Friendship, Grace, Guest posting

When It’s Time To Ask For Help

  I'm pressing pause here for the month of June and have opened up my blog for some beautiful guests posts by a few very talented writers. Today's post comes from Shelly Miller, whom I met online through sharing blog comments. Shelly's words, always infused with grace, lead me to deeper places of worship, and always point me towards Christ. I am so thankful for her willingness to share her words here, and I just know you will be encouraged by this post--I definitly am! (PS: Next week I'll be popping back in for a DaySpring Giveaway, so if you haven't subscribed yet, now's a great time Just Click HERE to join recieve more inspiring words delivered right to your inbox!) 

With every push of my sick boy in the swing under clusters of oranges hanging canopy, I drop my bucket into the well of loneliness. It hits the cold stone walls on the way down, echoes when it hits the floor empty. And a voice on the other side of my fence cracks the quiet open, pulls the rope and bucket back up again with arms tired from carrying a sack of whiny.

My pastor stands in the church parking lot on the other side of my concrete wall and his familiar southern accent in the middle of the desert moves me to the gate. I unlock it with Harrison on my hip. He greets me with his usual wide-eyed smile, asks me how I am because he hasn’t seen me in a while. My uncombed hair, bare face and eyes ringed red answer his question.
It’s been a month of passing sick between two children. I’m prisoner to cold medicine, Kleenex and the thermometer lying on the kitchen counter. My extroverting cup lays empty for days and his voice is the drop that breaks the dam of tears to fill the well.

I’m a mess.

He says he didn’t know.
My husband works for him, talks to him every day and I assumed.
He didn’t mention it.
Right there under sun rising tall above the pecan tree, he puts his hand on my shoulder and prays an umbrella of comfort. Pleads heaven for my children and weary soul.
It’s as if someone put his hands under my arms to carry me when I can’t take another lead-footed step. I swallow a spoonful of living water that quenches the lonely.
When I admit I am struggling, that life feels like one continuous upward climb without water or a plateau for rest, the captain yells charge and the cavalry of hospitable care moves to the frontlines. Their meals and helping hands restore joy.

That was over ten years ago.


Today I sit with a friend at Starbucks over iced soy latte and warm skinny vanilla. I admit the loneliness and it gives her permission to say it too. We hold each other up with empathy, sip from understanding. Crawl into mini-vans with smiles and refills of joy. The promise of more life from the well, jotted on the calendar for next week.

And what was true in the season of dangling toes from the swing of tired heavy is true today:
• Don’t assume someone else knows how you’re feeling if you haven’t told them.
• People are not too busy to care.
• Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.
• Your honesty gives someone else permission to extract their burdens too.
• Keeping pain private robs someone of using her gifts, an opportunity to grow.

Are you weary from trying to do it all yourself? Maybe you have cried in the bathroom or on the floor of your closet one too many times lately. It’s time to ask for help. The cavalry is waiting for your call.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. ~Ecclesiastes 4:10

   Shelly Miller is a writer, photographer, clergy wife, mother of two teens, and a leadership coach. She enjoys writing stories that make people think differently about life and helping women discover call. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications including Real Simple Simply Stated Blog, Outreach Magazine, and HomeLife. You can read more of her stories of redemption at Redemption’s Beauty

Comments

    1. alwaysalleluia

      Me too, Michele-Lyn. Sometimes it’s so hard to ask for help, but really, that usually boils down to pride and God has been working very hard n me, as far as that is concerned….

      Reply
  1. maria chamorro

    Wow, this is beautiful and so touches me. I am THAT person that never admits that I cannot handle it all. But when I do, I am always in awe of the support and care I get. A simple reminder that God always has someone there for us to lend that human support we so need at times.

    Reply
    1. I think it is a normal response to want to be brave and responsible, handle it all. It’s when we think we are the only ones who can handle it, that we get into trouble. I agree with you, that when we relinquish control, we find blessing around the corner. I seem to have to re-learn this often unfortunately. Thanks for sharing so honestly Maria, I appreciate it.

      Reply
  2. Lolita Valle

    So deep and so challenging. Sometimes it is hard to let others know how we are hurting or how tired and lonely we are.

    We go on days of denial, and we tend to still do it on our own.

    Yet most of our burdens can be shared by others whom we trust. It is even a miracle enough to just bare them out…. and ease up heavy a heavy heat….. and for all we know, our troubles are lesser than the other’s.

    Thank you for the beautiful message, Shelly….. and the most subtle of words…. that hushes my heart.

    Reply
    1. I know for me, when I keep it all inside thinking I am the only one struggling with feelings of lonliness, I get into a downward emotional spiral. Saying how I feel out loud to someone trusted, takes the shackles off and allows freedom to do her work.Joy follows right behind. Thank you for such a tender comment. Your being honest, opens the doors for others.

      Reply
  3. I have so often lived in a place where I dare not ask for help, a place where I expect the people in my life to be able to “tell” that they should call and encourage me…and sometimes they did notice. Thank you for the reminder that we do have helping hands around us, and that sometimes He wants us to ask for them. 🙂

    Reply
  4. This, friend, is truth I’ve just begun wading in. Thank you for reaffirming we don’t have to go it alone. God didn’t design us that way.
    (and thanks for clearing up my wonder how Harrison still fit on your hip) 🙂
    Beautiful, refreshing post, Shelly. thank you!

    (and thank you Kris for sharing your space!)

    Reply
    1. Ok Nikki, that mental image of Harrison on my hip at almost thirteen made me laugh. And isn’t it great that we know each other well enough that it would confuse you? 🙂 So thankful we are not alone on this journey. We need each other!

      Reply
    1. alwaysalleluia

      The honor is all mine, Shelly. I am deeply grateful God has allowed our paths to cross in this wide world–what grace that is! Blessings, sweet friend.

      Reply
  5. HopeUnbroken

    i just love. every. piece. of this. so often i’ve wondered what my early years of parenting would have held if i’d only known how to more easily reach out for help. how to offer it, as well. and those habits–they die hard, for the weary days still overwhelm at times, and i still have to try to learn those lessons. thanks so much for sharing here, shelly. i just love to have some of my favorite people in the same spot 🙂
    steph

    Reply
    1. Thanks Steph. For some reason, it seemed even easy to ask for help when the kids were little than it is now when they are teens. I am still learning too – how to ask for and give help. I just know that when I do, life feels so much lighter.

      Reply
  6. I try to remind myself that if I don’t acknowledge my needs out loud, I rob someone of the opportunity of meeting my needs. It’s so hard to say I need help though. I just always think about people out there who have it worse than me. I guess it’s a lesson I’m still learning.

    Mary Beth
    newlifesteward.com

    Reply
    1. Mary Beth, I know exactly what you mean. I often diminsh my own needs next those of others. But I do know that every time (and there aren’t alot of them) that I ask for help, people are so grateful for the honesty and for the opportunity to give. Thanks for stopping by today.

      Reply

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