I Can, Too

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When I was in high school, I was active in my church’s youth group.  I had friends in all different groups at school, but my core group of friends who shaped me and helped set my moral compass for later in life were my friends from church.  We not only worshipped together, but we traveled together, served together, got in trouble together, pushed the boundaries together, and grew up together.  I have lost touch with many of these people over the years, but their friendships had a truly profound impact on my life and I think about them often.

We grew up in a small beach town.  The kind of town where when hurricanes blew in, you’d see Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel broadcasting in torrential downpours out on the beach, with powerful winds blowing all around him and in the far background, you could see my friends running into the water with their surf boards.  Stupidity they had in spades, but their hearts were kind and their intentions were noble… about 80% of the time.

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I remember one really good guy friend of mine was a bit, well, lazy.  He never had a job.  Never made much of an effort in school.  Never really attempted to excel at anything.  As an adult, looking back, I am sure my parents thought he was a real winner.  But as a kid, all I remember was that he had a huge heart for others.  He was a good person.  A moral person.  And one of my best friends.

When we were seniors, everyone was trying to nail down future plans.  Colleges, jobs, moves, relationships… everything was up in the air, and if you listened very closely, you could hear the tiniest bit of fear in all our voices.

Except for my friend.  Let’s call him Adam.

“Why would I worry?” he told me one afternoon.  “God knows what he’s doing.  I’ll just sit here and wait until He makes something happen.”

A few nights later, I was driving in the car with my mom and she was hassling me about something.  Probably filing my scholarship paperwork, or something equally as important yet uninteresting to my senioritis infected brain.  “Mom, quit bothering me about this,” I snapped.  “Adam says that God will take care of everything for us, and I think he’s right.  I don’t have worry about that stuff because God will take care of it.”

My mom sat there for a minute.  As a parent now, I know that she was probably half panicking as she tried to come up with an answer and half proud that my faith was so deeply rooted.  And then she said, “I know God takes care of everything for us, but it is our blessing to meet him halfway.”

She went on to talk about how when we love someone, we don’t make them carry all the weight.  We pick up the load ourselves and carry it with them, or for them, when they can’t.  And she said God does that for us, but part of loving God is not making him carry all the weight, either.

“We are active in our faith not because God can’t, but because we can.”

Throughout adulthood, I have found myself wandering back to this conversation with my mom on many, many occasions.  And this week it has been on replay over and over again in my mind.  There are things I want.  Things I want to accomplish, things I want to experience, things I want to do for others, things I want to do for myself.  I find myself praying over those things quite often, but I also find myself sitting back and waiting for God to do his “God stuff.”  To part the seas, to burn the bush, to rip the shroud.  I wait for those things because I know that God can do them.

But I wonder if, just maybe, God is waiting for me because he knows that, through my faith, I can do them, too.

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17 thoughts on “I Can, Too

  1. So incredibly well-put

  2. It’s like you’ve been in my head! I really needed to read this. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  3. wow. this is, as Oprah would say, an “aha” moment for me! thanks for the amazing insight.

  4. Erin

    This may be my favorite post of yours ever. Thanks for it.

  5. I LOVE THIS and I really needed to hear these words. Loving someone is meeting them halfway. Must.Repeat.Often.

  6. Joanne

    What a wonderful post. I love that quote at the end… And what your mom said its really insightful, too.

  7. I really needed to hear this. Thank you for posting 🙂

  8. your mom is incredibly wise. I kinda get the picture of it being “both/and”… God putting stuff in your heart to dream/do/become or whatever, and then you walking towards those dreams because you can… but praying as you take your first step that he parts the water for you, because he can. Kind of like an “I’ll walk, you part” deal. Love it… and exactly what I needed to read. Thank you.

  9. This is such a profound post – thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Your mom is a genius, and you are an incredible writer. Thank you!

  11. Catherine

    Yep! You have a very smart mom! But what ever happened to Adam?

  12. I absolutely love this. Isn’t it wonderful that we have a Savior that can and that we have the ability to meet Him hallway even though He can handle all things? Absolutely love! Needed to hear it today as well. God speaks through you Katie!

  13. jamie60

    I love your Mom and Your Family…Thank You for reminding me of where we’ve been and where we should be in My Family!!! You are the so much like my Beautiful Daughter…Loving Always from your Heart!!! God Bless You and Yours Always!!!

  14. I am totally going to rehearse that speech of your mom’s and then use it on my kids.

  15. Margaret @ Three Acres

    Your mother has wisdom, girl. I’ve never heard it put quite that well, but I love it. I always get squirmy when people say, “God helps those who help themselves.” because I don’t think that’s how it works. But she’s right, it’s our blessing to do our part in the equation. Thanks for writing this!

  16. The Erma Bombeck quote is perfect. So often, you speak to just what I need to hear!

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