Monday, December 6, 2010

Journal Journey 4

“The Lord won’t give me more than I can handle.”

I've been saying this quote every minute of the last few days. I seriously have been repeating out loud to anyone who would listen. You see, right now, in my house, we are moving... we are scheduled to be out of our current place by December 17, 2010 - we have started packing... but we also have a three year old. Which means, things don't always happen how I would like them to happen!

But in addition to our rambunctious, stubborn, full of energy, delightful, challenging, boundary testing, full of laughter, child, we also have other stuff on our plate. My husband works full time, he is currently working nights, and I am working for Girls Only, as well as a few other tasks the Lord has given to me. So... is it true... "The Lord won't give me more than I can handle"

This gets thrown around a lot. I say it a lot and I say it to other people a lot. My intention is to try to encourage a friend or family member whenever times are tough, however, recently, the phrase would not leave my mind and I have been on the journey for truth, so I have decided to dig into a little bit.

I understand the importance of encouragement, I for one, thrive off of words of encouragement… but more than anything, I want TRUTH! While this phrase sounds very positive and affirming, you will not find “God won’t give you more than you can handle” anywhere within the pages of the Bible. It simply doesn’t exist.

What you will find is the verse that it appears to be a misquotation of, 1 Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (emphasis mine)

Through my research, I have come to learn TRUTH POINT #1: God does not tempt anyone.

James 1:13 emphatically states, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”

So, while God does not tempt us, He does, in His sovereignty, permit us to be tempted. This is to grow us in holiness. When Paul writes that God will not tempt us beyond our ability, Paul means that we are never in a situation where have no other choice but to sin.

In a situation where telling the truth will damage your reputation, for example, it’s much easier to give in to the temptation to protect how people see you and lie, rather than do the right thing, which is tell the truth. TRUST ME, the temptation of protecting one’s reputation, or “testimony”, is near and dear to me. But again, I have been on this journey of TRUTH…

And I have learned that easy rarely equals right. We always have the option of doing the right thing, that which is honoring to God, but it will often cost us—whether that cost is reputation, position, relationship, or money, there will be a cost.

TRUTH POINT #2: God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to do what is right, He will almost always give us more than we can handle on our own. Learning this little piece of truth has not helped my overwhelmed, stressed out, tired, self. But again, it is about the journey of truth!

Over again in the Bible, we see men and women who are given far more than they can handle. The prophet Jeremiah is a great example; he was charged with preaching repentance to the people of Israel, a calling that caused him to be beaten, plotted against and rejected by everyone, even his own family. Emotionally, that was far more than he could handle (as we see in his many laments).The ministry of the Apostle Paul is probably one of the most powerful examples of this truth found in Scripture.

In 2 Corinthians 11:21-30, he tells us the following:

But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

Paul doesn’t tell us these things to boast in how he took all this suffering and adversity like a man—he does it so that we might know that God will always give us more than we can handle. He ”boasts of the things that show my weakness” (v. 30) because those things show his (and our) dependency on the power and mercy of God. Earlier in this letter to the Corinthian church, Paul exhorts his readers with the following:

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:8,9, emphasis mine).

What he tells them is this: “We were so afflicted that we thought we were going to die! We were burdened beyond our ability, and we could not handle it—But God gave us this adversity and burden so that we would rely on Him who can!”God is making it clear that we are not self-sufficient. We cannot just hunker down and power through every situation. And we cannot white-knuckle our way to holiness. We need Him. So maybe we need to stop seeing the trials and adversity in our lives as a burden, as an indication that God doesn’t love us. Maybe we need to start seeing them as proof that God indeed loves us very much—so much so that He will not let us try to rely on our own strength, but continue to show us that we must rely on Him to endure suffering and persevere until the end.

So… as overwhelmed as I am, as tired as I am, as stressed out and cranky as I have been today, I will no longer look myself in the mirror and say to myself “He will not give me more than I could handle…” Because if it is not TRUTH, it is NOT from Him, and if it is NOT from HIM, it is from the enemy, who will not have a place in my life. So back off you evil nasty thing, get behind me and take your stinking lies with you!

Instead, I will look at myself in the mirror and say TRUTH POINT #3: “I will not have to walk through this without HIM, He is with ME, and together, WE can do this.” I will repeat over and over again “Jesus loves me this I know, for HIS WORD, tells me so”… I will run to His word, I will journal all of my frustrations and stress. I will talk with Him as I walk through this stressed out time in life. Because this I do know:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

TRUTH POINT #4: I do KNOW that HE sent His Son to die for ME, I do know that I am HIS and HE is mine… so let’s do this thing!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Journey Journal 3

I am still in the midst of this journey of surrender. It's been an emotional journey thus far and if the only thing that comes out of it, is that I am able to know, He loves me and who loves me not, than so be it, I will continue...

He LOVES me... Jesus loves me this I know, for the BIBLE tells me so...

... he loves me not... "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made" Genesis 3:1

He LOVES me... He is the giver of all things... on May 22, 2004 Andrew Vigil chose to marry Mary Olson and make her HIS wife...

... he loves me not... he is the father of lies... "... When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

He LOVES me... He gives life abundantly... on October 19, 2007 Andrew and Mary Vigil became the proud and humble parents of Isaac Martin Vigil...

