Asking for help is difficult. I think it is challenging for a few reasons and they are based on my view and perspective of what it means when I say "hey I need help, could you assist me?"
Here is what goes through my mind when I think about asking for help:
I am weak – not strong enough
I am accepting defeat
I am saying I cannot do something
I am saying I do not need anyone (selfishness)
While some of the things on that list are not bad things to say and admit, I have a negative value placed on them. Saying I am not strong enough to lift a dresser and asking for assistance is not a negative thing, in fact it could make the difference of a strained back or a well placed dresser. There is something that has taken place in my life that has led me to believe that asking for help is not good and I should try to do things on my own, even if it costs me. My perspective of asking for help is shaped by pride, a lack of trust and a "this for that" mentality. This perspective has to change. I have to do the work.
Here is how a healthy thought process of asking for help might look:
I am allowing someone to enter a place where I am struggling
I am trusting someone can add something I lack
I am asking for assistance when something is not going right
I am saying I cannot do this on my own
I am saying my own abilities are not enough to complete the task
This list does not vary too far from the previous list. The main difference is a healthy state of thinking. With this change in mental behavior, the things that would normally make me choose not to ask for help become the very things that drive me to seek assistance. My hope is that I can get to this place, where I know deep in my heart it is better for me to ask than to tough it out on my own.
I was driving the other day and I was thinking about how I have some of the things I have and how I have made it through some of the toughest times of my life. In each thought and memory, I saw someone other than myself. I saw friends, I saw family and I saw the Lord. For some reason, I have felt I could ask the Lord for help and it would not involve other people, just a one way street, from me to Jesus. that is false! Why else would He tell us to make disciples and tell us not to forsake the gathering of brothers and sisters? We need each other. I need people and I need Jesus, the two can co-exist. That is how the Lord intended it to be.
What I have begun to understand is that rejecting help communicates something to those whose help I am rejecting:
I am rejecting their love
I am rejecting peace
I am rejecting clarity
I am rejecting trust
I am rejecting understanding
I am rejecting knowledge
I am rejecting wisdom
My rejection of help communicates I do not want or need any of these things. It communicates that what I have is enough or that I will make do with what I have. That contradicts a few of the thoughts that run through my unhealthy mindset of what asking for help means.
What I want to get better at is asking for help. I want to realize that when I accept the help of others (offered or asked for) I am showing that I trust the person can add something I lack. I am saying that I think the person has some wisdom or understanding I do not have. I am also saying that I can learn from them. Another thing I am offering to the other person is intimacy, I am inviting them to be close to me in my time of need, whether they can provide what I need or not; asking them to help is an invitation.
I had a thought while thinking about my need to get better at accepting help; the Holy Spirit is my helper. If it is hard for me to accept the help of others then will it not be hard for me to accept the help of the Holy Spirit? I think the answer to that is yes, yes it will be. I have been asking for more of the Holy Spirit but I am realizing that will not happen if I continue to refuse His help. In order for me to grow deeper and to experience more freedom I have to open my mouth. I am determined to do that.
It is a tough task but I want my pride to be knocked out of me and I want humility in its place – that is the only way.
I will leave us with a prayer,
Father I thank you for sending me your Holy Spirit. To comfort me and to be my guide, I thank you that you thought of me and knew I would need help and you provided a helper. I ask that you would remove any and all pride out of my life. I pray that you would help me to have a healthy mindset when it comes to asking for help. Would you transform my mind and remove all negative thoughts I have had about asking for help? I pray I would be able to receive the love and wisdom and understanding that comes from asking for a hand, from you and all those in my life. Thank you for your patience with me and for sending me your spirit.
In Jesus' name I pray, Amen