More than enough

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

I’m sure pretty much every Christian has heard at some point the phrase “God won’t give you too much to bear”. That statement probably points to the above mentioned verse in Corinthians – but I don’t think it’s quite that simple. In Finnish there’s even a song about it: “Not a drop too much”. It’s a beautiful song, but it makes me flinch.

Because I believe sometimes God does indeed give us more than we can bear.

The Corinthians speaks about temptation. For that one, yes, I believe what God allows us to face is not more than we can endure to stay away from the temptation. But Christians face other things, too. Not everything is temptation even if it can be called a “trial”. I call them simply hardships. Or misfortune. Things that go south. Broken bones. Empty bank accounts. Sick family members. Own illness. Unruly children. Burnt houses. Hardships.

I think those hardships are kind of like Aslan removing the dragon scales from Eustace’s skin. It hurts, but it makes a difference. When God allows things to go wrong in your life, it’s because He wants to teach you something. And if you’re – I am – too proud and stubborn, He gives some more. And that’s where the “too much to bear” comes in – often people need more than they have strength to carry, so that they would finally humble themselves. So that they’d quit relying on their own strength and turn to God’s power instead.

And if you don’t bend, you’ll break.

That’s very unfortunate. At least for stubborn survivers like me. I’ve always relied on myself on everything, because there’s never been anyone to really take care of me. I’ve always been an outsider, a loner – even growing up in my own family. Maybe that has made it so impossible for me to give in.

I mean, it must be my fault things aren’t working: The Bible says God is perfect and all He wants is to love us, if only we let Him. So if that’s true then it means that I just keep doing something wrong because He doesn’t (can’t?).

I’m rather afraid how much more God will pile on me before things will settle down. I’d much rather be one of those Christians who only get love and sweetness and all the good gifts from God. Like John, who was Jesus’ friend. But I’m not. Instead I’m like Thomas, who couldn’t believe until he saw. And Jesus let him see and touch – but not me. So I’m even worse off than Thomas. I’d happily be even scolded by Jesus – like Thomas was – to get that, but no. So far this journey has lasted 30+ years and I don’t see it getting any better or easier. But at least I’m resilient… Or am I? I don’t know.

Sorry the incoherent rambling. It’s early morning and I haven’t slept at all. Hard to get anything decent out of this spaghetti of a brain inside my skull.

-thomasina-

ps. Mom died. That was yet another “no”. She couldn’t speak anymore, and was barely conscious. And I have no idea where she went. Or, sadly, I think I probably know and that’s not nice at all.

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The eternity

How would you feel if your mom was about to die and you knew she wasn’t saved? How could you live with the fact after she’s gone? To think of her in the eternal agony?

Once I knew a young girl who refused to believe in God. She had one very heavy reason for that: She had lost her boyfriend via an accident and just could not think of him being in hell. At the time I felt that I understood her but didn’t really consider her reason valid. Because God is just and it is what it is and there’s no point for her going down there, too. But now… I think I need to think it over again.

I did talk to mom about God once. BAD mistake. She really made me regret that. And also made me pay for it again years later. So now that I’m anything but sure where I stand with God myself, there’s no way I can do that again – that is, unless God performs a serious miracle on that one. But, you know, a blind leading a blind and stuff.

However dysfunctional my relationship with mom is, she’s still my mom. And we’ve had some good times, too. But now her time is pretty much over. She may have days, maybe weeks, but I don’t think she’ll make it months anymore.

I’ve prayed to God to save her. I’ve asked God not to lose her no matter what and let me know where she’ll end up. Because I don’t think I could survive knowing she wasn’t saved. Or being unsure of that. Life is hard as it is, I don’t need that burden on top of everything.

And, I think God losing mom would be the final end of my life as a believer. But – I can’t just un-believe stuff that I know, so I suppose life would be pretty much impossible then. I don’t know. And I don’t want to find out what it would be like, either.

-thomasina-

Worry, trust issues and such

Warning: A depressing post ahead!

I’m a worrier. I worry. A lot. I worry about my very sick mom. I worry about my elderly dad giving his everything to take care of mom. I’ve already lived through mom’s funeral, at least a hunred times. As well as my grandmom’s funeral, too. I worry because I still can’t get along with my sister. I worry about my daughter’s health and my own health. Oh, and husband, he’s doing so much and so much is required from him. I worry about our finances, because my tiny pension isn’t enough for anything and we’re facing enormous expences. And Mr Right seems to have it slow at work – and that means no income for us, just when we need it so bad. I worry about fixing our house and living another winter in a caravan (expensive!!!) and wether the house will ever again be healthy enough for me to live in it. I worry about the old dog who’s doing poorly, the summer ending, the birds leaving and the horrible, horrible autumn and winter coming again. And God being distant (or maybe it’s me…) and probably angry and disappointed. I worry about all those things and then some. And even more. And I know it’s oh, so stupid.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:25-27)

My friend has a habit of choosing a special word to contemplate on for each year. Last year she was struggling a bit with choosing her word and I suggested the word “trust”. It was my suggestion, because trust is a difficult (understatement!) issue for me and it was on surface for me (again) at the time. However, my friend chose another word for last year, but this year she chose “trust”.

