Wednesday, January 22, 2014

There Must be a Miscommunication...

I have seen a lot of posts on Facebook lately about that fateful expression “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”  I hate that phrase.  I hate it with all that’s in my soul.  

I believed it for years.  I was diagnosed with a chronic, painful medical condition at age 19.  I spent years convincing myself that God must really have some serious faith in how much I could handle and I used that phrase to empower myself.  

Then, I got married…young.  “Marriage is hard!” people tried to tell me.  I remember thinking to myself “Well YOUR husband must just be a jerk.  My husband is perfect!”  Guess what?!!  MARRIAGE IS HARD!  We were both going through graduate school, living paycheck to paycheck trying to work and go to school full time.  This is when I began to suspect that, if God really does only give you what you can handle, then there must be a miscommunication somewhere.  He must have me confused with someone else.
The next phase of my life is when I became convinced that not only WILL God give you more than  you can handle, and he will give you sooooo much more that it forces you to rely on Him, (or start drinking heavily!).   We started out on the journey of adoption.  At first it was all rainbows and butterflies.  Sure, the paperwork was endless, people didn’t quite understand why we were taking this path, we didn’t quite receive the overwhelming joyful reaction we had hoped for from those closest to us and there were tears.  All in all though, it was good. Stressful, but good.

Once we got the call about the twins though, the bottom dropped out.  We took over the disrupted adoption of twin 4 year olds who didn’t speak any English, were in diapers, had only been in the country for 6 weeks and didn’t know us from Adam.  They were terrified, traumatized, and behaved like wild animals…no exaggeration.  

The first night, once they finally went to sleep, I remember turning to Mike and asking him “Can we really do this?  What have we gotten ourselves into?”  I am sure a lot of first time parents can relate to that feeling, especially those of multiples.  

That first year consisted of hardly leaving the house.  There were tantrums and rages that lasted hours.  We became very familiar with the art of physical restraint, in fact that became our method of bonding because it was happening every day.  The worst part about it was that we couldn’t really get to the core of why they were so angry, because of the language barrier.

If you know our adoption story, then you understand how we knew that God had these children planned for us.  The confusing part was HOW IN THE WORLD DID HE THINK WE COULD DO THIS??  Yes, I have my degrees in early childhood education and developmental psychology, but no class can prepare you for this.  This was beyond.  Every book we read (and we read a lot of them) said we were doing everything right.  You may think this would be comforting for us, but instead it was infuriating.  If we were doing everything right, then why were they acting like this?

The independent, control freak in me waived the white flag.  I had to surrender.  I had to admit I couldn’t do this alone.  If God gave me these girls, then He was going to have to help me through this, but that meant me letting Him.  That meant me leaning on Him, praying, reading His word and living it through my life.  I had to stop caring or listening to what everyone else was telling me to do and listen to Him.  

Guess what?  It worked! :)  Slowly, my anxiety waned, the girls began trusting us, and our marriage was actually strengthened through this very tough time.  I began to see God working in our lives in incredible ways.  I learned to trust Him and His timing in my life.  It took time, and it’s still a work in progress.
If you are in a place in your life where you don’t understand why, why would God do this to you?  Know this: He will use this to draw you closer to Him, you just have to let Him.  Throw up your hands, throw in the white flag and surrender.  You can’t do it alone.


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