My Neediness

An update to a post I wrote years ago when asked about our needs… it seems so apropos now. I’ve added to it. I’ve changed a few lines. But the heart of the message is the same.

(As you read this, please take the time to blow away the chaff of my scattered mind and find the grain of my heart.)

Over the past few days I’ve had several people ask, “What do you need?” I’ve thought a lot about the answer to that question, and the practical, black and white, type-A in me wants to make my list of things. Well, let’s see… I’ll eventually need help with childcare… meals… carpool… anything else?

Oh, yes, well, I need to get things done. Things like getting my home as organized as possible, updating emergency information on the kids for sitters, figure out what life will look like for them if/when we travel and have surgery. Gosh. I need to figure out Christmas and shop and get a tree and decorate. I need for things to feel somewhat normal for a bit.

And somewhere in all of this is Thanksgiving and my mom’s birthday (on Thanksgiving Day!). I have to celebrate with her somehow! I need to celebrate with her.

Practical.

I’m tired of being practical. I’m tired of being a slave to my “to-do list”. I’m tired of trying to distinguish my needs from my wants.

What do I need? Wow. Loaded question.

I need people in my life who aren’t afraid of my neediness. I need to hear those knocks on my door and open them to see people to hug me and cry with me. I need to see those emails in my inbox from friends who are authentic and are struggling with all this, too. I need to know friends aren’t tired of me and I need to know they aren’t going to tell me how I should deal with this (trust me, laughter is not the best medicine, although it can be good for the soul). I need to hear voices on the phone or voicemail telling me they’re praying.

I need space to grieve. I am tired of loss.

I need to feel B’s arms around me every night telling me he’s here. That he’s not going anywhere. That he’s not giving up on me, even though my “warranty has run out” (Not long after we got married and all my health problems showed up, B jokingly asked my parents, “Does she come with a warranty?”).

I need to take time to breathe. To look for the joy in each day.

I need “perfective” (that’s perspective in Bear language).

I need to stop putting disclaimers on my blog and not worry about appearing like I have it all together, because I don’t. I sin in my struggle. I place expectations on myself and others that aren’t healthy.

I need to know that my friends are taking care of themselves. That they are getting check-ups and looking for lumps and eating healthy and doing what they are able to care for themselves so they can be here for others and not have to go through what I’m going through, because I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

I also need to know that my friends are in community, that they are building one another up, that they are sharpening one another as iron sharpens iron so they can be there for each other and for others who will suffer.

I need you to not compare your struggles to mine as if yours are somehow less (or more). Oh my friends, we all suffer. We all have been given our cups to drink, our crosses to bear… no one has the market on suffering. I praise God for those of you who are well. I weep with those of you who are hurting (whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, life event, whatever).

I need you to share your lives with me, to not be afraid to tell me the good, the exciting, the beautiful. I want to rejoice with you and laugh with you and be excited with you. And I need you to not be afraid to tell me the bad, the mundane, the ugly that you struggle with, because I want to pray for you and love you and point you to Jesus as you have pointed me.

I need to hear truth. I am weary from preaching it to myself over and over and over, but I am afraid I will forget the truth in the mire of all of this, my mangled life. So I keep preaching and I need you to preach truth to me, too. Give me the Word of God because that is the truth I need.

I need to hear that it’s not God punishing me for my lack of faith. It’s not God up there banging His head against the wall thinking, “She’s just not getting it, so let’s give her MORE cancer.” God doesn’t work like that, although I want to put Him in a box and think He does. No, God is grieving with me. And I need to know that. To be reminded of that. That He is with me, even when I don’t feel His presence, even when the fear overwhelms.

Oh, yes, the fear. It looms.

Elizabeth Berg wrote a novel called Talk Before Sleep. It is a very raw, very real, very heartbreaking look at the loss and pain of cancer and a friendship that is strengthened through it (and not necessarily one I would just recommend to anyone for various reasons). She writes through the eyes of the friend…

“Today is Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday. It scares me, the way tomorrow keeps coming. I look in the paper for a good comic strip to bring Ruth. All of them today would only hurt her feelings. Try this sometime: read the comics as through time were awfully short. You will be hard-pressed to find anything funny. You will understand irony. You will put down the paper and look at the way the sun happens to be lighting the sky and you will be thinking one word: please.”

Please. Please?

There are days where I think I need to hear I have tomorrow. But then I remember that it is today for which I am responsible. That God still holds tomorrow in His hands. All my tomorrows. And that I will spend eternity in Heaven with Him and there will be no tomorrow… just forever.

As I’ve read Berg’s book, I’ve noticed there is something lacking. Hope.

And that is one thing I need, too.

Hope.

It is one thing I know I have, but it’s one of the things I need to be reminded of in a world that can sometimes seem so hopeless.

I need to thank you. All of you who are loving and praying and encouraging and lifting us up in our weakness.

You are gifts to us from the hand of our Father.

HE supplies all our needs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: