Seriously. I almost can't do it. Ever.
Even if I am nearing the edge of cliff which I will undoubtedly fall off without assistance, I will probably grit my teeth and dig in my heels and believe all the way up to the moment I am hurling into the abyss below that I can stop the death fall without asking for help.
Once, during a time of serious emotional crisis in my life (basically a metaphorical cliff) I found myself sitting in the floor of my bedroom, leaning against a wall, experiencing a full-on panic attack. As I gulped in breaths and tried to slow my heart, I dialed my brother's phone number. He lived the closest to me at the time, and would be able to come to my aid the speediest.
He answered the phone, and without waiting for him to interrupt, I began to sob out how overwhelmed I was by the situation I was currently facing, and how I absolutely could NOT do it for one more second, ad how I was fairly certain I was going to have a nervous breakdown at any moment. He listened without interrupting, and when I had finished, he asked me a question.
"Are you asking for me to come help you?"
And do you know what I said? "No, it's okay. I'm calming down now. I just needed to freak out for a second. I'll be fine. Thanks."
I absolutely was NOT fine. After I hung up the phone, I don't even remember how long I continued to sit in the floor and tell myself not to pass out, or freak out, or throw up, or cry until I couldn't move...
But when it came right down to it...I didn't ask for help. I wanted to. I needed to. But I couldn't do it.
Now, don't get me wrong, I DO enlist help sometimes.
Today we cleaned house, and I definitly asked my kids to help with that.
By ASKED, I mean required.
By required, I mean I informed them, with raised voice and brows, that I was moving all their crap to a tent in the backyard if they didn't help clean it up.
So, you see? I can ask for help when the Spirit moves me.
In all seriousness, though, I know I can't be the only person who finds themselves completely inadequate to a task, but struggling to request the needed assistance in accomplishing it.
I am paralyzed by indecision. By fear. By doubt. By uncertainty. I am overwhelmed by how ill-equipped I am.
I have a path before me, and I can choose not to try and travel it at all, and then I won't have to seek help in navigating it successfully.
But, if I choose to try...I will FAIL without assistance.
Maybe I will even fail WITH assistance.
(It's possible that it scares me to fail with people watching more than it frightens me to ask for help in the first place.)
What should I do? Should I try and do it on my own? Maybe I could.
Should I ask for help, knowing full well it might not be enough anyway?
Should I do nothing? Turn away from the path and never have to feel the angst of inadequacy, or the sting of failure?
The thoughts swirl round and round inside my head, and my own brutal self-honesty demands that I admit the truth: I don't want to need help. I don't want to rely on others. I want to be strong enough on my own. Smart enough. Capable enough.
In my heart, I admit this truth to the Lord.
"I want to be able to figure it out without needing help, God. I even have an idea..."
And my spiritual monologue is cut short before it even begins. The Lord speaks sternly.
"Why would you want to try and accomplish My plans for you in your own strength? Do you, in your great self-sufficiency, really believe you are more able than I am to work out My will for your life?"
And I find myself breathless from the words, and how I feel like a reprimanded child.
Who am I kidding? I AM a reprimanded child.
I'm ashamed. Ashamed of the pride that would keep me from letting others see an area where I cannot do it on my own. Ashamed of my fear, my uncertainty, my worry, when I have witnessed time and again that God takes care of me better than I could ever take care of myself.
And so, here I sit, feeling almost like I have been spiritually dared to make a move...
I am wearing slippers because it's cold in my house.
I am eating jelly beans because they are leftover from Easter.
I have more hours of things to accomplish than hours remaining in this day.
I'm exhausted, physically and emotionally and spiritually.
I am unsure. I am afraid.
But...I'm asking for help.
I need help. I've been talking to a publishing agent about a potential second print run of my book, and she has informed me that she has contacts at big publishing houses...but that if I want any of them to take a serious look at me as author, I need an online presence.
I need to blog more and tweet more, she said. Check. That I can do. (Not that anyone cares what I tweet or blog, but at least that's within my ability to accomplish.)
But, I also need people to follow me. On Twitter and on my blog. Not just read my tweets or blog posts. But actually take the time to follow me.
(Enter the internal rant about how I have nothing interesting to say or time to spend trying to THINK of anything interesting to say, and why do I want to ask my friends and family and the poor innocent population of the Internet to listen to how flipping boring it is to be me? I'm wearing slippers and eating jelly beans, for heaven's sake!)
That internal rant has led me to the place of indecision and fear and "well maybe it's not a big deal if we don't print anymore books" that has caused many a restless night and anxiety headache...
And all of that led me to today. To now. To the dare from the Holy Spirit to TRUST HIM, and to stop acting like I could do anything on my own, when we all know it's not true.
So, if you are asking me if I need help...
I am gulping in a breath.
I am shifting back and forth in discomfort.
I am shoving a courage-fueled hand-full of jelly beans into my mouth.
I am saying yes. Yes. I need your help.