Getting Well Part 4 – Can You Ask for Help?


We were never intended to figure out life on our own.IMG_3524

I had been one to isolate myself, but this wasn’t God’s plan. When Jesus asks us if we want to get well and offers to instruct us in the ways to healing, he doesn’t say,

Great! Good for you. Have fun figuring that out.

His intention is for other people to be part of our life. Relationships help us in and through our struggles. He wants us to seek people who truly want our best and are willing to tell us the truth even when it may feel painful to us. Only those who are willing to walk alongside us without their own interests, judgments and conclusions will benefit us in healing. Jesus is patient, kind and merciful so we will find the most help through those who treat us like he does.

I had a terrible time asking people for help.

When I was young, a prevailing sentiment in our home was that no one needed to know what went on there. Granted, no one wants to announce to the entire world the intimate workings of their home life. But when secrets are kept due to their inappropriate nature, we may learn to gloss over the truth or simply keep quiet. To tell someone about what happens in our home may feel betraying to us. For me, some things were too shameful to talk about. Other situations were not taken seriously by those whose protection I needed. As a result, later in life, it felt wrong or ineffective for me to ask for help. Even from someone I knew I could trust.

Wasn’t I burdening someone if I asked for their help?

I assumed that people would be too busy to have me bother them. But that wasn’t true. Naturally there is a boundary for inconsiderately calling someone anytime about everything, but choosing to take help that is offered shows wisdom and humility. I had to learn the difference and be willing to seek advice from those who offered to give it.

There are great benefits from getting help!

Trusted friends were able to:

  • Pray on my behalf—especially when I was too overwhelmed or weary.
  • Keep me accountable in the areas I wanted to change.
  • Share their stories of healing that encouraged me.
  • Give me different perspectives so I could think in better ways.
  • Cry with me when I was suffering.
  • Remind me of God’s greatness and ability to do what seemed impossible to me.
  • Celebrate with me when God did great things and led me in new freedom.

Some people may think they have all the answers for us.

They base their advice on what they expect or want for themselves rather than what is best for us. When we’re used to unhealthy relationships, it may be difficult to discern those situations. But someone who truly loves us will put us first; ask how they can serve us; offer suggestions while allowing us the freedom to accept it only if it fits for us; support us in every choice whether they feel it’s good or bad; listen much and talk less; and tell us the truth about who we are not who they want us to be for them.

Learning to get the right help will enable us to get well sooner. Having genuine support makes the journey more bearable. I’m so thankful to those who gave of their lives to make mine a better one.

What about you? Is there someone who truly helps you? Are you still learning to ask for help? Can I help you?
While nothing can replace spending time with an actual person, I still have found these resources to be a great source of help in my journey of healing:

The Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson

When the Woman You Love Was Abused by Dawn Scott Jones

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (fiction)

The Bible – nothing is as powerful as God’s word 🙂

 

5 Ways to Enhance Your Marriage


God and internet dating brought us together…

But staying together and living out the happily-ever-after requires a purposeful choice to nurture our marriage. The past three and a half years have afforded us with ample opportunity to grow in and through our marriage. Some of the ways we have learned to enhance our marriage are:

  1. Pray together. This is something we have recently started doing on a daily basis and it has drawn us together, alleviated conflicts and created such a sweet intimacy. Each morning we start the day asking God to direct our day and at night before we go to sleep, we pray for each other.
  2. Take time to be with each other. Besides taking time to pray, we find that having a weekly date night keeps our relationship fresh and alive. Couples need time to simply be with each other enjoying each other’s company, talking, laughing and being friends. This is not a time to talk about the kids, but a time to connect and remember why we wanted to be married in the first place. Brendan and I still send Skype messages to each other throughout the day whether he’s away at the office or downstairs working. It reminds us of our dating via Skype and keeps us connected. We also set aside an hour each week to read and discuss a book on marriage. We recently attended The Marriage Course and are currently reading Love and War.
  3. Have fun. We have found that the best way to reignite the spark in our marriage is to have a good time together. This may be on a date night playing pool, or enjoying a game of Sudoku together or even having a good tickle fight. Laughing together  releases tension and resets our attitude toward life and toward each other. The Bible says that laughter is good medicine. We’ve found it to be the best.
  4. Think the best about each other. Often it’s easy to assume our spouse is thinking or meaning something by their words that they aren’t which leads to misunderstandings and disagreements. We are learning to assume the best rather than the worst. If in doubt, ask kindly. Most often what we felt hurt or offended by was a whispered lie to our heart from the enemy of our soul.
  5. Make love well and often. When God created us, he created male and female in his image and said man and wife should cleave to each other. That physical union wasn’t only to pro-create or bring pleasure (although aren’t we glad it does?); it was intended as a melding of two spirits, souls and bodies into one. To intimately share ourselves with our spouse in the way God designed is actually an act of worship and a renewed pledge to our spouse. In addition, it slams the devil (who seeks to divide and destroy us) in the face with a “take that!”

Brendan and I still have much to learn about each other and about marriage, but every day we are more in love and grateful for this incredible life together. The more regularly we apply these tools to our relationship, the more we grow as individuals and as a couple. We’re thankful God brought us together through an online dating site from two continents apart, but we are even more appreciative of the methods he’s given us to keep our marriage alive and exciting. Give it a try! Your marriage is worth it.

What are some ways you enhance your marriage? Have you read any good marriage books lately? What type of fun do you enjoy together?