Tuesday, April 26, 2011

pride.

When I was a kid and had to sell things (Girl Scout cookies, school fundraiser chotskies, etc.), in my house we would buy the bare minimum rather than having to ask people to buy my things.  I never went door-to-door selling gift wrap, coupon books, etc.  E is having a similar childhood already- except this time, I have Facebook.  ("We're selling coupon books for MMP... anyone want to buy one?" is likely my status at some point in September.)  She has not yet entered the realm of me sending her out hawking her wares.

I don't like asking people for money.

I remember when I was considering going on IV Staff- that was one of my biggest hangups: the fundraising.  I remember talking about it with my staff worker, Dan, and he enlightened me to the world of raising support.  He shared with me that while the one going/doing/serving does indeed need the money, it's often just as important for the one sending to do their part to give.

I don't like asking people for money, but I get this.

When I've been unable to go to Haiti to help people in times of crisis, I appreciate that I am sending someone on my behalf.  When I can't travel with my friends to India, I like to think I'm part of their team by helping them get there.  Even as the Williamses have gone through their road to adoption- God has clearly called our family to be part of their financial journey.  There have been moments of near bliss for us as we've aided their family's way... so I get this.

Until I have to ask for money.

As I've been recruited to be a "helper" on their trip to Africa, finances have clearly come in to play.  I have to pay for all the things that one would need to get there: a passport, shots, plane tickets, etc.  And I've not been part of a large fundraising effort- a 5 K, a yardsale, whatever... (although, sidenote: our neighborhood is having a yardsale on Saturday and I will be selling whatever is not nailed down in our house so that I can have some extra cash!).  (And, another sidenote: at the Williams' yardsale, their daughter made a lemonade stand that had a jar with a label that read "A's plane ticket money".  It was encouraged I put up a beer/wine stand and put a jar saying "Becky's plane ticket money"... but even for someone inappropriate, I do know my limits.)  Anyway, it feels strange to ask people to "support" my trip- even though God has clearly called me there to be part of it.

Know why?

Pride.

It is a painful thing to say to people to people...  because what my head hears as this: "If we hadn't been so stupid when we first got married which you don't even know about likely and gotten into debt and then took years to get to where we were in a good place and heck even tithing regularly this wouldn't be an issue and even though we are much more financially sound now it still hurts when we don't have piles of cash lying around that we can take baths in not that we would but I'd like to see what that was like maybe and sometimes I wonder if I'll forever have this fear of money on my back like I did when we were first married and sometimes we still struggle in huge ways financially but not nearly as much as most of the world's population and yes I know I'm married to a doctor but he doesn't bring home the huge figures you may imagine and yes I know he only works 4 days a week and I get that he could work a lot more and make a lot more money but that's not really the point and honestly we pay our bills and we are even putting on a deck right now because God has been faithful to bring us to such a good place in regards to our finances but the moment I have to ask someone for financial help it reminds me of all that crap from years gone by and makes me realize we don't have millions of dollars in savings for a rainy day... or just a normal day in Africa".

Whew.

That's a lot of pride right there, ladies and gentlemen.  The sad reality is this: until God heals my crap, I will always feel like I have to justify things financially.  I don't want to be that girl that responds with "it was on sale!" when you tell me you like my dress.  Or the one that says "we saved and saved for it and got a good deal" when you ask me about my new deck.  But the truth is I have a lot of past crap I still need to sort through.

I IM'ed Laurie yesterday and told her that I would email the 2 friends who'd in the past offered plane ticket help if I needed it.  Her response was so pure and straightforward: "Good!  Everyone has a role to play in caring for orphans.  Maybe this is theirs."

So simple.  So true.

It's amazing to me how much God is teaching all of us by their family's adoption process.  We're all learning about how God does miracles, comes to our aid, and cares for His children.  Now He's gently reminding me that I have some pride-wrapped-in-fear-wrapped-in-pain that I need to work on.  Because it's not about me "asking for money"... when it comes down to it, it's me allowing people that same joy of partnering with God's plan for those kids' adoption.  They aren't funding a fun roadtrip for me and my bestie (although, bonus!), they are aiding in the plan to get these kids home!  I have the privilege of being the hands and feet of so many that want to be part... why am I letting my pride get in the way of that blessing in their lives?

Now, all this said... THIS IS NOT A CRY FOR HELP or even a request for a donation.  If God is calling you to aid in orphan care, hooray! But I'm not begging all of you reading this for money.  I'm simply sharing my story to show you what God is teaching me.  I am thankful for those of you who agreed to help- and the rest of you... just pray.  K?

Here's hoping I get to update really soon with a departure date.... and hoping I get to update a post later of how God is working on my pride, too.

4 comments:

Michael said...

I find I have the same issues when accepting a compliment, on any level. As though I don't deserve it. I think it ties in to asking for help, or receiving a gift also. I wonder where that comes from? Sometimes the bigger blessing is allowing someone to bless you. Most of Christianity is backwards like that....blessed are the poor....etc. I love Him. When you figure it out, let me know....

Joy: said...

Amen. Amen. Amen.

You so just told my story to the world, girlfriend.

Thank you for sharing this.

I will pray.

Joy

Courtney said...

Did you go to Urbana in 96? I remember God very clearly teaching me there that the sending is just as important as the going.
(p.s. I stayed away from IV staff for the very same reason you did).
While I may not be able to help financially right now, know that I'll be "sending" you with my prayers.

little j said...

I never thought about it that way! I'm in the process of raising support right now, and I kept thinking that it was "honorable" that I didn't want to ask people for money. But a lot of the time, it's pride that keeps me from doing it. As much as it sucks sometimes, it has been one of the most humbling and faith-growing experiences!