The phrase she was talking about? “God will never give you more than you can handle.”
“It’s a sweet sentiment, really,” said Kayla. “The people who say it are speaking from caring and concerned hearts. BUT–it isn’t true.”
Kayla then reassured her readers that she hadn’t lost her mind. She wasn’t bitter. She wasn’t angry. She was trying to make a point about God and the comfort He can bring to us during the most painful and difficult times in our lives. She went on to tell about the pain she had been facing in her own life:
I lost my Dad to cancer last month–if you’re a follower of mine, this is old news. But–it was absolutely horrific.
Every day leading up to his death was like walking through every level of hell–slowly– for lack of a better term. There’s no other way to describe it. The images…the sounds…the sleepless nights…the cries for God while we look on, helpless…the torment of rubbing morphine in his cheeks, praying it’ll absorb–but to no avail. The horrible, wrenching pain that came with lifting him up, laying him back down, lifting him up, laying him back down…because he became so restless and cried out for “home” every few minutes. And all along, in the back of my mind, I reminded myself that millions of people go through this, and have already gone through this, very thing. And it is simply unbearable. If you disagree–it’s because you haven’t been there.
Though it might be painful to read about her trial, Kayla beautifully countered the experience with what she had learned about the nature of God. God will give us more than we can handle, it is true. But He will not leave us comfortless. God will help us carry our burdens.
You might be shrunken with sadness or drowning in debt. You might be overwhelmingly angry at someone at church or aching under the pressures of raising children or maybe the inability to have them. You might be dealing with a terminal disease and you still have young children. And chances are–you might need your Redeemer to find you on the path and take up that heavy cross you’re dragging. Besides, even he tells us that he’s more equipped to carry it, so why not hand it over?
Last night, I had the opportunity to speak with Kayla Lemmon. She told me that she had started her blog entirely for her dad—to chronicle his treatments and share it with her family and close friends. “Writing that article,” she said. “was completely for myself. To share what I had learned.”
Then, a most remarkable thing happened. After she published her article, it started to go viral, receiving millions of hits around the world. In the midst of her pain, thousands of people began to reach out to her and offer their condolences; many of them having experienced painful loss in their own lives.
Kayla said that she felt her burdens were literally lifted by others’ prayers. “The loneliest time in my life became the time that I had the most support,” said Kayla. “It was like one big group hug.”
I encourage you to read Kayla’s blog in its entirety, and to reach out to someone who may be suffering from loss. Help lift the burden of another.