Seeking help

Often I have pleaded for help from God, but I have often been too proud, too ashamed of my struggles, to reach out to help for others.

The other day, I was dealing with a difficulty in my own life and I wanted better solutions. Though I had prayed, fasted, and talked with my husband, I still didn’t have the answers I wanted.

So I took all my feelings and I wrote an email to my mom, asking for advice.

She wrote me back with exactly the words I needed. Revelation came through her, and then was confirmed and enhanced through the Holy Spirit. I was not able to solve my problem on my own (though I had tried through lots of internet searches). God answered my prayers through others and only after I asked for help.

Sometimes God does not give us the answers in the way we want. We have to do our part in seeking help from others. I’m not saying that we put all our problems out there for everyone to see. Sharing private and personal problems publically can cause hurt and distress. Instead, turn to the Lord first and then share with trusted family members, friends, and others who are put into our lives to help us and guide us.

You don’t have to do it alone. But often we persist in figuratively locking ourselves in a room to deal with our problems, hoping someone will break down the door to help us. We might even shout for help in a vague way. But to receive the help we are entitled to, we have to actually unlock that door and open it through questions and requests for help from the people who already love us and want to help.

That can be so difficult. But it is necessary to receive the full help and blessings that God wants us to have. He will help us know who to reach out to. He can help us know what to say. And He will help us know who we can help when others struggle.

We are not meant to do it by ourselves, even if we want to. We are much better off helping each other through life, but that can only happen if we strip ourselves of pride and unlock the door.

I realized recently that my instinct when I was having a hard time was to isolate myself. Whenever I have hurt and cried, I wanted to be far away from others. It’s still a struggle. But I just started imagining crying while being held by someone else and what that would feel like. That act of visualizing helped start to heal something inside me. I did not have to be ashamed of my tears.

Success in life is not always about knowing the answers; its learning to ask the right questions.

Life is full of struggles for everyone. We need real connection with each other. We need vulnerability, honesty, and trust. When we ask for specific help, we will find it. But often we have to ask first.

Happiness

Happiness is not dependent on circumstance.

Every other time we’ve moved, we really wanted to move. We moved after months of job searching, or after living with my parents, or after living in places we didn’t like. But this last time, while we felt like it was time to move, we liked the life we had. I felt like I was part of a community that I didn’t really want to leave.

Some days, I miss my friends, schools, and my house. Our new life is frankly a whole lot harder: I’m homeschooling now, my husband works longer hours, I’m really far away from town, and I gave up my green yard for a yard full of cactus and red sand. My house is smaller too. It’s taking some adjustment.

But I realized something one morning: my happiness is not dependent on my circumstance. Which means that I don’t have to like where I live to be happy. Happiness does not wait for life to be perfect–it can be here now.

Sometimes I fall into a trap of thinking that I have to see the good in everything. And sometimes, things are just hard and unpleasant. And I can accept that. It’s part of life.

I don’t have to love the paint color on my walls or enjoy my rather narrow kitchen. I don’t have to love every minute of spending all day, every day with my four children. There are things about my life right now that I don’t like and I don’t want. And that’s okay. Because I can still be happy.

It’s takes a lot of pressure off myself to say that I don’t have to enjoy every minute and I don’t have to like every single part of my life–and to then realize that I can still wake up smiling.

There are so many good things, and the good things are enough to outweigh everything lacking. And even when the difficult and hard things are completely overwhelming–it’s okay to cry. I don’t have to be happy all the time to have a happy life.

It’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to dream of something better. It’s okay to feel whatever I’m feeling.

Sometimes I beat myself up for things that I do that aren’t even wrong. I expect myself to fit in a weird, impossible framework that I built up in my own mind. The perfection that I think I want isn’t practical–and it doesn’t exist.

Life isn’t perfect. Life isn’t fair. Life will always be sort of hard. That’s what life is–a roller coaster of ups and downs as circumstances constantly change.

So happiness does not need to wait–it can happen right now. Even if my house is a wreck. Even if I’m really tired. Even if I didn’t accomplish anything in a day. Even if I don’t particularly like where I live. Even if my life looks so different from I ever imagined–and I still wish for dreams that I’m not sure will ever happen.

My happiness isn’t dependent on any of that. Happiness comes not in the accomplishment, but in the trying.

So I’m feeling happy. Not because my life somehow got easier, but because I decided to stop expecting the impossible.