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Rest Ministries – Needing & Accepting Help

Please follow the link below entitled “view original post” (in red) and read the article originally posted on restministries.com. You don’t have to suffer from a chronic illness or disability to gain something useful from this post. The truth is, we all need help at some point in time.

Today, I met with a Benefits Protection & Planning Representative for the state of Arkansas. Dealing with SSI and Medicaid is both humbling, anxiety inducing and confusing. I am so thankful for Jerry Clawson who is committed to helping me safely navigate the complexities of available services. Making the wrong choice can cause your child to loose much needed medical benefits or financial assistance for adaptive equipment, among other things.

Jerry may simply be doing his job, but he doesn’t perform it that way. He’s been incredibly responsive and understanding. Today, he allowed me to stop by without an appointment. He didn’t have to do that, but I’m so thankful and glad he did because my PTSD, depression and anxiety issues leave me struggling to do the simplest of tasks. I simply can’t make myself place phone calls and schedule appointments. It’s easiest for me if I can make must needed stops after I’ve already been required to leave the house for some reason. And that’s what happened today. I called Jerry and he made himself available. I’m sure it wasn’t a big deal for him, but it was huge for me.

I’ve had the signed documentation ready for him for approximately a month and I knew if I didn’t meet with him today, it could be quite some time before I managed to make myself try again. I don’t understand the psychology behind my issues, and I’m extremely embarrassed by the fact that simple tasks have grown monumental to me, but, I can’t simply make up my mind to do things and get it done. Instead, I’m trying to work with what I am able to do and hope the rest will resolve itself in the near future.

Last summer I attended College Bound Arkansas with my daughter, Gracen. It’s a program that prepares kids with disabilities for the transition to college. I met numerous parents during the course of our stay and discovered that they are all struggling to find services for their children. It’s a prime example of the blind leading the blind. We don’t know what resources are available, who to ask, or how to find them and generally happen upon them by chance via a conversation with another parent, a specialist or a physical or occupational therapist. If you do find someone that can point you toward available services you are often handed an extensive list of providers and have to wade through the entire thing to find out exactly what services your child might qualify for. It’s overwhelming and frankly, parents (not just me)  get so confused, they simply quit and soldier on alone.

In the aftermath of the car collision that killed two of my daughters and left Gracen badly injured at a time when my husband was between jobs, we found ourselves needing to accept help in ways we’ve never needed to in the past. David and I were overwhelmed with gratitude and yet found ourselves uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of the equation in spite of our desperate needs. This is what the author of this blogpost, Shelly Hendricks had to say on the topic:

“We all want to give help. We want to be the answer to prayer. It makes us feel weak to accept help. It makes us feel hopeless to ask for it.

And yet, God has been convicting me.

Receiving is not passive.

Receiving is submitting. Accepting is playing an important part. Asking is admitting that you are just like the ones you’ve helped before. . . and will again, in small and big ways.”

 

See what else Shelly has to offer below.

Boxx Banter

restministries

http://restministries.com/2014/08/difficult-need-accept-help/

Needing help is definitely humbling and yet it’s greatest blessing is the opening of spiritual eyes to see the nail scarred hands that prompted those around you to meet needs, and extend kindness and comfort that reaches far beyond the gift offered or act of service rendered. Brings to mind Psalm 8:4, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Beyond all human comprehension somehow His response has been a sincere and quiet, “Mine. The apple of My eye.”

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Posted by on February 19, 2016 in Chronic Illness, Uncategorized

 

Insights on Suicide

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Last October I came across this article (highlighted in red below) on the suicide of Patti Stevens by Rudolph Bush on the Opinion Page of The Dallas Morning News:

No, Patti Stevens wasn’t selfish. She was hurt.

As a member of the bereaved parent’s group, While We’re Waiting, I’ve encountered several parents of children who’ve committed suicide.  It’s heartbreaking!  It’s disturbing to read of children as young as 11 years of age, taking their own lives.  I can only imagine the agony, the second guessing and the questions the grief stricken families are left struggling with.  The impact on the entire family when a child dies (regardless of the means of death) is staggering (but that’s an article for another day).

Journalist, Rudolph Bush covered this topic well and he certainly got it right when he said of Patti Stevens, “She was trying, in a desperate, mistaken, terrible way, to stop hurting.” Bush’s comments were made in response to critics who contend that those who commit suicide are selfish. I also appreciate that he points out, “. . . the suicidal have fallen into a place where their sadness, fear and desperation have stripped away the ability to think and act rationally.”

Still, I think it’s a serious mistake when we assume, “Things would have gotten better.” That was probably true for Patti Stevens and a multitude of others who contemplate suicide, but it’s certainly not true in every situation which is why organizations such as Death with Dignity exist. It’s why assisted suicide is a hot button issue of our day. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a proponent of suicide at all, but we are naive if we fail to recognize that, in some situations, things will get worse.**  Families coping with terminal illness, with addiction, and a number of other issues know, without doubt, that their circumstances will indeed get worse.  They know more pain is on the horizon and they are afraid and desperately want to escape the pending heartbreak. When it’s true that things will get worse, we have to find a way to help people cope with that truth; to find purpose and meaning in life.

We’ve all heard the popular phrase, “everything happens for a reason” at some point in time; usually when something unpleasant transpires. Tim Lawrence wrote an article on that very topic. Mr. Lawrence used his article to strike out against the culturally common advice passed to people coping with trauma and grief – advice he refers to as “the debasing of the grieving”.  In the piece published on his blog entitled, “The Adversity Within”, he shares this quote from Megan Devine, “Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” Of Ms. Devine’s quote he says,

“These words are so poignant because they aim right at the pathetic platitudes our culture has come to embody on a increasingly hopeless level. Losing a child cannot be fixed. Being diagnosed with a debilitating illness cannot be fixed. . . They can only be carried.”

We live in a culture that demands positivity. Obstacles are opportunities in disguise.  If we can’t go around said obstacle, we must find a way over, through or under it.  Nothing is impossible.  We will overcome. We will conquer; by sheer force of will if necessary. And the underlying message is that, should we fail, we are incompetent or didn’t try hard enough.

img_0428We’ve been indoctrinated with the message that we must be able to turn every negative into a positive. Our culture as a whole no longer helps people work through their grief, instead we demand that they set it aside, suppress it, or spin it into an uplifting message – all the better if they can tie it up with a Biblical bow. As a result, we leave hurting people enmeshed in an internal battle pitting their normal need to express and work through their pain and sorrow against societies demand to find the silver lining and move forward.

If we sincerely want to reduce the suicide rate, we all have to learn to become comfortable with the bad and ugly aspects of life instead of pretending they don’t exist or glossing over them. We need to learn to acknowledge pain, validate feelings, and affirm the broken before they lose the ability to think and act rationally. In my experience, people want to be seen, to be understood and to feel as if they are not alone when their days turn dark. People can survive almost anything – they can learn to carry that which cannot be fixed – if we provide them with those things.

** The comments in this post in no way serve as permission to take one’s own life.

SuicidePrevention

 

 

 

Print a copy of this National Suicide Prevention Lifeline image and stick it on your refrigerator.

It may save the life of someone you love.

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Adversity, Chronic Illness, Grief, Links, Uncategorized

 

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