“Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” – John 16:23
“Ask for what you need.”
Jesus gently but firmly spoke these words to my heart as I prayed after Communion. My mind had been distracted through much of Mass as I fretted over our immediate need for childcare in the midst of so many unknowns around school and work. I don’t particularly like asking for help. It often feels like asking for help proves my broken belief that I am simultaneously not enough and too much.
I am not enough: I should be able to do this on my own, things depend on me and I’m failing.
I am too much: too needy, too busy, trying to do too many things, too scattered, too disorganized.
I especially don’t like asking for help if I don’t know exactly what kind of help I’m looking for: when will I stop needing help? What dates do I need help? How many kids will need to be watched- will some of them be in school- if so, when? Will we ever have any kind of regular schedule? If I’m going to ask for help I want to be able to sum everything up into a clear concise job posting, every detail accounted for.
I told Jesus all of this, of course, but still He insisted, “Ask for what you need right now, not in the future, now.”
“Ok, fine, Jesus, I need a committed babysitter. I need someone caring and fun and engaged who my kids will listen to and love. I need to be able to work (You know, that job at YOUR Church which YOU made me so passionate about). I need someone next week because our summer sitter is going back to school. That’s what I need.”
I left Mass convicted that the next step was to post in 2 of my local Catholic Facebook groups about our need for a regular babysitter. This was the part I was really nervous about- Jesus already knows I’m a mess, does everyone else have to?! But I did it and shortly after I got a text from a friend who saw the post- she let me know that she was praying for me and my heart and that we would find a good sitter. After I thanked her and let her know how anxious I was feeling she asked if I wanted her to call and pray with me. Even though I would normally say “thanks but you don’t have to do that,” something (Someone) nudged me to say yes.
We ended up spending 20 minutes on the phone as my friend led me through some Unbound prayer- renouncing the lies I had been believing and claiming the Truths to counteract those lies. It was amazing the things that came to the surface that I didn’t even realize I needed to reject or claim! By stepping out in vulnerability and faith and asking for what I needed, first with responding honestly to Jesus, the post and then with my friend’s offer to pray with me, needs I wasn’t even aware of were being met!
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” – 1 John 5:14
I don’t know why I was so surprised- this is how Jesus works- He LOVES to fill our needs and lavish us with good things when we ask. He knows my needs and desires so much better than I do myself, and yet He honors my choice to be open with Him about what I need. In the midst of the craziness and unknowns, He never leaves me wanting. He helped us find a wonderful sitter who my kids adore. We don’t know how long she will be here, but I’m trusting that if I ask for what I need, today, right now, He will provide for my present and my future.
Dear Jesus, help me to remember that I can always be open and honest with You about my needs; that I am never “not enough” or “too much” for You; You love me as I am. Give me the grace to be aware of the moments when You are meeting my needs in unexpected ways. Open my hands and my heart to receive all that You have in store for me. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Copyright 2020, Megan Gettinger