Monmouth County, NJ

Award winning blogger, pastor, and VP of a small engineering firm. Darren and his wife Kristin spend their free time raising 3 girls and helping fuel a movement of #KingdomCollaboration.

Family Life

Hope is on the move

By on April 5, 2017

Silly things Christians say

I bumped into an old friend the other day who hadn’t heard about Kristin’s illness. I filled him in on some of the logistics and shared a bit about how this has been a difficult season for me. Endearingly he encouraged me that “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I thanked him for the kind gesture, followed his lead on an appropriately manly half-shake-half-hug deal and went on my way.

Ok – I have heard that line so many times. To be honest, I may have even said that to someone at some point. It sounds good, right?  “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” The problem is, it’s just not right. In fact it’s diametrically opposed to other things we see taught in the Bible.

I suspect people get it from 1 Corinthians 10:13.But seriously, take a minute to read it 1 Cor 10:6-13. The promise there is not about God not giving us more than we can handle. It is talking about temptation from the sin in this world and promising us that we always have a choice to choose to do what is right. It’s really not about hardships or trials at all.

Further, look at what Paul says in his next letter to that same group of people:

For we do not want you to be unaware, 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.He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. (2 Cor 1:8-10)

So, according to Paul, we can clearly be burdened beyond our own strength and in fact, there is a purpose to such hardship. Sometimes we just can’t handle what is on our plate. God tells us that these times are given to us for a reason; to teach us to rely on him.

How we are handling things

There have been times this year that I didn’t handle things so well. I keep getting discouraged, when really…when you look at the big picture, I should be overwhelmed with joy. God really is good to us. This is a tough season, but boy are there still so many things to be thankful for. For one, there are wonderful people who bring us meals every other night. Talk about kindness! Meals 3-4 times a week for 4 months now!

But I’m not always so quick to be thankful. It’s been 4 months since we came home from the hospital and over 6 months since Kristin’s symptoms started. In some ways this last month has been the worst. She is improving, but you can only really tell if you measure it from month to month. She’s walking a good bit, but can really only be up on her feet for a minute or two before needing to sit back down. Last week she was able to get some bagels out of the pantry and put them in the toaster for the kids. Seems crazy, but her getting up to prepare any food for herself or the kids is new in these last few weeks. It’s encouraging for sure, but the time it’s taken to make these improvements certainly doesn’t feel fast enough.

Myesthenia Gravis

In my last post (read it HERE) I wrote about how one of the top doctors in the country didn’t think that all of Kristin’s symptoms were associated with sarcoidosis.  She does have sarcoidosis, but he believes there is something else that is causing most of her symptoms (like the fact that she was in a wheelchair for months). We spent a month chasing Myesthenia Gravis (MG) with specialists in NY. MG patients have increasingly weakened muscles upon exertion, so while they can do things briefly, their muscles very quickly fatigue. This sounded a lot like Kris but after multiple tests we can finally say we have ruled that out. We think that’s good news, but still just don’t know. She is on some medications that could treat a variety of things, so you never know if maybe there is something else going on that we haven’t figured out yet. Really it doesn’t matter though, we just keep taking it day by day. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow anyway, right?

Hope is on the move

Which is kinda where we are this week.  Most of our discouragement lately has been that we can’t do anything fun with our kids these days, or that we can’t invest much in the church we are partnering to start. But last night something wonderful happened; we stayed up late talking and dreaming about all that we are going to do in the near future when she is back on her feet. We haven’t had a good dreaming session in quite a while. It was refreshing.

So I’d say, we are still down a bit, but hope is on the move in our house!

How about with you? Leave us a comment and let us know how you are!

  1. Reply

    John Hegarty

    April 6, 2017

    Sounds like I should get to work on the tree house. It’s been crazy here the last week or two. I should have time for paperwork in the next few days although I just realized I’ll be on retreat this weekend. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Reply


    April 6, 2017

    God bless you both

  3. Reply

    Joanna Douglas

    April 6, 2017

    I will continue to pray for you, Darren, & your beautiful family. As usual, it seems as if your faith is stronger than ever, & I truly admire that in you. If you can keep hope alive after all you’ve been through, I should definitely be able to do the same. XO

  4. Reply

    Amanda Balina-Ayers

    April 6, 2017

    Love you guys! Praying for healing! We’re good in TX 🙂 The kids are keeping us busy. Heather (Newton) Jemison is here for work, so we’ll get to hang out with her this weekend. CAN’T wait for that! Love & miss you & all of our Shrewsbury family!

  5. Reply

    Kim Bollinger

    April 6, 2017

    Thank you for the update??! It’s encouraging. I am sorry though that you are dealing with this:( ??I eagerly wait for it to be over as do we all. ?

  6. Reply

    Laura brynildsen

    April 6, 2017

    Darren, what a great perspective on enduring trials. I have also told and been told that we won’t be given more than we can handle. I’m starting to rethink how I think about this. In light of what those before us have dealt with, there’s a different lesson to be learned, a greater lesson I believe. I continue to be convinced of Gods faithfulness and grace in every situation. I’m praying for Kristin and your family. ??❤

  7. Reply

    Tim Harris

    April 6, 2017

    Hi Darren –
    Continuing to pray for you guys. Thanks for being so transparent and honest, not only about Kristin’s physical condition but also your emotional pain.

    It’s true things may come into our lives that are more than we can handle on our own. Thankfully, the real promise of scripture is that he will not leave us alone. He’s a Father who will never abandon his children, especially when they are in pain.

    God bless.

  8. Reply


    April 7, 2017

    I am still praying! I’ve have always hated that cliche: God only gives you….yada yada. It’s nonsense. But what is true is He is faithful to us and He surrounds us with His grace. I believe, from my own battles, that in the midst of the storm, He desires we look to Him, not at the wind, waves, lightening, but Him. When we can let go, really trust in Him despite the circumstances, that YES, sometimes get worse….then, we walk on water. It’s this deep trust that He’s after.

    Miss seeing you guys. My life has been insane the past few months…..I need to sign up for a meal for you all…things are slowing a bit where I can.

  9. Reply

    Kevin McGarvey

    May 8, 2017

    I don’t check blogs very often, but I was rocking out to Runaway in the car this weekend (on full blast), thought of you, and decided to check out your blog. It also just happened to be right after I listened to this sermon:(https://www.covlife.org/resources/sermon/3977892-Physical_Healing). If you get a chance, please give it a listen. I thought this pastor did excellent job of explaining how we can combat physical suffering with the truth of the gospel. I will pray that God will pour out His grace on you, Kristen, and the girls as you go through this trial. Love you brother.