December 9, 2012

too much?

She sits in my car, and the tears stream down her cheeks and reflect the lights of angry Houstonians on their way home from work, and she presses her head against the window and whispers, “I am so unhappy.”
And she climbs out of my car, and the door slams shut, and my heart clenches, closes, before the brokenness of this world can cut deeper, but it’s too late.
It’s too much.
A week later, I am turning back onto the freeway when a quiet voice trembles in my passenger seat with the news of another who hurts with hopelessness so deep she is ready to end her life. 
The conversation ends, and the messenger disappears into the night, and the darkness has never been so thick. 

It’s too much.
Later that evening, I drive home in the fog, the world a blur, and I pull in front of the house and drag my body upstairs and set my phone on the dresser and begin to pick up a textbook off the floor, a folder under the bookshelf, a binder inside my closet, filling the blue backpack with item after item. The shuffling sound the pages make as they brush against the inside of the bag has never been so loud, and I turn back to the dresser to make sure I didn't miss a phone call, but the phone hasn't rung, so I continue to pick up and put in and turn around and check again and continue until one phrase fills my mind and forces me to sit.
Words that once made me glad now make mockery of my worst fear: “living hope” becomes a joke, twisted wordplay that dances to my doubts. When awaiting the worst, the news of a death, “life” taunts, and trust totters.
Emotional exhaustion only eggs on the Enemy, who finds vulnerability an easy target. He brings to mind old pain, imprinting the past upon the present, drawing upon material I had stopped thinking about years ago: my introduction to evil, the first encounter I recall, with my carpool sitting next to me, princess sketches stuffed into the pocket of the minivan, her answers to questions unasked, the birth of her baby sister, the burial soon after, the funeral of the child they named Hope; it never leaves you, the day Hope was buried; the night the oxygen didn’t work, when calls were made to the doctor to Grandpa to the hospital, and I walked restless through the waiting room,  Mom at the front desk, my chart marked red with misinformation, not suicidal, they’re suicide headaches.
And I am brought back, overwhelmed, over it all.
It’s too much.
And I am brought down, face-first before God. He speaks, His Word steadies, and salvation breaks through, breaks apart the darts set into motion by Satan. The Enemy’s lies lay in submission, bowing flat before the throne of God, but, really, they never stood a chance.

Post-it notes (for the next night that will most likely be spent sitting straight up in bed, trying to process the painful problems):

Lie: God is not equipped to handle the situation if I go to sleep.
Truth: God loves the people I care about more than I do. He is all-powerful and far more equipped to handle these situations than I am. He does not have issues staying awake. He is a tried and true protector with wisdom that supersedes any earthly counsel. He provides perfect peace, consistent comfort. He draws near to the brokenhearted and the hurting.
Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep.  The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. ~ Psalm 121:4-5

Lie: I should stay awake, anxious, awaiting news that probably won't come regarding a situation I can't control.
Truth: God keeps watch. . . . GOD keeps watch.
He watches over His nest like an eagle and hovers over His young; He spreads His wings, catches him, and lifts him up on His pinions. ~ Deuteronomy 32:11

Lie: All of this – this pain, this situation, this life, this world – it’s more than I can handle.
Truth: The situation might be more than I can handle, but it is does not go outside of the infinite boundaries of God's abilities. He gives what we need to endure, and He gives it out of kindness,  meeting us in our weakness, bringing glory to His name.
'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'  ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
...my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:19
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows your frame; He remembers that we are dust. ~ Psalm 103:13-14

He knows.

When it's all just too much, God is more than enough.