Maybe you should ask for help
Maybe you should ask for help.
I rolled to my side, yawned and stretched my arms overhead, still tangled up in my bed sheets. As I woke up, this one sentence slowly rose to the surface. I had just finished dreaming about a high-speed chase and my heartbeat was slowly returning to normal when that thought popped into my mind. Maybe you should ask for help.
When I went to bed the night before, I asked God to help me process a situation in my life. I had been internally struggling, not sure which direction to go, so I asked God for his wisdom. Then I fell asleep. I’ve been learning that God speaks to us in a variety of ways, including sometimes through our dreams, so I was secretly hoping he’d plaster the answer in the sky of my dream. Instead, I entered the realm of a high-speed chase.
Just like in the movies, I found myself running from the bad guys, calling 911, and being rescued by the police. A lot of police swarmed into the grocery store where I hid (of all places!) and saved me from the bad guys who were driving a big white van. Complete with a cameo from my old gym trainer, my life was spared. And then I woke up.
“God, what was that about?” I asked.
Maybe you should ask for help.
Hmm…interesting, I thought. Then I realized I was almost late for yoga class, so I ran out the door. During class, though, I couldn’t shake the dream. I knew it was from God — an answer to my prayer — I just didn’t know what it meant. So I asked, “God, what does it mean?”
I’ve come to learn that sometimes God answers immediately, but sometimes he answers in a whole bunch of puzzle pieces. It’s one of the ways he grows my patience, I suppose! I do know it’s out of love, though, and the answer seems that much sweeter when it comes later on. His timing is always perfect.
I’m in the midst of a job search right now, so I had a call with a mentor of mine this afternoon. We talked about job and networking updates, but then he said, “How are you doing really?” I said, “About a 7.” He said, “If you get below a 5, call me. You promise you’ll call me? People don’t know if you need help unless you ask them for it.”
I nearly dropped the phone. That one sentence caught my breath. People don’t know if you need help unless you ask them for it. This is another way I’ve learned God speaks — through other people. And in patterns.
“Help must be the theme of the day,” I thought. Then I had a revelation. I have been terrible at asking for help.
I told Bob I’d call if I felt below a 5 (on a scale of 10), but how many times had I called in the past when I was feeling crummy? Zero. I know Millennials don’t really make phone calls, but this wasn’t a Millennial problem. This was a “go-it-alone-figure-it-out-on-your-own” mentality. Why do some of us do that?
In an era when information is at the tip of our fingers, we tend to go that route first, don’t we? Read an article online. Watch a YouTube video. Listen to a podcast. These resources are great — but they never seem to fix what’s wrong deep down. Maybe that’s because they’re not filling our deepest need, a need we don’t even realize.
I used to have a ton of recurring dreams where I was being chased. It was me, all alone, being chased by a few bad guys. Last night’s dream was different. I was never alone while I was chased. My old gym trainer was there with me the whole time (I’m still trying to figure that one out) and A LOT of police swarmed in to help me. During the whole situation someone was with me. That was new.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but I lived a lot of my life feeling like I was alone. Like I had to make things happen or nothing would happen. Like I had to provide for myself or no one would take care of me. Like I had to figure everything out because I didn’t want to be a burden. Only recently am I learning what it’s really like to be a part of God’s family.
When you become a daughter or son of God, you are given the Holy Spirit and the Bible actually calls him “Helper.” He’s inside you and comes to fill you and you’re actually never alone. He’s the first person we can go to when we need help.
But God also didn’t create us and place us on individual islands. He gave us each other. Sometimes when we ask God for help, he sends us a human. Or like in my dream, sometimes he asks us to ask a human to help us. And that is okay. That is more than okay. A dear mentor of mine says that healing actually happens in the connection — in the connection with God, ourselves and others. When we can be our true selves with God, ourselves and others, we can experience true freedom and healing.
Who do you call when you need help?
It’s okay if you don’t have an answer. Last year, my dad passed away and I ended up isolating myself from a lot of people. I’m just recently reconnecting with friends and making new ones. It’s okay if you’re in that process, too. But maybe God is inviting you to invite some people in. Maybe he’s inviting you to reconnect. Maybe he’s inviting you to take a risk and find a friend. Maybe he’s inviting you to ask for help, too.
I took a breath this afternoon, swallowed my pride, and decided to go for it. I sent a text message to a friend (hey, I am still a Millennial! Maybe I’ll make a phone call some day) that said, “Hey, I’m struggling with a situation. Can you call me when you have a chance? I need some help.”
Will it be the answer to my prayer? Who knows? But at least I won’t be going at it alone.
Who are you going to call today?