Learning to Ask…

IMG_86917As I was getting ready the other day to head to my friend Heidi’s house to begin my 3rd week of radiation, I got a text from her telling me that they were sick. I hadn’t planned for sick. Sick and cancer treatments don’t mesh well together. At this point the problem isn’t so much for me as that I do not want to expose those currently going through chemo with illness. So my assumption is that if I get ill, the cancer center will push back my treatments until I get well and at this point in the process pushing back treatment when I am this close to being done would really suck.

So what do you do? You reach out to others and ask for help. Fortunately I am originally from Eugene and have had several friends offer up their guest bedrooms if ever I should need a place to stay. But the reality is that I have been gone for 7 years. I have kept in touch with friends but not as good of touch as I should have. I didn’t envision really needing any help. I had my plan after all. I was going to spend the whole time with Heidi. We were going to do a bible study together and pretend that we were still 12 and stay up late and giggle and swap stories for 6.5 weeks. Yes, I see now that my plan was a little unrealistic especially since neither of us stay up late, her youngest child is not even 12 anymore and there is more than just me in her life. (ie, husband, 3 teenagers, their church congregation… etc.) And with all that activity, someone is bound to get sick.
I’m not sure why asking for help is such a hard thing to do. I guess I don’t want to feel like I am putting someone out. I don’t want to be a burden or interrupt people with their busy lives and schedules. I just want to take care of myself and not have anyone feel obligated to hang with me. Mr. Wonderful was with me when I got the text and he starts rattleing off names of people I could call. I begin to give him all of my excuses as to why it was so hard to ask. He is rolling his eyes, telling me that I am silly and reminding me that if any one of these people were to call me, that I would be bending over backwards to open up our home to them. He’s right of course. (He’s always right, it’s not one of his best qualities. Ok, it is one of his best qualities but it really makes my life hard sometimes.) But him being right didn’t make it any easier to make the call. I just don’t like asking.
Mr. Wonderful and the kids still had a 2.5 hour drive to get home, it was a school night, he wasn’t going to leave until he knew that I was all taken care of and it was 8:30pm. The eye rolling then became deep sighing because the longer I waited to make the call the later they were going to get home. So I tell him to leave and that I would get it figured out. He says no. So I called Ron and Jenny. We have known Ron and Jenny forever. Jenny and I were roommates at one point. Rod was in their wedding and Ron was in ours and I had watched their two boys for several years while Jenny was working. We are good friends and I had no doubt in my mind that they would love to have me in their home if it fit with their schedule. Honestly, even if it didn’t fit with their schedule I knew that they would somehow try and make it work.
I guess it’s a pride issue. I don’t want to admit that I don’t have it all together, that I can’t do this alone and that I need some help. I also feel guilt that I have not stayed in in as good of contact as I should have. Ron and Jenny have a little girl now that I don’t even know. They of course let me come over. And you know what? It was great. I got to catch up a bit with an old friend, be entertained by their amazing kids and get to see a side of their life that I would have never known otherwise. There is a plan in the works for me to stay with them again sometime during the rest of my radiation stint and I am really looking forward to it. It’s hard to remember that when you ask for help a lot of the time the one helping gets as much benefit out of the situation as you do.
I have no idea where the rest of this ride is going to take me but I do know that I will continue to be stretched to do things beyond my comfort zone and I will get to see how faithful God is to bless me when I just let go of me and my agenda and let him be in control.
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  1. Thanks for sharing this. We can probably all relate to the “hating to ask” thing. Good for you for doing it!

    You know, I am finally realizing (in my advanced years ) that when things get messed up, there’s usually some other hidden, important blessing to find if I will just look for it.

    Luvs and hugs, cute Tiffany!!

  2. Jeannie barr says

    http://www.flandersfamily.info/web/12-days-of-christmas-party-games/ti Tiffany, we would love to have you stay with us here in Springfield half an hour to Sacred Heart. Our son Luke just finished his treatment for testicular cancer so we understand the Logistics. We have plenty a room and know how to deal with the kiddos that have sniffles and can’t be with mommy that has cancer. Reach us through Facebook we’re here for you.

  3. If you ever need a place to stay, I know we are not in Eugene but we are closer than CB!!! You are more than welcome to stay with us ‘s any time!!!

  4. Tiffany, thank you for opening up your life and speaking the truth with grace. I think we all hate asking….those who have no problem asking, ask all the time….and then their friends suddenly change phone numbers. There is real truth to finding it easier to give than it is to receive.

    May you continue to see God at work….and share a bit of His work with all of us!


  5. Ron Goertzen says

    I knew that Rod was Mr. Right. I didn’t know that his middle name was ‘Always’!

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