A year ago, my daughter attempted to dress herself. Her growing independence had just informed me that she could do it all by herself. I sat and watched as she shoved her legs through the wrong openings of her underwear, struggled with getting her legs into her pants, and kept missing the opening of her shirt for her head. Frustrated, she finally found the opening and yanked her shirt down over her head. With her shirt now on backwards, she punched her fists through the sleeves. She broke down in tears and still attempted to pull her socks up over her heels - all to no avail.
“I didn’t want your help!” she cried in angry tears as I came to the rescue. I graciously explained that even though she didn’t want my help, she needed it. I expertly pulled her socks up over her heels, switched around her backwards shirt, took off her pants to fix the placement of her legs in her underwear, and then pulled her pants back on correctly.
Although most of us have grown past the difficulties of getting dressed in the morning, our hearts aren’t too far off from this picture. In life’s difficulties and struggles we often find ourselves frustrated when we feel “in over our heads.” The very help we need, we either do not ask for or reject when it presents itself. In an effort to prove to those around us that we “can handle it,” it handles us and we lose our joy in the process.
My sin-nature’s default setting is, “If you say I can’t, I’ll prove to you I can.” This raw-determination is attractive when achieving something noble or inspiring - like pushing out babies or crossing marathon finish lines. That same raw-determination (a.k.a. pride) is not so attractive when it leaves me in frustrated tears because I’m overwhelmed and wondering where all of the help has gone.
Four years ago, marked a turning point in this area. When my husband, my pregnant self, and our two toddler boys moved to Clinton, Iowa to plant River Church, I found myself in a very exciting and challenging season of my life. Eight short weeks into our church-plant, we brought Baby #3 home from the hospital. The demands of getting settled into a brand-new community, remodeling our home, mothering little boys, nursing a Newborn, and all that entailed with starting a church from scratch stretched me in every possible way. The learning-curve was steep and I found myself in uncharted waters. I recognized that in order to maintain peace and joy through all of the necessary adjustments, then I was going to have to crucify my pride and ask for help! And so I began asking. I asked God to send help my way and started saying, “Yes” to those who began to offer to carry, find, park, bake, change, watch, hold, and bring. Help started to appear in amazing, refreshing, and wonderful ways and I couldn’t help but smile and say, "Thank You."
It turns out that loads are much lighter when you let the people in your life help you carry them.
I've experienced a breakthrough in saying, “Yes, Please, and Thank You!” I pray that you will as well. The next time someone offers to help, I challenge you to:
Say, “Yes!” - eagerly, enthusiastically, and confidently. Resist the urge to refuse. You may notice that as you continue to say, “Yes,” you’ll continue to be offered help.
Say, “Please!” - politely, humbly, and boldly. James 4:2 “…You do not have because you do not ask God.” Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; I believe it’s a sign of strength, maturity, and humility. Crucify your pride, and carve out opportunities for the people in your life to assist you! If your hands are full and no one is jumping up to offer help, chances are you haven’t asked. Instead of being frustrated, upset, or angry…start asking!
Say, “Thank you!” - always and at all times. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Always say thank you! It puts your heart in a posture of gratitude and paves the way for future opportunities to be helped.
Since that particular meltdown moment with my daughter, I’ve instituted the saying of, “Yes, Please, and Thank You!” when it comes to this matter. When we are offered help, we accept. When we need help, we ask. When we have help, we thank.
Add “Yes, Please and Thank You” to your vocabulary and watch God bring you the help you want and need.