Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Hard to Find Good Help These Days

It was my junior year.  Prom.  I asked Kevin to be my date.  He said no, that he was going to ask Cynthia.  I found out the day of the prom that he asked her and she said no. He decided if he couldn't go with her, he would not go at all. Not only was I not his first choice, but I wasn't his second or third. I wasn't even a choice!  He would rather NOT go to the dance than go with me. I was crushed and humiliated.

So, I did what any teenage girl would do under that circumstance: I cried.  I cried and cried and cried.  I felt embarrassed  I felt sorry for myself, I felt angry, I felt hurt.  And I felt them all very loudly.

My older brother, Jim(the not-sensitive one), came into my room (I left my door open, just in case anyone heard and wanted to come give me some attention- even though I denied it) to see what the commotion was all about.  I looked up at him through swollen, wet eyes.  He just stood there, staring.  After a few seconds, he simply said, "Hmmmm."  Then he turned around and left!  Now I was rejected by my brother, too!  My cries grew louder and more pitiful.

A few moments later, my oldest brother, Bob (the sensitive one) came into my room.  How did you ever know I was crying, I asked. Jim had told him (although I think everyone within a 5-mile radius probably were wondering what that pitiful sound was.)  Bob sat with me and said all the right things: Kevin was an idiot, and someday he would regret not choosing me, and so on.  I really didn't believe him, but it was just what I wanted, and needed to hear.

For a long time after that I felt upset that Jim didn't help me that night.  He just stood there like an idiot and left to get the one who could really help- Bob.  But, the older I got the more I began to understand Jim.  He is not a touchy-feely guy.  He was not sensitive in the least.  So, when he came into my room and saw the sad condition I was in, he was not equipped nor prepared to give me the assistance he knew I needed.  His way of helping me was getting me the help I needed. If Jim hadn't gone to get Bob, who knows how long I would have kept crying and feeling miserable.

Often times God sends people into our lives to help.  It is difficult to recognize their assistance, because their help doesn't come in the way we feel we need and/or want it.  So, often it goes unnoticed, and unappreciated 

Sometimes we can get so caught up in what WE are feeling or experiencing, that we miss what others are doing for us.  Our little Grace has been in our family for a year now.  For the longest time I kept trying to figure out her needs, and how I can help her.  I began to feel tremendous pressure to figure her out, to have all the answers.  I finally broke down one evening.  As I was praying about the heavy load of expectations and effort,the Spirit spoke softly but unmistakably clearly to me: You have not been given her to help her, she has been sent to you to help you.

I had not expected that.  And, to be honest, I was taken back and a little disappointed.  I am the one that is supposed to teach her. Not vice-versa. As I silently protested and  questioned (bad girl!) But, the Spirit helped me understand that Grace was sent to me to help me become a better person. Just as I hadn't recognized the help Jim had been to me,  I also had not recognized Grace's help to me.

My brother Bob fell from the coveted position of favorite brother, however, a few years later.  I had begun to make some not-so-hot choices.  He caught me and said he was going to tell my parents if I didn't.  I called his bluff. He told my parents. I was grounded for the rest of my life (translated into parent vernacular- grounded for the summer.)  I was furious with Bob for the longest time.  But, after a while I began to see that he had actually helped me.  I began to see that even though his actions were not what I considered helping at the time, they really did help me get back on the better path and become happier.

Jim, Grace, Bob- I know that God placed them in my family - and more specifically- in that particular time, to help me.  It strengthens my testimony that God really is the Great Choreographer. He knows me and what I need better than I know myself. And thank goodness for that!  I'm still trying to figure me out!

We've all heard someone at on point or another say,  "It's hard to find good help these days." Maybe that's true.  But, perhaps are more appropriate sentiment would be, "It's hard to recognize good help these days."

God has placed people in your life, right now, to help you feel better, grow, repent, or just be happy.  They might not look and act like you want them to, or expect them too. But, the fact is that they are here for you. It may be someone that gets you to the one who helps.  It might be someone you struggle with, that causes you to learn and grow.  It might be someone who is brave enough to have you upset with them, as they lovingly (and sometimes not so lovingly) redirect your life.

You may recognize them, you might not.  You may appreciate them, you might not.  You may want them in your life, you might not. No matter what your will is, God tends to stick with His.  And His will is that you learn and grow, with all the help He can give you.

Be open, be prayerful,  be grateful. You might be surprised to find that the neighbor you can't stand has helped you become more tolerant, or the unruly child has helped you say more sincere prayers, and so on.  

Maybe, just maybe, you might find that somewhere in Washington a blogger was prompted to write this to help you see God's hand in your life.  Hmmmm.

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