“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” – James 4:10
There’s a song with those words that I learned as a little girl at camp. I love to sing it into the wind and waves every time I go to the beach. I feel a peaceful awe during those times. If only I could remember that in everyday life. God is hitting me from multiple avenues with the same lesson today: humility.
When I was a Social Worker, I helped people in need. I helped them find any resources that might be able to get them to their feet. I felt genuine compassion for them, but I would have never dreamed the empathy I would learn while unexpectedly finding myself in their shoes.
I don’t think I realized until now how opposite my mind still is from my need. It seems to be set in stone that I help; I don’t need help. My friend that I haven’t seen in years and only email occasionally sent me some applications for Lyme treatment grants she stumbled upon and I thought, what kind of Social Worker am I that I didn’t find these myself? I mentioned in my email response that Jason and I really want to move but can’t afford it and her next response was filled with all kinds of resources and ideas for that issue as well. I honestly felt dumbfounded. Where has my mind been? Oh yeah, pride. When I read the names of some of the agencies she suggested, I shockingly found myself thinking, “We don’t need that much help. We wouldn’t qualify. I’m not one of those people.” But, what on earth am I talking about? Yes, I am one of those people now. And while we’re at it, since when do I categorize people like that? What an eye-opener to find out there must be a part of me that believes people are defined by their need. God, forgive me. Social Work profession, forgive me. I was stunned that I still think I’m immune to such desperate need. How oblivious am I? Pride comes before a fall. And what was I just saying the other day about the humility that comes from wisdom? God, help me.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2
I started talking to God and examining my ways. Here is what I feel when I receive help, even and especially from people who love me: guilt, fear, sadness, stress, worry. I calculate how much I ‘owe’, wonder how long it will be before I can pay it back, worry that I will always feel a debt I cannot pay. I am incapable of truly accepting a gift because I never let it sink into me without condition. God is showing me how very wrong this is. He wants me to feel: gratitude, love, humility, peace. I’m not sure I realized how foreign this is to my works-based heart.
“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” – Psalm 25:9
God knows how much guidance I need and I want to learn to be humble so He can teach me. The concept of allowing the love that comes with a gift into my heart without freaking out about it sounds just beautiful. Why has this been so counterintuitive to me? Maybe one reason God is allowing my need is so that I learn how difficult it was for the people I helped to accept that help. Maybe this is a seriously needed dose of empathy and if that’s the case, I gladly accept. Maybe another reason is so that I can understand God’s love and gifts better. I wonder if I still think of His sacrifice for me with strings attached. I pray God helps me lay down my pride and understand help as pure love. I pray that He replaces my knee-jerk angst with the same peaceful awe I feel when I sing my song at the beach. Because now I’m not only guilty about accepting gifts, but I’m guilty about my guilt/pride! All I can say is, “God, here’s my heart. It needs some serious help!”
Today is another LONG day without Jason. He’s going on some parent field trip tonight at school. As I’ve said before, I sometimes panic without him but I’m doing okay today for the most part. I think I’m herxing a little bit so the dizziness and nausea aren’t fun, but I’m glad to feel the treatment working. Thanks for reading another one of my ramblings. I hope they at least help one person! Oh wait, this post is about me needing help… and writing helps me so… I accept! 🙂
Song I’m Feeling: Humble Thyself in the Sight of the Lord