I was raised by a single mom who (inadvertantly) taught me the dangers of trust and the benefits of independence. Asking for help is not something in which I’ve had much practice. My tendency is to build a bunker, grit my teeth and ‘tough’ my way through. The bunker mentality leads to isolation which ultimately leads to despair… It’s impossible for me to be everything to Anne and to the rest of my family. In my weakness, my independence only leads to failure.
Because of the public nature of our tragedy, we’ve been surrounded and uplifted. But a year and a few months after the accident, we have slipped out of the forefront, and I find myself in the uncomfortable place of asking for help. Needing help is another paradox in God’s Kingdom. I am greatly blessed by the help of others…
One example – a teenager in our church who has suffered much loss in her own life has an extra dose of compassion for special needs children. She will be Anne’s ‘guide’ during VBS this week. I can’t help but think that God hand-picked her to help before the creation of the world. She is a blessing.
Another example… One of Anne’s Sunday school teachers just out of college has been struggling with joblessness and a sense of purpose. But in this season of uncertainty she has built a network of single girls in her same season, organized a babysitting club, and because of her connections – has found me help for the summer. She is a blessing.
And lastly, a dear friend who is experiencing a season of freedom after years of financial hardship was sharing her wisdom with me. I lamented to her, “I want wings, but I feel God’s hand pressing me down.” And she reminded me… even though her newfound freedom is a gift, it is also a temptation to fly away from the nearness of God. “Slow down, Kathryn. Cherish His nearness.”
Where would I be without the body of Christ? Thankfully, I do not have to live in isolation. God has a better way!