One of my friends, Jenn, recently was talking to me about reaching a breaking point. Sure, she has been strong through her circumstances, but if they keep compiling, she's going to reach her breaking point. It makes me think a lot about how God says he will never give us more than we can handle. I always wondered what that means because I guess we have to take what's given to us, right? We have to handle what's thrown at us. It's weird how that works because we have hope when going through difficult times that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. We have to have that hope, don't we?
During college, I experienced a lot of hurt with all the breakups with Ryan, and people were always telling me how strong I was to be places where he was. They said if they were me, they wouldn't be able to do that. But I didn't feel strong. I remember one particular conversation at our women's bible study when my friends said they think I'm strong, and I just started crying. I was trying so hard to hold myself together so I didn't crack, and you don't feel strong when you're just barely holding yourself together. But that is the hand I was dealt. What other choice did I have other than persevering through that difficulty? I didn't view it as strength because I didn't choose into that. I was just existing.
I do not know why God lets bad things happen to us. I don't know why He pushes us until we think we're going to break. All I know is that Jesus offers His strength to us to say "not my will, but yours be done." Which may not make grieving and coping any easier, but to keep hoping and trusting, that's strength. It isn't comforting to be told that you are strong for persevering when you actually aren't. What I was doing wasn't strength.
Strength is in the choosing to hope. Hope isn't something that just happens to you; you have to choose to have hope. You have to choose it every single day, be committed to it, and really, really believe in it. Because sometimes you won't want to. And honestly, you don't have to. You can live in a state of numbness. I did it for a long time. But sooner or later, you realize that having hope is really the only thing that makes sense. It's the only thing you can do. So choose hope, believe it, do it, and live in the freedom that it gives!