I am really good about asserting my love on others when they’re having a hard time. I like to fill baskets with coping mechanisms like chocolate, books, or bath bombs, and drop them at their door. I like to pray for them — I really do pray when I say I will. I love to run errands, pick up their kids, or really do anything to help them get through a hard day. But you know what I don’t love? When I’m in a hard place and when I need help. When I have to be vulnerable and tell the truth about how overwhelmed I am with life and let others do the things they are gifted in so that I can make it through my difficult moment.
The other day I sent a text out to several friends. It was a laundry list of things that are swirling in my heart and mind. Things I am stressed about, family that weighs heavy on me, and new endeavors I’m not sure I’m brave enough for. My dog who’s really sick. Even writing it all out was a release, as if to say to myself, “You know, that really is a lot. You’re not making it up.”
I have prayed about these things, I have cast my cares on the Lord, and I still need Jesus with skin on through the physical love of those around me. As Christians, we can sometimes believe that we can power through heavy times alone. The problem with this is that we’re not made to do this alone, we are made for community. When we carry the weight alone, it gets darker and darker and suddenly becomes crushing. We spiral into numbing with all sorts of things and sometimes the thoughts get so dark, we may even think it’s better to just end our lives.
I want to acknowledge this darkness so that we can see what light does when it seeps through the cracks. Bringing your worries and cares to the light means casting your cares on Jesus but also on the people who Jesus lives inside. I have found that this simple act of saying, “HELP!” to trusted friends is a great act of faith. It’s saying, “I’m not strong enough for this.” It’s admitting weakness. And do we know what God says about the weak? They are His delight, His joy, His way to gather glory by turning our hearts back to Him.
He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Go on! Brag about your weakness. It’s biblical. God’s ways are not the ways of the world that tell us to posture, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, power through on our own, and fake it till you make it. No, we live in the reality that we’re not always strong. But that He makes a way for us to be carried — like the man in Capernaum who needed healing. He didn’t walk up to Jesus and ask (he literally couldn’t and there were too many obstacles). Instead, his friends carried him on a mat, dug a hole in the roof, and lowered him down. Can you see Jesus smiling when He saw the crack in the roof getting larger and larger, dust falling on people’s heads, light seeping into a dark room? Scripture says “Jesus saw their faith.” Their faith. Not just the faith of the paralyzed man, but the faith of the friends lifting their brother through a most difficult suffering.
Maybe like me, you need help remembering the collective faith of community and friends who want to bolster your faith with theirs. Reach out today. I wonder what miracles are before us if we would simply say, “Help!”
Judy Wagner says
I needed to read this today, it’s as if you wrote this specifically for me. I’m facing the possibility of thyroid/ parathyroid surgery at a hospital that’s 25+ miles away (when there are 2 hospitals much closer but they are different “companies” so to speak– one dare not cross the lines between one hospital company and another). My problem is that I am single, retired, an only child, parents are gone, close friends have moved out of the area. I have one aunt and several cousins. It is so hard to ask for help. Everyone is so busy and I feel like I’m imposing to ask for a ride or for help in any other way. My cousins are still working and my aunt has been so wonderful over the years to give me rides when I needed them. But she’s getting older now and she may not be able to drive that far. I’m not happy at all about the possibility of needing surgery in the first place and then having to ask for help seems so hard. I always believe God gives you what you need when you need it. But it’s so hard to ask.
Praying for you Judy! It’s never easy asking for help but God designed us for community and its okay to lean on our brothers and sisters when needed. In return, they will feel they can lean on us in times of need. I hope and pray all goes well for your surgery. Don’t be afraid to reach out when you need help. God knows your needs and He will faithfully provide. Sending love and hugs.
Praying for you, Judy! Most of us, just like Jami, would rather be the helper than the one asking for help. It’s a blessing to be able to help someone. Just remember when we don’t ask for help or accept someone’s help, we are robbing them of that blessing. ❤️
Kathy Francescon says
I am praying for You, dear Judy. and I see via all the comments, so many wonderful other Sisters are too! I wish I could be the friend or neighbor you would call on without hesitation, knowing I would gladly lend you my help in any way, any day! I too, find it hard to ask for help at times, afraid I’m being a bother, but I have been uplifted when I have asked for help and I hear them say
it was a blessing to help out!
