Don’t Do This Alone
I’d like to think that I’m a warrior. I’ve been a single mom to my five awesome children for 13 years.
There have been some truly long days…falling to my knees, crying in the shower, hiding in the closet kinds of days. There has also been tons of laughter, hugs, and celebration.
There is no doubt the life of a mom, no matter her circumstances, can at times be pretty daunting.
We can become weary warriors in the fight to raise children who honor God and love others (particularly their siblings).
One thing I have learned, whether I want to admit it or not, is that I desperately need help. I think sometimes I want to believe I can do it all alone. I think I believe I should be able to do it alone. (That’s a lot of I’s).
I should be able to handle this…”Thanks, I got this.!”
But it wouldn’t take much for anyone observing from the outside to determine that I definitely don’t got this.
Maybe part of the problem is that we’ve been told so often that we can do it all; we’ve started believing it.
Heck yeah, we can have, handle, and hold it all together. No problem. Thumbs up.
Unfortunately, I think we all secretly (or maybe not so secretly) know that we can’t hold it together, especially not alone. Life is hard, things are complicated, and everything comes with some kind of challenge.
That phrase “hot mess” is overused, but it’s so accurate. I’m of a certain age that lends itself to warmth, and I truly don’t seem to be able to do this as gracefully as I’d hoped.
God encourages us to lean on each other and bear each other’s burdens. We cannot do that if we’re not willing to share our burdens, open up about our needs, and ask for help.
Reaching out for help
No matter our circumstances (single, working, homeschooler, married, small business owner…), it’s important we reach out for help, encouragement, and fellowship.
It’s very easy to become an island of responsibility and be so busy we don’t reach out for help.
There’ve been times in my single, working mom life when I don’t even know what help to ask for. I’m overwhelmed and so busy surviving I can’t think of what I need. I’m just going from one thing to the next – I believe that’s called triage mode. Tyranny of the urgent.
We truly need to take a moment, step away from the urgently calling to-dos and responsibilities, and find our people. Find the ones who will come alongside all our messiness and offer not only encouragement but maybe some well-timed jokes!
Find the people that will come pick us up on the side of the road when our car dies. The people who will help us pull apart that appliance in hopes to DIY a fix. The people who will listen no matter the time of day. The people who don’t mind some kids on their doorstep when we’re beyond needing a break. Those wonderful people.
Reaching out to people is a decision that requires vulnerability and intentionality. It takes times that doesn’t seem to be available to build relationships, but it’s so important.
Be intentional to contact a friend and share life with them. Invite someone over for a cup of tea. I’ve finally gotten over having to have a perfect house. ”Come on into the Chaos” is my new motto!
I decided to do something about my need for connection and encouragement by recently starting a neighborhood Bible study. I offered to host so I’d be sure to go. My house is NEVER magazine ready, but I decided maybe my willingness to share my clutter with others will be a blessing to someone. It definitely always blesses me.
And no matter our own crazy life, it’s just as important to step out and help others. Make a meal. Send a card. Text some encouragement. Sit with someone who is struggling. When we help others we help ourselves.
God tells us that “two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12); we can help each other when we fall down, keep each other warm when we’re cold, and fight alongside each other in our battles (NIV, 2013).
We need each other to help and be helped. Life is better, safer, warmer, stronger when it’s lived with others!