Monday, February 24, 2014

Being Needy...

The last few weeks, the Lord has been showing me more and more what it means to be needy. Sometimes I see it in the eyes of the beggars or those who live, cook, and take care of babies on the side of the road. Or in the eyes of a new mom who can't figure out how to get her baby to sleep. Or on the face of a friend who is walking through a tough season. I see needs, and I LOVE to help with them. Sometimes its hard to know what to do, but when I know, I DO IT, and I LOVE IT! It's one thing to give to people just because but to really be able to serve someone in their great need is truely fabulous.

So here I am, learning about giving to the needy, and like I mentioned in my last post, I see how I do not have it all together, and my feelings of loneliness and fear of failing try to sneak back in. It's in the big and the small things. For example, I took both kids to the market. Daniel rode in a carrier on my front and Josiah walked or was carried on my hip throughout a busy market while I also carried lots of bags of fruit, chai, and new sandals. We were doing ok, but as we made our last purchase, and started flag down a rickshaw to take us home, the banana seller told me to stop and he would get an auto rickshaw for us. I am very capable of getting a rickshaw myself and Sarah from a few weeks ago might have told him, "Don't worry about me and keep selling your bananas. I know the language and customs here, and I don't need help." But this time I  saw something I had missed before: the look in his eyes of JOY. Of being able to serve someone who is genuinely in need. The same feeling I get from meeting a true need was in HIS face. I did appreciate someone noticing that my hands were full, and offering to give me a bit of his time was really a selfless act on his part.  I wondered how many other times my confidence in my own abilities (i.e. pride) had keep someone else from receiving this joy. What other ways have I not been venerable of my weaknesses and not received the blessing of another ministering to me or them receiving that joy of service? We had dinner guests and I let them serve me by doing the dishes. Its a small thing, maybe even makes me sound soft or slightly selfish, but its not easy for a "I can do it myself. I have it all together." person to allow others to do jobs I have the capability but maybe not the energy to do. Almost two year old twins take a toll on your energy levels... not to mention just living everyday life in a foreign country. But I am not looking for sympathy, I am just admitting a need, and thanking the Lord in advance for meeting today's needs in whatever way He chooses. I get needy emotionally and realized that if I don't let anyone know that I am lonely or discouraged, unless they are really perceptive, no one around me can help me. It's too much to expect people to know what you are thinking, sometimes you just have to voice the need. I seem to be finding that most people are delighted to hear ways they can help or things to pray for... I might in my flesh be content with letting everyone continue to think of me as "wonderwoman" or "supermom" but I am so far from it. and its wrong. It's comical for me to think that I would spend extra energy and effort to keep up a facade when I can admit a need and find friends eager to help and excited to love on me in the ways I need. Or let a stranger give me assistance: like holding the boys hand while I pull out the money, or push the elevator button so i don't have to rearrange the bags I am carrying, or helping me get the boys into their car seats. Nothing like kids to help you to see how little you can do on your own. And to realize that I don't have to do it on my own. I should not even try to do it on my own. He created community for this very purpose. To provide for the needs of those around you and give support and encouragement.  Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual needs are all met by the one who called us, and he uses all kinds of hands and feet to accomplish them as well... let us be sincere and open with those around us and be eager and willing to be His hands when you see others needs.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with god's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse, Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." Romans 12:9-16
Even this week, I need pray-er. I have been doing so much intense language study and its time that I can turn in a recording of a conversation. If I get a good enough score, I will be able to have more time to devote to other things than just language class and attempting to correct grammar mistakes and go out and do more serving and sharing. Honestly, I love to talk and I can keep conversations going and interesting and its been an incredibly humbling experience to have not passed the actual conversation we are graded on with a high enough score a few times before. Anyone who talks with me very long in our second language cannot believe that I have not reached that score. I have spent too much energy and effort complaining and giving excuses why the system is not an accurate way to determine language ability, or how my understanding is far greater than others who have passed... Even if I was thinking things that were true, they were not helpful and all it has done is left me feeling discouraged and frustrated. I am needing the Lord to give me his peace and his grace as I spend the last few days preparing and not get all worked up and fearful that I might be just under the mark again. Admitting my need for pray-er for language just now has me in tears again, wishing I could still be the girl that has it all together who never needs to ask for help, but I know that lie would keep me chained to my fears. But I will be joyful in HOPE. Thanks for pra-ying.