I ran into some trouble. Things piled up. I became frantic. Started to cry. Panicked even. “There’s no way I can do this, God.”
And then, as so often happens, I heard a whisper.
“Ask. Just ask for help.”
I argued. You see, I’ve asked for help before, and well, humans can let us down. It happens. I have been guilty of disappointing others and one unfortunate truth is that no one ever means to. I never meant to, but I did. Laying blame is ineffective, but recognizing it as a fact of human existence –well that is a different thing entirely. We disappoint each other because we’re human, and when it happens, it’s hard sometimes to extend grace. I’ve had to learn new lessons in that very thing, and I suspect there are many more lessons to come.
Arguing with God–it’s hard to win. The whispering persisted.
“Ask. Just ask for help.”
The asking required me to go far outside my die-hard introverted comfort zone, but I asked. I started a secret Facebook group, inviting some friends with the hearts to help, and the skill and talent to do so. I called the group Crystal needs help (and it’s hard to ask). Within five minutes, the first friend typed, “I’m in.” By day’s end, almost all were, and I changed the title of the group to Crystal’s Amazing Circle.
I felt the muscles in my neck relax, the grinding of my teeth ease. The trouble isn’t gone. The pile-up is still there. My friends, however, are helping to take the pieces down, and in so doing, are helping me.
I am grateful. Humbled. Quieted.
I’ve been pondering about this thing called “the ask” since then. Why is it so hard? Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit with a young man I’ve known since before he was born. His mother and I are college-friends. Now, in our fifties, she remains in my inner circle. Her son had an ask, and I know it was hard because such things always are (though hopefully we didn’t make it TOO hard).
The giving part, from our end, was a joy. Truly. I wonder if that particular situation was put in our path immediately before I was faced with an ask so that I could be reminded of such immense satisfaction.There is joy in being to help out. When we can’t fix what’s wrong, but we can help to ease a burden, it brings a particular joy which can neither be measured nor duplicated. It’s one of the mysteries for which logic is useless.
Today I write from a place of gratitude, reminded once more of the unforced rhythms of grace, and the dozen women who have formed a circle around me.
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.