Why can’t I be the one helping someone else? I think to myself.
Why are we always the ones being helped, or needing help? I think, with resentment toward all the blessings I’m being bombarded with.
We’ve been married for almost 8 years, next month. 6 of them have been spent with my husband either at war, on trainings, missions, or schooling. 6 years of them and really more than that, have been spent apart. They’ve been spent individually.
He spent those years figuring out to be alone, watching his family grow from afar and learning how to fight for his country.
I’ve spent those 6 years figuring out how to be a mom. I don’t want to say single mom though, because for most of those years my husband was the bread-winner (I seriously hate that term). But he was.
Over the span of these long 8 years, we have needed quite a bit of help from other people. Whether it was friendship because I was alone most of the time or someone offering to watch my girls so I could study or clean…or have a nice Mother’s Day–gosh I cannot even describe how amazing it was for my cousin to come over in the morning and help my girls make me breakfast. It was help from my parents bringing all the girls soccer gear to their soccer games that we were consistently late to. It was family always opening their home to us, letting us stay as long as we needed. Giving us money in times of bad financial decisions. Helping us find jobs. Allowing me to have a “mom’s night out” to go to a Paint & Sip party, then go home to a newborn screaming for me, wishing I had my partner there with me…just to know that he was there. To watch my girls while I had the flu. To bring soup when I had the flu. Give us furniture. Give us food. Give me advice. Hear me vent. Bring over milk when it was too late to go get it and bring all my kids to the store. The amount of different kinds of help I have been presented with is purely amazing. But I also didn’t think it would last this long.
I thought this time of need would be over once my husband got out of Active Duty. It didn’t. In fact, we needed it more than ever after he was out. With trying to string our lives together on a fly because we weren’t ready to really be without the military just yet. To jump into jobs that didn’t pay enough, try to get my husband to go to school and work toward a career in something that he may actually enjoy. We weren’t out of the heat just yet.
This new season in a new state, brings new challenges and needs.
I’ve realized that I hate needing things. I don’t like being out of toilet paper and needing to go get more. I don’t like being out of flour or milk.
I hate needing other people to help me and knowing that I couldn’t do it on my own.
This season has been slowly changing that. We have needed things like never before. I have needed an army to come alongside me to help with my girls. Childcare in TN is a desert, most of it is terrible and extremely expensive and the good ones are too far away. I’ve had new friends volunteer to watch my children for free while I work and my husband goes to school. I’ve had those same friends give us money just to do it, because I’m working two jobs right now, and they see me and care about me and our family.
I have a friend who knows that I’ll be going to church without my husband (he’s either studying or working for the Navy) with my children in tote, needing that extra help…and he’s there. He’s there with the stickers pre-printed, waiting for me to park, to carry my youngest for me so I can focus on the other girls and hold their hands. While his wife is inside holding a seat for me.
During tough marital spouts that we’ve had lately, I have been invited in these friends’ lives, they’ve allowed me to tell them my darkest feelings and never once feel judged for it and instead, they were there with complete understanding and love for my family. They take time out of their day because they know I need it. And they just give it. Without a thought.
They give me their time.
I told one of those friends the other day that I’m so tired of needing help. I just wish I could be the giver of help one of these days, and not need it!
“You will. This is why its being given to you so much now. So you can do the same for someone else later.”
I quietly thought to myself, you have no idea how long its been since I’ve been able to help someone else.
I know she’s right. I know that I’m being shown how to give. This has been me learning from other people for the last 8 years. I’ve been in school.
During this time of being shown so much grace and help, I have started to welcome it, instead of resenting it. I know I need it and I know my heart is comforted by this help. It’s always at the right and perfect time, right before I feel like I’m going to break. I bend…for sure. But never break.
Now I know. I’ll be prepared to help. And if there is anything I have learned over the last 8 years of motherhood, it’s that if you aren’t prepared…you’re not going anywhere.
I’ll know how to help. I’ll understand what it looks like when someone needs help but won’t say it. I will give them my time. Our time is everything and if you stop your day to give your friend some of yours, it goes so much further than anything else you could ever give them.