Have you ever spent many days or nights alone, wondering why Heavenly Father hadn't prompted anyone to call you and/or help you?
Have you ever sat around, praying for someone to come over, but refusing to just suck it up and call somebody?
Have you ever wondered why nobody cared, and yet the thought of asking for help made you freak out and feel guilty and/or selfish?
This used to be me. Until about three months ago. Honestly, it took me a good decade before I realized that God was not going to steer my parked car. He was not going to send somebody to get myself out of something when I was perfectly capable of calling a friend or a ward member and ask for that help. The funny part? I figured this out in therapy! Figures.
Anyway, since it is no longer me, I did not spend this week in agony like I would have many years ago. Instead, I called a few people. I explained my sickness. I didn't mince words. I asked for a few favors --just a few. Such as: "Could you drive my son to preschool?" and "Could you help me clean my house instead of doing girl's night out like we had planned?" and "Could you do carpool for me?"
These favors I requested snowballed. More people found out how sick I was. Many knew Brandon was in London. Just as many know I am pregnant. And so, people started calling: "Can I bring you dinner?" and "Can I help with #2's birthday party?" and "Can I come over tonight to help clean up and put your kids to bed?"
This morning, fairly recovered, I still accepted offers of help: "Can I take your son to preschool?" and "Can I watch your other sick kids while you keep those dr.'s appointments?"
I have learned something from all of this. [A lot of it can be explained in Michelle L's post over at Segullah this morning.] But what I want to say is this:
We cannot expect people to read our minds. Promptings are real, and God does speak to those who can help others, but for the most part, we need to be the ones to reach out and ask for help. The surprise will come when we realize how much people sincerely want to help, they just didn't realize it was needed! And when we allow this to happen, our lives --and theirs --are truly blessed. Beyond words, really.
So, I want to throw out a HUGE thank you to those who have helped me this week (specifically my buddy Michelle, my neighbor Sue, my VT Kris, my friends Lisa, Cheryl, Susan, Yuki, Andi, and Virginia). And thank you to all my online buddies, even though you were far away or unable to help (but wanted to!) --the love you gave me was still felt. And I really appreciate it!
Just ask for help, people. It may seem hard at first and against all of that "self-sufficient" stuff we learn in the Gospel, but I think we take it way too far. It's not "be so self-sustaining that you suffer needlessly and make your life and your children's lives completely miserable." It is "try hard. And if you can't make it, ask for help! This is the purpose of friendship and love. We need to help each other!"