Accepting Assistance: I Can’t Always Be a Blessing, Sometimes I Need to be Blessed

Although I have been chronically ill for 17 years, and accepting that I need help or assistance is an ongoing struggle.  I know part of that reason is because of how unpredictable my chronic illnesses are.  I may be able to do something one day, but not the next. 

Lending a hand

Two years ago, a dear friend of mine was dying from cancer.  A few of her friends and I all pitched in to help her and her family.  One day my friend was frustrated that she couldn’t do something and became angry when I told her I would take care of it.  She didn’t want help, she didn’t want to lose her independence, she wanted to live like she used to.  I reminded her that sometimes we have to put our pride aside and accept help, that by allowing others to help her she was also blessing them.  She grumbled, but she knew it was true.

A tough pill to swallow

Most people like to help others.  Whether it be feeding the homeless or holding the door open for someone, it feels good to know we did something to make the other person’s life a little better.  What we don’t like is being the one who needs assistance.  The hardest pill for me to swallow is my pride.  It pains me to accept when I am need of help.  Accepting my need for assistance is much harder for me to come to terms with than actually asking for help.  My pride is what has prevented me from accepting offers of assistance in the past.  When my health took a hit last summer, I had to swallow that pill and allow my friends and family to take care of things or help me with tasks that I was ashamed to admit that I needed help with.  Since then my health has improved, and I am no longer the one who always needs assistance, but because I was in the position of having to be blessed for so long I have improved in acknowledging when I do need help.  It is not easy; in fact, I don’t think it will ever be.  But I have found the sooner I can come to terms with needing assistance, the sooner I can tackle my issues of asking for help.  Something that has helped me is I remind myself that this is just a season in my life, it will pass and there will be seasons in which I am the one helping again.   

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