Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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In Community, WE CAN

I remember the day that it hit me.

I can’t do this anymore…I’ve taken on too much.

It was the week we were moving out of our apartment. It was the day before my social worker was coming for our adoption home visit. It was the perfect moment to have THE nervous breakdown of the century.

I looked around our apartment, and it was mass chaos. There were half-packed trunks, empty cardboard boxes, piles of dirty clothes, and stacks of random paperwork. I’ll even tell you that there were dead ladybugs along our bedroom wall. {Will those things EVER DIE???}

As I stared at the seemingly impossible mounds of tasks to work through, I could feel my anxiety levels rising and the tears welling. The enemy’s lies crept in.

Who do I think I am? I can’t even keep a one-bedroom apartment clean. I’m moving across the world. Who am I to think I’m worthy to mother an African child? I haven’t even finished a whole chapter book on attachment issues.

Other expectant mothers are cooking Lesothoan meals for dinner tonight and I can’t tell you where to find my crock pot right now. I’m the biggest fake of an adoptive mother there ever was.

My husband must have seen the oncoming nightmare of that-which-is-my-emotional-hysteria. He immediately jumped in to say a word to the Lord, and then reassured me that the crazy wouldn’t last forever.

Well, that particular crazy anyway.

It was in that moment that my eyes were opened to something that I’ve missed out on for so long. I thought about all the things that needed to be done before my case worker walked in the door, and I admitted to myself that I COULD NOT do it all by myself. Nope. Nope, I couldn’t.

All the words from my friends offering assistance flooded my ears and I accepted the fact that I needed HELP. I was desperate and in a bad kind of overwhelmed.

I called up my girlfriends, and within hours, my home looked better than I had ever seen it, and there were two plates full of delicious baked goods.

All I can say is, the last month has been a Hallelujah-I’m-Free-At-Last kind of month. The weight of trying to single-handedly feed all the hungry children has been lifted, and I see the beauty of holding hands with other servants in community.


Have we lost that concept? Our front porches are tiny and lifeless. Our neighborhoods are gated. Our athletic teams are exclusive. Do you even know the names of the people next door?

I mean, I pretty much jump out of my skin if the doorbell rings and I’m not expecting a package from Etsy. Our schedules are so busy we run around with our tongues hanging out, but when someone asks us how we are doing, we say, Great! We are just so blessed… 

I fear that Christians have lost the ability to rely on one another. We are open to God’s leading, and even say Yes to His calling, but we forget that He has surrounded us with so many others to champion us on in the journey.

Can we please be set free from having it all together, all the time? It is such an honor when The Lord places a burden on your heart and asks you to help redeem His people. It is also very exhausting to feel like you have to do that on your own.

Maybe I am off on this, but is there any piece of you that is aching for encouragement? Do you feel isolated in your hectic and demanding ministry? Is there someone who could walk beside you today in your journey of radical obedience?

Brothers and sisters, you are NOT alone. God would never call you to obey Him in something and then leave you to work it out yourself.

many people

When the church becomes a gathering of self-sustaining members, it’s original design has become obsolete. We are no longer a body, each part dependent on the next, but a mechanical organism without emotional or relational need.

I am so grateful for the gift of my fellow believers. I’m thankful that I can say that I need you.

I need your stories. I need your wisdom, your experiences, your expertise. I need your resources, your connections, and your edification.

I need your laughter and your affirmation. I need to know that I belong and that you care about the desires of my heart.

I need to know that I’m not alone in this, and that you are willing to get your hands dirty with me. I also need to know that you are willing to accept my help when you find yourself in a crunch.

I have this dream of seeing the world watch as we grab each others’ hands and say, We can work through this…Together.

We can fight hunger. We can redeem families. We can care for orphans and widows. By the grace and provision of God, WE CAN.

But it can never be an I. I can’t do anything without you. You can’t do anything without your church. And your church can’t do anything without existing in community.


Here’s to pulling one another out of the isolation of self-reliance and into the empowerment of co-dependence. We, my fellow believers, need each other.



AprilApril 3, 2014 - 1:43 pm

So true and so beautifully said. I am glad you reached out for help when you knew you needed it. Such an inspiration to me too. It’s all too easy to get into that place where you feel like it’s all up to you and how pitiful for you to have to ask for help…and it’s just not true.

Robert Franklin KingApril 3, 2014 - 8:12 pm

Yes We all Need help Some time Or another, GOD Has Blessed Me In So Many Ways, We All Should Lend A Helping Hand When Needed To Some One.

Ralph LewisApril 4, 2014 - 5:03 am

“The empowerment of co-dependence” is such an amazing statement. After nearly 15 yrs in Cambodia’s rural remote, I can attest to exactly what ‘isolation’ feels like and to the blessings that come from shelving my own ‘pride’ and relying on the community of Christians whom God has placed us among. I want to help champion ‘co-dependence’…