Yesterday was moving day! Take your shoes off, come on inside for a brief moment and take a look around at our beautiful mess. Meh, on second thought, keep your shoes on…your mess gets on me and my mess gets on you. We’re all friends here so come just as you are!
ALS has robbed us of a lot of things. It is progressively taking away Jeff’s independence. We are getting uncomfortable/vunerable with you and allowing you to see the reality of the disease. Jeff needs full assistance getting ready for work each morning, from getting dressed to breakfast. Falls are occurring more frequently. “Ahhhhh Tara!!!” Loud crash. I panic, and Jeff will shout “I’M OK!!!! I’m ok.” As I struggle to get him to his feet, I know deep in my broken heart he’s not ok. Imagine yourself falling face first with no ability to brace yourself and catch your fall. That’s painful to think about, isn’t it? Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do while Jeff is in an “in between state.” He struggles getting up from a seated position and falls are now on the horizon. A wheelchair placard arrived in the mail last week and that was hard to see…but then we high fived each other on close parking, baby!!!! Who wants to go Christmas shopping with us?! A wheelchair arrived last week but will remain boxed up until we need it. Oh gosh, but now we need a vehicle that can accommodate a wheelchair, right?! The decisions never end. The “to do” list continues. And they are BIG, life changing decisions.
Yesterday was a hard day. As we stood in our empty home, I melted into Jeff’s shoulder and I was thankful his arms could still wrap around my waist, although they can no longer touch and hold my face. We are not moving because of an exciting job opportunity. We are not moving because we’re building our dream home. Jeff has a great job. Life was amazing. We had built our dream home together. We’re moving because we have to. We are forced to leave our home so it can accommodate a wheelchair. We are forced to downsize because our income will change when full time disability hits. The weight of our burden is crushing.
“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” Have you heard this before? Maybe you’ve even said it. Truth is, God will absolutely give you more than you can handle. Have you been there? Something you didn’t see coming? Blindsided. Feet taken out from under you, wind knocked out of your lungs, stomach bent over in pain from a sharp jab to the gut. God WILL give you more than you can handle.
Don’t you love that the sentence doesn’t end yet? It’s vital that you read what comes next.
However, God will not give you more than HE can handle.
The reality is, it still hurts. God still seems distant. This is too much for me! I can’t do this on my own. And you know what? It’s OK to feel like you can’t handle it! At just the moment I realized I can’t do this on my own, God showed up through you. You put on the flesh and bones of Jesus and are walking with us in the midst of our pain. You help us carry the weight. YOU are living proof that we can keep moving forward because of the goodness of God within you. Be willing to walk alongside someone suffering and in pain. Help shoulder the burden. Life is hard and WILL give you more than you can handle. But, God is faithful. He will meet you there.
Take a look at other ways God shows up via YOU:
- Me: “I don’t even know what is coming home in Evan and Cole’s backpack”
Evan & Cole’s teachers: “You don’t need to. You take care Jeff, we have them at school.”
- Book Fair was this week at school. I missed the dozen emails about it and another mom spotted my boys, snuck $ in their hands and told them to spend it all! Where I’m forgetful and failing at the moment, others are stepping in! Wow. Just, wow.
- Cole’s teacher loves him fiercely and is genuinely concerned about his heart…she is creating a safe place for him at school as he will endure very challenging times ahead.
- NEW friends are coming into our lives and saying “we are here for you no matter what.” And they mean it and prove it. This is a time when it would be easy to walk away or turn a head and let close friends and family be the ones to get uncomfortable. But to walk up to someone and say “I don’t know you very well, but I’m ALL IN,” is life-changing.
- Jeff’s family created a fundraiser to help with medical expenses
- Amazing friends came over for a night of packing/moving and we ended with dinner and laughter. Good for the soul. We are so loved.
- My mom and Jeff’s parents have worked tirelessly the past few days with our move.
- Fitness clients of mine are pouring love into me via texts, emails, prayers, cards, donations, gift cards. It’s quite overwhelming. If you are reading this SHRED415 clients, I love you! Thank you! I wish I could personally hug and thank you all.
- One client is hosting a Colts fundraiser to benefit the ALS Association and is giving our family a once-in-a-lifetime experience on game day, November 26th! Several others are creating fundraisers to directly benefit Jeff and our medical expenses. And yet another took my breath away and brought the big ugly tears when he, without hesitation, simply said “who do I write the check to?” and is supporting the ALS fight in a way that leaves me completely speechless. I can’t even comprehend this kind of love and support. God will provide. He is there in our pain. You are there in our pain.
- Please know that while I haven’t reached out and responded to everyone that has called, texted, emailed, donated, etc….we see it, we feel it, we appreciate it more than you know. We love you – thank you for loving us!
The Bible is filled with stories of people who are overwhelmed with what God has called them to do. They were given tasks too big to accomplish on their own. People were taken into situations that were humanly impossible to overcome, and yet God showed up. Where we are weak, He is strong.
I read the following excerpt this morning:
“During the exodus, how many mighty men did it take to destroy Egypt and it’s army or part the Red Sea?
How many did it take to tear down Jericho’s walls?
How many did it take to feed 2 million people in the wilderness every day for 40 years?
In our history, the mightiest men/women have not been strong warriors. The mightiest have been those who trusted in the Lord and obeyed him, no matter how impossible it appeared.”
I can’t do this on my own. We can’t do this on our own. You can’t do this on your own. You will grow tired. You will be overwhelmed. But rest assured, God is in control and He will act. I’ll end with a hymn I can hear my late father singing “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.”
“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”