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Learning to receive

For many, the most difficult 3 words to say might be: “I love you” or the infamous “Please forgive me.”  And though I have never struggled with “I love you” I understand the stubbornness and arrogance that makes me stumble on “Please forgive me.”  But my absolute, all-time, roadblock is “I need help!”

I love to help someone else.  It brings me joy to care for them in a time of need, to encourage them in a difficult circumstance. It fulfills me.  But finding myself on the opposite end of that relationship this last month has taught me a new lesson.

You see, I had been sick since August, facing fatigue that finally overtook me by November and then settled in to a constant state of nausea.  Funny how I chide my husband for not going to the doctor when he feels bad, yet it took me 4 months and a prone state on the couch every four days to get me to consider that something more was going on than “over-commitment.”  By January I had no appetite, but I had started the process of medical tests in the hope that the cause would be uncovered.  I was in a tailspin of health, spiraling down every day, until I finally wrote an email to my small group whose subject line said:

“Please Help!”

One of the most humbling moments was me acknowledging that I could not keep up with the basic needs of my family and that Mark had filled that gap for a long time and needed some relief.  It was me acknowledging that I did not have the strength and ability to fulfill my responsibility – it made me mad at myself.

The age old scriptures came to mind – not in encouragement but in condemnation:

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” Phillipians 4:13

I must not be living this truth when I am flat on my back, wearing grooves into the cushions of the couch.

Until Christ turned the table on that verse.  In Christ’s strength I will ask for the help I need to balance out my life in this time of need.  In Christ’s strength I am able to humble myself and not lose my value or worth.  In Christ’s strength I will receive instead of give, recognizing that all those that served me and my family were simply saying… “I love you.”  In Christ I accepted that my need allowed others to demonstrate His love, to BE Christ to me.

The medical tests found the culprit and my gall bladder was removed. But I learned something very important: “I need help” gets easier with practice.  My husband is benefitting from this revelation as he seldom has to “guess” my need, I am learning to state it out loud and to live in the knowledge that needing someone else is strength.

Won’t you practice “I need help” today?  Keep it simple, but practice!

©Meakins Speak, LLC 2012