I have had my trust violated sooooo many times that I find myself withdrawing from people more and more all the time. Even with the closest friends (who really aren’t many!) I’m keeping up a wall. I just can’t give my everything because I’m pretty much convinced they’ll ditch me anyway, sooner or later, and I have to be prepared and protect myself. Because that’s what people do. (I started writing something more here, but realized I can’t. It’s way too painful. So I won’t write it.)

A friend wrote the following in her post and I happened to read it before starting to write this post:

points from a charles stanley sermon, that also mark the cornerstones of our faith:

– God controls our circumstances
– God will meet our needs
– God is with us
– God loves us with an eternal love …

what are we worried about?

Timely, huh? But my issue is trust. I’m unable to trust people. They’ve always let me down and alone. I was never enough. And so far the same seems to be true with God. I don’t have much evidence of the opposite. For me, a silent God is not a trustworthy God. Silence makes my trust crumble and causes me to question if God even wants me. Just like with my friends – if there’s a silence, I find myself wondering if I somehow made them angry or if they just don’t want to have anything to do with me anymore. And it’s a lot of hard work trying to convince myself about them just being busy or something like that. But when it comes to God, my hard work always goes down the drain; I know the words in the Bible promising love and such for everyone, but simply can’t make them sink into my heart. I know God is everything He’s said to be – but that doesn’t apply for me. I’m not one of the “everyone”. I’m an outsider, like I have been my entire life.

So I can’t be sure if God really has my everything under control. And since my faith is lacking, why would He waste any time with me?

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:6-7)

It’s a dead end. I don’t know where to go from here so I just keep worrying. At least that’s something I’m good at.

-thomasina-

 

Where to?

I haven’t written much here, but I still do think about this blog a lot. I did think about it seriously before starting it in the first place. But now I’m wondering – since my writing is so very sporadic – if I should’ve left the blog unborn. Yes, I’m very much lost in my faith and not doing so well health- and energywise, but I want to write. I need to write. It’s like my prayer to God, the prayer I’m not good at all otherwise.

Now I’m wondering why the writing is so difficult.

  1. No energy, along with congnitive problems due to brainfog – I’m sure God is bigger than this issue and if my writing is something He wants me to do, He can give me the help I need here.
  2. Difficult to concentrate in the middle of all the distractions and with no place of “my own” (my family are living very tightly at the moment) – this can be beaten with a healthy dose of self-discipline, a headset and hoping that the teen goes early to bed.
  3. Language? No. My native language is Finnish but even though my English isn’t perfect, it’s very easy for me to write. I don’t really even need a dictionary but very rarely. Since I started blogging years ago I’ve always written in English.
  4. I have no blogging community... yes, I miss this. It’s a great addition in writing, to encourage, inspire and even teach. Back in the day there were several blogs I used to follow, those people read my blog and they became like friends. Then, I think Facebook happened. Or something. One by one my fellow bloggers disappeared. So did I. I’m glad at least a couple of those people are now in my Facebook friends list.

That’s to name a few. So now I’m thinking to see if this blog hits off properly or not. I’m trying to read other blogs to get inspired. And also, I’ll consider if I should, after all, start writing in Finnish. Bi-lingual blogwould be too much work. In Finnish there aren’t many Christian blogs online, so maybe one more would be needed? Or not. But the possible blogging community would be even more limited. And to be fair – there are certain aspects in Finnish online Christianity that I do not wish to be faced with.

I’m praying that God will show me my place and the right venue. Soon. I don’t know if it’s this blog or not. We’ll see.

-thomasina-

 

Piano

I’m giving my piano away. And it’s hard – I don’t want to. But for certain reasons I really don’t have any reasonable options. I’ve been postponing this for a long time and now the time is up.

I don’t really know how to even play the piano. For me it’s a tool I’ve used when writing songs. And having to give it up feels a bit like a final death after a very long coma of not being able to write – or play, or sing – anything.

I’ll still have my flute. And my guitar. But for some reason they don’t replace the piano, even though I’m much better at playing them.

Having to give the piano away feels like God finally giving up on me. I know that’s silly and not true but that’s how I feel.

My only consolation, although a very slim one, is that it goes to a very good home where it can serve God much better than in my living room gathering dust and dog hair.

-thomasina-