I never believed the saying, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” It’s not in the Bible so why do we believe it? I believe that God gives us more than we can handle so He can give us the strength to handle it. That statement is really a testimony of my life. Because every time in my life when I have felt that I could not go on, He has given me the strength to carry on. And that is my story, one of God’s faithfulness amid trials and turmoil.
Yes, like many others I got saved when I was very young. I was five years old and I remember kneeling beside the couch with my dad and asking Jesus into my heart. I grew up in a Christian home and Christian school. We never missed a church service. But even though I remembered the time that I asked God for forgiveness and invited Him into my heart, I was always unsure of my Salvation. Maybe I did it because I was afraid of going to hell, I thought. Or Maybe I didn’t mean it. I always worried about it and because of that worry I asked Him into my heart several other times over the years thinking that maybe this time it would be right.
When I was about fifteen years old, my parents got divorced and my entire world changed. No one knew what was going on at home or what had been going on at home and since we were a Christian family no one really knew what to so or how to treat us. I felt like no one understood, and home became a place I began to dread. We moved with my mother into a different house in a different neighborhood, and started everything new again. But nothing was the same. Even though I had thought my parents getting divorced would make it better, it seemed to make things a lot worse.
I began to hate my life. I asked God Why? so many times and became very bitter. I didn’t understand why God allowed this to happen to me or my family, and I was looking for someone to blame. I was jealous of my friends and their lives which led to even more bitterness, and both the jealousy and bitterness ate at me. I began to have thoughts of suicide, thinking maybe it would be better die than to live. I never really planned on doing anything, but I found it nice to think about when things got rough.
I went on like this for awhile, probably for months although I am not sure of the exact time period. During this time, I still read my Bible, went to church and did all the things I was supposed to, but I was going through the motions. I felt dead inside, and didn’t know how to revive myself. Then one day we had an Evangelist preach at out chapel service at school. They sang a song that changed my life that day. It was called “Hungry.”
Hungry I come to You
For I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know
Your love does not run dry
So I wait for You
So I wait for You
I’m falling on my knees
Offering all my needs
Jesus You’re all
This heart is living for
Broken I run to You
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary but I know Your touch
Restores my life
So I wait for You
So I wait for You
The words, Jesus You’re all This heart is living for spoke to me that day. I realized everything I had been doing was wrong. I realized that no matter what I was going through in life it didn’t matter because the only person I am living for is Jesus. I wasn’t living for my family or my friends, but for the One who created me. I made a commitment that day to change my life. I couldn’t change my circumstances, but I could change the way I was acting, and I could change my attitude. I rededicated my life to God, and from that moment I felt changed. It didn’t mean things were good from then on, because they weren’t. I still had bad days, but this time I knew that God was with me. He had not caused this and He was not to blame. He was here to help me, hold me up, and give me strength.
A year or two later, I left for college. I went to Pensacola Christian College, and in my second year there I heard a speaker preach on bitterness. Even though I had rededicated my life to God, I had still held onto a lot of the bitterness from everything in the past. It had still been eating at me all those years and had made me cynical and sarcastic. But that night God really spoke to me through that preacher’s message and this time with tears rolling down my face, I really gave up my bitterness. It had gotten ahold of me for so long it was like a weight rolled off when I was done. Again, my life changed because of it. I was not sarcastic and cynical anymore and I felt more like myself than I had in a very long time. It didn’t mean that I never struggled with it again, because I did, and I still do at times. But never again have I let myself hold onto it like I did in the past.
Around this time, I was also learning more about Salvation and the school’s view on not losing your Salvation. I was very critical of this view, because I had always learned that people could backslide and eventually lose their Salvation if they chose to. I talked to a lot of friends about it, and Jon was a huge influence in showing me that my view had been wrong. I was so confused about it for such a long time. I even called my pastor back home looking for hep wondering which view was right. I don’t remember the exact moment that it hit me. But with the help of everything that I had been learning and all the verses I had been shown and had studied, I realized that I could never lose my Salvation. Again, it was like huge weight had rolled off me. This was something I feared my whole life, and finally I could have peace about it. God would not take away my gift of eternal Salvation, and that was something to be happy about!
Throughout my life, there have been so many times I have had to learn to trust in God. I can look back, and see God’s hand in the bad and see where he carried me through. My parent’s divorce, family issues, my miscarriage, and all my health problems. These are all incredible examples of God bringing me through even when I thought I could not carry on anymore.
Does this mean I do not struggle? Of course not! We all struggle with things, myself included. Every day is a work in progress, and ever day I am reminded of my selfishness and sin. God is still working in my life every day, changing me, and helping me grow. When things get tough I can look back and remember that even in the toughest times in my life, even when it seemed God was nowhere to be found, He always carried me through. He gave me things too hard to handle, so He could give me the strength to handle it.