Is it ok to consider that challenging?
My life is entirely too much for me these days. My life has been too much for me for a long time now. I mentioned briefly in one post that I have cancer. I recently began a six-month course of chemotherapy. For some reason, being diagnosed with cancer and hearing I needed chemo did not knock me off balance. It seemed of a piece with depression - another long, ugly illness that will be resolved eventually.
Now that we have moved and I've started treatment, I am losing my balance. The move is, big picture, great for our family. In the short term it is incredibly stressful. Everything is new, we have no routine, the kids are excited and confused and uncertain. The chemotherapy is an enormous wrench in the gears of trying to get settled. The primary side effect for me so far is severe fatigue. It looks like I'll be alternating good week/crummy week for a few months.
When someone loving and capable offers to help, I am confident that God loves me and is going to provide what we need to get through this. I also wonder if I am going to pay for it later.
What I need most is help with my children. A stunning number of people in our new congregation have offered to spend time with the kids while I cope with treatments. I am sifting through the offers. A few people appear very needy themselves, so I smile, thank them for the generous offer, and never call for help. Almost everyone else seems fine, but there are so many ways that inviting virtual strangers into the intimate connection of caring for my children can become awkward. Do they expect a "special" connection with the pastor's family? If I ask for help once, will it be offensive if I do not ask again?
I am in no position to return any favors. Not only do I need substantial tangible help, but I lack the emotional energy to tend to other people's needs with any depth or consistency. I am in a tunnel of my own family's needs.
We all depend on God's grace at all times, but that dependence is not always evident in our everyday lives. Right now, my dependence on grace is acute. It makes me feel fragile, exposed. I trust God. I'm not so sure about His people.