Do you have a church friend, or I do know in some areas, there are offers of assistance to help transport you to needed doctors or hospital appointments. I am so sorry you are alone and feeling so alone. I pray that God will provide exactly what you need for this journey…transportation and courage and strength and comfort for your surgery and recovery. Praying for God’s hand to touch you with all healing and good health. Please let all of us know how things go for you! God will be with you every step of the way and you will be in all of our prayers. And prayers touch those who are too far away to hug! And actually, you have reached out for help through this comment to incourage! And look at all the replies that you have received from Sisters who care and are praying for you! May God bless your heart and bless all your worries with His peace. He will make a way!! Psalm 138:8
“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever:
Jami Nato says
that is so difficult, Judy! Gather the courage to ask… God loves providing for those who are weak.
Tanya Villani says
Judy I am right there with you. Like you said I don’t to bother anyone and picking up the phone is hard. In my mind it’s too heavy to pick up, they won’t listen & understand….I make the phone 100,000 pounds instead of trusting in God who has brought into my life a fun loving group of gals that care. We are going axe throwing tomorrow.
I just found out my Dad has cancer & instead of getting anxious I prayed for more of God’s Spiritual Armor & who to reach out to. The outpouring of love so touched my heart.
Standing with you in prayer. I had my right thyroid surgically removed years ago. You matter, you are appreciated, your life adds value to everyone you encounter & each of us & you are loved. May Jesus send a special little miracle meant just for you that will add joyful sparkles today & in days to come.
I journal to Jesus & write down prayer requests & any scripture that comes to mind. As we cast our cares on Him as our Great Burden Bearer, He then loads us up with the blessings we need to get us through. It might get worse before it gets better BUT GOD is ultimately in control. The best is yet to come!! I am so looking forward to that day! Praying with expectations of how your prayers will be answered that bring the most glory to Jesus Christ. ❤️✨
Beth Williams says
Father please send people Judy’s way that can help her. Make a way for her to get to the hospital & have the surgery she needs. Give Judy the strength to tell people & ask for assistance. Shower her with your love & peace. AMEN
there was a time in my life that I was reluctant to ask for much needed help. A dear Christian friend told me about her experience after breaking her leg. A wise woman said to her “how do you feel when you have helped someone else? Do you feel like God has used you to bless someone else? Then why are you withholding that opportunity, to know you are being used by God, from someone else?”
I took it to heart.
On a practical note, most counties have transportation available to seniors for a donation, or very low cost (in our area it is 3 dollars). Try an area council on aging or senior citizen center.
And, a friend had that exact surgery and she did great, praying, that if it is needed, you do well too.
I hope your heart is comforted by all of the prayers for you from the incourage community…God is good.
Oh dear Judy. I get it. It is truly hard at times asking for help for all the reasons mentioned. When I do ask for help, I end up feeling like I need to repay people more than probably is necessary. And I feel a little guilty that I am not trusting the Lord enough to help me through it all. This is such an important message for me Jami. Thank you for your wisdom.
Jami Nato says
I would be offended If my friend tried to repay me somehow!! DOn’t you dare. HA!
Brenda M Russell says
I want to be honest, I think I have many unique tendencies. They could be described as OCD and ADHD. I’m just now truly recognizing this because I have been reading about emotional trauma and childhood trauma that maybe many females and some males have experienced. I can attest to this fact: We all need the Lord and the Savior (there is only “One”).
I have been in counseling during the Pandemic. And in most sessions, I was asked, “how does that make you feel?” And when I was a child, no one really asked how I felt about anything. Except if I scraped my knee or hurt my elbow in a fall. That’s physical pain but emotional pain needs to be revisited for proper perspective, a new definition, a method of healing and not being stuck in that painful trauma anymore. No, you won’t forget it happened but you are no longer “stuck” in the past. And you may be able to encourage someone else in their journey to healing.
God has given me an “observant eye” and I don’t apologize for that ability. Sometimes I analyze my carpet too much (I can see all the crumbs) smile. My children say I did that a lot when they were growing up. Maybe that’s why my spouse doesn’t like me to ask questions because one question leads to a lot more questions. And I can’t wait for the first answer before I am on my way to the next question with a “look” on my face.
I can’t seem to help some of my facial expressions and body gestures. Maybe I am trying to talk without using “words” and I don’t always know that it is happening.
