I can’t do it any longer. I can’t do it alone, and neither can you.
I’ve tried to make it all come together perfectly, but I can’t.
The holidays form a kind of microcosmic vortex of realization wherein my weakness shows up in droves.
All my unattainable plans are thwarted by weather and illness coupled with some surgery and most likely untimely and expensive car repairs.
I’ve come to expect that things won’t–and don’t–usually go as planned.
I’m still learning how to enjoy life despite my desire to want things a certain way.
If you’re anything like me (perfectionist, people-pleaser, over-achiever), you’ve probably tried killing yourself doing everything you can possibly do not to fail.
You want to look good.
You want to look good to your neighbors. . . to your friends . . . to the other people at school/church/work.
You want success. You want perfection. You want control.
Ahhh . . . there it is: control.
You and I often will do anything to have it. And nearly anything not to loose it.
Usually we don’t really realize it running in the background of our minds like spyware on an unsuspecting hard drive until something happens and we “lose it.”
Christmas is a great time to “lose control” and admit that we can’t keep all the plates spinning at one time–even if we manage to give off the appearance that nothing is crashing to the ground.
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If you got your cards in the mail and your cookies all delivered on time. I’m proud of you. Honest. If you have a magic formula you’re willing to share, I’m all ears.
However, I’m willing to bet that you aren’t even enjoying it all. You’re probably worn out. You’re tired. You need a break.
My fall kicked off with one of my four kids having a tonsillectomy. Then I had a surgical procedure. And my husband is a first year varsity head basketball coach where he teaches high school (meaning I am a “coach’s widow”). Couple that will doing life raising four kids and working from home . . . did I mention I need help?
When I searched for mentions of the word, “help” in the Bible online, I discovered that there were 1,684 occurrences of the word “help” according to Bible Hub.
One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 121. I took some liberty with it and gave it a Christmas twist – I hope you don’t mind:
Psalm 121 (Lauren’s adaptation)
I life up my eyes from the shopping, the gift wrapping, the cooking, and the volunteering, and I ask, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
the Maker of heaven and earth
He will not let my heart become bitter over all that I have to do
and miss the real meaning of Christmas.
He watches over me after I fall into bed
a heap of exhaustion and overachieving.
The Lord watches over you–
the Lord is your excuse not to overdo and over-commit
your perfectionism cannot overcome you
by day or by night.
The Lord will keep you from doing yourself in–
he will watch over me and help me relax and let go
both now and in the future
I pray both now and in the future that you embrace imperfection and anticipate transformation as you let God be your help.
I also urge you (as I’m continually learning) to ASK for help when you need it. I’m excruciatingly bad at this, but I’m learning ever so slowly.
I asked my in-laws to stay with us during the surgeries; I let friends help me and bring me food; I will call when I need one of my kids dropped off or picked up; I even made a pack with myself that I would hire a house cleaner (I did) during this season in my life.
The more we’re real with ourselves, our friends and family, and yes, even with God, the more we can embrace our need for help and reach out.
[Tweet “The more we’re real with ourselves, our friends and family, and yes, even with God, the more we can embrace our need for help and reach out. @laurenhhunter”]
It’s really the only way to survive.
We all need grace, we all need love, and we all need help.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. Raised in a fourth-generation family of Christian Scientists, Lauren Hunter left her family’s faith behind at the age of 25 to become an evangelical Christian. She is also the founder of ChurchTechToday, a leading website for pastors and church leaders. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ.