The chapel was silent; I was the only one there and enjoying some time in front of Jesus. I opened my Bible to Luke 11, and I read:
And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?
As I read each word, there was a long tug on my heart to listen closely to the words God was speaking to me. Images flashed through my mind of every moment I had laid awake in the dark, feeling lost and alone; every problem I looked at with hopelessness; every obstacle that seemed impossible to overcome.
The images felt dark and heavy, but as I continued to read the passage, a small ray of light seemed to shine through the cracks. By the end, it was as if the light bulb had finally warmed up to its full brightness, and I could imagine God’s pleasant laughter, relieved that I had finally come to this realization and almost amused that it had taken so long.
Here’s the thing: we live in a society where asking for help is a sign of weakness rather than strength. In a society that constantly emphasizes independence and the achievement of the man-made “American Dream,” asking for help only shows that you aren’t strong enough, smart enough, or worthy enough. We are supposed to fight our way through life with hard work and grit, not support and teamwork.
It’s funny because I’ve been told that I’m good at asking for help. I’m not afraid to ask for a ride to my apartment, a drink from the kitchen, or a second opinion on my research paper. Yet, when it comes to the big things, to the things that really matter, I keep it to myself. I can walk to my apartment, get a drink from the kitchen, or submit my paper and still get a good grade. But admitting that there’s something I actually can’t do on my own? No way.
How many of us have had this same experience? It’s as if the minute we ask for help, we imagine our heads exploding, our reputations being destroyed, and our lives ending. Well, okay, maybe not quite that dramatic, but let’s be honest: when is the last time you really asked for help?
Asking for Help
We have to break the stigma around asking for help. We have to face the reality that we cannot and will not be able to do it all on our own. Life is hard. It can be messy. Things can seem impossible. When everything is dark and it seems like you can’t take another step forward on your own, it is not only okay to ask for help, it’s necessary.
Open your heart to God. Allow Him to transform your hurt and brokenness. Give Him permission to make you new. If you’re not religious, turn to a friend, family member, or professional. Unfortunately, we can’t all be the indestructible, incredible Hulk. Heck, even he needed help sometimes (talk about anger management issues).
It seems like every week I see or hear someone mention that they feel burnt out, overworked, tired and in need of a break. Life is overwhelming when we try to do it alone — no wonder we’re all feeling the weight of it.
I know this all sounds a bit heavy, but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t wait until you can’t bear the weight any longer. Ask for help now. Look for guidance when you can’t quite understand your emotions. Ask for additional time or an extra set of hands on a project at a work. Let your spouse know you could use some extra help around the house. Start small, so you’re ready to ask for help on the bigger things. They do say practice makes perfect.
Meanwhile, I’ll also be trying to overcome my pride and seek help even when I don’t want to. We just have to remember: asking for help is not a weakness, it’s a strength.
Not sure of where to start? Need someone to talk to? Let me know! I’m happy to help and am always ready to offer up some extra prayers. Drop a comment or get in touch with me through my contact page.
I’m just trying to figure out life, but the more I look for answers, the more I realize everyone else is trying to do the same. If you want to figure it out together, enter your email below and get new blog posts straight to your inbox every other Monday at 10 AM (CT). I’ll talk to ya soon!