Miriam has written a couple of blogs over the last few months about accepting help and service. As I read these, I found myself nodding in agreement. As I thought about the subject, I realized that there really is only reason we don’t ask for help when we need it: pride. When we find ourselves struggling, we need to take a good luck within and make sure that this flaw isn’t keeping us from getting the assistance we need.
There are various ways that pride manifests itself within us. Some are more obvious than others. Miriam has done a wonderful job of noting how we can overcome these and allow others to help; I would like to point out some of the signs to help us better recognize that we are “at risk”.
- We are convinced we can do it all. The worst-case scenario paralyzes us to the point where we cannot even ask Heavenly Father for help. We might tell ourselves that “The Lord helps those who help themselves” (a saying which, incidentally, is not found in the scriptures).
- We don’t want anyone to know we can’t do it. There are times when we might get caught up in who we appear to be, rather than who we are. Perhaps we feel like everyone looks at us as the epitome of Mormondom and we want to continue to maintain the image of perfection. Perhaps we simply don’t want anyone to know that we are having problems, be they financial, relational, or emotional. Either way, we need to recognize that our brothers and sisters should continue to love us despite the fact that we are imperfect.
- We don’t have a strong relationship with the people whose help we need. This is part of the problem I have as a relatively new member in our branch. I had a hard time letting my new visiting teachers – who I had only known for two months – know that I struggle with postpartum depression. Even now, I have a hard time calling them on my down days; instead, I call one of my friends from Georgia, who I feel more comfortable with. Part of it relates to the previous point; I don’t feel comfortable enough with them to let them see the “real” me. However, when you truly need help, you need to remember again that we will continue to be loved in spite of our troubles.
Many of the men and women I have met in the church have a strong desire to help and serve their neighbors. However, they cannot help and serve us if we don’t give them the opportunity. We need to make sure to stay humble so that the Lord can work in our lives.