It was May and I was in the 7th month of my pregnancy. Teaching 5th grade at a newly re-opened neighborhood school was such a joy; the students were at a great age to enjoy seeing the baby’s elbow move across my stomach while I was teaching. The laughter and oohs & aahs were so fun. I left school that Wednesday afternoon to head to my regular OB appointment; excited to hear the baby’s heartbeat again and know how s/he was developing. Little did I know that was the last time I would be in my classroom that school year.
My doctor’s appointment didn’t go so well. What I thought had been Braxton Hicks turned out to be actual pre-term labor. The doctor sent me home with a prescription to stop the contractions and strict orders to be “on bed rest”. What was I supposed to do now? I had a class to take care of and a nursery to get ready. Magnifying the moment was the sad fact that my husband had moved out of our marriage & home two months earlier. I was alone. And I would have to ask for help.
For some people that is no big deal; asking for help makes perfect sense. We’re all wired to be in community and to be sharing and caring for one another. Unfortunately I was not raised to be asking anyone for anything. Helping others in need was a given, but it was NOT ok to be the one in need. To find myself forced to ask for, and depend on, help from others was SO HARD!!!
I came face to face with my pride and my need for control in big ways. And they were not pretty. I had two dogs, a cat, a house, and a classroom that all needed care. How was I going to ask for help with all this? Who would have time? Why would they care? How humiliating!!
Feeling needy and helpless was so foreign.
Have you been there? I wish I could say ‘that was then and now I’ve grown past that and let me tell you how to get over it’ but the truth is I still battle the pride monster.
It’s a push & pull: trying to push past the scary feeling of needing to ask for help and trying to resist the pull back into the old habit.
Paul said it best in his letter to the Roman believers “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience? Yes I’m full of myself—after all I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.” (The Message)
One of the most challenging parts of living in tandem is learning to let go of being in control. If you’re a person who says ‘I could never ride a tandem bike’ you might want to join me in working on control issues! Our need for control starts for different reasons but what I think we’re all really facing is the same issue of trust.
This is no small thing.
How have you dealt with issues of trust?