Thursday, September 29, 2011

Only What You Can Handle

A few weeks ago, a couple of my friends were over for a play date. As the kiddos were running wild, we got to talking about our children and their varying personalities. One of my friends was feeling particularly exasperated with her toddler--a feeling I'm sure every parent experiences many, many times during the course of their child's life, even when they are should be "all grown up." As I comiserated with her, I found myself reciting the (probably overused) adage "Heavenly Father only gives us the children or the trials (which are oftentimes synonymous) we can handle." To be honest with you, I used to hate this phrase. I feel like people always tell you that like it's supposed to make the trials easier, like you should be dealing with the problem with a cheery disposition because you must be so strong to have to be dealing with it. My friend responded, "But I can't handle it!" And then, like a ton of bricks, it hit me. Nobody says, "Heavenly Father only gives us the trials we can handle easily." No! Because if they were easy they wouldn't be trials. This realization has helped me to find comfort in adversity. Does this mean I face my problems with a cheery dispostition? Not usually. But even when I'm crying or gritting my teeth or pulling my hair out and even when I think I'm at the end of my rope, I realize that I'm not. Because even if it's only in a very small way, I'm handling it. And before I know it, the trial has passed and the truthfulness of that phrase rings clear. I made it, I handled it and I'm better because of it.

So, to my dear friend, and to anyone reading this, I remind you--Heavenly Father only gives you the trials you can handle. You may have to lock your toddler (or yourself) in a room. You will probably feel like you are at the end of your rope but you're not. Things will get better, they always do.


  1. Thanks for sharing, Deborah. It was nice to hear this today.

  2. I've always loved that phrase, because when I'm going through something really hard I think, "man, Heavenly Father must think I'm pretty strong." That makes me feel better. Doesn't make me suddenly cheery, but it DOES make me feel better.


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