“If you want something done, do it yourself.”
I’ve said this many times in my life. In fact, I really pretty much lived by it, until circumstances in life caused me to really depend on God and reach out to others for help when I needed it.
I remember when I was in school and hated when the teacher would assign group projects. Every time (inwardly of course in true introvert form) I would sigh and feel like here we go again, I’m going to have to do most of the work myself so our group doesn’t make a bad grade. And even though it may not have been fair or fun, I’d put forth the effort, the project was completed, turned in, grade assigned. Easy. Or at least doable.
But what about when no matter how hard you try, how much effort you put in, you find yourself in a situation where you can’t “solve the problem”, “complete the assignment”, or “get the job done”? You ask for help. You start to view your situation as a journey not really about a task to complete or a box to check off. You quit being so hard on yourself. You don’t expect perfection from yourself or others. You realize life is messy and complicated and you learn to be okay with that. You realize you need others wisdom. You appreciate those God brings into your life to learn from. You begin to truly care about what others are facing and pray for them. You treat others gently and kindly because you never know what they are facing in their own lives.
Reaching out to others doesn’t mean I’m lazy or not trying hard enough or weak. It means recognizing the times when a situation requires more than just my thoughts and effort and doing something about it. Sometimes it means doing something I’ve never done before and trusting God to get me through it.
Honestly, it probably takes more wisdom and strength to reach out than to just “do it myself.”
Many things in life keep me humble. I’m constantly aware of the fact that I don’t have all the answers and that God is in control of my life, not me. If it were left up to me, I would have picked easier circumstances, problems I could solve on my own, results I could see. Instead, I have to walk by faith, pray a whole lot, let go of control, ask for help, work hard, and trust the Lord. All of this has caused me to have such an appreciation for others…to recognize their strengths (and weaknesses) as well as my own, and be thankful for them. I learn to go with the flow in the crazy roller coaster of life as a parent of a child with autism, a mom of a teenage girl, a wife of a CPA, a homeschool mom, and the list could go on and on. It’s a good thing to reach out for help when you need to. We weren’t made to do everything on our own.
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”