I struggle asking for help, especially when I really really need it. This was my first flat tire – ever – right after visiting with a patient on services for Hospice. This situation reminded me of my helplessness when I am in situations that I can’t fix and in need of help. I wanted to share that I’m still learning y’all. Scroll down for the video I made right after they drove away but didn’t share until today. Then read the social media posts I made last night- I couldn’t go to sleep without acknowledging how affected I was by this experience of being helped by complete strangers in my time of need. Afterwards, I’m reminded of another Hospice patient who shared a hymn with me during my visit and how it explains my faith you see today. Finally, there are links to previous blog posts I made about other difficult and unexpected experiences in a variety of life situations. Take a look around and may you be encouraged through it all.
I wrote about this last night on FB and IG @sejanashines but I edited out the young men’s situation for brevity. I wanted to share it here (it’s not the same as the video).
This was shared online on social media the night of the incident:
My first flat tire – ever – happened today leaving a patient’s home for hospice. I was able to make it to a gas station to try and fill it up but it didn’t work- it was actually flat. But when I opened my trunk, I found nothing but an empty doughnut foam tire holder. With no spare tire, what was I going to do?
I really didn’t know what to do next and so I’m texting my spouse who is 45 minutes away about the situation. I’d easily reach out and ask him for help than to ask a stranger near me for help. Am I the only one?
But guess what happened as I was sitting in my car, on the phone?
Two young guys come over and offer to help me.
I was so grateful.
I wish I gotten a selfie picture of all of us before they left – I really wanted to – but these words will have to suffice. I can’t thank those guys enough for offering to help a stranger. I keep thinking about the cross the one young man was wearing and I want to buy and wear a simple cross like that too. I avoided wearing crosses on my neck for various reasons but today, for me, without words and right in the middle of my predicament, when I saw that cross I knew that God provided for me today when I was too proud to ask any strangers for help. Even when I need it most, God knows I am super slow to ask (if at all). So the Lord sent someone to me; God met me right where I was- literally- today.
And maybe that’s what I do for others.
I want others to see and to know that help indeed comes from the Lord.
I was comforted today by the cross. That symbol means a lot of things and sometimes it means nothing to those that wear it for fashion. But as for me, today that cross the young man wore reminded me that I cannot save myself. Sometimes I need others to help me and specifically, the cross reminds me I need Jesus, who made a way for me.
I just need to tell you all this tonight before I go to bed! God provided again- thank you God! Thank you to those 2 young men who helped me! May they get to their homes safely. May the Lord bless them abundantly for their willingness to reach out. May I continue to remember how hard it was to ask for help and to be open and courageous to offer support.
I’m thankful for a few friends who commented on FB that helped me to further flesh out what I want to share about this experience for me:
When a good friend commented how frightening/frustrating this must have been for me, I responded a word of thanks and said:
“It was frustrating and I froze up inside and didn’t know what to do. Thinking about it now (and out of the situation) I feel less helpless. I see I cut out more about their situation in my editing because I knew my post was too long. They said they had been on the road 7 hours because they were going hours the wrong way on I-35 after dropping off some racehorses. They were supposed to be home already. They’re not from here and we’re just passing through. I didn’t even ask them how long they had of a drive left or where they were from. They literally just helped me, while poking fun at one another, and made me feel less like an idiot when I said I don’t have a spare. I don’t have a doughnut tire. I think it’s a flat. “
Religiousness at work
When a US Army Chaplain who went through the same Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program as I (in a military context) and friend commented that while he’d not thought much about wearing a cross before, due to being in uniform, he shared that hearing this story has prompted him to reflect further about this. I responded:
“You’re right; we are invited to consider these deeper questions for ourselves in wearing religious symbols and in the roles we play for others as Chaplains. I know that I’d be the same person wearing it or not but it could be a significant barrier when approaching some. One of the reasons why I didn’t want to wear a cross before was because I wanted my person, my actions, my words to speak my faith to others but yesterday, just seeing it, even as no one spoke a word about faith, was so comforting to me in that crazy situation. So I’m rethinking my stance even though I know it could turn some away from wanting me to listen and care for them at all- perhaps. But I don’t know. …. What are some of your questions, even outside of work?”
What about you?
I wonder what are your reactions to this situation? Does anything come up for you from reading/watching my experience?
Confession – keeping it real
I also want to share that I lamented this morning to my spouse that yesterday I did nothing for the woman who came into the tire shop asking the front desk if she could buy 1 used tire. They don’t sell used tires there so she turned around and left. I had my work laptop set up on the counter watching the bay, with my bag, trying to do some charting and I happened to overhear this question. I heard the question and I did nothing.
I think about this this morning and I feel a bit of shame that I did nothing for this woman. Instead of risking and offering myself to her in that moment, I immediately thought ‘if I were to run after her to ask her if I could help her- what would I do with all my work stuff? I can’t leave this unattended. Also, what if she is embarrassed because of my question? I don’t want to make it worse.” I over think things. I let thoughts talk me out of action. Sometimes, I know those thoughts have protected me too but yesterday, it caused me to do nothing for her in that moment. This bothers me because I want to be the type of person who acts.
