I’ll admit to having a certain level of pride in my independence. I enjoy the confidence that comes from knowing I can accomplish something on my own.
But like my favorite podcast, Journeywomen, likes to remind me — we don’t live our lives in a solitary bubble. Our stories are rich with all kinds of complications, hurdles, struggles and very few of them are meant to be endured alone.
Asking for help doesn’t mean admitting to failure. It simply means admitting that God has placed wonderful people and useful resources in your life. It means acknowledging that your life could be made richer, stronger, healthier than if you tried to walk this road alone.
Asking for help means affirming you are worth investing in. You probably wouldn’t hesitate to drop everything to help a friend in their time of need, so why would you deny someone else the opportunity to serve you?
We don’t ask children to tackle learning to walk on their own; no, we hold their hand for those first few stumbling steps. We wouldn’t dream of embarking on something dangerous like climbing a mountain without someone to be our partner on that journey. Even the prince in the storybook has a friend to help him on his path. So why do we live with the expectation of enduring emotional trials on our own?
This month (and this week in particular) is National Suicide Awareness month. I say this because there have already been several times in my life where I wish someone had asked me for help. I have always wondered if there’s something I could have done that would have changed the outcome.
Asking for help can take shape in many ways. Maybe it’s sitting down with a good friend and having a conversation about the things that are weighing on your heart. Maybe it’s consulting with a professional. Or maybe it’s as simple as sending up a prayer to God in your moment of crisis.
There are times in everyone’s life where we feel alone, bereft of the care and communion we so desperately crave. But I think you’ll find that in those times, however dark they may be, someone is standing ready with love to lead you through to the light.
So go ahead. Reach out and grasp the hand that’s waiting for you.