October 7, 2013
Learning to Accept a Little Help
Over a week ago, I had one of those days. You know the kind I mean. Nothing went right.
It started when I had to bring my dog Chloe to the eye specialist -- again -- because her eye had been watering and infected for two weeks and the medicine wasn't fixing it. The vet took a look and declared that she needed minor surgery...and he could do it right then.
We knew the surgery was a possibility, but man, having to make a decision so fast -- especially when we found out how much it cost -- threw me for a loop.
So I left my dog there and went home to finish up some work. Then I cleaned my house because we were having small group (aka twelve people) over that evening. I turned the oven on so I could pop the lasagna in the moment I returned from picking Chloe up after her surgery.
However, by the time I got all the recovery instructions explained to me and fought traffic to get home, I had only one hour until small group.
And the lasagna would take two hours to bake.
I had nothing to feed people.
I got desperate. Called Olive Garden, but to feed just 4-6 people, it was going to cost $54. Considering I'd just spent a lot on my dog's eyes, well... that wasn't an option.
I was about to call and order some pizzas from Pizza Hut when a friend from small group called and offered to make something. She was already making a smaller dish for the people in our group with allergies and knew of my plight (I'd texted frantically!)...and she had extra.
So my friend brought the food and everything worked out.
Thing is...it was hard for me to accept that help. Like, really hard. I felt guilty, like I should have had it handled. Like I'd be irresponsible. Like I'd inconvenienced her.
See, I love helping other people when they're in a bind. It comes naturally to me (my spiritual gift is mercy).
But I saw something in myself that day that smacked me in the face...I like giving help but not receiving it.
God wants us to reach out to others, yes. But I think He also wants us to accept help from others when we need it. Just like it gives ME joy to help others, it gives them joy to help me. I don't view it as an inconvenience to help out a friend, and the same goes for them.
I realized something else. The underlying reason I don't like accepting help...is pride.
I like feeling like I have it all together. Like I don't need help. Like I've got stuff covered.
I don't want people to think I don't.
I don't like that about myself. Because the thing is, this translates not just to my not being able to accept help from other people...but also from God.
And ironically, the moment I think I have it all together and don't need someone else -- that I don't need Him -- is the moment I've truly failed.
Your Turn: Do you have trouble accepting help? I'd love to hear of a time that a friend blessed you in some way!
*Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net