I have always prized myself on being self-sufficient. I love learning about the mechanics of things, how things work, how to build or repair things, how to balance my budget, etc. I feel like knowing these things will equip and allow me to take on life’s little (and not so little) challenges. I get a thrill when I complete a task or challenge on my own, relishing my own independence. And better yet, I get praise for it. The world LOVES a go-getter, an independent woman, someone who can roll with the punches of life and rear their head triumphantly on the other side. Culture supports the idea of embracing YOU. YOU can do it! Growing up, I took on the mentality that if I can’t do things by myself, then I’m weak. I’m not good enough. I should be able to do things without the help of others. I should be able to solve my problems on my own. That’s what strong, efficient, and independent people do! Right? I’ve been realizing these past few months that I try to do way too much on my own and it’s been driving me slowly and slowly into the ground. I’m exhausted. Why do I torture myself this way? How hard is it to just pick up the phone and call somebody? Apparently, very hard. I can blame two things for my inability to ask for help: my fear of vulnerability and my own stupid pride.
My journey to über independence has one very big result: a heck load of worry. I seriously worry ALL THE TIME. About everything. I keep telling myself that worrying is a sin, therefore, I need to stop. I pray for God constantly to help me stop worrying. I don’t want to do this anymore. After my prayers, I push my anxieties to the back of my mind, only to feel them spring back to life the next chance they get. I don’t really want to tell anyone mortal because that would just be verbalizing my inner worrying and thus perpetuating it. Perpetuating worry equals bad. In reality, I want to take care of things on my own. I figure that now that I’ve graduated, I’m an “adult” and now have “adult” worries. Therefore, I should and need to be able to handle these things by myself. Asking for help would not only declare my worrying to the world, but it would also mean I am incapable of taking care of my self. Talk about pride!
God calls us to be in community with one another, to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). King Solomon explains that “two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)” God knows full well we can’t do things by ourselves and He knows we’re going to try anyway. So He has placed people in our lives to act as immeasurable tools, helping us toil the soil of life as we cultivate a closer and deeper relationship with Him.
So ask for help. Seek counsel. Two heads are better than one and no man is an island. I need to remind myself to dismount my high horse and ask for direction. No one really knows where they’re going anyway, least of all me. I’m thankful that God keeps reminding me of this in a loving way: through His word.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur o…ne another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ” – Hebrews 10:23-25