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Learning to Accept Love: Part Deux

April 4, 2013

Why is it so hard to accept love from others, but so obvious and easy to give it when others are in need?

Yesterday I shared a bit from Shauna Niequist’s new book Bread & Wine that spoke of her own experience learning how to accept love, (not just give it) – this post is from my family blog (a long, long, long time ago) and addresses my own painful learning experience and the redemptive grace of my friends.

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August, 2007

Gabe had surgery yesterday.

We only found out it was happening the day before. we knew this was coming, (but didn’t know when), and that it was necessary, but it didn’t give us time to prepare. I’m barely scraping enough cumulative – never mind consecutive – sleep at night to survive. I have a terribly cute, yet colicky two month old, and I was just informed my husband and greatest help would be wearing a sling for three weeks and unable to help. At all. Can’t pick up the baby. Can’t empty the dishwasher. Can’t take out the trash. Can’t lift the car seat. Can’t fold laundry.

I spent the rest of the day in a bit of a rage. I know he needs the procedure. It just feels very unfair that it’s happening at such a chaotic time in our lives. But, when would be better? After I return to work and have even less time, and no vacation saved up? There is no easy answer.

I don’t like asking for help. I feel like I should be able to do this on my own – tons of women do, right? Lots of people have two kids, and not only survive, but thrive, right? They deal with the colic and keep their houses clean. they do it with a smile on their face – don’t they? Why should I deserve assistance? In picking up and dropping off, feeding my family, and playing on the floor with Scooby. I don’t deserve that kind of special treatment. I can’t repay it. When it’s offered, I usually turn it down.

As I stood in my grubby kitchen in tears, wearing a fussing baby in a sling on my chest, angry at God and the entire situation…I had a God-moment. I swear. He whispered to me just then.

It’s a lot like My love, isn’t it? You don’t deserve it. you can’t pay it back. You just have to take it – and be grateful. It’s ok. Just do it. 

I stood there in shock for a moment, then I picked up the phone. and within minutes, angels of mercy literally swooped in and had care arranged for the wee, colicky one, rides and dinner for the bigger one, and the time needed to be with my biggest boy when he woke up after surgery.

One truly blessed friend even thought to bring us coffee yesterday morning as we rushed out of the house in the pre-dawn gloom to get to the hospital. That cup of Starbucks was a life-line.

Later that day, just after we returned home, dinner arrived on our doorstep.

“I sustain myself with the love of friends.”

-Maya Angelou

Humbled and grateful, I realize the wisdom of these words and will try to remember that when our friends are loving me (us) it’s coming straight from the greatest Friend of all.

And I will accept it. Gratefully.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2013 8:17 pm

    Wow. Just … WOW. (I may need to talk to you about permission to use this in my book!!)

  2. April 5, 2013 2:27 am

    Thank you for the …permission? Reminder? Enlightenment that I am mortal with a higher, mightier power watching over me? We all forget to ask for help because it has become difficult to do, so thank you.

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