My prayerful comment to everyone who is human, God loves you and He is still shaping and molding our characters so that one day we will be more like Jesus.
Be sweet, kind and gentle.
Your Sister in Christ
Jami Nato says
Great words, Brenda.
Tanya Villani says
Very insightful and inspiring. ❤️
This article certainly brought me to tears & touched me deeply. It also was something I needed to hear. Thank you so much. I also loved your description of what you do to bless people in tangible ways. How lovely!
But also reading the above comment by Judy Wagner makes me feel so sad & makes me want to pray, oh God please send more people who are Jesus with human skin on, as well as angels to assist this lady Judy. And even better send forth your word to heal her so she doesn’t need surgery in Jesus name, Amen.
Jami Nato says
Right? And don’t we all love to help our friends and family in their need? I wish people would gather the courage to say what they need.
Thank you, Jamie! I love being the answer, when a friend cries out “help!”.
Jami Nato says
Right? feels me up!
Thank you for the reminder to tell trusted friends when we’re not doing okay. It is very hard to do when you think of yourself as the one who needs to be strong for others. I do love the scene in “The Chosen” when the lame man’s friends drop him through the roof. That visual is imprinted on my heart, along with many other scenes.
Jami Nato says
That is such a good scene!! Made me cry watching.
What underlies the Strong Pull, to keep our problems to ourselves, is Pride. I’ve had to slay my pride repeatedly, throughout my life, & share my needs with others.
To accept the role of Receiver, that can be so uncomfortable. Because I can come across as arrogant sometimes, in the role of Giver. I’m being my true self, by sharing my needs with those in my Church Community. It’s humbling, & sometimes I need to be humbled.
Jami Nato says
Truly, it’s a tough task. But so good when we relent.
Tanya Villani says
Amen and amen.
Praying for your dog! ❤
I really needed to hear this. I have some medical issues and some days I really need the friends to reach out and even ask how are you. So many have their own issues and it is hard to expect others to walk with you through trials. This too shall pass. I pray that the body of Christ will reach out to those who are walking in dark places. amen.
Beth Williams says
Oh how much alike we are. Love helping people when they are in need. I am one who is quick to make meals for those ill or dealing with aging parents. It’s a little hard to ask for help at times. From last September through December I was in a “funk”. Mostly due to my job change & developing trigger finger symptoms. Kept telling myself that others had it worse. Then I decided to put it out there. Letting people know about my situations. It has been comforting to know how many people are praying for me. Even people I met through internet. It feels like a release of so much pressure. While it may be hard to ask for help, please do so. You are robbing community of the joy they have by serving.
I have been in a very dark place for a while. My husband and I currently do not have a church. We have no real friends–lots of acquaintances but no real friends close by. I have contemplated ending my life as life is just so hard right now. I feel a crushing weight on my body, a mind filled with fear, anger, depression, etc. I have prayed. I am waiting on God (although my faith has taken a hit from all of this). So far, there have been no answers. It hurts. When the road is this dark, the light of an oncoming train seems to be the only thing to save me from the pain. I am thankful for my grandchildren that I get to see. They have given me reason to keep living when I want nothing more than to die.
Melissa W. says
Becky, I’m lifting you up in prayer!! Praying for God’s healing, protection, hope, and help! I’ve found reaching out to a Christian counselor can really help so you don’t feel alone. Know that you are valuable!!
Judy Wagner says
Becky I am praying for you to conquer your fears, to find friends, a church you are comfortable with. Keep searching and even if it’s just one person to talk to about these things it will help you feel better. I will pray for you.
I am overwhelmed by the comments made above for me, that so many people are concerned about me, enough to help with suggestions and prayers. Thank you all. I have talked to my aunt who has been a strength to me for many years and she said someone in the extended family will see to it that I have a ride for surgery if it comes to that. Just talking to her made me feel better and I slept better. It is so hard to admit that I need help. That comes from my dad who never wanted to feel obligated to someone or admit he needed help. He felt he was a burden. That is one hurdle that I got through. But then I had a message that the biopsy sample was unsatisfactory for testing. Now I have to wait for a call to find out what the doctor wants to do next for a second biopsy.
There is nothing I can do about this but hand it over to the Lord. But my mind still races over all the “what if’s” and prayer and talking to someone else helps.
Becky, just keep faith and prayer and know there are people out there that care, even if you don’t know them.