Monday, October 3, 2016

When Trying Isn't Good Enough

     "I'm trying..." My voice breaks. I pull the phone from my ear to wipe the tears off of it. Lying on my bed talking to my mom over the phone is the first time I've actually cried.

     "I know you are," she consoles, about the best a mom can over the phone.

     My grandpa has had cancer for a week at this point. Well, no. He's had cancer for a good long while, telling by how much it has "eaten him up". But nobody knew. Until exactly one week ago.

     And I cry.

     For my grandpa.

     For under-appreciated years.

     For my mom. Who has been away from her family more in the last week than she ever has since my birth.

     For myself. Who is not quite ready to take over being mom and teacher and household manager to my six younger siblings. But is trying her hardest. For her mom. For her grandpa.

     Be strong. You know how the house works, I continuously remind myself throughout the days of diaper-changing and piano-teaching and meal-cooking and dog-wrangling and school-administrating. Sure, I've been preparing to run a home for my entire life, more or less. But I still can't do it as well as my mom.

     And I cry for that, too.

     It feels terrible. I hate crying. But after the tears run dry, I'm glad it happened. It was inevitably coming, and I can just be grateful it was at 8pm, in the privacy of my room, when I could wash my face and nobody downstairs would have to know, rather than noon in front of all of my siblings when I accidentally burn the grilled cheeses.

     Hanging up with my mom, I feel better. Glad it's out. Like a dam that didn't know she had to be opened, but is relieved when she is, anyways. I decide this is as good a time as any to talk to God, too.

     After all, I have to let these tear marks fade out.

     I take my troubles to the Lord. Again. And I'm convicted for going to my mom before Him during this particularly emotional part of my day.

     But He washes that sin away. With His blood.

     And He tells me it's okay. And I'll have another chance to do better.

     And He answers my prayers.

     In that still, small voice deep inside- the one I can only hear when my heart is empty of self and my burdens are handed over to Him whose burden is light- He tells me my efforts of "trying" will never be good enough.

     And my heart breaks once more.

     Maybe because I know He has been trying to get this lesson through me all year long, and it still takes something like this to remind me.

     You know how you can read the Bible through many times, and still find passages that are awe-inspiring and life-impacting? And you can read the "Proverb of the Day" every day for seven years and still be convicted anew through those powerful verses every day? You know what I mean, right? Well, this verse is one I never even paid attention to until this past January. I discovered it's power through a book. And now I'll never forget it.  I love this, the verse He gives me.

     The same one He gave me back when I thought I might not be able to go to Burma, because I didn't have the money, after all.

     The same one He gave me back when I thought I was doing everything right and should be getting piano students coming in, but wasn't.

     But doesn't this just trump all? My grandpa has cancer. It's really bad, too. My mom is a few hundred miles away. The responsibility of running this house is mostly lying on my shoulders.

     And I'm trying.

     But it doesn't matter.

     Because without His power and Spirit, nothing happens. 

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

- Zechariah 4:6

     Not by my might. Nor my power. Nor my tries. 

     Only by His Spirit. 


  1. I know you put a lot of yourself into this post; it was beautiful. Praying for you, dear! <3

  2. Praying for you! Thanks for the post;)

  3. Sorry about your grandfather. Will keep him in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Kimberly, I am so sorry about your grandpa! My family is praying for yours. I know how much worry and stress comes along with an illness,but I've never had to experience the awful scenario you've just desribed. I am sure you are doing a great job of taking care of all your siblings,and holding them together during all this. I will pray that God gives you and your mom strength to face each new day. Thank you for taking the time to write about this,I know it must have been painful.


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