“I don’t want to be a burden.”
“They don’t really want to help me, they’re just being nice.”
“What will they think of me if I keep asking for help?”
“Something must be wrong with me. Those other moms can keep up without feeling this overwhelmed.”
I bet you have heard similar versions of the phrases above inside your own mind.
Then you turn around, grit your teeth, and push on – testing your limits as you tell yourself that you can do “this” on your own. You have successfully handled it all before, so this moment in your life doesn’t have to be any different.
The reality though, is that this moment is different. You feel stretched thin, worn out, and anxious. Your life feels messy and disorganized. You don’t recognize yourself as you react in an overwhelmed stress towards your children. Routine and order have vanished as you try to just survive.
As you see other moms get the help they need, you start to pity yourself. You wonder how it can be so easy for them to ask. Then you speculate how they must have others reaching out to them, and you wonder why no one offers to help you out.
The question though is, would you really accept the offer of help if it was given? What if the offer was made during one of your good days, would you then?
Only you know what struggle is going on within the four walls of your home, and in the four chambers of your heart. Others can speculate and offer assistance as they are able, but they won’t know to what degree or when unless you communicate that to them.
Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. Proverbs 16:18
As Christians, we are called to grow in virtue. There is so much to be said for the struggle of pride that we face in our fallen humanity. While I’m not going to dig into that here, I do want you to reflect on these questions:
How might God be calling you to grow in humility during this time – to open up and be vulnerable even though you might fear criticism and judgement? Where are those fears coming from? Is there any truth to the fear?
As you think on this, let’s discover how working through that fear and asking for help can be a much bigger blessing than just allowing you to get through the day.
Think about the good days that you have and how they contrast with the days where you feel like you are barely surviving. What is the atmosphere of your home? My guess is that, on the good days, you have a better sense of inner peace, while on the not so good days, you feel frantic, on edge, and a bit snippy at best, toward those you love.
Asking for help is not about your inability to handle life, it is about seeking out what is good for your family. It is just another way that you serve your family by dying to yourself. In not asking for help, you are believing the lie that it is all up to you. You are believing the lie that to die to yourself you need to do it alone. We are not called to do anything completely alone. Instead, you are called to grow in virtue and to seek out what is needed to best serve your family.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
This is a lesson that I’ve had to learn many times over the years as a mom. We want so much to be the answer for our families. I can tell you how freeing it is to allow someone in to help you. One dear woman I know offered to help me out. I was still struggling with these feelings, but she was persistent. By letting her in, I was able to get the break I needed to clear my head, get a few things done, and go back to my children refreshed and better able to take care of their needs.
Have you ever considered the joy it might bring to someone when you allow them to help you?
It is so easy to get caught up in feeling like we are the burden, that we miss the opportunity to allow them to experience the joy of giving.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11
I can imagine that when you help others, it brings you a joy quite unlike the other joys in your life. Don’t you think those who you let into your life, to help you, might feel the same way? We are called to love one another as God loves us. Love cannot be just given, it also has to be received. I encourage you to consider that graciously accepting the love and help of others, is another way to be loving as well.
It’s time to look back at your own life. Where have you resisted asking for help?
The steps toward overcoming your fears and asking for help don’t have to be big. It can start by just being honest, and letting someone know that you have actually been having a rough day. It’s taking that first step in being vulnerable and letting another into your world. Maybe that is still too much for right now.
It’s possible that you may first need to be honest with yourself and admit that you have taken on too much, or that you are having trouble knowing what step to take in your life. You are living stuck in what you know and what is “comfortable.” Discomfort becomes comfortable when it gives you an excuse to not move forward and grow in holiness and as a person. It’s time to push through the barrier of discomfort and grow.
What is the first step that you need to take today?
Here’s an idea: Start the growth process by diving deeper into the truths of who God created you to be. This insight will give you the confidence that you need to continue on. It’s also the first topic we tackle in Fuel Your Faith Foundation. I invite you to take a look and discern if it’s right for you!