“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” I keep hearing these words over and over in my head for the past two weeks, trying my hardest to believe them because I need them to be true right now. It was my grandmother who used to say these words to me whenever I felt down, overwhelmed or sad. Even as a young child, she taught me what it means to have faith and trust God, all the time but especially during the hard times (and I’ve certainly had my share). These words have inspired me over the years and help made me strong when I felt weak. But two weeks ago when I received the call that she had passed away, it was all I could do to keep from breaking down completely. It honestly felt like my world had crumbled. Her passing took a little of my world with it, and now I barely recognize it.

Even though she’s gone, I can still feel her presence. When I feel sadness–which I’ve experienced a lot lately–I think of how sad she’d feel if she saw how devastated I was. Then, like a domino effect, that makes me sadder. But, once again, the words “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle,” which helps me straighten my back and smile a little. Ironically, I never particularly considered myself a religious person–though I am a true believer of hope, faith and the idea of God. I take comfort in believing that there is a higher presence that protects me, though I may not fully understand it. No matter what it is, if you’ve found something that inspires you, propels you to be or feel better, cling on to it for dear life because it is the rarest of beauties.

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I had to call upon hope just a week ago I found myself in another awful position. After returning home from spending three devastating days at my grandmother’s wake and funeral, I learned that my office was shutting down which meant I was out of a job. Honestly, it took me a few minutes to even comprehend the news. I was still deeply mourning my grandmother’s death (I suppose I may always be, to a certain extent), and the idea of handling yet another thing felt unbearable. All I remember is walking out of my office and wanting to call my grandmother to tell her what happened. Because she always knew the right thing to say.

But, of course, reality sank in and I realized that she was no longer there. Instantly I was struck with an overwhelming loneliness. Though I have my mom and my extended family just a few hours away, I still felt I was without a support system. Even the idea of waking up and having to hustle for new work and a means to pay my bills began to fill me with an indescribable nausea. It just felt like too much was happening all at once. But then the words “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” trickled back into my head  and, while I am still burdened with worry, I know that in order to move forward I have to believe that it is even an option. I am stronger than I believe I am at this very moment and I have to trust that I will overcome this moment. All I need to do is put one foot in front of the other…