Grace on the Path of Neediness
Who was it that sang the words, “People. People who need people. Are the luckiest people in the world”? I didn’t make that up, did I? Well, in any case, I am a person, who needs another person. Whether I like it or not.
I’ve always been someone who LOVED being needed. But someone who LOATHED being needy. And for years, I was able to coast right along, never facing up to why I loathed being needy. It nagged at me in the past. I mean, a wise guy I know, on several occasions has told me, “It takes humility to receive.” And because I didn’t want to be rude, I would nod and mutter, “You’re right Honey,” and let the words breeze in through one ear and straight out of the other. So while I knew I needed to address my hesitancy to admit my need and to ask for help, I sailed right along, trying to do what I can to not ask for help unless I absolutely needed it.
In God’s grace, we started our Side by Side small group series a week before we had our second child. So while I was gearing up for life with a very active 2-year-old and a newborn, the overall goal of the small group series was looming, wisely, and truthfully over my head.
Before we had Isaac, I found myself sharing with more ladies than I normally would that I was having a hard time with scheduling a C-section (when I was hoping in a VBAC) and how it revealed I was trusting in a VBAC and not in God for the safe delivery of our second child.
After we had Isaac, I couldn’t avoid the truth that I was in need of so much help. I was physically unable to do as much as I was able to before we had him. A second emergency C-section sort of rocks your world and I didn’t quite know how it would feel until it actually happened. And I was honestly a little overwhelmed with how I would meet the needs of a toddler while meeting the various cries of a newborn, all the while supporting a husband who had a bustling ministry platter. Talk about needy! And as acutely aware of my need as I was, I found myself stubbornly resistant to accepting the offer of help I was given. And you can imagine, if I was so resistant to just say “yes” to what was being graciously offered to me, you can forget about me actually crying out for help.
But God in His grace placed me in a season of my life where I couldn’t not receive the help I was being given. We received delicious meals for many weeks, a huge huge help as it freed me up care for my family without needing to plan and prepare meals. Wesley had fun days of being picked up and taken on a fun adventure of library story-time (he loves books) with a friend, and a fun morning with a loving auntie, uncle and a dog (one of his animal loves), and attending church, where he saw “fwends.” And that’s not including all the prayer support we’ve received from loving church members and texts and cards rejoicing with us as we settled in with our new addition.
And to be honest, all the help-receiving, a.k.a. all my neediness laid to bare, has me in all sorts of uncomfortable. I know we need help. And it’s a good thing. 1 Cor 12:21 says, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” In my weakness, Christ allowed me to see his strength as his body surrounded me and upheld my family.
I also know it blesses others to give help. Acts 20:35 states, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” I have been blessed many times when someone allows me the joy of entering into their need to walk with them, spiritually and physically in giving help. Yet, I’m still fighting my pride as I reluctantly let go of my desire to appear competent and in control. I’m in process. I’m in process of growing in humility as I relish in this particularly needy season of my life where I’m needing prayer for getting through each moment of each day. I’m in process of growing in humility as there are two little ones who are instruments that reveal particular sins of my heart. I’m in process of growing in humility as I cling even more dearly than I have ever before to God as I see how deep my desperation goes.
And it’s comforting to know that the needier I am, and the more readily I can admit my need, the more I experience God’s sufficient grace sustaining me through my loving church family.