Next Steps: Receive Support From Others
Two people are better off than one,
for they can help each other succeed.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
ECCLESIASTES 4:9-10 (NLT)
One of the hardest things for me on my journey through suffering was to receive help from others. I always wanted to endure on my own – not rely on anyone but myself. Unfortunately, the journey becomes extremely lonely and difficult when we try doing it alone.
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.
Being an amputee, I need a lot of physical support. Initially, I tried to do everything on my own – dress myself – put my luggage in the overhead bin – hang our Christmas lights. Pride got in the way. I did not want to humble myself and ask for help so I would struggle through the task becoming frustrated and then angry. It was not a pretty picture.
I have learned through the years though that I do need physical help – though humbling, it sure makes life a lot easier. Jan now tucks my pockets, puts my belt through the loops where I cannot reach and ties my shoes. When someone offers to put my luggage in the overhead bin – I gladly accept his or her help. As for the Christmas lights – I no longer hang them!!!!
“Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life.
Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend.”
CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON
Going through the valley, I also needed emotional support. I needed the listening ear and understanding heart of a trusted family member or friend. I needed a ‘safe person’ to whom I could open my heart – share my fears and doubts – cry with – and not be judged.
Fortunately for me, I found that ‘safe person’ in Jan. She has listened to me, cried for me because I could not, just held me when there were no words and loved me when I did not deserve it. But at the same time, I can’t tell you how many times she has given me a swift kick that has challenged me to move forward again.
It is personal interaction such as this – the gentle hug and the swift kick – that helped me take those first steps forward. It can come only from someone tangible – someone you can touch, feel, and see. When someone reaches out to me, I experience the awesome gift of God’s expression of love towards me.
“Modern research echoes what the Bible has said for centuries: people who have intimate connections in which they are vulnerable and honest generally live better, function at higher levels, and heal faster than those who are isolated or distant from others. We all need the fuel of love and relationship to continue growing and healing.”
DR. JOHN TOWNSEND
When I experienced the dark night of the soul, I desperately needed spiritual support. During this time, I had no desire to even pick up the Bible to read. That was when Jan would step in and offer to read to me – to encourage me. She became my Bible. I was humbled.
The majority of this time I didn’t feel like praying but that was when my closest friends would come alongside and pray for me. In my darkest moments, I often would receive a call or a card from a friend or group from church saying that they were praying for me. I was so grateful that they stood in the gap for me – this encouraged me to move on.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another—
and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
HEBREWS 10:25 (NIV)
Remember my friends, while there are seasons in our lives for giving – there are also seasons for receiving. As humbling as it may be, learning to receive will lighten your burden and help you to endure the journey.
On the journey with you,