God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. You’ve said it, had it said to you, or have heard someone say it! I am guilty of saying this myself, but in the past few years I have taken a different perspective on the phrase.
Everyone goes through events in their life that shapes them. Those times when life gets hard seem to shape us the most. To you they are big; to others they may seem small. I’ve had my fair share of those hard times and through all of them I heard, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” I really started thinking about this phrase with the birth of our daughter and the month that followed.
Ellie was born on April 7th, 2014. Right away the doctor and nurses knew something was wrong. My beauty was kicking and screaming, but not pinking up. She was taken straight to the NICU where they confirmed there was something wrong with her heart. It took almost two hours before I could go see Ellie and sit with her. My little monkey would shortly be flown straight to Omaha to be in the care of some of the best cardiologists. No one prepped me for this. The plan was to have a baby and cuddle and bond, not watch as strangers wheeled your daughter away. I wasn’t told that 1 in 100 babies are born with some sort of congenital heart defect. My daughter had become the statistic.
The month that followed was not an easy one, but it has shaped me into the person I am today. I was able to leave Kearney and head to Omaha the next day under the doctor’s orders to take it easy. At six days old, Ellie had open-heart surgery to repair the hole in her heart and partially repair the valve that caused the majority of her complications. She came out of surgery like a champ! Breathing tube out and ready to take on the world!
Within 24 hours complications started happening. The breathing tube went back in and they had to reopen her chest to take the pressure off of her lungs. Talk about a hit in the gut! Within a few days they closed her up and all seemed well with the world. Then bam, here comes another thing. She started having tachycardia spells where her heart rate would jump into the 200s and then fall again.
I still have nightmares about those alarms going off.
With the help of medicine, those spells were under control and we were on the fast track of getting home. We moved from PICU to the floor and just had to get her eating under control. Teaching an almost one month old to eat when all they have had is mostly IV nutrition is not fun! We were released the day after Ellie turned one month old.
I remember looking back at those times and remember asking the questions; why us, what did I do wrong, could I have prevented this? Then right around the time Ellie turned six months I found the bible verse John 9:3, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (NIV translation) God didn’t cause or give Ellie’s heart condition, but he uses it as a beacon for his good works. I didn’t do anything to cause it and I definitely had more than I could have handled during the first month of Ellie’s life, but with God it was possible and He shaped me through it.
My faith was shaken, but it was also strengthened!