I have become increasingly aware of something in my life lately. It is a new concept for me. It is not so much new in reality, as it is in confession.
I can’t do this.
And by this… I mean anything. And everything. Nope. I can’t.
I’ll be you’re not nearly so shocked as I was by this statement.
You see, I’ve spent most of my life thinking that if I could work hard enough, focus well enough, and be brave enough, I could force myself to do just about anything.
At this moment… lest you think that this confession be for dramatic presentation…
I’m sorry to you my dear and loyal friends that I never seem to see anymore. I miss you terribly and love you dearly, and that can’t possibly change! I’m really really doing my best…
Mom, I still can’t believe I missed your birthday. Believe me.. I had it all planned out… but missed the date by a mile.
Hannah, I still cringe that I threw your homework paper away and fussed at you for losing it. Thank you for laughing at me and forgiving me.
Dear new boss, sorry that I forwarded all of my calls to your office, and nearly deleted all of the important files on the computer (thank goodness for the recycle bin on the computer!) Oh yeah, and the stash of sugar and coffee hidden in every drawer in the office, well, please don’t make me get rid of it.. I promise we’ll both be happier!
Dear Skeeter, Sorry I forgot you and left you at school for the weekend when we were supposed to take care of you. You’re a pretty great little hamster, it’s not your fault!
And the list goes on.
Those are the silly ones, but there are more. And I’m going to be brave and share them, because I’m learning to lay them down, and I hope that maybe someone who needs to lay some things down will learn along with me. So here we go.
I can’t be this sad. Nope. Can’t do it.
I’m not so sure that I can answer all of the questions to friends, family, and strangers. I just don’t have many things to say.
I can’t tell what the future holds, and that bothers me sometimes.
I can’t work full time and still do all of those things that I’ve wanted to do for my kids.
I can’t be the friend that I want to be.
I can’t control things.
But here’s the thing, I can’t deny that God loves me anyway.
I can’t be the perfect vessel for Him that I so desperately want to be.
But He didn’t tell me to be a vessel. He told me to be the clay.
I can’t be the polished, put together mother who is in control that I feel like I should be as a child of God!!
But He didn’t tell me to do that. He told me to come to Him like a little child. He told me to come to Him and find rest.
I can’t answer questions and be everything that my children need. But He didn’t tell me to. He told me to teach them who their Heavenly Father is… He’s SHOWN ME that He’ll lead them and teach them Himself even and especially where I can’t. He’s more than capable of those things. He’s done it for me.
He’s either worthy of my trust or He isn’t… and He is. He’s already proven it. He’s either bigger than me, or He’s not. And He is.. His ways, His thoughts, His very being… He’s already more than proven it. He made me!!! For crying out loud!!!
He’s allowed me to rest in the fact that I can’t. Not to be a failure in it. But to rest in knowing that I have a Father… and He loves me.
He’s shown me that I can’t and that He can. He is the Great “I AM.” He’s proven it.
So I’m going to do the things that I can do. The things that He did equip me to do.
I can laugh. A lot. I can cry. I can hug my precious children. I can talk with them about all of the things that God has done that we couldn’t do! I can teach them a thankful heart. I can know God more every day. I can ask for His help and KNOW that He’ll answer! I can play Twister and make hot chocolate. I can help my kids with their homework and tell them I’m sorry when I make mistakes. I can learn. I can grow. I can help my kids grow too. I can talk to God any ol time I want. I can go to work. I can thank the Lord. I can do my best. I can go to bed at the end of the day BECAUSE I’m just human. I can ask for help. I can find someone who needs help. I can play. I can work hard. I can make warm meals and sit around the table with my kids. I can read them the Bible. I can read them stories. I can watch them learn to read and to grow. I can rejoice in the Lord. I can be “more than a conqueror.” I can tell other people what I’ve learned about my Savior. I can tell YOU. I can KNOW when I look at the faces of those around me who are hurting that God CAN give them peace and joy. NO. MATTER. WHAT. Even ... and especially...when we can’t.
Not because I can. But because He can… and He has chosen… and given His life… to love even me.
I can know that I am a child of the King. I can thank Him that His promise for a hope and a future do not depend on circumstance.
I recently read a quote that as a man was standing before Mount Everest, after several failed attempts he shook his fist at the mountain and said “I’ll beat you yet! Because you’re as big as you’re going to get. But I’m still growing!” And He climbed to the top. I'm still growing.
2 Peter 1:3 says “He has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” And I know that it’s true. The more I try to act like “I can do all things” … I fail. When I focus on the fact that it’s through knowing Him and resting in Him… I see real, undeniable miracles. It’s not just surviving life… it’s getting to watch my God show that it’s just so tiny next to Him. I can take the highest mountains and greatest trials and say “My Daddy’s bigger than YOU!” because… well… He is.
So let’s not keep walking around carrying a pretense that we can do it. We can’t. But God can. There was a time when I really could handle everything in my life. But honestly now, I'm so thankful for being pushed beyond that point... because now I get to see miracles. Now I am learning to lay things down. Now I'm learning to live what I already knew... that He's in control and that I'm not. I don't know everything, especially about God. But I sure do know some things. And they are more than worthy of pursuing with all that I've got. I want to learn to lay things down so completely at His feet that we’ll see His glory like never before. I’ve already seen Him do miracles… but what is more astounding is a glimpse of knowing that I’m so loved, that God has a plan, and that He is the One who leads us through every day!! I’m choosing to join Peter who, when asked if He would follow Jesus even to the cross He said, “But Lord, where else could I go?” I, like Peter, have seen enough to know that following this Savior, regardless of destination, is my privilege… and the only lasting source of joy, peace, and purpose. So rather than being depressed that I can’t… I’ve found myself relieved, and even excited. When I only thought “I can’t”… I wanted to give up. But then I remembered that HE CAN. And that’s thrilling… and I will choose to fix my eyes on that. He’s chosen to fix His eyes on me.
“For we are not of those that shrink back and are destroyed… but of those who believe and are saved.” Hebrews 10:39
And so because He loves me... I can do this. And so can you.
And you can share with others about the source of life and the source of strength, and I hope you will, because I want to hear your story and about your relationship with God... too. And then... we can do this :)