Asking for Help During Deployment
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I have talked to several friends who during their husband’s deployment made clear their reluctance to ask for help if they needed it. They felt as though they would be a bother or annoying if they asked their friends for help with the kids, to drive them somewhere, or help them with some minor chore. I wonder to myself why this is because, I know there have been times where I would have dropped everything to help that friend in need, if I had only known what they were going through or that they needed help.
As military wives I think we equate asking for help during deployment with not being strong, which I think is a lie Satan wants us to believe. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, it is only our pride that holds us back. I am not saying that I am perfect in this, I am far from it, I always fear asking for help because I am afraid of what people will think. Will they wonder why I can’t do it myself? Will they say yes only because they feel that have to? Will I feel stupid for asking for help? These are just a few of the questions that have crossed my mind, when thinking about asking for help, and I am not even talking about during a deployment!
My husband has not deployed yet, but there have been times where I have needed help mainly since I have had the baby. I have had tons of doctor’s appointments sometimes 2-3 times a week, and it’s hard to always bring the baby to every single one, especially since he is a newborn, and need attention all the time. There have been times I have asked for help and other times I didn’t.
What holds us back from asking for help? The answer is fear and pride. Fear of not being strong enough and pride that we can do it all ourselves, that we are superwomen. That is not true. God did not create us to be like the energizer bunny, to keep on going and going and going. He created us to have rest sometimes too. Even God rested. Genesis 2:2 says, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”
I recently read an article on faithdeployed.com called, “Fake it Until You Make it” It is about a woman, a military wife who needed help to get through some things but never asked for help. One thing led to the next, and now she is suffering the consequences. It saddens me, and I keep thinking if only she had asked for help. Please don’t suffer in silence, ask for help if you need it. God gave you friends who love you and want to help bless you in your time of need, he gave you a home church so that you could have encouragement and be lifted up, use these things in your life, God has put them there for a reason!
Do accept help.
Here’s what Army wife Vanessa suggests:
“I learned during our first deployment to accept help. I had a neighbor offer to bring us a meal once a week and I felt weird accepting it. We weren’t destitute and I wasn’t bedridden (even though I was pregnant) so I didn’t feel as though I needed any help with meals. Heck, my kids liked cereal or hot dogs for dinner! Well this neighbor told me that she wanted to do this for me and was persistent about it (in a nice way). She wanted to “serve” us and said that we were robbing her of God’s blessings and that she wouldn’t have offered the meal if she didn’t want to do it. She wanted to help support the troops and this was the best way she could think of.”
“The simple thing of bringing us a meal freed me up for the night to spend time with my kids and not worry about cooking and my neighbor got the satisfaction of “doing her part” in helping support the military. So, over the past 10 year I have learned that is someone offers to help me I need to swallow my pride and accept that help. By accepting help I may be doing my part of letting someone receive blessings from God that He wants to give them. This small act of kindness on her part ended up being a huge help to me and I was also blessed to know that people do care about while our loves ones are deployed.”
“There will come a time in my life that I can be the giver and I think I need to remember that more often. Yes, I feel like I take a lot right now and never have an opportunity to give back; and that is so against my character but God is working in me also. I’m learning to be gracious and to accept these small acts of kindness from others. God will provide a time in our lives that we get an opportunity to be on the other side and be the giver rather than the receiver.”
YES!! ACCEPT THE HELP! My husband is not in the military but I want to help out families like this in any way that I can. I think it's hard for anyone to accept help… there have been times when help was offered to me but I couldn't swallow my pride. As a missionary family people offer to help us in different ways all the time. It's hard to accept it.
This is a great post!!
My husband has not deployed yet and probably won't for a few years. We're new to the military and I'm still learning about it, so in that way I feel strange about asking questions. I know no one will hold it against me for not knowing, but it's strange to have to ask questions a lot of the time.
Love this blog! I am the worst about asking for help and for all the reasons you said! Our first deployment is coming up and when my hubs leaves I will be alone with a 16 month old and a 4 month old and I am scared to death about how that is going to work out but know god is in control and will surround me with wonderful people!
It is so hard to ask for help sometimes, I totally agree. I do try my best to accept it when it's offered, but I still struggle with outright asking for help with the big things. What a great perspective– letting other serve so they can receive God's blessing. I will keep that in mind!
Amen for that! you are right on track. Thank you for sharing this 🙂
I completley understand the fear of asking for help. Like you mentioned, I associate asking for help with the false idea that people will think I can't handle it on my own. Even with family around, it's hard for me to accept their offers because I'm stubborn like that. Sometimes we just need to step back and realize that we can't do it all. Thanks for linking today!
I am Sean Miller (Mandi's husband), and was reading comments to Mandi's post from yesterday then saw the headline to this post underneath your comment.
Long story how I got here!
I was drawn to the blog title/blog post because I was at the house during one of my dad's one year deployments, then have been out of the house on my own with Mandi for the past few years so I can observe from afar if you will my mother during my father's other two shorter deployments.
It would always frustrate me so much to see my mom refuse to ask people because "i don't want to bother them". She is one of those reserved personalities that mistakenly thinks a military wife of now four children at the house asking for help "inconveniences people". That of course is crazy!
My experience is that people LOVE and WANT to help, they are just scratching their heads wondering what specifically can they do.
Last year I went through my first deployment, first duty station, and a miscarriage all at the same time. Although I was accepting a little bit of help I wasn't letting people know how bad I really was. I ended up hospitalized for a nervous break down in December….not fun!
I enjoyed the fact that you said accepting help allows others to receive their blessings. My elders always told me never to turn down a blessing because I'd be taking away from someone else's blessing too.
You know, I never thought I would be one of "those people" who would be afraid of asking for help…but then this week I walked 2 miles uphill in he heat of the afternoon to a friend's house rather than letting her come and pick me up! (She even offered) and I was like, "No, I can do this, I don't need no stinkin' car!" This really spoke to me. I think I forget how good I feel helping other people, and by not allowing them to help me, I'm robbing them of that same joy. Hmm, that's a thought. 🙂
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this is a great post and so very true…
asking for help has been a struggle for me, but it I have found that most people truely want to help they just do not know how.
my son(and daughter-in-law) have already posted–this is a great post–it is hard for a military spouse to ask for help–i do not want to mess up any one else's schedule or life–so i generally will not ask–i have asked, but only to certain people and for certain things. i do better if someone says what they want to do–ex. can i bring you a meal–can i com take your children for the day-etc. thanks for the blog post