In this world there’s a huge pressure to be strong. “You’ve got this.” “You can do it.” “Just keep pushing on.” “You’re strong.” And all the other catch-phrases running around.
There’s a good side to all this encouragement. But there’s also a downside to it. The downside that weakness is made out to be at terrible thing. That everyone expects you to be strong. That you’re supposed to do it all on your own. There’s a sort of attitude going around that implies that people talking about their problems are just self-centred brats who won’t try to help themselves out of their problems.
I struggle a lot with asking for help. I love my friends and I don’t want to sadden them. To reach out for sympathy, to admit that I’m hurting and that I need some care, makes me feel guilty. Guilty for bothering them. Guilty for turning the attention to me.
And yet, I need help. That’s how I process my pain. I need someone to listen to me pour out my story & my feelings, to sympathize, to let me know they care. I don’t need them to fix my problem necessarily–I just need them to listen to me until I’ve let it all out & processed it all.
I need people to help me.
Is that weakness?
It is strength. It takes strength to pull off the mask and show your mess. It takes strength to admit you can’t do it yourself. It takes strength to be real instead of being perfect.
It takes strength to ask for help.
So reach out and ask for help. I know you wanna be there for your friends and help them through their low points. But you know what? They want to be there for you too. They want to help you too. Friendship works both ways. It’s a mutual build-up. To ask each other’s help isn’t weakness. It’s being real and building a real friendship.
There’s a fine line between just constantly complaining & being a parasite, and just asking for help because you’re struggling, of course. I’m not talking of those false friends who just live off of you. i’m talking of the real people who need help but are afraid to ask for it.
And I’m here to tell you, it’s okay to ask for help.
It’s not attention-seeking to admit you’re hurting and that you need someone to care for you. It’s not unkind to admit you need the kind of help you offered them. It’s not weakness to admit you can’t do it yourself.
It’s okay. It’s right. It’s wise. Because we weren’t made to carry our burdens alone. We were created to help each other. To build each other up. We weren’t created to be alone. We were created to be together.
So if your friend is reaching out for help, don’t ignore them. Don’t walk away on them. Don’t duck out of the conversation. Be there and reach your hand out to them. Let them know you care. Let them know you’re there for them. Let them know they’re doing the right thing in asking for help. Listen to them and try to help. Be there for them. Point them to the Best Friend & Counsellor. Be strong for them. ‘Cause someday you’ll need to lean on them. And that’s how it should be.
And if you are struggling, please, reach out for help. Maybe some folks will shut down the conversation. Maybe some will refuse to notice. But there are people out there who care. It’s okay to ask them for help. That’s what they’re there for. And when they are hurting, it’ll be your turn to support them.
And if you feel like you’re all alone and no one cares for you, know this. I care. I care for you, whoever you are. You are a person and you ought to live & be loved. I want you to live & be loved. And know this, too: God cares. The One who formed you in the womb, who keeps you breathing every day, who watches over you–He cares. He knows you can’t do it alone and He’s standing there just waiting for you to kneel at His throne, cast your burdens on Him, and ask for His help. He’s waiting with one hand outstretched towards you, waiting for you to take it, pleading with you to accept His help. The Lord Jesus is standing there, with his nail-scarred hands outstretched, saying, “Child, I paid the ultimate price for you. I showed the ultimate love towards you. Will you accept it?”
God is there for you. Because He cares.
It’s okay to ask for help.
It’s right to ask for help.
It’s wise to ask for help.
It’s courageous to ask for help.
Please don’t try to do it alone. Show true strength and put your hand in the hand of God. Then you will receive all the Help and Strength you need.