Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 18 :: I Need Others in Order to Thrive

I walked into church this past Wednesday night with my three month old in the moby wrap, my 18 month old, who can't walk yet, resting on my hip, and my two sweet girls walking beside me.  I had a meeting to attend, my husband was working, and this was my first time bringing all the kids to church by myself.  I had thought through how it would go, down to the fact that I would walk slowly down the steps so as not to drop a child. As I walked through the front door, I realized that we were going to make it.  "Yes! I can do this!", was my thought.

A sweet friend, mother of six, must have seen me come in and before I made it to the top of the steps, she came and said, "Can I help you?"

I wanted to say, "No, I've got this; we're good."

I struggle with asking for help.  I struggle to admit that I'm not able to do as much as I like.

I struggle with pride.

I've really tried to evaluate what it is that keeps me from wanting to ask others for help, to allow them to help me carry my burdens.  Sometimes it's because I don't want to bother them.  Occasionally I choose to not ask for help because it's quicker and easier {in some ways} to just do it myself.

But, I really think it boils down to the fact that somewhere I've gotten the idea that if I ask for help, or receive help when it's offered, it means that I'm less than what I should be as a Mom, as a person, and people will judge me for just not having it all together.

This is a ridiculous lie.

A sweet friend, prompted by the Holy Spirit, sent me an email on Wednesday, and reminded me of an excerpt from a Bible study we had done together last fall.  It's taken from Tim Keller's book, Gospel in Life, in reference to Galatians 6:2, which says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."  Here's Keller's commentary on that verse:

"There is a hidden reciprocity in Galatians 6:2 that should not be overlooked.  Notice it does not say "carry other's burdens" but "carry each other's burdens."  It means something like this:  'Live in a community where you don't let others carry their loads alone, and where you also don't try to carry your own load alone.  Help others and let others help you."  It is a form of hypocrisy to be willing to help others with their weaknesses but to hide your own or refuse help.  It takes a gospel-changed heart to give help unselfishly to others, and it takes a gospel-changed heart to receive help unashamedly from others.'"

In her email, she went on to say that she would love to help me, and offered some specific things that might be a help.

I needed to be reminded of this.  Has my heart been changed enough by the gospel to realize that God has placed me in a body of fellow believers who function together to serve and love one another?  Do I realize that part of this serving and loving is allowing people to serve and love me?  Why do I feel ashamed when I have to ask for help?  There's no shame in functioning together as a body of believers in love and service toward one another.

1 Peter 4:8-11 says, "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.  To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

When my friend offered to help me the other night at church, I wanted to say, " No".

But I decided to let her carry the 18 month old down the steps.

And it felt good to let someone help me.

I'm learning that if I want to truly thrive, I need other people.  Thriving is not a solo act.  To truly thrive I need to release my pride, accept help from others, and allow the body of Christ to function as it ought.

This is glorifying to God.

For a list of all posts in this series go here.


  1. Lauren, I love this. It inspires me to help more and allow others to help me more! Thanks for being so open.

  2. Hi Lauren -
    I have been following your blog practically since you started it (a friend of yours, Callie, posted a link to it on her Facebook page). I have really enjoyed "getting to know you" and watching your precious family grow. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. Your comments always challenge me and bless me. Thank you so much for posting this today. This is something that I really struggle with - letting others help me (I think it has more to do with my pride than anything). I realized the other day that I should probably at least introduce myself and stop just secretly reading about your life! :)
    - Joanna


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