Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Asking for and Accepting Help

Can I see a show of hands…was anyone besides me convicted by chapter 8 “Get By With a Little Help from Your Friends?” No? I was afraid of that.

Author Rachel Olsen listed reasons she doesn’t ask for help—pride, fear, insecurity, self-reliance, perfectionism, busyness, and selfishness. I can relate to all of them.

There is one time in particular that stands out in my mind. When my daughter was an infant, she cried. A lot. I was a new mom, inexperienced, and extremely overtired. I desperately needed help. I see that now, but I didn’t see it then. Even if I had seen it, I wouldn’t have accepted it. In fact, I didn’t.

Shortly after she was born, I received a call from a woman at our church. I didn’t know her very well, but I knew who she was and liked her. We talked for a few minutes and she asked if she could come over to help me. She offered to vacuum.

I thought it was odd. I’d never had an offer like this before and it made me uncomfortable. I politely turned her down.

It was years later when I wondered why I didn’t let her come over. Why didn’t I say no thank you to the vacuuming, but ask her if she would care for the baby for an hour while I took a nap? Or why didn’t I just invite her over for someone to talk to? I don’t think she had an overwhelming desire to clean. I think she would have been happy to help in any way I needed.

As I kicked myself for not accepting her help, I wondered if I could have relaxed enough to appreciate or enjoy it. The answer is no, I don’t think I could have. I would have cleaned before she came over. I would have made sure my daughter was dressed appropriately and looked adorable. I might have even figured out a snack to offer. I would have tried to host instead of accept the help she was offering, and I would have been on edge the entire visit.

Would it be different today? I think so…I hope so…I don’t know. Here’s why…

In this same chapter, Rachel writes, “…how many times do we find ourselves hanging dangerously off the side of some problem or the edge of some sin…searching on our own for a way down? Meanwhile, there is a Sisterhood nearby equipped by God to help.”

My immediate thought was, “not that often”…and then I hung my head. Apparently I have an issue with denial as well as accepting help.

In Christ,

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