Something that has been rolling around in my mind lately is our willingness to help others or allow others to help us. Like always I find the best place to sort through things is right here typing it out. My Mom used to say “Sit Down let’s hash this out”. So, I guess I am asking you to sit down and hash this out with me.
For a while, now this has been in my head and then little things would pop up in life to make me realize my thought process might be on the right track. I often wondered why people would say to me “WOW four kids you must have your hands full, but not a one would offer to hold a door, carry a kid, or sit and just visit with me.” Or even people close to me would say things like “Oh we all did it. It’s like a right of passage to suffer when raising your kids.” Now I am not here to throw a pity party since I have become stronger in my role as a Mom and even in my health. Yet, those early years that started with a 4 year old, 18 month old, and infant were so stressful and emotionally draining. I did end up with stage four adrenal fatigue where my life had so taxed my adrenal gland that it was barely producing any cortisol. My immune system was a mess. I had horrific migraines. My emotions were up and down and all over the place. I was NOT a healthy Momma. Thankfully, I found a doctor, who figured out the problem and nearly 4 years later I am MUCH better. My adrenals will always be something I have to support and with other autoimmune issues my immune system will need a boost as well, but I know how to do all of that now. My point in sharing this was in the middle of it I did not know how to ask for help and no one noticed or asked if I needed any help. Maybe they did and maybe I refused. That leads me to ….
WHY DO WE REFUSE HELP?
I think for some we are in the middle of a mess and we just do not recognize we need help.
I think PRIDE has something to do with it. We feel admitting we need help demonstrates failure. I mean think about it growing up aren’t pushed to do things independently and some might be pushed harder than others or before they are ready. Sending the little ones the message that growing up means doing things all by myself. Is that really the message we want to send to our kids? I am asking myself, too.
Maybe we just do not want to inconvenience anyone. How many growing up felt like they were always bothering a parent? Told to leave Dad or Mom alone? Now we want those people to ask for help? They don’t know how or they were taught asking was bothering. Again, maybe a bit of PRIDE is involved here. We are just to proud to let someone else help us.
Maybe it is because people have offered, but time and time again never really helped. So people gave up on asking. I wonder about this when I hear the same people say these two things…1) I am so busy always running 2) Anything you need just ask. My door is always open. … How can people help when they is so busy? I am talking about the real help. Not the band aide fix, but the walk through a season with someone sort of help. And if I need help why do I need to come to you? If you are offering to help me shouldn’t you come to me? I don’t know…hashing this idea out with all of you…Thoughts?
WHY DO WE NOT HELP OR SEE OTHERS HAVE A NEED?
Too busy. Is our life so full that it has lost its richness? Its flavor? We just are so focused on today’s task we can’t see beyond our own to do list?
We make assumptions. Oh, they don’t need my help they have it made…they have a great family to help them…look at them they are the perfect couple/family….she always has it all pulled together….he has an amazing wife…etc etc Not sure, but could ENVY come into play here. We may envy a person for whatever situation and we let that blind us to the realities that person may be living in.
We choose not to see. Or we ignore. We are being lazy … SLOTHFUL. Thinking someone else will take care of it.
Where are you at RIGHT NOW in this area of life?
So, with all that said or out of the hash table … what does it matter? Who cares if people are getting the help they might need? Who cares if I am the one helping them or if someone else does it? Well, if you want to explore all this as a friend, an American, or better yet as Christ would … let’s get another cup of coffee and sit back down to hash that out.
Hmmmm…. for me this quote speaks exactly how I feel about a friendship ” We need the comfort that comes in sharing history and being known. We need people who will wade into the middle of our stuff with us and help us fight our way through. We need those who know our kryptonite, what would easily destroy us, and lead us in the opposite direction.” (I found in my journal without an author name not like me so I am unsure whose words these are.) Are you this person in the lives of others? If you see the people you love destroying themselves would you step in and risk a friendship to lead them in the opposite direction? Would you help them whether they wanted it or not? Well….Kelly if they don’t want me help case closed. Really? Is it really over at that point? Or is that just an easy out for us?
Let’s address the American Way, but for me that mean’s going back to our roots … way back. Think of those very first settlers Jamestown and Captain John Smith or the Pilgrims. To keep it simple and straight to the point these groups of people would have died (and 1000s did) had it not been for the help of the Indians in their respective regions. The Natives had been down this road they new exactly how to survive this new journey the settlers were on. With that said in the beginning they were proud and wanted nothing to do with the native people. Quite frankly the natives typically wanted very little to do with the white man. Yet, when things became desperate for the white man they sought out the help of the natives and for whatever reason the natives in these cases chose to help. Yet, even in the middle of the suffering NOT EVERYONE in those groups wanted to ask for help. It took someone else to step up and risk their lives to ask for help. Fast forward to the American Revolution (again keeping things simple)… no way would we have won this war had the wealthy men of our country not sacrificed their riches, their pride, and the friendships with others in England. They wrote letters, risked their lives hiding ammunition’s and Revolutionaries, were killed for mutiny, lost everything … all because they wanted to willingly help the colonist’s and themselves to become a free country. We could keep going throughout our history about times that formed our heritage in which people HAD to ask or offer help. I think we as a society have strayed a bit and offer too much help now … but going too far with help might be another hash chat for later. So, as American’s it is in our roots to help others in need. We see that every time a major tragedy hits. Event then do we do all we could do? I think though many of us are waiting for someone else to take care of the needs. Or we are ready, but do not want to make the first move. In terms, of reaching out to our neighbors … maybe we forget that fixing any problem starts with fixing the one in front of our face first.
