I learned early on what it meant to trust God. Being bullied in elementary school and jr. high taught me that I couldn’t depend on people for all the love and acceptance my heart needed. Beause of those experiences, my relationship with Jesus became real when I was barely a teenager and I’ve always known that if I just have the Lord – I can make it through anything.
One of the areas I’ve struggled with though, is community. It’s been hard for me to share my life with others in a vulnerable way, unless I feel that my vulnerability can help them. When I’m speaking, writing, mentoring, and leading I often bare my soul and expose my areas of weakness. However, recently I’ve realized that I don’t often invite people to walk with me in that area of weakness. I don’t like asking for help.
Maybe this is because when I was young I reached out and had my hand slapped away by my peers – those who were supposed to be my community. Maybe it’s because I grew so close to Jesus, learning to find my identity in Him, but somewhere along the way forgot that He also made me to work best within a community.
Either way, since having children it’s become apparent to me that I hate asking for help – even when I really need it. I’ve avoided going to the dentist or getting my tires changed simply because I know I’ll need to ask someone to help watch my kids while I do it. And unless that someone is my husband or my mom, I feel horrible asking. Somehow it makes me feel like a failure – like if I was just closer to the Lord I wouldn’t need help. But I’ve also realized that when I don’t ask for help, I’m missing out.
Here are 5 reasons it’s okay to ask for help:
1. Asking for help reminds us we all need help sometimes. Brene Brown says most of us think there are two types of people in the world; those who need help and those who give help. But the truth is we are all both. When we only identify ourselves as those who give help, we actually judge those who need help, and as a result, judge ourselves when we become the one who needs help. You know what friend, we all need help sometimes and that doesn’t mean we are failures. It doesn’t mean our relationship with God is weak. It just means we are human.
2. Asking for help gives a gift to those we ask. When your friends ask you for help, how do you feel? Annoyed? Frustrated? Put out? I usually feel honoured that they thought to ask me, and if I’m able, I love offering help. So why do I think that my friends won’t feel the same way when I reach out for help? When we don’t ask, we could actually be robbing those in our community of feeling valuable, purposeful and trusted.
3. Asking for help reminds us community is important. God is more than enough for you. But (yes, there’s a but) He created us to be in relationship with others. Even when we’re spending time with Jesus daily, there are still days when we just need some back up! We can actually do life better with God and with each other.
4. Asking for help removes judgement. When we learn to ask for help, we also learn not to judge others when they need help. Rather than thinking some of us are helpers/givers and others are needy/takers, we learn that all of us are both. Sometimes we need help and that’s okay and sometimes we give help, which doesn’t mean we’re better than anyone else.
5. Asking for help actually helps! When we finally get over all the things that stop us from asking, we get help and things usually get better. The task that felt so hard before now feels more managable and even enjoyable! Even the worst days are better when they’re shared with someone who supports us.
What about you? Do you find it difficult to ask people for help? Maybe it’s time to think about why and then step out and ask anyways. It might even make things better!
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