I can’t even.. It’s the phrase that allows us to respond to all the crazy things we hear or see on any given day that we otherwise just couldn’t find the right words for. This fun phrase allows us an easy out in those soon to be awkward moments, or its an expression we use when something is so unbelievably adorable that we can’t describe it. But what about those times when the “I can’t even” in your life is a cry of desperation, and in fact nothing at all to smile about? I’ve had many “I can’t even” days, and not the funny ones.
So what do you do when your “I can’t even” is an “I can’t even go one more second with the way things are in my life.” Or “I can’t even survive one more second with this cranky, irrational, demanding toddler.” Maybe its “I can’t even stand one more second at this job I hate with every ounce of my being, and if I don’t quit this second I’m going to burst.” Or maybe it’s “I can’t even stay married to this person for one more day because of what they’ve done!” Or Perhaps yours is “I can’t even roll my self out of bed this morning because the pain is so overwhelming I can barely breathe.” Whatever your “I can’t even” is, I get it. I get it.
I understand that even on those “I can’t even” days, you manage to do it anyway. You do get out of bed. You do keep being a parent to your kids because they need you. You do go to that job you hate, because you have to pay a mortgage and keep food on the table. You do stay married that one more day, and fight one more time for your marriage because its worth it. You do breathe in and out mustering each breath at the expense of the excruciating pain you’ll feel. But how?!? How do you do it when you know you can’t even. You rely on a power that can.
On the days I can’t muster up enough to make it one more solitary second and my well is completely empty, that’s when something beautiful happens. My soul begins to draw from a well that never runs dry, the well where the living water flows. This well is filled with a force more powerful than man can fully comprehend. It releases the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Its the power and beautiful that often raises me from places of desperation and despair. My “I can’t even” becomes ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Every time I find my self saying “I cant even” I am reminded of the one who can. Not only can Jesus do all things, but he will do those things for you. When you can’t even find the strength to go on one more second, he will be your strength. When you can’t parent your children one more with out losing your mind, he will lead you and guide you, giving you patience to go on. When you cant even imagine how you are going to get up and go back to that job for one more minute, he offers peace, and reassurance. When you cant stand your spouse, and are ready to throw in the towel, he reminds you of the grace and mercy he’s shown you, and tells you to extend that same grace and mercy to the imperfect person that you’re doing life with. When the pain is so great in your heart that you can’t even breath, he gives you comfort, and breathes life into you for one more day.
So what about the “I can’t even” that applies to going after your dreams? The I cant even imagine going back to school. I cant even imagine starting another career. I cant even imagine trying to change this habit now. I cant even imagine what it would be like to get healthy, and be at a healthy weight. I cant even imagine what it would be like to be better for my kids, and break the cycle I’m caught up in. I cant even imagine starting a business, going after my dream job at all costs, going back to work, not working any more, starting a blog, writing a book, loving my self, forgiving that person after all these years, trying again at love, learning how to play that instrument, taking up running, starting a bible study, taking the lead on a new ministry in my church, pursuing the calling God has on my life even though i’m terrified. There are a million “I can’t even’s” we can throw out in the face of our dreams, but honey (forgive my southern roots) God has better things for you than your “I cant evens!” God has so much more for you. Put these “I can’t even’s” before God, commit to doing them his way, and GO AFTER YOUR DREAMS.
So use the phrase a million times on cute pictures, or funny memes, but don’t you dare use it concerning your dreams! And when the phrase comes up concerning your ability to go on, give it to the one through whom ALL things are possible, Jesus Christ. I can’t even imagine how your life will change for the better when you do.