Part II HELP???!!!

With 2 houses donated to a group of overly excited people ready to conquer the world for Christ, you would think we were ready for the road ahead. Little did we know that in all of our excitement to help struggling women, we would find out that the first people who needed help was us.

The help we needed was not financial or material or organizational or business oriented or  motivational. It was help with PERSPECTIVE.

In working with our first struggling woman we quickly experienced what is sometimes referred to as compassion fatigue.

expectations 2

We saw her needs.

She needed a house. She needed motivation. She needed to rely on God, not drugs. She needed a good job. She needed self-discipline. She needed healthy relationships. She needed mentors.

Need. Need. Need.
And we gave. gave. gave. Until we gave out! We became skeptical, mistrusting, unsure, and tired.

Loving others shouldn’t produce fatigue.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
But we did fail. The first woman we ever helped left us. It was her choice and it was on good terms. But we had to sit around looking at each other wondering if God set us on this journey, how have we managed to fail so miserably?

expectations

I found a description of “bad” help that describes everything we tried to do in the first few months of our ministry.

You’ll know “bad” help when:
1. The helper claims s/he is an expert about you (it’s not true – you’re the expert about you)
2. The help is one-size-fits-all, that applies the same tools and approaches to everyone – it’s not tailored to your individualized case or scenario.
3. The helper assumes you need “fixing” or believes you’re the problem.
4. The help you receive keeps you stuck — you keep experiencing the same the problems over and over.
5. The helper is enmeshed with you – s/he does not support you to grow beyond the help they give.
6. Receiving help is a negative experience that drains you of your vitality, hope, and excitement for life. (Or, on the other hand, the help is so overly-optimistic that it doesn’t reflect reality and leads you astray).
(http://kathycaprino.com)

“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.” Eph. 5:13-14

expectations 3

The light had shown on our PERSPECTIVE. We began to consider things we had never considered before.

We were a group of middle class, white, American women. We had never wanted for anything physical in our lives. Our material needs have always been met. We were church going, Jesus loving, Bible believing, faithful women. We seemingly had all of the tools to be helpful for someone in need. But could it be possible that we were very wrong and very

BROKEN??

Maybe we needed a new PERSPECTIVE? Maybe what we have always been told were the answers to success were not the answers at all? In all of our desire and effort to help a struggling woman we had

given her a house
given her clothes
given her advice
given her toys
given her kitchen appliances, and beds, and furniture
given her money
given her rules
given her expectations
given her words of wisdom
brought her to church
read her the Bible
played with her kids
and wore ourselves out.

Why didn’t it work?

It didn’t work because we had failed to realize that WE ARE BROKEN.
We are just as broken as the people we are trying to help. We are their equals. We are lacking. We are in need. And WE ARE NOT THE ONES WHO WILL FIX THEM.
We had the wrong expectations.

Have you ever reached a place where you realized “I have no idea what I’m doing!”

And you cry out to God, HELP???!!

good intentions

I THANK GOD EVERY DAY THAT I AM BROKEN. Realizing that has been the best thing that we have ever done in the Bridge ministry. It has produced patience beyond belief, hope that is immeasurable, and success that only comes from a gracious God.

The months that were to follow our failure were the most transforming time in my life.
We are still learning to help without hurting. And we are excited to share our new
PERSPECTIVE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *