I Can’t Do Anything

It’s interesting to me how when tragedy strikes or when we learn of sad news, distraction often becomes a coping mechanism. When we feel helpless to do anything we often have this need to do something.

When my mom died, I remember the first task I dove into the very next day was creating a family photo album. I sunk my energy and my thoughts into it. We had a ton of pictures that had never been put into albums. It became my mission to take on the job of organizing many of them and putting them in chronological order. Looking back, I know that this task became my medicine.

As many of you know, my dad suffered a stroke a week ago this Monday. I live 2400 miles away and have not been able to be there to help my oldest brother who lives near my dad and who has been visiting him in the hospital. Every day he gives me updates on how our dad is doing. Thankfully, he is improving everyday. He is finally at a point where I should be able to talk to him on the phone today or tomorrow.

I’ve noticed that one of my coping mechanisms this week has been to keep everyone informed on how my dad is progressing. Every day, I would receive a report for my brother and then I would relay the report to my friends on facebook. I’ve greatly appreciated all the support and prayers but in addition to that, I think I’ve needed this job. At 2400 miles away I can’t do anything but I have to do something. The updates became the something I did.

Feeling helpless is a scary place to be. And yet, I’ve recognized over the years, that it’s the place where I’ve experience the most growth in my walk with the Lord. It is during these seasons when I am humbly reminded of who I am and how much I am need of His hope every day…not just when tragedy strikes. When we have no other choice but to rest in His arms, then we must learn to trust Him on a much deeper level. We must learn to cling to Him with a stronger grip. He becomes the air we breathe and the strength we can depend on.

I don’t like feeling helpless…not one bit. But, I do love the reminder that He is capable of supplying everything I need. I don’t need to do anything other than make the choice to accept His help.

What about you?
What have you found yourself doing when you can’t do anything?

7 thoughts on “I Can’t Do Anything

  1. Caroline

    I’ve experienced this, too: “Feeling helpless is a scary place to be. And yet, I’ve recognized over the years, that it’s the place where I’ve experience the most growth in my walk with the Lord.” I’d rather not be in those helpless situations, but it’s where I really learn trust (and I have issues with trust, evidently).

    Praying for your dad, Eileen.

  2. Tracy

    Hi Eileen – one of the things that frustrates me in life is not being able to do something about something and tend to get nothing done at those times. It is an awful non-coping mechanism. Having said that, as I get older and recognise I am flailing, I go read the word, that centres me, balances me, and I finally get to a place where I carry on carrying on but with less flailing 🙂 I’m lifting your father up in prayer right now for complete healing. God is our healer and He says to ask, so in His name I ask.
    God bless

  3. kelli

    I’m so sorry, I hadn’t heard this. I love when you said, “And yet, I’ve recognized over the years, that it’s the place where I’ve experience the most growth in my walk with the Lord.” It’ so true but so hard as we go through it. Being vulnerable isn’t how society tells us we should be…but being vulnerable with Jesus allows us to bring up rare pearls in a sea of affliction:) Praying for your dad and family.

  4. Rob

    I am sorry to hear about your dad. When I need to cope I eat or watch a movie. Then I jog out of guilt for all the food I ate.

  5. Debi

    I too am sorry for your dad. Glad he is getting better day by day. For me what I do when I can’t do anything, is sleep, then I pray – not about anything specific just pray, then I start organizing my desk / office space,.It seems to put my mind in another time and place so little by little I can start functioning again.

  6. Jenifer

    Been praying for your dad, Eileen, and will continue to pray. I have enjoyed reading your updates.

    I am not really sure how I “cope.” I think it depends on the situation. I do a LOT of crying. I cry at everything!! But I think in some situations talking to a loved one is how I cope and sometimes staying busy like cleaning helps me. Just depends I guess. 🙂


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