I’ve always had trouble asking people for help- not professionally…if you’ve known me longer than a minute, you know I am all for counseling. But I struggle with asking people around me for help. I don’t ever like to inconvenience anyone and I really don’t like people knowing that I might not have it all together.
Gideon had colic the first 4 months of his life. If you’re a mother of a colicky child then you know I’m not exaggerating when I say he screamed ALL. DAY. LONG. He also never slept longer than 2 hours at a time (day or night). My husband and I were so very exhausted. I was grateful for my mother-in-law who drove up to stay with us for the first couple of weeks after Gideon’s arrival. My own mother also stayed several nights a week when she could. I am so embarrassed and reluctant to admit that even after the colic passed, we still needed help… because Gideon was still not sleeping at night.
(Before I go on, let me just take a second to say that my husband was and still is a tremendous help. I would not have survived this season of my life without him. But I was determined to let him sleep more because he had to go to work every day. In fact, he was often upset with me because I would not wake him up and ask for help.)
Gideon was right at 4 months old before I finally reached out to my girl friends from church. He was still waking up every two hours at night and would scream for over an hour (when we let him). Without hesitation, my friends came over in the mornings and watched both my kids so I could go back to bed for several hours. Looking back now, how silly it was for me to wait so long to get all the help I needed!
We do this all the time, don’t we? Or am I the only one afraid to ask others to lend a hand? I tend to wait until the bottom falls out…until I’m on the verge of an emotional break down before I’ll admit that “I cannot do this without some help.” …And I hold a counseling masters degree for crying out loud! But I don’t believe that’s how God intends for us live.
In regards to persevering in our faith, Hebrews 10:24- 25 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” We are not meant to do life on our own. It’s pretty clear in Genesis that God knew we would need help- for that reason He created a helper for Adam (Genesis 2:18). I believe we are called to encourage and love one another; and we can do both of those by helping others and allowing others to help us when needed.
I spoke earlier about being in favor of counseling. Coincidently, Gideon qualifies for counseling. Hilarious, right? Let me explain. Because he has a genetic disorder, he receives services through ECI (early childhood intervention). Which means this past week Gideon’s counselor came to pay us a visit and do an evaluation. I find it funny that they call it counseling for Gideon … he’s almost 8 months old now, and we all know good and well who this counseling is really for! I’m actually looking forward to this service. Given our current medical expenses, we would not be able to afford professional counseling right now. Who knew the state provided counseling services for infants! (I imagine God is smiling right now, as if He’s saying, “You know I got you covered!”)
So, long story short, the sweetest woman in the world came to our house and let me just say, I LOVE HER! And not just because she used all the right counseling techniques (although I was chuckling inside thinking, “well paraphrased!” and “good use of body language!” and “her active listening skills are top notch!” …lol); this sweet woman has a genuine heart to help others through the difficulties life brings… She has to in order to do what she does.
Talking with her about Gideon lifted a weight from my shoulders like no other. Funny isn’t it? I have a problem asking others for help, but I really do love counseling. Maybe it’s because of the confidentiality and no one has to know. Maybe it’s because the counselor has a true un-biased perspective. Or possibly it’s because seeking professional help means I’m not inconveniencing any of my friends. Whatever the reason, I’m thankful for her help and guidance as we navigate these waters.
Do you find it difficult to seek help from others? Have you ever asked yourself why? I want to encourage you that it’s ok to ask others for help-whether it is help from a friend or a counselor. I’m confident that my friends and family would tell you that helping us during this time has not been an inconvenience. I’m not so great at asking for help, but I know I always handle life better with a little support, love and guidance, no matter where it comes from.
Maybe you’re good at asking for help. Would you do this for me?… Seek out someone in your sphere of influence this week and ask them if they need a hand with something. Maybe you know a single parent who could use a night out and you’d be willing to watch their kid(s). Or possibly there’s someone who would be blessed simply by the gift of your time over coffee.
There’s lots of ways we can support and help one another. We have all been blessed with certain gifts. Let’s reach out to those around us. That’s exactly what Jesus did. He dove right into the lives of those he encountered. So if you’re stuck, wondering how you can help, start by asking yourself how you can be the hands and feet of Jesus.
PS: I’m beyond grateful for those who’ve helped us and prayed for us since our sweet boy Gideon arrived. I’m forever in your debt. You’re help has brought me back from the emotional cliff I was teetering on. I hope someday to return the favor. Thank you for actively loving us.