I don’t lean. It’s not a thing I’ve ever been comfortable doing. What happens if you go to lean and no one is there to catch you? You fall. So, I take care of me. I also try to take care of the rest of the world (I’m a caretaker…), but I do not lean and ask others to take care of me.
I won’t even pretend that’s a healthy way to be, and I’ve worked over the years to at least accept offered help. But you’d be hard pressed to find a time I’ve ASKED for help.
Besides the obvious issues with this…there’s also one that I don’t consider often enough.
In my efforts to be self sufficient and not lean on other people…I sometimes forget to lean on God.
I realized today that I’ve been doing that again. I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed and like I don’t belong…that I forgot to lean on the one with which we always belong…the one who carries us when we’re afraid we’ll fall.
It took me crying in public to see this. And, you guys…I’m not just talking crying…I legitimately tried to make it to privacy before I cried, but I was full on ugly crying by the time I got to my car. And multiple people saw it.
And when I say ugly crying…picture Dawson Leery. UG-LY Crying. (Hey, whatever I do in life…I do it full force…including embarrassing myself. 🤣 )
The reason I was crying…it’s stupid. I KNOW it’s stupid. But…today was the race that a whole bunch of people signed up for because it should have been the first time I could run again. But…I can’t run again. And, because my friends love me, they still wanted me there. So…I went…and I shivered…and I waited on my friends to finish doing something together that I used to be a part of. (And will be again, but right now I’m not.) And then I watched everyone laughing with their medals and taking pictures together and…I have never felt more like I didn’t belong anymore. So, I ran. I tried to run before they could see the tears.
But, of course, I didn’t make it. And, not only did some people see that ugly crying face…but a woman whom I really respect (in that “I’m in awe of you and a little frightened because I don’t think I can live up to how strong and self assured you are” kind of way…) was the first person I passed once the tears really started to flow.
I was mortified. I could hear my upbringing in my head. “Don’t ever show weakness. Don’t cry. No one cares.” And…here was me…failing at that.
All I could think was, “OF COURSE she’s the one who saw me. 🤦♀️🤦♀️”
But all things happen according to plan. He knew that I needed someone I respected that much to see me fall. He knew that His message would need to come from that person that…if she came to me with that message…I would listen, because I know she’s not one to say things she doesn’t mean.
And that’s what happened.
A couple of hours later, I received a message from her. She told me that she knew today was hard for me. She reminded me that I need to keep allowing myself to heal and that I would run again. Because this is only a season.
I thanked her. Not only for the thought, but because she had lifted this burden from me as I’d been worried that she would think I was weak for crying over something so stupid. And what she replied with stopped me.
“We all have our moments where we are not as strong as we want to be, but this is a time that we are to lean on God for our strength. He will hold us up. It doesn’t matter what others think of us, only how we are viewed in his eyes.”
How is that always the first thing I forget? Honestly, how is that the first thing most of us forget?
God doesn’t judge us as weak when we need to lean. God welcomes us with open arms. Our Father who WANTS to hold us safe in those moments when we feel we can’t keep going. The one who we should remember is proof that we ALWAYS belong. We belong to Him.
If we only allow ourselves to lean.