Saturday, February 15, 2014

What I Can Handle

People say, "God won't ever give you more than you can handle."

Here's the thing: These past 10 days have been more than I can handle.

My heart breaks when I leave my baby in her plastic NICU crib every night. I want her home. My heart breaks when I leave my 3 year old every morning to be at the hospital. She is in good hands, but I still hate leaving her. My heart breaks this week.

Today, Kate travels to the medical center. And my heart breaks a little more knowing that she will be a bit farther away. Yesterday, they found that her vocal cords do not seem to be moving out of the way when she breathes, so they are taking her to have another scope of her throat and an MRI of her brain.

Originally, they thought Kate might come home today. I am beyond thankful that they found this before she came home and we had a problem we could not handle ourselves. I am beyond thankful that we live near some of the best hospitals and doctors in the world. I am beyond thankful that the outlook today is much different than it was a week ago. But still- my heart breaks.

So- because I cannot handle this, I look up.

My God does not promise that He will only give me what I can handle.** I see King David who writes of weakness. I see Job who lost everything. I see the apostles who were martyred for their faith. However, I see not superhuman strength in each of these stories, but a supernatural God who is both powerful creator and compassionate father. And I look up because He is there.

David writes, "You Yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle... This I know: God is for me." (Psalm 56:8-9)

The God I know is one who cares. With the tenderness of a mommy who wipes her baby's tears, He collects ours. With the compassion of a daddy who works to protect his family, He binds up our hearts as they break.

The God I know is a powerful one. David writes, "He reaches down from heaven and saves me." (Psalm 57:3) And so He does. He may not save me from hard things, but He does save me from despair.

The refuge that is my God is better than simply "looking at the glass half full." He is peace during what feels like an uncontrollable season.

And so, friends- continue to pray. Because of the unbelievable amount of prayer that buoys our family right now, we have seen victories and we have felt peace.

Here is what you can pray:
-Praise that Kate has been doing well being off both her feeding tube and her oxygen tube for the last couple days!
-That God would give Kate's doctors in the med center wisdom to know how to help her in the best possible way.
-That we would continue to feel at peace with her move and the things we might learn about her in the next few days/ weeks.
-That we would have patience as we wait for Kate to be ready to come home.
-That Avery would feel loved by Lee and me.

**The verse that is often misunderstood is 1 Corinthians 10:13. It is about temptation. Here, God promises that He will never tempt us beyond what we can bear.


  1. Continuing to pray for you all. We have a great team of angels keeping an eye on sweet Kate and you and Lee and Avery. Such a cute picture too! Love you

  2. Shannon, your words are so moving. We are all pounding the gates of heaven on sweet Kate's behalf. We love you!

  3. I'm not quite sure how I came here, but your story reads much like mine when we met our 2nd daughter 7 years ago. The not knowing, the worry, the heartache of leaving her each night in the NICU, watching her struggles, time away from 1st child, and concern for both of their futures. I don't know what God has planned for Kate, but it seems He has placed her in great hands. Our daughter does have some challenges, but they are nothing compared to what we thought they may be. To that point, I just wanted to share the one, key thing I took away from the meeting with the NICU geneticist who gave our (rare) diagnosis....try to avoid the temptation to research on the internet. I'll stop there and wish you all the very best. I will keep you and Kate in my thoughts.