For as long as I can remember, I have been allergic to accepting help. Giving help? No problem. Accepting help? Even the thought makes me itch. See? I’ve got red spots already.
Fast forward to me on the mission field, totally overwhelmed by a new life, a new language, new culture. And say what?! I have to cook from scratch? Cut up a chicken? I didn’t even know that’s how they came. I thought they came into the world boneless and skinless. And I have to cook an actual pumpkin to make my favorite recipes? You mean it doesn’t come in a can?
A whole new learning curve. Overwhelmed is putting it mildly.
Living as an ex-pat in a foreign land makes it so that my life intertwines with other women on a daily basis. I have to borrow yogurt from my neighbor because there isn’t any starter at the store. The washer is broken? Well, the service man might take 3 days, and, in the tropics, dirty clothes simply cannot wait that long. Need medical help? Any really good medical care is a day’s travel away. I am going to have to ask someone to watch my kids.
So, I step out and ask, and get the answer, “Sure!” or “I’d thought you’d never ask!” and really in the asking I am blessing others because they are allowed to see me behind the mask. The mask of trying to appear perfect or that I have it all together. They are needed, and that feels good.
Once, not long ago, I was sick, and my husband was out of town. A dear friend not only went grocery shopping for me, but then took all of my kids to her house for dinner! Wow. I was humbled. I am finding that as I am willing to let the “real” messy me be seen it only enhances and encourages my relationships.
My tips for asking for help:
1. Just do it!! You might like it!
2. Start small. Ask for help on a little project or for a small favor.
3. Look around to see who is in your life that you might be able to swap some responsibilities.
4. Make sure that you are not always on the receiving end. Be sure you return the favor!!
Open up, ask for help. What have you got to lose?!!
Do you struggle with asking for help? Do you struggle with the “real” you being seen? How have your overcome this? I’d love to hear your thoughts!