On Monday May 17th, our brand new home flooded. Just a few inches, but enough to require major repairs. I woke up to the puddles in my house and immediately just thought what a pain this is.
Over two and a half weeks later, I sit here feeling more blessed than ever from this entire experience. It taught me how to accept help.
We woke Tuesday morning to digest all of the damage that happened. We slowly realized the baseboards needed to be pulled and the sheetrock needed cutting. I was there, with my baby asleep in my arms, listening to my husband work alone. My phone had 26 unread messages – all offers of help, prayers, supplies, food, etc. and I could not bring myself to respond to THEM.
I knew we needed all these things but there was some sense of shame and guilt in replying and accepting the help. Finally, in a group text of about 12 moms someone else mentioned that my family needed help. Within an hour we had all the food, tools, and extra hands ripping up and cleaning our house. Henry was passed around and loved on by 3 families that day. My husband and I went to bed that night, in another persons home, realizing it TRULY takes a village.
Over the last two weeks, we have lived in three different homes. Had 11 different roommates. Had people cook for us, shop for us, AND wash clothes for us.
God backed me into a corner and taught me a lesson I have waited 24 years to learn.
All relationships require give and take.
I am not one to accept help. I rarely ask a favor of someone. But if you need something, I’m your girl. I love to do. I love to go out of my way and help others. It fills my bucket to take care of others. In that moment, sitting in a disaster of a house, I could not even bring myself to ask for help.
These past two weeks people just began doing things without offering or asking. Friends saw and knew what we needed and took care of it. It hurt my heart the first day to accept help and have nothing to give in return. I felt less than. I felt inadequate. I felt like a bad friend.
What is it that makes it SO HARD to just admit that you/we need help?
I finally had a friend tell me, life is full of seasons. This is not my season to give. I have nothing to give. This is my season to take. To let my friends pour their God given gifts out on my family. That changed my entire perspective. Instead of saying “I owe you” to just about everyone, I said “thank you, I love you, and we appreciate you.”
I ditched the mindset that I needed to do it all myself and instead accepted the fact that one day, soon enough, this season will end and I will be able to give again.
We have all heard the saying, and probably even said it ourselves, that it takes a village.
Life really does take a village. A village full of people with different gifts. A village full of people who are ready to both give and take in relationships. This village and this balance of sharing our gifts with one another is what makes the world go round. It is WHAT makes friendships so special.
Our house flooding is just a bad memory now. We walk away stronger people. I walk away a humbled person. I am now a better friend because I allowED others to give. Life is about give and take. We are not made to do it all ourselves. We are not equipped to do it all ourselves. There is no shame in asking for and accepting help.