I Just Can’t . . .

Anyone who has ever experienced a devastating loss knows that there is nothing more debilitating, more heartwrenching, and more painful.  I don’t mean losing a game if you’re an athlete, or losing your keys and being locked out of the house.  I’m talking about a great loss; the loss of a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a best friend or, in my case, a child.  I mean the type of loss that feels like someone just punched you in the gut and knocked every bit of air out of you; the kind that hurts so much you’re not convinced that you can fall asleep at night, or worse, that you will wake up the next morning.

I’ve been there.  The night after we found out our son, Caleb, had gone home to be with the Lord, I remember going upstairs to get into the bed.  My heart hurt so much, I didn’t know if I would be able to fall asleep that night.  Even more difficult, I wasn’t convinced I would wake up the next morning.  I got into the bed and prayed one prayer:  “Lord, please let me go to sleep tonight, and let me wake up in the morning.  And Lord, please give me peace.”

I know what you’re thinking:  “Not Rasheeda.  The one who has great faith, who trusts God in everything.  Proverbs 3:5-6 is her favorite scripture, after all.”  Well, you see, that’s the thing about life.  Sometimes you get dealt with a dose of reality that causes you to sink or swim.  I wasn’t sinking, but I didn’t feel like I was swimming, either.  I was just there.  I didn’t know how to explain what I was feeling, though.  I just knew that, well, “I just can’t.”

“I just can’t” meant so many things to me.  I just can’t talk about it.  I just can’t explain how I feel.  I just can’t get out of bed today.  I just can’t leave the house.  I just can’t stop crying.  I just can’t be around people.  I just can’t talk to anyone, even if it’s small talk. I. JUST. CAN’T.

Can’t was never in my vocabulary.  Philippians 4:13 tells me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  What do you mean you can’t?  You can, and you will.  You have to.  Right?

Eventually.  But in that moment, for that period of time, I couldn’t.  And I learned that it was okay.  It was okay to be weak.  It was okay to hurt.  It was okay to feel like everyone around you was either pregnant or just had a baby.  It was even okay to be upset that a teenager was having a healthy child, but you didn’t.  Your child was gone.  It was okay to be angry, disappointed and all around upset.  And it was okay to allow yourself to work through those emotions.

But you know what else I learned?  I learned that, eventually, I would stop saying, “I just can’t.”  I learned to name my emotions.  I learned to share my story.  I learned that, in my greatest moments of pain and weakness, I did not lose faith; in fact, I gained it, because I had just enough presence of mind to call out the simplest prayer and ask God to help me.  And He did.

Since that time, my prayer in times of loss either for myself or others is always the same:  May God strengthen you, encourage you and give you peace that passes all understanding.  May He carry you until you’re strong enough to stand, may He hold you until you’re strong enough to walk, and may He be beside you when you’re strong enough to run again.

Even when we “just can’t,” God can.  And He will.


13 thoughts on “I Just Can’t . . .

  1. Tasha says:

    Rasheeda…YOU are amazing! this blog is a part of you that you are willing to share with people that may share the same or any type struggle. That is a great thing! I admire you for that and I am glad that GOD made sure that I met you! Love You! Thanks for giving of yourself as GOD saw fit so that your ministry will reach many.


  2. Telisha says:

    WOW! I didn’t know you blogged. What an inspiration. I will hide this in my heart and share it with the many people I encounter daily that I believe will be blessed by this message.


  3. Aunt J says:

    Beautifully said and although it is still sad to hear how deep your hurt
    and pain went, I am so very happy to know that you knew what to say and even more HOW TO PRAY to our Most High God.

    Your words and actions continue to be an inspiration to me. Thank you for always just being you, A GODLY WOMAN and OUR SHEEDA BABE.


  4. Joe Carlos says:

    Thank you for this. It was forwarded to me, and it was so vivid and powerful. I needed to read this in so many ways. I will say a similar prayer after I write this comment. I cannot thank you enough for sharing this, posting this, and living this.


  5. Mom says:

    What a powerful personal testimony of our God! He is the great I AM when we are not and when we “can’t”! Continue to share your heart and the wisdom He continues to reveal to you to bless us!

    Love you so much!


  6. Dad says:

    What an awesome and powerful testamony Sheeda!
    I remember (serveral years ago) when you bought this T-shirt that said on the front “Proverbs 31 Woman”. It made me smile inside because, to me, you were still (just) my little girl. As children of the Most High God we truly are speaking spirits. God instructs us to speak His word back to Him (knowing that it will accomplish and prosper that to which it is sent). He has given each of us (who would yet but believe) the authority to declare and decree those things that are in line with His word. Yes, my sister in Christ, you are truly a ‘Proverbs 31 Woman of God’. You never cease to amaze me.


  7. little bro says:

    That’s why you’re my big sis….I love you and needed this….I felt alll of this first part yesterday…..I feel much better now…God bless you and the blog your wisdom will touch many like it touched me today…. 🙂


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