflect on why I was given my heart problem and what challenges I have faced growing up "special". But I look back and I see God's plan, grace, and perfection in my life.

I may not have time to check in as often as I would like, but please know that I continue to think of you and your family and beautiful little Kate. You are all still in my prayers and I am so glad that you continue to post.

Many blessings to you and your precious family!
Kim Tinker

Kathy said...

That's just another reason why we love you Krista. You are such an inspiration to us all...I hope you know that. The strength and faith that you have had throughout the last 2 years is unbelievable.
Thanks for making me cry this morning! (those are good tears...)
You have inspired me to read this weekend...sometimes that just gets put on the back burner...when, in reality...it should be the first thing we do each day....to set the tone for our day.
I love you Krista!
Kathy

Deanna said...

I love you, friend! Thanks for your willingness to be vulnerable.... and also for continuing to share your journey. You continue to be such a HUGE blessing to others, Krista. I treasure you (and I miss you like crazy, too!)

Regarding this post specifically.... can I just share that one of my biggest pet peeves is when people say, "God will never give you more than you can handle...." because that doesn't seem to line up with Scripture (as you discussed in this post....) I heard that statement dozens and dozens of times after each miscarriage, and it about made me crazy. Rather, I think that God ALLOWED the loss in my life, and in turn, I learned greater reliance on Him.

Here's a verse that I've turned to a lot in my journey:

"We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, FAR BEYOND OUR ABILITY TO ENDURE, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. BUT THIS HAPPENED THAT WE MIGHT NOT RELY ON OURSELVES BUT ON GOD....."

-2 Corinthians 1:8-10

I believe that this, again, argues your point as well.... we DO face MORE than we can handle.... only through the power of the Cross can we get through each day, through each minute....

Again, I love you! May God FILL you with JOY today! (((HUGS!)))

Anonymous said...

Krista,
I appreciate your testimony so much. I think it's awesome that you continue to turn to the Lord for answers and keep seeking Him!
Amen! :) Thank you for sharing the deepest parts of yourself and your journey with all of us so we can learn from you.
LeAnn P.

THE LYONS FAMILY! said...

Very moving words. Blessings Always! Michelle

Anonymous said...

Krista, Andy and Seth,
Thank you for letting me share your journey with Kate AND God. Many times reading your journal I have remembered times and troubles in my past and have cried and prayed with you. I can't wait to share in the future with Kate's Kart!!!!

Anita Bates

larry said...

Krista,

Thank you; this post really touched me.

Larry Saunders

Anonymous said...

Thanks,Krista, for continuing to share your feelings. I hope it helps you as I know it helps me and strengthens me in my journey. God bless!

Nancy

Vanessa said...

Wow...what an amazing entry. I was just saying this to another heart mom today, "God doesn't give us more than we can handle." And deep inside I really wasn't feeling confident in saying that...then I read your post and it all makes sense. God doesn't give us more than He can handle...he needs us to call upon him when we cannot bear the weight of our situation. You are an amazing woman and I am so thankful for having you in my life.

God Bless,

Vanessa