africa · Intentional Living

Thanksgiving for Help

I’m not always the best at asking for help. It’s a vulnerable place, knowing you can’t do it all, no matter how hard you try. And yet, it’s also a little ridiculous, because nobody can do it all.

Humans are designed to rely on one another.

And I have a hard time with that.

Earlier this year, I joined a bible study at my local church. Each time we met, we would close our sessions with prayer requests. The leader made one stipulation: the prayer requests had to be about ourselves.

Wow, I had a hard time with this. I struggle to ask for prayers on something, even though I believe in the power of prayer. I struggle to put myself in that place of vulnerability, where I have to ask for help. And I REALLY didn’t like the rule.

But over the course of several weeks, I became more comfortable with it.

This has been a trend the last few years…this whole “asking for help” thing.

When I lived abroad, I had to ask for help sometimes. I didn’t know everything, and some days it felt like I didn’t know anything. I had to learn how to rely on my host family, my coworkers, and the other volunteers I trained with. Whether it was asking how to eat a particular South African dish, or taking a friend up on an offer to “escape” to their house for a weekend visit…I had to learn how to ask for AND receive help.

The biggest illustration of this was when I fell and broke my arm in South Africa. While I was recovering from my surgery there, I was unable to do a lot of basic things, like put my hair up. You see, my hair isn’t the kind you can just leave down to dry naturally. Nope. So each morning for the six weeks I spent there after my surgery, I would go up to another Peace Corps Volunteer at breakfast at the guest house, hold out my hair tie, and ask for help. It was humbling and hilarious, for both of us.

Next time you want to make a friend, ask them to put your hair in a ponytail. I guarantee it will be hilarious, and you’ll find out how many people aren’t good at doing this with someone else’s hair.

Anyways…I digress.

I began learning how to ask for help, and I’m still doing it. Just today, I had a group of amazing people help me move. Moving is the WORST, and everyone knows it. And I had 8 people volunteer their evening to move me in the cold, dark, windy icky of late November in Iowa. Did I feel awful asking them to help? Yup. Did I really appreciate their help? Yes.

Could I have done it myself? Nope.

So today, I’m thankful for the people who give me a hand when I need it. Y’all are amazing!

-Jen

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