... he loves me not... he leads me into temptation... Matthew 4:1-11

HE LOVES ME... The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness. For His name's sake. Psalm 23

He LOVES me... this I know, this I have seen, this I have recored!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Isaac Martin!

We had a little party at our house for Isaac...

There were decorations, balloons, AMAZING food (thanks to my man), and LOTS of gifts...

... don't worry, there was also cake!

Grandpa, Grandma, Papa, Nana, Papa George (mama's grandpa), MorMor (mama's grandma) were all there! Auntie Esther, Tim, Auntie Mandy, Uncle Jim, Mercedes and Auntie Card was there too!

At the end of the party, we let the binkies and ballons go the the puppy (Nia) who is now with Jesus... big boys don't have binkies!

Not having the binkies around went well for Isaac, he did great sleeping without it, he hasn't missed them really. He misses the puppy more...

Isaac - 3rd Birthday

A month ago, I had a date with the most handsome little man EVER - we went to the Aquarium, like we did last year! It was fabulous! We met Auntie Esther there too!

We spent most of the time looking for Nemo and Dori! When we found them, it was a BIG deal!

We had a great day! We ate lunch at the Aquarium cafe and just enjoyed our time together. A special day for mama, Isaac and Auntie Esther!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Journey Journal 2

In the midst of this journey...

... there is a 3 year old boy that has helped his mama get her "homework" done...

... there is joy in the midst of the interruptions, there is grace in the midst of the frustration...

... and there is laughter in the midst of the tears... Praise Jesus for Isaac, whose names just "happens" to mean laughter!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Journey Journal 1

I am on an 8-9 week journey with the Lord. I am learning what it is like to surrender the things that have "held me up" for so long. You know, I have gotten so use to carrying around my own baggage that I don't think I will be able to stand up without it. Let alone, walk. I have gotten use to carrying it around, learning on it, claiming it as a part of my identity. I am not sure I know who I am with out all that stuff.

I am keeping a daily journal, but I have decided to blog this journey as well. Mostly because I am a verbal processor but also because in the last two weeks my world has been rocked, in a good way. I have learned more about my JESUS in the past two weeks than I ever thought possible. So, I am back, to blog, to post pictures, to process....

I have always been comfortable with the title LORD... when it comes to The One and Only. But I have never really embraced His title of Father, Abba, until now. I came across an AMAZING passage: Isaiah 43:2-4 from The Message translation.

"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.

For some reason, after reading this passage, it hit me... HE IS MINE! ALL MINE! I read this passage and it felt like it was a letter from my Father, to HIS daughter. I can't contain the feelings that rush in like an out of control flame... it takes my breath away, my face gets hot, my hands get sweaty and my heart beats faster than ever before: He'd sell off the whole world, the very thing HE created with HIS own hands, just for ME... perfectly imperfect ME!

Part of this journey includes opening the baggage I have walked around with for so long, opening it, calling it by name, bringing it before HIM, honestly talking with HIM about it, leaving it with HIM and accepting whatever HE chooses to do with it.

In the midst of the business of this journey there are constant interruptions by a dearly loved 3 year old, the responsibilities of the Non Profit Ministry that is run out of our home are overwhelming and the fact that laundry has to get done, bathrooms need cleaned, groceries need to be purchased and meals need to be made are too much to handle at times, I have found my patience is less than normal.

I find that I get cranky at the drop of a hat. My response is a "NO" because it is what comes to mind first, rather than a "YES". My alone time is non-existent. My quiet time consists of any minute I can get away, and a few minutes or an hour or two on a good day after the 3 year old is in bed for the evening...

I find that I am constantly running to my Abba, my FATHER, for help. For His WORD says that when I am over my head, HE is there... and let me tell you, I have been over my head for a while now. I am constantly embarrassed by the way I respond to the sudden RUSH of emotions. I yell at my man for really no reason at all. I can hardly wait for nap time and bed time during the day, just the stillness of the house brings peace, in the midst of a rather consuming emotional time.

And yet... His love letter to me stands firm. I will not be consumed by the over whelming emotions of the journey. I will not drown as a result of my attempt to navigate these rather rough waters. And in the midst of it all, He would sell off the very thing HE created just for me. And yet, I am hardly functioning on a good day, and HE still thinks of me as worthy enough.

Pictures, processing and imperfections to come...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


–verb (used with object)
to yield (something) to the possession or power of another;deliver up possession of on demand or under duress: tosurrender the fort to the enemy; to surrender the stolengoods to the police.
to give (oneself) up, as to the police.
to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.:He surrendered himself to a life of hardship.
to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc.).
to yield or resign (an office, privilege, etc.) in favor ofanother.
–verb (used without object)
to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit oryield.
the act or an instance of surrendering.
Insurance . the voluntary abandonment of a life-insurancepolicy by the owner for any of its nonforfeiture values.
the deed by which a legal surrendering is made.

I am on a journey to surrender - surrender my pride, my secrets, my shame, my past, my future, my husband, my son, my life and my love. I am not sure what this journey looks like, all I know is that the ONE I am surrendering to, is GOOD. He is good, HE is true and HE is love. Here is to a journey that will change me, change my love for HIM, my life and my heart...