A few years ago my parents house burned down. While we were back there visiting I was surprised to see what a hard time my Mom was having accepting charity and help. I don't know if she would tell you the same thing but I saw it and was surprised. I would even venture to say I was shocked by her unwillingness to accept it.
I thought it was silly, people want to help you and you need help why would you have difficulty with that? Well now I know that I have a similar problem accepting offers of help. And I still don't know why I feel the way I do.
Since we announced our moving we had several generous offers to help us. Offers of anything and everything, food, advice, helping pack, helping with getting the house ready, and sympathetic ears to listen to our difficulties.
Sounds lovely right? Well it is, but it turns out I have no clue how to ask for help or accept help even when it is freely offered. D had a friend come over to help him move furniture and stage the house. The friend ended up doing that and helping paint an area, on the fly. I mean the decision to paint that day was made half an hour before the paint can was cracked open. Me? I need at least a month's notice. I mean it was awesome to have someone that can just jump in and do things that really needed to be done.
Honestly if I had been solely responsible for getting that place ready to show, I'd be looking at a move date of mid 2017. We did so much so quickly that I am astonished. Yeah I was overwhelmed.
Still I could not ask for help, I am astonished by that. Many hands make light work. I know it's true but somehow I could not be the one asking or organizing. I still figuring it out. Maybe I was still dealing with my life getting turned upside down. I just know I am thankful I have a great Hubby that knows how to get stuff done, regardless of whose hands are helping him.
Oddly enough the sermon the Sunday in the midst of all our turmoil was about the Good Samaritan. We were supposed to imagine ourselves as one of the people from the story, the Samaritan, the two people that chose not to help, the robbers, the innkeeper and finally the beaten man. I was amazed when someone said they would feel shame for having accepted help from the Samaritan. (Not like you have much choice when you're dying though.) But then the point was made that letting someone help you also can make the giver of help feel good, so in a way you're helping them right back.
So by denying people helping me I was making myself and others feel bad. They gave me honest willing offers of help all I had to do was accept them.
So I did. Once the movers packed up everything that they should have I called a friend and forced her to take all my food that I could not get into my car. I mean honestly why did I buy three bottles of olive oil?
I took time to see the people that wanted to say goodbye to me and get together one last time, usually over food. One couple even loaned me their GPS unit that helped me safely navigate here. I know I still need to get it back to you, I have not forgotten, I'm just not getting it done yet.
I also received three offers of a place to stay on my last nights in New York. I was blessed to accept a refuge from my stress. They took care of me when I dropped off my cat carriers at the shelter because they did not get packed and I had to let one of my last links to my beloved boys go. (I'm better now, it was a good way to let go.) They fed me, entertained me, gave me a comfortable place to sleep, and sympathy when I complained about the stress. She even made scones for me.
I could not have left New York on better terms. You all made it so hard to go, but I'm so thankful for our time with you.
Thank you to all that have helped us.