There are few things in this life that are more valuable than the love and support of friends and family. I have once again been blessed by this reality in the first few weeks of this New Year.
I am not good at letting people help me. I like to be in control of every situation, this need comes from a deep-seeded belief that everything that I do must always be perfect. The fear is that if I let someone do something for me, they won’t do it the way I would and thus it wouldn’t meet my perfectionistic criteria (however skewed those criteria may be). Fear of failure and the lack of ability to control a situation are in fact my biggest fears in life. This is why I don’t like swimming in the ocean; the power of the uncontrollable waves literally terrifies me. This is why I work so hard to get good grades and feel so horrible when things don’t always work out according to plans. This is why I seldom ask for help, even when I know that it would make my life a million times easier. And this is also why I struggle in my walk with God, because I am constantly resisting complete submission to His will in my life.
Over the past several years, there have been several situations that I have not been able to control: illness strikes a family member, school becomes overwhelming, relationships go awry. Each time one of these uncontrollable waves crashes, I am flooded with my deepest fear…that I can’t handle the situation. It has been times like these when I am thankfully reminded by the loved ones around me that I don’t have to do everything alone, that they can be there to help shoulder the burden and get me through even the toughest situations.
Last week was Week of Renewal on our campus. It is a week when we have daily chapel services that serve to re-invigorate our spiritual journeys with Christ. Randy Roberts, senior pastor of the Loma Linda University Church, spoke and shared the story in Mark 2 of the paralytic man that was brought to Jesus by 4 of his friends. He shared the story to illustrate the importance of having friends who would be willing to go to any length to support you in your times of greatest need. I resonated with this story and thought about the people in my life who have recently “lowered me through the roof to Jesus.” Phone calls came from my sister, my Aunt, and my cousins, loving hugs and wise words came from my parents and my grandpa, and I have had several encouraging, spiritually uplifting conversations with friends. All of these incredible people have shown me that sometimes it takes having a wave knock us off our feet to help us learn that we can let others carry us to Jesus so that He can then say, “take up your mat and walk.”