When she was talking she shared how difficult it had been to leave her son's home because he wanted her to stay. She's been a widow for just over a year, she's not exceptionally young (although by her spunk you'd never guess her age), and all of her kids are concerned by the confusion she often displays. Thankfully I am around to keep a watchful eye out but I'm also not always home so I am definitely limited on my ability to intercede if the situation should arise.
I offered her both words of encouragement and advice. I told her that I understood her desire to maintain her independence but that it is sometimes okay to let someone take care of you. And then I told her about the time I was basically refusing to slow down on anything I was doing until a broken foot completely took me out of the game. And since it was my right foot, not only could I not do laundry because of the stairs, I couldn't drive. For seven very long weeks.
After she left, I rememberd the words I'd read from Parker Palmer's book Let Your Life Speak: "The words we speak often contain the counsel we are trying to give ourselves." And with that thought fresh on my mind, I stopped.
I am notorious for not accepting help. Ask anyone who knows me. I will profess that I will get it done one way or another, even if I'm killing myself in the process. This is most annoying to my 13 year old man-child who wants to do more things himself. Granted, this may have to do with me living in denial that he is growing up, but still. He is so often willing to help and I am forever turning him down. The same is true for my husband, although I've started to let go with him more. I have always been of the mindset that I am home and it's my job to do these things. But he also knows the reality that some days are just harder for me and that sometimes I really do need help, although I would be the last person to admit it.
What's so frightening about this is that 2 days ago I wrote about the fact that I white knuckle everything! Perhaps my shared prayer through Ephesians yesterday is making me more accountable to the fact that I don't want to grieve the Spirit in me and that I am doing just that by refusing to let God help me. Clearly it's obvious just how much Jesus this hot mess needs and why.
As soon as I knew that this was what I was to write about today, I immediately knew that the only way to end this post is with a Casting Crowns song. I pray that if you are like me at all and have a dire need to control everything, that slowly we'll both start to loosen our grips and realize that the only grip that matters is the one that's holding on to us.