She hands me the check as I’m headed out the door. Just slips it nonchalantly into my hand. It’s for you, she says. I nod. Take it. A need is being met. The winter drags long and slow and work has been hard this winter. Every winter. New houses are not being built, old houses are not being painted. Bills are stacking up. This dear friend wanted to bless. We give thanks. We praise hard during these times. It is the only thing that can sustain a long winter.
It’s not the first time. We’ve been blessed by those around us. Why is it so much harder for me to open my hand and take it than to give it?
I wrote the post on being available to friendships this year. I wrote of my trouble with being vulnerable. Of showing weaknesses. Need.
It’s not easy for me. About two seconds after I hit post, I had second thoughts. D’oh. It’s out there. And then some people really did want to get together, and surprisingly I felt good, not overwhelmed. But getting together for coffee is a far cry from needing someones help.
I don’t often mention struggles, I don’t ask for help. I decline meals when we’re sick, I say we’re fine. I don’t accept help. I am a control freak of my own needs. When I had my c-sections my sister-in-law Sarah rallied. She is a master of coordinating for people’s needs. Meals were delivered, kids were watched. When I recently had complications from a surgery, she once again had a steady row of people dropping off meals. But I didn’t ask. She just did it. I never could just ask.
Maybe it’s the chance that even if I put my needs out there, they will still be unmet. Perhaps it’s looking too needy and it’s my own pride and self-sufficiency that doesn’t allow room for others to bless me. Maybe it’s that I feel unworthy of blessings. I often still carry the deep strongholds of legalism and self-reliance, volleying me back and forth but always just outside of the realm of grace where rest can come. Perhaps it’s the fact that when I am most in need my house looks like a postapocalyptic war zone and that’s the last thing I want people to see. Which is also about pride, when you really get down to it.
I think it’s a bit of them all. My one word for 2012 is stripped. God is faithful to do what is necessary.
God continues to put me in places where I am not sufficient. To be honest, I hate it. Currently, I am insufficient, suffering from a chest infection complicated by asthma. Do I need help? No, I’ve got it covered. Josh is helping, my mom is here. But then Judah got sick as well. Very sick. And Nehemiah started with a runny nose, my mom is going to be house sitting for the week, Josh is going back to work…. So, I relented. Someone offered again to bring a meal and I graciously accepted. I need it. And that’s ok. Or at least, I am coming to terms with it being ok. I am learning to be on the receiving end. I’m not just allowing God to bless me, I’m allowing God to use others to do it.