DON'T GO IT ALONE
What I learned from a 5th grader & why it’s okay to ask for help.
Written by Katie Stansfield for Who’s Teaching the Babies?®
Don’t Go It Alone
3 minute read
Don’t Go It Alone
3 minute read
Writen by Katie Stansfield for Who’s Teaching the Babies?®
In our children’s ministry, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves praying for a sports injury or a brother or sister who’s home sick with a tummy ache. We teach our kids that God heals and they believe it because they’ve seen or experienced healing in their own lives and families. One particular Sunday morning, we found ourselves praying for one of the grownup helpers in the room who brought to our attention a persistently hurting arm and elbow. We prayed and tested out the progress and the class witnessed this person report a measurable decrease in pain that day. YAY GOD!
(Click here for a whole lesson plan on how to teach kids about healing.)
What really struck me about this scenario (besides the awesome healing) and the premise of this post, however, actually happened later. Fast forward several weeks and it was my turn to be teacher again. In the weeks in between, there had been no mention or discussion of this particular healing within the class, or amongst themselves. That being said, suddenly, and rather randomly (as children are) in the midst of an unrelated lesson, one of the boys in class blurts out to the helper (the one who had been healed), “Hey, how’s your arm?” She shared that it was pain free and he just smirks, nods and says, “Just checking in…” That. That right there. My heart was so touched. Why? Because it showed me a picture of the value of community and connection; it showed me the importance and two-way street of “checking in.”
How often are we living day to day and struggling with something big or small while convincing ourselves that we’re “fine”? Come on. We do it ALL THE TIME. And then, what’s more is that often others can see that we are clearly not “fine” but when they ask how we’re doing, what do we say? “I’m fine, thanks.” Ugh. Why do we do this? Is it habit? Is it denial? Are we afraid to seem as imperfect as we are? Are we determined to be superheroes who can actually save all of the Who’s in Whoville? For whatever reason, we are chronically master avoiders of asking for help. Beyond that, we often don’t even realize that we need it.
News flash: you need help. We all do. It’s normal; it’s healthy; it’s good.
Now, needing “help” comes in many shapes and forms, sizes, and colors. Sometimes we need help with the boring stuff—like an extra hand at the grocery store to help prevent three boxes of Gram Crackers and a 24 pack of gum from mysteriously showing up in the cart. And sometimes we need help with the more tricky stuff—like realizing that we’re angry at God because our child is sick and despite all efforts, they haven’t gotten better. Whatever the case may be—whether simple or so very complex—you were not meant to do life alone. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is pretending that it is.
Whether you’re a single parent or surrounded by family, whether it all seems “fine” or it really doesn’t, find someone you can trust and “check in.” This person doesn’t have to have the answers or fix the problems (don’t expect them to), but they do get to be there for you, pray with you, talk and listen, and speak truth into your life. Maybe it’s more than one person; maybe it starts out simply admitting it to yourself, but it cannot, I repeat IT CANNOT stay there. People need other people. We need a perspective that is outside of our own. We need truth when the lies grow so comfortable that we believe them. We need laughter and tears and connection.
So, I challenge you to find your “check-in” person. Ask them if they’re in your corner. Perhaps test the waters and start with something small and build the trust from there. (For a post on how to build trust, click here.) I know that as you do this, you’ll be a better parent and a better person for it.
Be strong, be brave, but don’t be it alone.
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