It is okay to ask for help. You are worn out, burned to the core and yet the problem stares right at your face. Let us have a hearty chat.
Recently, I registered for a bag making class; at first it was just to keep my hands busy and acquire a new skill because why not?
Schools being on break and the holiday season have a way of making you feel and get lazy over time if you do not help your situation.
During one of our bag projects, I had to make a red ladies leather bag, I wanted it to be perfect and look like it was not locally made and I believe I did a pretty good job for a start until I got choked on the finishing part. The zip area refused to pass through my machine needle.
I pushed the bag and applied all my force and energy to get it to just move. You know what happened Instead? It gathered more thread beneath and almost ruined my leather because I was working the leather way too much. Almost like the bag was rebelling against me
You know? I just don’t understand it. All techniques my teacher had taught me at first was applied yet the bag won’t bulge. I nearly broke down in tears, tiny drops of sweat had already broken out on my forehead and my facial expression sold my mood and feelings instantly. The people around started to pity me but none of them could help me with the bag because likewise I they too were students and struggled with their own bags
Out of the blues my trainer showed up like one of those distress call movies where a village is in distress and suddenly the main character who happens to be skilled in martial arts and taekwondo as well as sword fight shows up and suddenly the whole city hides behind his hero cape and starts to sing his praise knowing filly well that he was going to destroy the enemy
The moment she showed up. Oh! My face lightened up and my excitement was out of this world. I didn’t even know when I exclaimed oh! Thank God you are here and without her asking I started to ramble on and on about how the machine was frustrating me and killing my joy. She just smiled while listening to my complaints and then said “eiya sorry”
I stayed put on my chair before the sewing machine and when she came over guess what she said? “Stand up let me help you with that?”
She should have just put me through like she did before and then allow me take it up from there like she did before but not this time. It was time to relieve me of the stress I had gone through already. I wanted to resist at first and insists that she shows me what to do but when I recalled how I had struggled with that bag for hours despite her previous explanations I conceded.
My trainer took the bag and set it straight on the sewing machine, turned it around few times and set the machine on motion. Within few minutes she was done and the bag looked perfect like I imagined it would. Yes I did all the work but without that finishing my bag looked shabby and less pretty, the finishing and zip seal made the bag stand out.
The moment I held my bag and danced around in excitement, I got an understanding and screamed aloud. I said yes, I got it, I do understand. This applies to all of us. I bet the people around must have thought that the stress taken off my desk turned me into a soliloquizing mood
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To the struggling Christian
The language of believers all over the world or should I say Nigerian specifically is the slogan “it is well”. Even when it is not. Christians have made it a habit to cover up lies about their feelings, health being and wellness with the sanctimonious language of it is well.
A Christian could be well struggling with putting food on the table, clothes on the body and sending the kids to school and yet still smile even when help is staring at him glaringly. Who has done this to us please?
I fail to understand when we started to delight so much in suffering alone rather than open up to others or ask for help. Someone will say but I haven’t got someone t talk to and we both know that you are just plainly lying right now.
Think about those times your church member rang you up. The time that course mate or co worker tried to analyze your facial expression and slouched shoulders but you just brushed them off and gave them the cold shoulder and prod look that sent them off running through the door with their tails in the hand
Come on, what do you hate so much about asking for help. It is okay to say the words “HELP ME”
Is it that difficult to ask for help?
I understand that most of us probably grew up in an environment where nobody asks how you are doing or you just became independent at a very young age and now as an adult you find it difficult to just open up to people about the areas you are struggling with. I had a roommate like that in school so I quite understand your plight. Nobody condemns you neither do I pass any judgment
According to my roommate, she never really grew up having people rally around her or looks at her face. So, she practically fend for herself and grew too tough on herself that asking for help looks like putting yourself out there and showing your vulnerability to people who care less and may end up not helping at all.
Let me tell you something you do not know, it is not always faith at work when you keep saying it is well even to people who seek to proffer solutions or hear your case. I am a strong believer of faith; you have heard me talk about it here on my blog, how God healed me of asthma and depression. So, this is not just about me discrediting your faith talk. It is just plain false truth when you say it is well when it is not. You need to understand that it is okay to ask for help.
