She thought they'd stay together forever.
He thought he'd finally found the perfect job.
They thought this time the pregnancy would be viable.
But things don't work out like our favorite song...do they?
Somewhere along the way, we've gotten it in our heads that disappointment means we're under attack or God must not love us or something is wrong with the person we've become. We've set ourselves up for the letdown of a lifetime because we've foolishly believed that we have any control over the way things go in the first place.
Just about the time I get comfortable, the rug is ripped out from under me. Like a practicing magician pulling out the tablecloth, only the dishes at each place setting go toppling to the ground.
And in those moments, dark and shadowed, I retreat within myself instead of reaching out to anyone else. We do that, don't we? Certain no one else can handle our ugly. Certain no one else will understand how it feels to have your broken heart.
But we all do. We've all been there. We've all believed the giant lie that God won't give me more than I can handle.
Over and over and I hear this said. It's meant to comfort, and it's meant to get us through the hours that weigh heavy on our shoulders, the ones we can't breathe under.
But it's a lie.
It's a terrible lie, and I'm not sure where it began, but God does give us more than we can handle. He allows the things that sock us in the stomach, knocking us to the ground, grasping for air. He allows the numbness of a broken heart, the kind that leaves you sifting through chards that don't ever seem to quite match up.
He allows the pain...not because he's evil or mean. Not because he wants to rub anything in our faces or make us feel "less than." But because if he really didn't give us more than we could handle, we would handle everything on our own.
Why would need a God at all?
Instead, in the hollow empty of our inadequacy, we look upward, hands outstretched, and we say in broken tones, "God, help me. I am not going to get through this without you."
Because that pain, that horrifying, unthinkable, how-could-this-happen pain...it can only be healed through the unconditional love of a God who understands. We think he doesn't get it because he's God, so he must not have these feelings.
He must never suffer a broken heart.
He must never shed a tear.
But I disagree. I think a Creator who watches those he created, those he loves, turn their back on him, rejecting him in grandiose ways...must feel the pain of a broken heart. He must cry when we refuse his love. He must go numb when we claim we don't know him.
And it has to make him sad when we really think we can handle it all on our own.
There is not one single part of me that can do this life thing without help. I tried. I've tried to be Supermom. I've tried to have it all.
And it's all boiled down to the simple.
And it always comes back to this point, where I find myself resting in the peace that only He can provide. And it's in those moments, quiet and rare, that I realize I have to loosen my grip on the things I think I have to handle by myself.
I have to lay them down.
I have to ask for help.
And always, always, He meets me where I am...because that's what he wants to do more than anything. To prove his love. To be our one phone call. To take our pain away.
And to make sure we know we are never, ever alone.