We are built to help and need one another. We weren’t meant to do life alone. It’s okay to ask for help. We are stronger together.
As an encouraging nudge for one of my boys who seemed to forget that school requires accountability, trying your best, and turning in homework is not optional, I pressed each little white plastic letter into the grooves of the wood letterboard that hangs next to our family message center…
“It’s okay to ask for help.”
Even after years of receiving reading assistance and making tremendous progress, my son struggled with his confidence as much as he did with reading itself. He viewed his reading challenge as a flaw. It made learning feel hard and left him avoiding homework as a way of avoiding his struggle. Asking for help (even from mom or dad) would’ve been a massive kick to his confidence and pride.
However, as his mom, I wasn’t going to allow his struggle to define him. I know my son’s amazing capabilities and see his potential. I just needed him to see it. I needed him to be confident in himself, yet humble enough to speak up when he needed assistance. Hence the homework he was avoiding.
“Asking for help is not a sign of weakness or failure.” My pep talk had started. “It’s a sign of bravery and courage. Even the smartest, most capable people ask for help. We can’t know everything or do everything on our own. That’s why we have each other. We each have different strengths and can use them to help one another.”
Funny how the very thing we pour our heart into teaching our kids is the very thing we need to learn and apply in our own lives.
Learning to Ask for Help
Fast-forward 10 months when a spinal cyst turned me into a pain-filled, emotional wreck as excruciating nerve pain coursed through my legs. Advised to “just be” and take it easy, that is not my nature. Typically, I’d push through the pain and keep going. But this time was different. I was paralyzed with pain. I would have to ask for help. And I hated that idea.
My stubborn and way-too-prideful self begrudgingly expected my family to automatically recognize I needed help and respond with “Wifey/mom hurts. She can’t ____________. I’ll voluntarily and happily do the task for her.”
But the scenario didn’t play out that way. I had to ask for help.
I needed help on the simplest things we often take for granted… getting dressed, picking up something off the floor, having things brought to me or helping with cooking when the pain was too intense.
It was a humbling kick to my stubborn I-can-do-it ego. But asking my family for help wasn’t the most humbling part.
I was driving to the chiropractor and stopped at a red light when I looked at the vehicle in the turn lane next to me.
The woman in the passenger seat had a large patch over her left eye. She slowly reached up with her left hand to check the bandaging, exposing a hospital wristband. The look on her face was pain. Pure, silent, miserable pain.
While I knew nothing about this woman or her situation, I know we have a God of love and comfort who hears us when we cry out to him, so I began praying (crying out) on her behalf for comfort and healing.
I prayed for her for the next 2 miles until I pulled into the chiropractor’s parking lot.
God Wants Us to Come to Him
Wincing in pain, I slowly got out of my vehicle, yet I was still thinking of the woman I had been praying for. It was then I realized that while I was asking God to help her, to be with her, to take away her pain… I hadn’t asked God for his almighty hand in my own situation.
That realization was perhaps the greatest pain I experienced.
Just as I want my son to know that it’s okay to ask for help on his schoolwork or any situation he may be challenged with, our Heavenly Father wants each one of us to know that he is there to help us through the ups and downs of life. We just need to ask.
Truth is, sometimes God just needs us to come to him. To give him the ask. To stop limiting him and trust that he’s in control.
He needs us to stop clinging to our pride and start clinging to his goodness and faithfulness.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s an understanding that we cannot do it all. It keeps us humble and grows our character.
So friend, what do you need to ask for help with today? Do you need to ask your family for help around the house? Do you need to ask your spouse for a break from the kids? Do you need to ask someone to give you a fresh perspective on a situation you’ve been wrestling with? Most of all… have you asked God for his divine hand to help you and guide you?
You don’t have to carry your burden alone. It’s okay to ask for help.
Moms, do you ever just want mom-life to be easier? Alisha helps moms simplify their lives and homes! Out with overwhelm, in with ease! Visit MsAlishaCarlson.com for ways to stop living in survival mode and start living out your God-given passions adventurously! Also, check out Alisha’s podcast, Real Mom Talk, a show that brings a little sanity, help, and humor to the insanity we feel as a mom!