I attended the Canvas Women’s retreat recently, and I went into it with an open but heavy heart. The details of what was weighing on me are not important, except the fact that I was carrying some hefty burdens and trying to do it all on my own. It wasn’t until the retreat that I realized…I can’t do it alone.
Herein lies the problem though: I have a hard time asking for help. I don’t like to ask for help. I do sometimes but only when absolutely necessary. I don’t criticize others for asking for help–I don’t think there’s anything at all wrong with it. I just don’t like to do it myself. I prefer to be the strong person that helps other people, not the one that has weaknesses and needs help. It’s a strange concoction of pride, shame, and fear that makes me this way, I suppose–pride in my own strength; shame in my own weakness; and fear of rejection or judgment. One can only continue like this for so long before exhaustion and isolation sets in.
Thankfully, through the words and prayers of some amazing women, God made me realize that it is perfectly okay to ask for help in carrying my burdens; in fact, it’s essential at times. It’s okay that I can’t do it all by myself. There’s absolutely no shame in being weak and needing help. And those who are in Christ and truly love and care about me, are not going to reject me or judge me for needing their help.
The fact is, God did not create us to be loners or self-sufficient. He created Eve for Adam and not just for procreation purposes. He knew that man should not be alone, that he needed to have someone alongside him to help him. And as members of the body of Christ, as soldiers in the same “army,” we are supposed to give and receive help from one another. How can the body function properly or the army gain victory if each individual is working completely independent of the others? We need each other…period.
I would like to close by expressing the deep and sincere gratitude I have for those women who prayed for, encouraged, uplifted, and loved on me. Though I may not have opened up, their words and actions were not wasted–they did have an impact on me. God is using them to work in me, and I am so very thankful for those ladies and their loving hearts!
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12