"Lean on Me" is a classic song that has been covered across music genres. It shares a message that no matter who we are, where we are, or how we "do life," there will be a time we realize we can't do it all on our own. DC Talk's upbeat version has found renewed airplay on our local Christian radio station, and every time I hear it, I am reminded of the many people God has given us to lean on during this season in our lives.
I have always been pretty good at multi-tasking--BD (Before Diagnosis), it was nothing for me to juggle a multitude of family, work, and grad school responsibilities. A fierce sense of independence motivated me (unnecessarily, at times) to do as much as I could without accepting help from others. This isn't always the best way to do things--it was just what I did. Though she would never have admitted it before, Paige is very much like me in this manner--an independent, do-it-herself kind of girl.
January 10, 2014, changed everything. It definitely changed the way we 'did life.' Paige has had to get used to relying on us more. Whether it's help getting around or taking care of the little things that aren't so little anymore, she's made the adjustment pretty well. It has taken me a little longer, but I have come to the realization that it's okay for me to accept help too.
We have been blessed in so many ways, I can't possibly list them all--but I figured I'd share a sample:
- Prayer - This is such an important part of Paige's journey. She has so many prayer partners and prayer warriors out there lifting her up on a daily basis--it's mind-blowing! God is faithful and will deliver her!!
- Listening - Providing an ear for us to share the incredible things God has done so far is much needed and much appreciated.
- Fundraising - From bracelet and t-shirt sales to a 'labor of love' benefit and fun run, friends have shown an overwhelming amount of support and helped relieve some of the stresses associated with the many medical expenses as well as the reduction in family income.
- Gifts - Several friends have provided iTunes gift cards so Paige can load up on movies, music, and apps to get her through some very long days at clinic (and during some planned hospitalizations in the not-too-distant future). Care packages given by classmates, teachers, and friends have provided snacks for long days and warm blankets for cold hospital rooms. :) Mom & Dad haven't been left out--'love offerings,' grocery store and gas gift cards, a meal calendar, and our own care packages of household supplies help relieve some of our weekly expenses.
- Helping in General - My mom comes over so I can get out once in a while and also takes care of Jeremy when we are with Paige at TCH. Friends invite Jeremy for sleepovers so he can 'have a life' when Paige is 'grounded' because of low blood counts. This list gets bigger every day. :)
As someone who is used to doing it all, I have had difficulty getting to a point where I feel comfortable asking for help. The realization that we are only 6 weeks in on a long journey is changing that. God is taking care of Paige's healing, and He has provided us with a great support system. I am very aware of how blessed we truly are. So, my friends, I'm giving you fair warning...It won't be long till I'm gonna need somebody to lean on--again and again and again.