Shared by Missy Fisher - SFTT Content Author
“God doesn’t bring you to any situation that you can’t handle.”
I’ve heard this quote a thousand times over again. It’s shared in times you feel weak or alone, scared or afraid. We try to encourage one another that we can DO IT, that we are strong and that we are fighters.
The day I found out about my son’s defective heart, I sat with a man, who at the time was my husband, in the front seats of our car, our newborn baby boy asleep in his car seat in the back. Colton, completely unaware of the uphill battle he would face in the future (which is a statement that continues to ring true in his life) lay unaffected and peaceful. Loud sobs of agony and despair escaped from our mouths as we cried out in horror that our little baby boy would have his heart stopped and operated on to save his life. I watched as the man who had been so strong, who had always refused to shed a tear (even at the birth of his first child) could not hold himself together while tears raced out with horrific shouts of desolation. How could this happen to us? How could this happen to him?
Mountains to Climb
Consistently throughout my life, I have been brought to insanely steep mountains that I must climb. Sometimes quite literally. I recall a moment while serving in the United States Marine Corps during our daily physical fitness training. Large, heavy utility boots and a filled backpack atop my shoulders, I trudged up a rocky hill. When the hill seemed to get steeper and steeper, my knees got heavier and my strides became slower. What started as a run suddenly became a walk, and then... a crawl. The formation continued to race upward, while I slowly felt my body giving up without even a hint of the finish in the distance. I looked up and saw sky above, and people going further and further, as I used my hands and my knees to bring myself eventually to the top.
Following the Marine Corps and marriage and children, the next extreme uphill battle I would face was the diagnosis of breast cancer. I remember watching the water cascade down my chest, begging for forgiveness that I had taken my body for granted and wishing it to be different. When I opened my eyes after surgery to see my chest torn open and the gashes sliced across my body that removed my breasts, a harsh reality hit. I was only beginning to understand the pain and heartache that this journey would entail. Hairs on my head slowly started to fall in counts of five, then ten, and then forty pieces at a time. I knew the time had come to lose my hair. Now bald, scarred, and weak, I had understood what a battle truly was, and how little control I had over my very own life.
Broken at Last
But the pinnacle of my battles was yet to come. When I signed my name on that dotted line that forever marred a relationship and a marriage I had faithfully devoted myself to before God, I was broken at last. I still remember the cold, black pen in my hand and the harsh, dark eyes of the judge sitting across from me. I remember the colorless, rectangular desk that emphasized the distance between my new ex-husband and myself. And I remember shortly after that, realizing that MY ways and MY strength just really weren’t working any longer.
Throughout these moments, many of my friends and family shared their admiration of how strong I was. Perplexed that I had appeared strong, I found that it fueled me in small doses to continue to fight the battle of suffering and trials. I’d have small moments of faith and victory that I really was strong, and that I could hold myself together. There were a LOT of instances that I could fake it on social media and even out in public, that I was able to measure up the facade I had created: so sure and fearless of anything the world would bring my way.
Behind the Facade
But in the quietness of my own home, curled up on my bed, when the kids were asleep and the world turned itself off, I had many nights of tears flowing down my cheeks that wouldn’t stop. I had many quiet and withheld moments of brokenness and pain that wouldn’t go away: a feeling of being lost and alone, afraid and unsure about anything in my life anymore. No, I surely had not been strong. Though I continued to survive and managed to act responsibly enough as an adult, deep in my heart I did not feel strong at all. Deep down in the depths of my soul, I knew I was alone and lost, defeated and broken.
But God in His mercy found me in that place. Though I had found a new relationship and been blessed with another child (three now in total) I encountered many nights fighting with my new boyfriend, but realizing what I really was fighting: myself. In my brokenness, in my failed attempts at being strong, and in my inability to keep my life together, God found me, He saved me, and now He is changing everything about me.
The longer I get to know the God who made me, the more I realize that He did not create me to be strong. In the moments I was alone and afraid to let the truth out—when I felt weak and helpless—He had been waiting for me to take His hand so that HE would be the strength that I needed in all of my battling.
Joy in Trial
And yet, the trials won’t end, folks! Valleys and Mountains that I have no control over await me throughout my life. But I will no longer have to anxiously toil over rocks and dirt with a heavy pack behind me. The God of the Universe will guide me and be my strength in those moments. He has allowed the pain and the suffering in my life to continually bring me to moments of surrender: where He is my strength and my fortress and my deliverer.
Isaiah 40:31 “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Missy is one of SFTT's Content Authors and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.