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When You Feel Like a Burden

When you feel like a burden, it's hard to get excited about the future. I felt like I became a burden when I got married. I'd taken care of myself for many years. In my situation, marriage meant leaving my work and depending on my husband's income alone. The idea of it made me twitch, but in our situation it made sense for me not to get a job outside the home.

The thing is, when you get married and start having babies in your late 30's, it's a major adjustment! As we struggled through learning to handle our financial arrangement, I got pregnant. YAY! It had only taken a few months, but to me every day had felt like a year because I was so ready. Then, pregnancy sickness set in and misery like I've never known became my reality.

My husband had married a capable woman who looked forward to taking care of him, but he got an incapable, whiny, mess of a wife who he had to clean up after multiple times a day. We had two babies in less than two years, and with the health issues pregnancy led to, the burden was heavy.

My husband was coming up on his busy farming season and couldn't be expected to help me the way I needed, and I was far from my mom, sister, and friends who would've gladly pitched in. My mother-in-law was extremely helpful, but she was in her mid-70s and couldn't be expected to help in the way I needed. So, soon after baby number two, God brought us a lovely, energetic teenage girl to help lighten the load.

She and I both cried that first week. She was away from her family for the first time and living with strangers. I'd always imagined doing everything for my children myself, certainly not hiring a nanny! I didn't want to let someone else play with my daughter while I bathed my son. I didn't want someone else to rock my baby while I recovered from a complicated birth. However, important things were going to go undone (or be very poorly done) if I didn't allow someone to help me. So, my need for help created a new financial burden for my family.

I underwent a massive transformation in two short years. I had to learn to accept help and recognize the value I brought to our new family. I had to rewrite my internal script. In my case, the Lord showed me the great value every person who helped brought to our family. So many more gifts and talents than we possessed on our own were able to help shape our children's hearts and minds. (We made sure to choose our helpers prayerfully.)

When you feel like a burden, you have to rewrite your internal script. Accept your essential value as a human. We aren't created to make it through life alone. When others are a burden to us, we don't typically resent them. (We'll resent a lazy person who only drains us, but that's not who we are.) We're happy to help, drawing value from our ability to lend a hand. When we allow others to help us, we assign value to them and give them the opportunity to use their talents and capacity.

You bring things to the table that no one else can bring. Even if it's as simple as your smile on a hard day, or the warmth of your love, you add value. You're allowed to take up space and require something of others. You're allowed to use resources and have others work around you and your needs.


What if you learn to become a gracious receiver? What if you start thanking God that He's provided others to help carry your burden? If you don't think God's provided anyone to help you, look around again. Ask for help a little louder. You'd be suprised who comes out of the woodwork to help when you clearly state your need.

Consider how you ask for help, too. A fellow-mom-in-the-trenches recently asked me to help her with a simple thing that required almost nothing of me. Her request went something like this, "At the risk of being *that mom*, would you be willing to help me?"

I was happy to help, but a little put off by her request. If I ask her for help, does she think I'm being *that mom*? (Whatever that means...) I'm tempted to make sure I never ask her for help with anything, but I have to look beyond her words and realize she really hates asking for help. She probably loves giving it. The next time I need help I think she's able to give, I'm going to ask her.

What lies have YOU believed that have caused you to feel like a burden? that have made you hate to ask for help? Identify them, then ask God to help you believe the truth about your worth, even when you need help. Rewrite your internal script to reflect your true worth and ask God to help you become a gracious receiver.




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