My husband reframed my words and said, “That sounds like a genuine need to ask for 1 used tire. … You’re beating yourself up about it. You’re not good on the fly.” He’s right. I’m not. But we talked about this (in a whole lot of detail) and next time, if that or something like it comes up again, I’ll be more ready. But, deep inside, I still feel like because I was getting my needs met in that moment (I had just paid almost $700 for 4 brand new tires and installation as well as a rim to create a spare) – I was set. I was good to go. And so quickly, I had forgotten what it felt like to be the one in need and possibly not wanting to ask for help. I thought, Why buy a used tire when you could buy a new one (especially if you just need a tire and they didn’t sell used ones)? She has a need. My husband again (I so appreciate this man so much) tells me “you help people all day- you weren’t thinking about it then.” He’s right I do help people ‘all day’ at work. This whole situation caught me completely off guard. Now here I am- the helper – needing to be helped but refusing to ask for it. I didn’t think about others in those moments – I thought about me. I felt so helpless and when someone came to help me, I felt so very grateful.
Now that I’m thinking more clearly, I just want to remember this experience and pass it on. May it be helpful to someone else in some way as well.
I found some other posts from when I had other car troubles! My husband says anytime I’ve called him for help – it was always dealing with a vehicle. First of all, I don’t CONSTANTLY call him for help (haha) but over the 15 years we have been married, yes, I’ve found myself in some binds and he’s the first one I was able to call. I’m so grateful for his partnership and I am very aware that not everyone has this. I also have the grace and mercy of the Lord who operates in ways unseen, through the actions of others, and often through experiences completely out of our control. These situations are, for me, an experiential reminder that although I’m a very independent person, I’m reminded that I simply cannot ‘do all things’ for my own self. My life is not 100% in my control. I believe that no matter the situation, whether it is unexpected or not or difficult or not- the Lord remains and this truth is comforting for me.
I’m writing this post now and reminded about another Hospice visit yesterday and the beautiful woman who shared with me a hymn that was in her mind called, “Through It All” that I hadn’t heard before. I found it on YouTube and we sang it together. She told me to remember her when I heard this song, and I AM!
Other posts about difficult experiences:
ANOTHER vehicle issue in 2018 “When things don’t go as planned”
Difficulties in parenting (and foster care) called “It must be hard raising kids”
Our uprooted move to Korea due to the miltary in “It’s not easy starting over after a move”
My expectations for our trip to Cambodia was stripped away in “Unexpected Journey”
A stranger inspired ME! I realized my posts were actually reaching out to others in the way that I hoped for! in “the power of sharing digitally”
My second LIVE broadcast during the start of COVID back in 2020 from Korea “Bible Time & Worship Episode 2” (There ended up being 30 of these!)
Bible devotion from Exodus called “God knows you and is preparing you (Exodus 13:17-18)”
My response in a very difficult home life season called “When you are struggling”
A whole bunch of blogs tagged with ‘obstacles’ https://sejanashines.com/category/trials/obstacles/ or ‘trials‘ or ‘spiritual growth’
4 thoughts on “I struggled asking for help. Again.”
Great shares. I’m reading Anne Bogel’s Don’t Overthink It right now and recognizing a lot of habits of mind that keep me from asking for help or jumping in right away to act for others. Good news is that these are things we can continue to work on! I’m so behind on all of your stuff. Glad I had a moment to sit with your words tonight.
That sounds like a book I might need! Thanks for the recommendation! What if I said I didn’t really want to ‘work on’ these things but instead just have it all together and I never need any help? Cause that’s what I’d really prefer. 😬 I know that’s not even the Christian way, but still. I struggle. Hey, thanks for checking out my work! You’re all caught up- I haven’t been putting out as much as I’ve been thinking about in my blog. How about you?
This post was so amazing and I loved it so much. It was def a blessing and definitely Christlike of them to help you and do so w/o complaining. And to think with smiles on their faces when they were probably so fatigued already. This past Christmas I was in the car at Walmart heading to work and my moms key fob stopped working and it caused the car not to start. (usually means the key needs a new battery, apparently there is another way to start the car in this instance, but at the time I was unaware). I was so worried b/c it was 6am and I was trying to be at work early b/c it was a holiday and I had a lot of prep. I called my next door neighbor and he was about to be on his way, but the car suddenly started. I drove it home and switched keys. I was blessed it started up b/c my poor neighbor hasn’t been well for sometime, and it was early and I could tell I woke him up. I don’t know who else I would have called had I ended up needing him, my mom doesn’t drive and you know my situation. I would not have been able to get a hold of anyone else that early in the morning. To be honest, my next step would have been ask Facebook, and see if I’d get a response. My dad was always my go to who I called when I had a vehicle issues… and he’s gone. 😦 I’m blessed that happened the way it did, but I often wonder for myself since I don’t have any family help and friend help is far few and between at times.I left a comment on your Youtube video as well. Next time you feel hesitant to help remember Proverbs 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it
when it’s in your power to help them.” I know we can’t help all the time, but when we get that nudge we should. These things are great reminders that God is there in ways big and small.
Thank you for sharing Anna. I know you to be a person always helpful to others especially the homeless, which is something I’ve always admired about you. Thanks for the verse, I’ll have to reread the whole Psalm and think about it. I’m so glad you have your neighbor to call – 6am is really early and they were willing. May I be willing to should anyone ever have the guts to reach out to me in need. I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) even ask for myself so I know if some people get to the point of calling – it sure is a big deal. …I know your dad is no longer here on Earth with you – I know he would be if he could though. It seems like you guys loved each other very much.