But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. Ruth 1:16-18
“Mrs. Snyder, Blake could use some extra support right now,” Mrs. Teacher says to me. When I was working as a paraprofessional, that was my cue that my student was crawling around the classroom under the tables and disrupting whole group learning. I would go into the classroom, quietly get him to leave, and we’d go do some kinesthetic activities to help him settle down. At my school, we operate under the principle that behaviorally challenging students aren’t problems, they just need some extra support.
The reality is that in our crazy, frenetic, stress-filled lives, we all sometimes need a little extra support. The problem is that most of the time we’re too proud to ask for it. As a pastor’s wife, I sometimes fall into the ridiculous assumption that I have to appear to have it all together. My role is to help others. Therefore, I need to be positive, upbeat and focused on the needs of those around me. While this is true, I’m not a robot. My life isn’t perfect. Like everyone else, some days are better than others.
A good friend of mine called me out on this a few years ago. We were emailing back and forth and most of my emails consisted of things like, “We’re fine. The boys are good. Church is great. Let’s talk about you.” Fed up with generic emails, she finally replied, “You know, you don’t have to be a pastor’s wife around me.” A light bulb went off in my head. While choosing to remain positive and upbeat is important, it’s also important to be authentic. And the truth is that sometimes, even a PW needs a little extra support!
The truth is, God never meant for our lives to be lived in solitary confinement. God recognized the importance of human support in His creation of Eve to be a partner to Adam. Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs to minister to others, and Paul always had at least one travelling companion. We need others because we need support in our lives. God works through the encouragement, advice, understanding, wisdom, and helping hands of others. And not only should we be all of those things for others, we need to acknowledge our need for them in our own lives.
About a year ago, I started a weight loss program. In the time since, I have lost over 50 pounds and dropped about 4 sizes. It’s been an incredible journey. However, I could not have (and was not doing) it on my own. I needed support, sometimes daily, in order to make the changes in my life that needed to happen in order for me to be healthy again. That support came in the form of my friend and fellow blogger, Tina Cochran. Tina is my health coach. She’s the person I go to when I need a little bit of support to make healthy choices. Tina has created a wonderful ministry out of her life called “Creative Joy Ministries”. She has put together an uplifting e-course entitled “30 Days to Joy”. It’s simple, yet profound, and encourages you to look at yourself in a whole new way. Check it out! She might just be the extra support you need!!
Needing some support isn’t a bad thing, it’s the way we were designed! God doesn’t want us to be able to do it all on our own!! He wants us to need some help–He wants us to be dependent on Him! As Paul writes, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. And to depend on God, we have to sometimes depend on others. We need support. And it’s a good thing.
This morning, I’m battling a respiratory infection. I have an antibiotic, I stayed home and rested yesterday, but I was coughing a lot last night and will probably need a little support to get going. For that, I’m going to the Lord who can give me strength. I’m also going to the coffee maker which can give me caffeine!! My husband is feeling exhausted this week. I will support him by taking the boys to school. There’s a mutuality in support. While Ruth supported Naomi, Naomi also worked to support Ruth. They depended on one another. And they both depended on God.
Sometimes we need some support. It’s okay. God, in his Perfect Wisdom and Understanding has already provided just what you need.
Blessings and Peace,