It’s been a while friends, but I am back! I haven’t felt myself physically or emotionally in about a month and a break from writing was much needed. So I took some time to refocus and get my body back to normal after battling an illness. Not only that, but it’s been a very busy season in my family’s life…a camping trip, my husband’s 30th birthday, a family wedding, and a cross-country vacation.
While I was feeling exhausted and things were a little chaotic, I was blessed by a lot of people. Some of which, I asked directly for help. And when I say “directly” I mean I just came right out and said what I needed… “Can you watch my child for me?” “Can you pick my family up from the airport?” “Can you pray specifically about ____ for me?” “You want to make myself and my family dinner?? Yes please, do you mind?!” I know I’m making this sound easy, but believe me it was not. In fact, I don’t think many people ask for help directly anymore. I certainly don’t ask for it enough. Why? Well, I wouldn’t want to burden someone or have them alter their schedule just for me, or make them feel guilted into doing something. And what if they said “no”? Then I would just feel bad for asking in the first place. Plus, many of the people we have met here in Maryland are still somewhat new friends…so why would I want to scare them off by asking for something? Or maybe I don’t ask for help because I’m convinced that I can do everything on my own. Maybe I think I can do things better than if I asked someone else to do them for me. There I said it…I am a little controlling with certain things. But at the end of the day it’s in my nature to make sure everyone is at peace around me…not to give them more to do!
What I realized in the midst of all this was that receiving help goes a lot further than just getting the desired task accomplished.
And here is how…
Asking for help means humbling yourself – admitting you can’t do it all on your own, or taking the chance that maybe that person you are asking for help from says “no”. And so what, it’s not the end of the world. You get over it and hopefully gather up the courage to ask someone else.
It makes the people that are helping you feel significant. This isn’t usually our motive when asking for help but by doing so, you are entrusting people with tasks that ultimately help you achieve your goals for the day. Even if the goal is simply to get your family fed or to get to and from the airport; the helper feels significant and fulfilled by serving.
It allows people to use their gifts to serve you. Again, this isn’t usually our motive when asking but if someone is a really talented cook, then why not allow them to prepare a meal for you?! Or allow them to host your playdate, meet-up, or party if they are gifted with hospitality? 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each one of you should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Asking for help spurs community. “All the believers were together and had everything in common” – Acts 2:44, NIV. In the early church the believers were devoted to fellowship daily. They prayed together, worshiped together, ate meals together, lived together, and even sold their own possessions so that they could give to those around them that were in need. When we help one another, even in the small things, we are part of something bigger: our community.
I joke with my friends at times (although half of me is serious)… “we should just move into a big house together or all live next to one another!”. And I don’t mean just so I can borrow a cup of sugar every once in a while, I mean like early church fellowshippin’ together! Our culture sometimes tells us to do the opposite of this – to only be concerned with our own interests and providing only for ourselves so that we can enjoy what is ours. Although that comes with a feeling of security, I’d still choose to ask and be asked for help. Why? Because when I receive help, I receive love.
Helping one another is a responsibility we have been given and the action of serving one another without asking for anything in return is an act of love. God desires for us to feel that.
It doesn’t only bless you, the helpers are blessed in the process too. Lately, now that my daughter is a little more self-sufficient, I have been more intentional about asking her for help with things. Things like putting the groceries away, feeding the dog, and handing me spices and such while I cook. I do this because I want to make sure she knows I need help as much as she does, maybe not in the same ways, but regardless I do need help too. And more importantly she knows IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR IT.
Asking for help is a powerful thing. Giving help is a powerful thing. Let’s do it more, even as a busy mom who barely has time for herself, let’s try.
” You my brothers were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.” – Galatians 5:13-14, NIV
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:4-8, NIV