Now for some thoughts from a Christian perspective … what does Christ call us to do? I reflected on this and somethings popped into my head about possible tools God has given us to aid in asking for help and reaching out to others. BEFORE WE go on STOP and reflect on this for a minute … IF WE ARE UNWILLING TO HELP OTHERS OR RECEIVE HELP, THEN ARE WE REALLY LETTING GOD INTO OUR LIVES?
Tool 1 PRAYER/SCRIPTURE – One verse I found Hebrews 2:18 “Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.” In the past 6 months I have been learning how to pray scriptures…to put myself in the word to enable me to see how God wants me to follow Jesus … so let’s do that Because I myself was tested through my suffering, I am able to help those who are being tested. WOW>>>>ever think that out of our suffering God will call us to walk that journey with someone else?? If so, and we don’t … then what?? I often think the only way I can truly be rid of my own suffering is to give it to Jesus BY WALKING WITH SOMEONE ELSE. Think about it when you help others doesn’t it usually make you feel like your own suffering isn’t really as bad as you thought it was. It’s because you take your eyes off yourself for a while. This my friends is where I believe compassion and empathy are born. True some are just born with an EMPATH personality, but empathy is something we develop…or better yet we EARN. A friend once said about this idea of helping is “Christ’s message of love, hope, mercy, and compassion.” Maybe use prayer to lead you on this journey of helping.
Tool 2 FASTING …. What fasting? Fasting is when we initially suffer so we can lean more on God. So maybe we are just tired and it seems like we are always the one giving and never receiving. “I am sick and tired of sending notes, planning events, always being there for everyone else … WHEN WILL ANYONE DO THESE THINGS FOR ME!” Oh, trust me sweet friend I started heading down that path once and it was not a fun one. Recently, I read in my daily reading devotional Sacred Space “Like Jesus I am to be taken, blessed, broken, and given, until I am emptied out and yet mysteriously filled with love.” That is exactly what abruptly stopped my pity party all those years ago. Not those exact words, of course, but the idea at how much joy it brought me to encourage and love on others … to be a go to person for people in my life. Shoot to have even others who weren’t my ‘close friends’ know I was a person they could reach out to. I have been empty MANY times, but I promise you every single time I hit that mark and I crawl in my safe place to refill it is always the memories of the people that fills me back up. Jesus is our example for EVERYTHING. Fasting DOES NOT have to be from food or money or drink. It does not have to happen just during Lent. Fasting is anything that leads you to need Him more. Fasting can and should be an all the time deal. Admitting with tears that this JUST hit me that I fast all the time … Friends when people ask me how I do it I now know the answer I FAST me time leaning of Him every step of the way and when I am REALLY empty He blesses me with TIME and a tremendously full heart.
So, how are we on the helping others scale?
Tool 3 THE HOLY SPIRIT … Ever wonder if maybe God is working in the life of the person ASKING to help you?? Maybe the person asking is struggling with something in their own life and the Holy Spirit led them to your door. Not because you needed them, BUT BECAUSE THEY NEEDED YOU. Just reflect on that …
Tool 4 THE CROSS … What if by refusing help we are refusing to let go of whatever is hurting us? We just do not want to let go of grief, the memories, the hurt, etc. Did you know that this is a reason why Jesus died … sins yes … but more than that to FREE US OF THE BONDAGE of all sorrow and pain. When we refuse to let go … let others help us … are we refusing Jesus? He is there no matter what, but the image I get in my head is like He is on the other side of a locked door that we refuse to unlock. All we need to do is let that person in that wants to help us and we might just be sliding the key under the door to Jesus. While saying “Lord, I am to scared to open the door, but here is the key help me let it go. Help me help myself out of the locked room of _____________.”
So, when we do not participate in the circle of helping … receiving or giving … will someone get hurt? What happens to the Tool Box we have sitting at our feet. Do they get rusty? Disappear?
I think it’s obvious to me … WE ARE ALL EITHER HURTING OR HEALING/HEALED … and the only way to truly complete the process is to continue around that circle. If you are hurting, then let someone help you SCREAM for help if you must. If you are healing/healed, then look around you for ways to encourage, love, and help others. Remember it can get messing, but you have been there you know. Maybe you are the ONLY one chosen for the task. What happens if you look the other way? What happens if you kick the tools to the curb? What happens if you refuse to unlock the door? Only you know those answers.
Three songs I leave you with that I reflected on while thinking about Jesus and Helping.
“So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” Hebrews 4:16
Thank You so much for helping me hash this out. Once again you brought me to tears as I realized some of my own things … I myself healed a little bit more today.
Please pray for me as I am ALWAYS praying for you!