I don’t got this.

So, as you may or may not know, I ruptured my Achilles at the end of August. The right one. Which means I currently have no memory of driving and I don’t have remotely any idea how to walk with confidence on my own two feet. I headed up to Malibu on July 22nd feeling like GCannot do it allod was teaching me the lesson of “I cannot do it all.”

I came home August 19th learning a lesson that more looked like, “I cannot do anything.”

For 12, TWELVE, weeks, I have been in a cast or a boot; 10 of those on crutches or zipping around my house on my speedy one legged scooter, and I have been desperately needy.  For the first weeks, I hopped everywhere and could not even get a pot of hot water from my stove to the sink. I could not pick up my two year old or rush to break up a fight between my 4 and 6 year old. I taught my boys how to do dishes and laundry and vacuum. My husband took on more than he should have had to bear; family and friends made meals and took over carpools and cared for my little men and drove me to PT.

While I was slow and everything took eons of time, I can tell you that at first, it was AMAZING, like when you first have a baby and everyone converges on you.  Yes, I felt frustrated and incapacitated, but I also felt so loved and taken care of and it was {a little bit} easy to ask for help. And then week after week passed by, and I became greatly indebted to the continued grocery runners, Costco drop offs and countless kid carpools. I had no way to repay all that people continued to do and to offer. For the girl who usually can say “I got this” and mean it, it was a serious slap in the ego-face to know that the the response to most any basic task was “I don’t got this.”

Can I just say, it is really fun to serve others and to help and to feel of use. I cannot wait to be the girl that runs errands and drops meals; I have historically sucked at that and now realize the incredible power and love of the simplest of Target drop-offs. Sure, it can be stretching and sacrificial and disorienting to rearrange your day {particularly if you are terrible at boundaries and time management and say yes to more than you can actually handle or have a joyful heart to do}, but it is ultimately so fulfilling!  Why is it that we know that intrinsically but then shirk at asking for help, as if it might put someone off? Is it more that it might reveal that we actually just don’t have it all together?

It is really HARD to need people. It is HARD to ask for help. Over and over. Whether asking far in advance or last minute, the daily gymnastics of figuring out logistics and carpools and shopping and Physical therapy made my teeth itch and my brain hurt. It made me uncomfortable and no doubt squashed a lot of my pride. At what point does the joyful aid run out? At what point am I a burden? ugh. I don’t want to be a burden.

But quite honestly, like anything we practice, I got better at it.  I didn’t even realize until today, that this has really become my new normal. I still shrink a little at the thought of needing so much, but I am seeing how much it has made me live the last three months in some of the richest community I have ever experienced.

Today I had this “aha” moment as I talked with a friend about a conference that she recently attended called Brave Love. It is outlined beautifully here, but briefly is a call to women to love courageously and deeply out of whatever giftings and passions we have been given in order to regain a sense of community and “village life” as women exist to birth and nurture relationships and care for their communities. {This is kingdom of God unity that the bible says all the time we need to BRING HERE and LIVE OUT now!} And what struck me was the way the conference closed. They all made the proclamation  not that they loved each other, but that they needed each other. So often, comparison and independence thwart vulnerability, and hence,  community. We are wired as women to be so strong and so independent and we drive our carpools and run our errands and have our endless lists and we bump into each other on our “circuits” and have quick conversations, and make coffee dates a week in advance when we have an hour free on the schedule, but we don’t really DO LIFE TOGETHER. We perceive that everyone else has all their ducks in a row and we are the only one with greasy 3 day old hair, running on empty, yelling our kids to get control of their anger. Okay, so maybe that was just me. Yesterday.

Our acknowledged need for one another precedes, necessitates, community.

And now that I have {mostly} gotten through the really hard part of asking… over and over again… I suddenly am lamenting getting this darn boot off. Because for the past 3 months, I have experienced some of the richest community. The random runs to Target, rides to PT, daily having people pop into my house to grab and drop off kiddos, shuttling me and one or more of my munchkins to bible studies or counseling, doc appointments, Trader Joes or out to lunch. All of my daily tasks out of my house have required someone, and with much time homebound, it has been a treat to invite people IN to what I am already doing: preventing a 2 year old from burning it all down.

Can I still call people to drive with me to Target randomly, or run around town or stay for a bite, when I don’t need their “services”? When I am not pushed to ask because I need a ride, can I still call for someone to show up? Can I jump in and ride along in the carpool just because? Because I need THESE PEOPLE. I love these people and the relationships that have grown in the midst of the mess. I love this time together in the grittiness of life.

Honestly, I am excited and a little bit fearful of what might come. I desperately don’t want this to be “that season when I slowed down for a while”, but that this vulnerable asking thing might actually be worked into the tapestry of how I do life for good.

I wish that I didn’t need a boot for 12+ weeks to work this out. And I hope you don’t either. Let’s be brave and LOVE, be brave and ASK, be brave and BUILD the kingdom, bring it HERE, to Target and living rooms and coffee shops and carpools because let’s be honest, on our own, we don’t got this.

Mother Teresa


4 thoughts on “I don’t got this.

  1. Wonderfully said! It’s great to hear you explain this process and what you’ve been learning along the way. It’s helped me start to see where I isolate or take on things “because I CAN” instead of inviting people into them.
    And, I’ve been honored and blessed to get to sit and chat, play, and make lunch along side you with the little ones throwing food on the ground. It’s been a blast to get to know Wesley better and watch him and Kate play! Thanks for letting me be even a small part of life lately! It’s been fun and I also look forward to continuing to keep that a more regular occurrence – thankful for you!!

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  2. Beautiful and real. I relate to your story so much, as you know. You are right – where would we be without our community of family and friends? We are not strong on our own. It is the power of the Spirit in us that makes us strong. Keep on shining Emily!

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  3. I love this post Em! I so hope I can put in to practice what you have learned and shared! It does take a village and errands together are so much more fun 🙂 thanks for sharing!

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