Inside you may be wishing desperately for help but for a variety of reasons, it is easier to say no:
- It won’t get done as fast as if you did it or the same as if you did it.
- You don’t want to appear needy.
- You don’t want to be beholden to someone else.
- You don’t want to appear weak.
- You don’t know what they can do to be of help.
- It is just easier to say no.
For whatever reason, women seem to think they can do without help when it is offered.
Have you read the book 90 Minutes in Heaven? It was written by Rev. Don Piper in 2005 and tells his true story of a horrible car accident in which he was declared dead for 90 minutes and then began breathing again. It talks about his experiences, his recovery and the lessons he learned along the way.
In the recovery portion of his experience he was in a lot of pain and he really just wanted to be left alone, but day after day people came to visit and offer their help. Each day he turned them down. What could they do to help? They couldn’t fix his body or take away the pain or make the accident vanish from his life.
A retired minister came to visit one day and observed the other church members stop by for short visits, offer help and be turned away and the message he offered was profound:
You’ve spent the better part of your life trying to minister to other people, to meet their needs, to help them during times of difficulty and tragedy and now you’re doing a terrible job of letting these people do the same thing for you…It is the only thing they have to offer you, and you’re taking that gift way from them.”
A gift. Wow. What a powerful word.
Not a burden, not a sign of weakness, not an inconvenience but a gift. Sure they may do it differently than you would, but think about the gift you’d be giving your friends, family, spouse, children, if just once you said – “yes, I could use a little help.”
So the minister decided to try and ask for help. He asked one woman to bring him a strawberry milkshake and this is what happened:
“Strawberry milkshake? I’d love to get one for you,” she told him. I don’t think I had ever seen her smile so beautifully before…she dashed out the door and came back with the milkshake…Later I imagined members of the congregation standing outside my door comparing notes (of ways they’d been able to help)..I realized how badly I had missed the whole idea. I had failed them and myself. In trying to be strong for them, I had cheated them out of opportunities to strengthen me.”
Is your effort to protect and shield merely keeping your family from pitching in, being a part of the solution, learning and growing and sharing their love with you?
The next time someone asks if you need help, pause a moment before automatically saying “thanks but no thanks” and think of a way you can say yes. Allow them to give you the gift of their love.