I do it myself. If you have, or have had, a two year old lately, this refrain probably sounds familiar. While some of this independence streak can be a good thing (having all of my children, including my 4 year old, get dressed themselves is helpful!), there are times that children still could benefit from assistance (both for their sake and ours!)
We too often go through life thinking that we can or should “do it myself.” As I look back over my time with MOPS, that is one lesson that God has made abundantly clear – I can’t do it alone. Mothering or life. I lack the wisdom and experience. First of all I need God to help me. He promises in Isaiah 9:6 that He will be my Counselor. Then He also gives me the promise of His Word to guide me. Psalm 119:24 “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.”
Second, I do need other moms who are in the same season to remind me that I am not alone. I also need moms in the next season of life (mentors) to reassure me that they made it through teething – I will too! Although we do not sew around the table, I do think our MOPS events are like old-fashioned quilting bees. Fellowship with a purpose. But sometimes I need more than that to excel as a mom – I might need professional help.
I am not sure why there is a stigma in seeking out assistance. Maybe it is a pride thing or a time thing. While I have been a part of MOPS, we have had lighthearted mornings (who does not enjoy starting the day with a cupcake?). But the meetings that have possibly been harder to sit through have been the ones the I remember most. Postpartum depression. Financial struggles. Loss of a baby after birth. Conflicting relationships. All situations that are challenging and certainly need to involve God but also often need additional assistance.
This spring has been a challenging one for us financially. We had to unexpectedly replace a vehicle, and I am having to take two classes to keep up my teaching license. (Student loans are unnecessary for that amount, but for some reason the college still expects to be paid on time. 🙂 ) Really we had been on shaky financial footing for awhile due to many years of remodeling and the strain of living on one income. We have occasionally met with a godly financial planner, and though he did give us sound advice, he had way too much confidence in our ability to make sound financial decisions. I felt like we needed a new perspective, so I contacted Mark Blowers, who spoke to our group last fall. He has now met with us for several hours and has asked us tough questions. He gave us some new ideas on ways that we can live a little differently, and I do have hope that we will come out of this tough stretch stronger (if we stay a little more disciplined). (If you are also in need of financial guidance and do not already have someone helping you, I think you would enjoy meeting with Mark. Here is his e-mail again: firstname.lastname@example.org)
You may not have financial struggles, but maybe you are also in the place where you need guidance. I want to implore you to not try to “do it yourself.” Proverbs 15:22 “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.” When seeking out help, I want to stress the importance of seeking someone out with a biblical principles. One who is living in light of eternity will have a far different perspective on someone who is living only for today. For instance, our financial goals involve giving to the church and simply trying to provide for our family and others, not to amass great wealth. Our way of living is counterculture, and if I am seeking out wise guidance, I want that person to have the same perspective.
Where to begin to seek help can be overwhelming. Talking to a mentor could be a great place to start. If they feel that you need assistance beyond what they can provide, they will refer you on to more help. First Free also has some lay counselors available if you want to be separated from the MOPS group. The group of counselors at Lincoln Counseling and Enrichment Associates are all believers. (http://www.lcealincoln.com). This is the group with whom Bob Larson (Mentor Pam’s husband) is associated. There are other Christian counselors in town whether you need help with depression, an eating disorder, your marriage or even help with knowing how to discipline your children in a godly way. The pastor at your own church is also hopefully a great resource in guiding with biblical truth.
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” While this verse is more having to do with walking away from God toward eternal death, I think that the principle could applied to other life situations. We often think that we can find our own way through challenging circumstances, but sometimes we may just be guessing. The result could be the death of a marriage. The death of house lost through bankruptcy. The death of a spirit that is continually besieged by depression. Proverbs 11:4 “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” If you do need help, please seek it out!