It’s almost taboo in our Western culture that thrives on independence and producing. We applaud a man who “pulls himself up by his bootstraps.” We admire a liberated woman, and maybe we even sing along when we hear an old recording of Frank Sinatra singing, “I did it my way!”
There’s a sense of pride attached to phrases like “on my own” and “self-sufficient” and a veritable stigma attached to words like “needy” and “emotional.”
Perhaps those are just a few reasons we hate to do it.
What is it? Asking for help.
It can feel embarrassing. We expose our inability to accomplish our goals alone, and then we task another person with our work. Many times, we struggle in silence thinking, “I got myself into this, I’ll get myself out.” While it may seem dignified to refuse to share your load, you’re also denying a willing friend the gift of celebrating with you.
I found myself in such an awkward position this summer. I signed a legal document saying I’d be responsible for a whole lot of marketing and promotion when Remarkable Faith released. While “a whole lot” wasn’t exactly quantified, I quickly realized I did not have the tools to do the job well.
So I stepped into that uncomfortable place and asked for help in spreading the word about who might enjoy a book called Remarkable Faith and where they could get one. I started with my friends, and quite frankly, I had to resist the urge to qualify each request with an apology, “Sorry to bother you but…”
Besides my exceedingly gracious friends and family, I also asked complete strangers. The internet makes this relatively easy, logistically speaking, but it’s still almost as comfortable as asking a stranger to scrub your shower.
I swallowed my pride and all those nuggets of self-sufficiency and independence and asked a bunch of people for help. And guess what. Nearly 200 people said, “Sure!” They told friends, led book clubs, shared on social media, bought copies for relatives, wrote book reviews at online retailers, and tweeted, posted, shared, and pinned.
A special group of those went above and beyond the call and wrote beautiful articles, reviews, and reflections on “Remarkable Faith.” And, true to form, I cried grateful tears reading each one.
If burdens shared are halved, then joys shared are certainly doubled.
Below you’ll find a list of articles, reviews, and reflections written by former strangers who’ve become friends. They are musicians, professionals, artists, mothers, foster moms, adoptive moms, homeschooling moms, authors, readers, writers, and ministry leaders. They hail from New York to California and many places in between. That any of them would use a spare moment to help, bowls me over.
My heart is full because I asked for help.
Are you hesitant to ask for help? Choose the way of doubled joy and ask anyway.
Take a moment to read or listen and multiply our joy.
Emily Allen, Kindred Mom Podcast, (interview and book story. Emily is the founder of Kindred Mom. A gracious online community for moms.)
Chris Fabry Live (Radio interview where host Chris Fabry reads an excerpt and we talk about two chapters.)
Cheri Tolliver Johnson: (written interview. Cheri writes and ministers to non-biological parents.)
Kim Borders: Kim is a mother of wildly talented Borders Band (<~take a listen!)
Lisa Biegert: Lisa is a full-time missionary, children’s ministry director, blogger, and mom of three.
Maggie Sifuentes: Maggie is mamma to three (one brand new baby!) and a blogger.
Glenna Marshall: Glenna is an adoptive mom, speaker, author, and musician. Find her work here.
Dorina Gilmore: Dorina is a mamma, coach, runner, speaker and author of Glory Chasers.
Susan Bricker Susan is a writer, photographer, and mother to three grown children.
Janelle Upton Janelle is a mamma, writer, ministry leader, and founder of the online community Rise up Writers.
Valerie Murray: Valerie is a mother of four, blogger at Cord of 6, and book reviewer for several Christian publishers.
Erin Whitmer: Erin is mom to two boys, with a ministry of writing and speaking.
Kaitlyn Bouchillion: Kaitlyn is an author, blogger, and vastly talented virtual assistant.
Christie Thomas: Is a mother of 3 boys, children’s ministry director, and writer from Canada.
Naomi Fata: Naomi is a mother, author and blogger at Christian Resource Ministry.