When I was diagnosed with MS, walls went up. Some were already there, but the new walls went up with great speed. And they continued going up. Fight or flight? Well, since I couldn’t run, I usually hid.
I used to hide behind being the best, being—or at least seeming to be—better than you. I am not the best at anything, but I am my best at everything. I used to hide behind my black belt and drum set, behind my “bad-ass” reputation (that some couldn’t even see, but it was somehow there, not that I stopped it). Though I was never and am even less now physically strong, I am strong. I used to hide behind the crowd, and though I wanted to stand out, I still wanted to blend in. Now I see where I am in it, and from the crowd break out from within.
It has been a process, but my walls have been coming down. I think it was this last summer when I began to see God trying to get my attention until I put my complete trust and dependence all in him.
I’ve never liked asking for help or accepting help offered. I didn’t want the extra attention it drew. This last summer on project, though, I think I was babied a bit (not that I minded). I received help without asking for it when I needed it. It has taken a long time—seven years, actually, but I have finally stopped being embarrassed or ashamed of my limp and the help I need from others. I started using the handicap sticker in my car because if I’m tired, it’ll just get worse if I go on a hike to find my car where I parked it. I link arms with friends who are walking with me so that I can go slightly faster and not topple over (or get completely wiped before I reach m destination—it depends on the day). John Stott quotes one of his Christian influenced, Rev EJH Nash in Radical Disciple: “Indeed, humiliation . . . [is] the road to humility” (105). I have looked past the humiliation of not being able to do things on my own, and have become humble enough to ASK for the help. Stott states, “I believe that the dependence involved in these experiences can be used by God to bring about greater maturity in us” (102). God used the dependence I need on others physically to get my dependence on him spiritually.
“God’s design for our life is that we should be dependent” (Stott, 110). Indeed, he is talking about all walks of life: when we are a baby or sick or old, we depend on others for physcl needs. But, Stott continues, “We are all designed to be a burden to others. . . . And the life of the family, including the life of the local church family, should be one of ‘mutual burdensomeness’” (110). We hate being burdens to others, I feel it is in our nature. But don’t you see? If we are called to be ONE BODY, don’t shared burdens come with that? Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
This does NOT mean to be a needy person who lays out all her problems to everyone. I think we can all agree that people who just do that aren’t very much fun to be around. “There are times and seasons in which we are called…[to]…independence rather than dependence” (Stott, 109). I think prayer is a biggie, to pray for other burdens that have been shared with you, or even your own burdens. For who is bigger than this all? “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). I also think that dependence on God is a necessary always. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Smiling and Depending, Anna =)^2