As a parent, have you ever watched one of your children struggle with something too big for them to handle?
This morning on the way to school, I watched my 11 year old daughter doing that as I stood and watched her. She got more and more frustrated, angry, and felt defeated, but didn’t ask me for help, even though I was standing there, actually waiting to help her. I finally stepped in and helped, not to prove she couldn’t do it, or to show my superiority, or any other reason but that I loved her, didn’t want her to struggle or have any of the aforementioned feelings.
What is it about us (myself included) that is stubborn and insists on doing everything by ourselves, struggling and failing on our own without help?
We have a loving Father standing right there waiting to help if we will just ask, and acknowledge we need help. And His only reason is he loves us…no other agenda. Sometimes He sends us help through others.
We need to acknowledge when it is time to ask for help. We often isolate ourselves when we are going through difficulties. Either we are too proud too ask for help, afraid to let others see us as anything but “having it all together”, or we have fallen into despair and hopelessness, not knowing what to do or who to turn to.
Perhaps the reason we do that is due to the influence of society, anticipated judgement from others, or simple human nature. Regardless of the reason, isolating ourselves is not a beneficial option. We are meant to live in community with others, and our survival has historically been dependent on it.
When I was going through my divorce, I had four children at home, was only working part-time at $10.00 per hour, and at the time wasn’t receiving any child support. I was totally broke, and reaching the point of desperation, especially since I wanted to protect my children from anything more than what they were already going through. We hardly had any food, and I was constantly worried about our water and electric being shut off. My car was undependable, not that I had any money to put gas in it! I remember always looking down at the ground as I walked anywhere, in the hope that maybe I would find some lost change on the ground. It was November, and my middle son’s birthday was coming up in a couple of days. I didn’t even have money to buy him a card. I felt completely defeated, and on the verge of giving up. I was at home crying by myself, when a thought occurred to me…there were some friends (our neighbors) who I knew loved my son and might be willing to help me with a gift for him. I called, and told her my son’s birthday was in a couple of days, and asked if maybe they could lend me enough money for a card and cash to put inside. She immediately responded with wanting to help, and said her husband would stop by. When I hung up, the feeling of relief and hope was overwhelming, overpowering any feelings of despair I had previously felt. What happened next was more than I ever imagined or expected. The doorbell rang a few minutes later, and her husband was there with their debit card in his hand. He literally wanted me to take the card and get whatever I needed. No dollar amount attached to it, no strings attached, no condemnation. What they were offering me was all from their hearts, a true extension of unconditional love, and a promise that I was not alone. I was dumbfounded. Because of their help, I was able to get groceries and a gift for my son. What they did was much more than give me money. I will never forget their act of kindness, and my eyes still well up with tears anytime I think of them.
Remember that there are people who care, are willing to help, and would never want you to feel desperate to the point of giving up. There are also organizations specifically geared toward helping people, whatever the need.
You are not alone. Life is hard…but you have to know there are people waiting on the sidelines, ready to help!