You might be surprised to know that there are times you also struggle with God on areas only he can sort out for you. If there is anything Christian leadership taught me; it is to depend solely on God in all circumstances.
I recall an instance in school while serving as a treasurer; we had little or nothing for missions and expenses. I just went on my knees and this verse strengthened my heart
“For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.”
I made a prayer I read weeks prior to that event well; “lord it will do us good if you could sell two of those cows and send us the money”. Sounds funny but sometimes that’s how I communicate my heart to God
Your own help need might not be financial. It could be your relationship, marriage, children or even school and career. Dear, it is time to get off the chair and let your trainer tie up the loose ends because right now you have toiled all night and caught nothing, you are worn out, burned to the core and yet the problem stares right at your face. It is okay to ask for help
Why we are scared of asking for help
I saw this quote on a blog post I read and figured out it is quite the struggle most Christians have
“I went for help and saw it’s basically a lighter version of jail so I lied to them and left”
It is disheartening that you have experienced this kind of reaction when you muttered up the courage to ask for help. I know I talk big and someone reading this might have stopped halfway to scream at me and say this girl doesn’t even know what she is saying or oh! you think it is that easy to ask for help?
Well, I haven’t said so Sis. Even asking for help from family members might look kind of hard even though you are related by blood and they should understand that you are not a bum or just looking for takeouts. You just have a hard time but your thoughts say no! They surely must think I am lazy and demand too much.
Sometimes it really does take a lot of courage to open up and say, “I’m not ok right now, and I really could use a friend.” Too many people discount their own feelings or invalidate themselves without even having anyone else do it for them, “I guess I don’t have it as bad as I think.” or “I don’t want to burden anyone with my problems, they have enough to worry about, they don’t need to worry about me.”
Think about this for a moment, if you knew that someone you loved was struggling, what would you do? If you found out that someone you care for was hurting so badly but was afraid to ask for help, wouldn’t you reach out your hand to help them up? I know that you can’t fix everyone’s problems, but you may be able to advocate for them. You may be able to help them find the resources to get help to them. So, why wouldn’t you do that for yourself? People out there care. Trust me, they really do.
Sometimes people find it hard to ask for help because:
- They should be able to handle their business (even during crisis)
- Giving up control to someone else feels weak
- It feels like you’ve just admitted failure or defeat
- When you get back to balance, there is a fear that people will badger you with the “are you ok?”
Why it is okay to ask for help
For some reason, we’ve told ourselves that weakness means we’re lesser beings. And that we need to hide when we’re struggling so that no one finds out. But the truth is, we’re all going to struggle at some point.
- Asking for help is a show of strength not weakness:
We’re going to have moments when we can’t find the strength to stand, or when we just can’t do it alone. And in those moments is when we have to know that it’s okay to lean on others. It’s okay to seek assistance and love outside of ourselves.
The truth about strength is that it doesn’t always come from your body, your brain, and your bones. Yes, there is immeasurable strength within you, but that is not the sole source.
Strength comes from surrounding yourself with people who love you. It comes from your faith and comes from inspiration.
Strength comes from your vulnerability. Being able to step outside of your pride, your protective shell, your fear and say, ‘I need help.’
Strength comes from letting go of what you’ve been taught, the way you’ve been raised. The beliefs you have ingrained in your mind. Knowing that sometimes you need a friend alongside you. Helping to carry those burdens that have been weighing you down for so long
- Because God is always near to them that call upon him
Believe it or not, there are angels in human forms placed around you to help you when you raise a teary eye to heaven. Even, a heavy heart but what happens when you reject the help of God because you did not reason it well to know that it was God simply answering your call. Wait, you really don’t think God will appear in his glory to render the help himself.
You have prayed, allow God to help you. It is time to step out of the way get up from that sewing machine. Allow your trainer help you with that. I know that asking for help is not easy, but it is brave and strong. It is NOTHING to be ashamed of.
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Until next time, Stay focused. Be on the frontline