I need help!

help

I need help!

They say that’s the first step to the road to recovery. Step 1: Taken.

Step 2: Well, let’s not rush things.

I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks now. I was talking to a friend and she was sharing her long “to-MUST-do” list with me and in typical Holly fashion I offered my services. She kindly refused them while thanking me for the offer.  She proceeded to take care of everything herself. I watched her as she ran herself ragged and all I could think was “Stubborn girl, just let me help you.”

And then Jesus said, “Exactly.”

“Oh, your gonna chime in on this one? Great! Glad you agree….”

“Sounds like someone else I know,” Jesus replied with His rich sarcasm coming through.

Acting shocked, “WHO could you possibly mean? It couldn’t be ME. I’d NEVER do that.”

But He knew it and I knew it– He nailed me. And He was right. Cause He’s Jesus. So, there’s no use telling Him He’s wrong.

I’ve been doing things my way for a long time now. It’d be easy to just blame my childhood for that. Until the age of 13, I was doing my very best to take care of myself. My biological mother was in the picture, but I figured out quickly that my needs weren’t at the top of her priority list.

I’m just not sure that excuse is going to work when I get into Heaven, though. When I’m asked why I did or didn’t do something I’m not sure throwing my mother under the bus will help me at that point. Plus, I’m 30 now and I’ve spent more time away from that toxic environment than I was in it.

I know why I don’t ask for help. I think it boils down to two main reasons:

1) If I want something done right, I’ve got to do it myself.

2) If I let you help me, it means I can’t do it myself. It means I need someone else– that I’m NOT enough. It means admitting I’m weak and needy and somehow deficient.

Ya, I may be a slight control freak. If you don’t do it the way I think it should be done I’m just going to have it fix it anyway. I’ll cut out the middleman and save everyone some time.

The second reason, however, is the issue at hand. Like a strong-willed child determined to tie my own shoes– I’LL DO IT MYSELF! Stand back, Jesus, I got this. The truth is, I do NOT have it. I’ve gotten by ok for awhile. I’ve made due, but the truth is I’m doing it on my own puny strength. In my ignorance, that has felt like enough.

Until now. I’m one straw away from an anxiety attack or mental breakdown.

I can’t do it anymore. I won’t do it anymore. There’s just TOO much. There’s TOO many things I don’t know how to fix, which I sometimes wonder if that is Jesus’ new-found tactic. If she doesn’t know what to do, she’ll admit she needs me. It’s like me and Jesus are in this perpetual thumb wrestling match and up until this point I’d been yelling foul and make Him replay me thinking somehow I’d win the next one. I’m tapping out, Jesus. DING, DING!

That’s all He’s been waiting for, really.

It’s about time I asked for help. What about you? What have you been doing in your own strength?

I’m going to leave you with Hebrews 13:5b-6. Every time you read it may you be reminded and encouraged knowing He will NOT, He will NOT, He will NOT leave you helpLESS, but He is your very present help in time of need.

for He [God]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

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I was wrong.

It’s true. Mark the date and time because this type of admission is something to be noted!

Last I checked, I am a lot like you and the rest of humanity. I don’t like hearing I’m wrong or admitting it. I’d rather defer to how I was forced into the action because of someone else, thereby excusing my stupidity. Or how it wasn’t really wrong, but just a minor infraction. It’s “no big deal”.

All joking aside, I’m a perfectionist. If I commit to a task, a project, a friendship, a position– I’m doing it full force. Nothing is done half-assed. At an early age, I concluded that you needed to earn love and you earned it by doing things better than everyone else. I very quickly learned the things I excelled at and proceeded to highlight those things for everyone to see in the CHANCE that I might be found lovable. I wouldn’t attempt anything I couldn’t do well for fear that I’d look like an idiot. (Except for that one time I took Latin in high school to impress a guy. Ya. I was that girl.) This thinking is one of the reasons why I’ve shied away from starting and maintaining a blog– there’s this fear that if it isn’t perfect and others are doing it better than me then maybe I shouldn’t even attempt it.

One day away from completing an almost perfect week at camp, I did something dumb. I didn’t kill anyone or re-mix a Miley Cyrus song at muster, which in my estimation would have been inexcusable on all counts. In the grand scheme of things, I’m sure some people would shrug it all off and say “Huh? Whatever.” They’d move on without a second thought, but I spent the next 12 hours thinking about what I did. Part of me resigned to the fact that I’m some kind of screw-up and another part of me that just wanting to forget it ever happened.

Luckily for me, I’ve got friends who love me and because they love me they bring correction into my life.

WHAT?!?!

Am I for real? Did I just admit that it was a good thing to get told I was WRONG. Well, this is 4-weeks fast forward from the event. Let’s go back to the day after my “slip-up”.

I walked into a staff meeting where a friend who witnessed everything the day before was waiting to talk with me. He quietly took me aside and let me know he had been praying about what happened and felt like he needed to tell me some things. He graciously explained his heart (more so God’s heart), and honestly pointed out an area in me that needed some work.

No one likes that. Get real for a second. We’ve already established that most people hate being told their wrong.

And I’ll be honest, I walked away from that conversation devastated. I’m sure it was partially due to the fact that at the time I had been sleeping on a mattress 3-inches thick for the past 5 nights. Or more likely because that correction drew out some insecurity in my heart. If I wasn’t perfect, then I wasn’t worthy of love.

As much as it hurt, I couldn’t shake the fact that I knew my friend cared about me. He wasn’t out to make me feel like crap, but he wanted to call me UP to a higher standard. I tucked away what he said and when I had the opportunity I spent some time discussing it with a trusted mentor in my life. And through that I learned even more Truth:

For one, just because you screw-up, doesn’t mean you ARE a screw-up.

We need people in our lives who love us enough to point out areas that need to be removed, purged, or sanded off. Letting your friend walk around with their zipper down may save you from an awkward conversation, but it leaves your friend exposed and open for future humiliation.

Just because you do something wrong, doesn’t mean you need to carry shame. You do something wrong, you ask for forgiveness, repent and move on. Live and learn, folks.

We’ve become spineless as a culture. We are busy proving how right we are and how wrong everyone else is. We are slow to seek for forgiveness, but prefer to state our “good intentions” thinking that will smooth things over. If we want to grow and mature in Christ, we’ve got to be discipled. And being discipled means being disciplined.

To clarify, this does not mean EVERYONE gets to speak into your life. BUT you should have people you trust that can (and DO) speak into your life when you need it. Allow people into your life who will sand off those rough edges. If not, you will very quickly become stagnant in your ways. I promise you, it may hurt at times, but its worth it.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Prov. 27:6)