I recently had hip surgery. The week before Thanksgiving to be exact. In May, I invited my daughter’s sorority sister to join us for Thanksgiving. I have looked forward to cooking for her for months. I don’t always get to fix a large meal, there’s usually just two of us unless my daughter is home.
I started writing down everything I wanted to cook, along with a few things I was asked to cook. I found a Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake I wanted to cook, it sounded amazing. Then I thought I we need cookies, so I immediately went to Whoopie Pies. I thought pumpkin, chocolate and red velvet would be right. But I had left out my husband, so I added Chocolate Chip cookies for him. I knew dressing would be a must, but my daughter prefers stuffing. I can just hear my grandfather now grumbling about stuffing. Sweet Potato Casserole and Roasted Vegetables rounded out the meal.
Then I had surgery and realized I could not lift anything out of the oven because I would not be able to stand with weight on my left side. Oh, and all this cooking was to be done in a condo at the beach. Which usually involves me packing most of my kitchen. Then I realized I could not even pack my clothes. This all hit me the day before my surgery. Total meltdown. I had already resolved to let the girls help me cook some. I thought it would be fun to have them in the kitchen with me, especially since my daughter does not really cook.
I had to let go. I had to pray through my expectations and let them go. I am a control freak, especially when it comes to cooking. I also like to work in the kitchen alone. But today, I am resolved to change that. Today I require help. Over the last week since my surgery I have had to ask for help but also accept help. I have never been very good at it. We are taught (more silently taught than verbally) that as females we must never ask for help. Guys cannot ask for directions and women cannot ask for help. These unwritten rules punish us. If we are called to serve others, then these rules prevent that from happening. 1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Most women will jump to serve other women. We understand we are called to serve. We are ready at a moment’s notice to bring food, do laundry, sweep floors, anything that may be needed we will do. However, we fail to want to say, “I need that same help.” When we cannot say those words, we are denying God’s love to be expressed to us in such a simple form. We are denying someone else the experience of serving. We are denying ourselves love. I have had to allow myself to overcome the denying of service when I lost my parents. I was overwhelmed with grief and overwhelmed with stuff--their stuff, my grandmother’s stuff, my brother’s stuff and my stuff. The simple act of saying yes to having someone come do my laundry lead to an overwhelming experience of love and appreciate that still affects me today, ten years later.
If you are reading this and your pride will not allow you to admit you need help, allow me to say, “Get over your pride”. James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” Allowing others to serve you is a humbling experience, one in which God will use to lift you higher than you have ever experienced. And that experience brings a joy that lasts decades. I know, I have experienced it.