Monday, September 30, 2013
Asking for Help for Dummies
I almost entitled this post "God is Really Gibbs". Why? Well, let me explain...
A couple days ago, I had a bit of a melt down. Actually, it was more of a complete and utter temper tantrum in which I completely went off on my best friend, accusing him of not caring about me and never asking how I'm doing and never having time for me. I was not nice. And, the worst part, none of what I accused him of was even remotely true. In fact, it was the complete opposite of the truth. But I was being very selfish. I wanted attention. I was hurting and I wanted someone to realize that I needed help.
Ok, so yes, asking for help probably would have been easier and much less painful. But, I can't ask for help. I don't know how. Well, I can... if I can't reach a bowl off the top shelf, or if I can't figure out how to operate the cordless skill saw - then I can ask for help. If I hurt myself or am too sick to do something for myself - I can ask for help. But when I'm emotionally - or worse, spiritually - in desperate need? Then, I'm an idiot.
So, today I was feeling very sorry for myself. And very much feeling lower than low. I knew God wouldn't bother to help me. But, at the same time, I did recognize that I truly did need help. I just wasn't sure what is wrong with me. Why can't I ask for the help I need? In my apology to my friend, I expressed these questions and failings of mine.
I sent the email, and decided to check my blog stats. Oddly enough, I had several visits during the time I was writing my email - all to the same blog post. "Don't Help." This is one I wrote 9 months or so... and honestly I couldn't recall what it said. So I reread it - and immediately pictured God giving me a good Gibbs' slap.
This event was immediately followed by a friend posting something on Google+ about how God is still here for us, even when we don't realize we need Him. And how He is faithful even when we are faithless. And, Gibbs' slap again.
Then I read a couple incredible blog posts published today: Push Starting a Spiritual Life and Why Faith, Interrupted. Slap! Slap!
So yes, my day was filled with Gibbs' slaps. With God slaps.
God truly is here with us. He answers us. He gives us that very definitely smack upside the head when we're too stupid to realize He's here and He cares. So, what answers did he send my way? How does one learn to ask for help? Why is it so difficult for me to do so? How do I get around this and get the help I quite obviously and desperately need?
Growing up I learned that asking for help (even for physical needs) was a sign of weakness. And it was a symbol of trust, which was always broken. So - to ask for help you need to trust someone, but I learned not to trust ever. And, to ask for help was to say "Hey, I'm weak." Growing up in an abusive home, admitting weakness was pretty much a death sentence. For a while, I did pray to God for help, but the more my prayers seemed to go unanswered, the more I died spiritually.
So to summarize:
Asking for help = Trust + Weakness + Unanswered prayer
Trust = emotional death
Weakness = physical death
Unanswered prayers = spiritual death.
One doesn't need to be a mathematician to recognize that this equation does not equal rainbows, butterflies and giggles.
Asking for Help for Dummies...errr... Beginners...
One of my biggest issues is asking for help when I don't really have a valid reason. My faith is low? Well, that's a stupid reason. I have a lot of issues going on? Who doesn't? I'm lost? ... ? so find yourself? I mean seriously, if I were to ask the pastor to meet with me because I need help, I really wouldn't even know what to say.
So, perhaps that is actually fear keeping me from asking? I don't want to look stupid. I know I need help but don't know why or in what way. Yup, dummy here.
Of course, it is fear. It's always been fear. Fear of being stupid. Fear of being hurt. Fear of someone pretending to care. Fear of opening myself up to someone and letting them see the pain held within.
Fear of someone seeing the evil inside me. The worthlessness. Fear of being cast aside. Fear of being drawn in. Fear fear fear.
I really have no answers. I still have not asked for that spiritual help. I know I need it. I know I need someone to sit with me and pray for me. I know I need some borrowed strength. But I don't have the strength to admit the weaknesses within me.
So I sit at this impasse, knowing the truth is there somewhere, but uncertain of what this is.
Who do you ask for help? And how? (Besides God) Am I the only one afraid to reach out for help?