According to my husband and others close to me, I have difficulty accepting or acknowledging if and when I need help. I admit there is more than a morsel of truth to my tendency to do it all myself. On too many occasions, I’ve gotten myself into jams because I tried to tackle things on my own that I couldn’t handle. Whether I failed to seek advice from others or not petitioned for strength—physical and emotional—when the need has arisen, I. Am. Guilty.
I’ve often said my sticky situations were like I Love Lucy episodes, which helps explain my affinity for the zany redhead. The results of my past silence range from getting a refrigerator stuck in a doorway to buying a home that took in ankle-deep water in the finished basement every time it rained. I learned that fact a mere two weeks after closing on the house.
While I admit slight stubbornness mixed with a pinch of pride might contribute to my Lucy moments, there were also times I was on my own with no one to turn to. If the sink backed up, I was the plumber or did the dishes in the tub. This—along with the fact that I’m the oldest of three girls who grew up far removed from the city, where splitting wood and butchering our own meat were necessities—groomed me to tackle things on my own regardless of the potential for a disastrous outcome.
Today I’m blessed with true partners: my husband and a loving extended family. I’m learning to lean into their grace and generosity and ask for help—circumventing around rather than colliding with a fiasco.
Being self-aware and vulnerable are attributes that also serve us well in our spiritual life. April is dedicated to the Holy Spirit, who plays an imperative role in faith development and growth. Sadly, we may suppress the voice of the Holy Spirit. This is evident when we try to navigate life on our own. Instead, we should embrace the strength and guidance that the Holy Spirit reveals to us and invite the Spirit, through prayer, to lead us:
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.
A prayer by St. Augustine