I had a very generous offer last week from my mother-in-law to pay for a once a month maid service that caught me completely off guard, and left me feeling awkward.
A few weeks before that I had a generous offer from my mom to help me start up my Cookie Lee business, which also left me feeling awkward.
Last week two friends offered to come over and help me clean and organize my house before our trip home, awkward again.
I don’t like HELP. I like HELPING, but I don’t like RECEIVING the help. I like to be the one that gives it and never needs it. The last few weeks have been a huge lesson to me in being on the receiving end of help. I started wondering why I felt uncomfortable. Why was it awkward for me? Why did I physically feel ILL at the thought of someone helping me? Why did I feel like their initial offers weren’t sincere? Why did I feel like they thought less of me becaue they were offering help?
Yes, all of those insane thoughts went through my mind with each of the offers I mentioned before.
I twittered a thought I had at 1 in the morning while laying in bed about this…. accepting help makes me feel like I’ve just stamped FAILURE across my forehead.Clearly I wasn’t good enough at something, so I needed help. Clearly I couldn’t do something on my own, so I needed help. Clearly I was incompetent, so I needed help. You see the pattern??
It might also have to do with my perfectionistic tendencies. Yes I said perfectionist. If you know me, you know I’m unorganized and messy. That’s because if I can’t do something PERFECTLY and have it STAY PERFECT, I don’t want to do it at all. So I don’t. And then I’m frustrated and overwhelmed. And need help. 😉
A lot of my doubts about the sincerity of these offers is indicitive of my own doubts about myself. Really I’m not WORTH the time or money someone is putting out to help me, so why would their offer be sincere? Really it’s MY OWN fault that I am in the predicament I am in, so I should be responsible and take care of it myself…. so again, not worthy of a sincere offer. Really they’re just being nice and hoping I say no….which I usually do at first. Part of that is me testing the waters to see if they really mean it. Not fair at all of me, but it is my natural reflex. I hate that part about me. (I hate admitting this here too) I am very gun shy about taking someone up on an offer when they give it….something I am trying to work on.
One thing my mom said when she was insisting I take her offer was that it was more for her than it was for me. My mother-in-law said it was a blessing to them to help in this way. My friends said they love to organize and clean and it was FUN for them. (can you imagine?! haha!)
I am learning that in the same way I experience JOY when helping others, they do to. If I decline their offers I am keeping them from doing what God has put on their hearts to do. Keeping them from experiencing the joy that comes from helping others. Keeping them from doing what God commands us to do….lift eachother up. I would also be missing out on the learning experience God is walking me through because of their generosity. I am having to examine myself a bit more and deal with these insecurities and unrealistic expectations of myself to go through life on my own, without help, in whatever form.
Now, who am I to stand in God’s way?