Saturday night I was stuck at the Philadelphia airport, due to fog. I was coming back home from a whirlwind overnight trip to Lancaster PA, where I had keynoted the annual Winterfest teen and young adult conference for the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Synod up there, and I was tired.
In the last 36 hours, I had been on two planes, four trains, been in three different cars, had probably 30 conversations and keynoted a high-energy talk in front of 500 teenagers. And was looking at two more plane trips before I get home. So I was tired.
“…And miles to go before I sleep.”
Then the nice lady at the airport told me I was not going to make my connecting flight, so I could choose to be stuck in Philadelphia, or be stuck in Chicago. Either way, I was not going to make it home tonight.
I put this on instagram:
Now here is the thing: I was exhausted. So, so tired. And other than Raleigh or Memphis (where my family lives nearby), there is perhaps no better city in the US for me to be stranded in than Philadelphia – I know maybe 30 people who live there, and 5 of them are really good friends of mine. All I have to do is pick up the phone and ask, and any of them would be happy to let me stay there overnight.
But I wasn’t going to do that – instead, I was going to sleep on that couch thing in the picture above.
One of my friends, Amy Yoder McLoughlin, saw my post of the picture on Facebook. I got a message:
Her: I am coming to get you – you can stay on our couch tonight.
Me: Awww. I have to be back up here crazy early – my flight leaves (hopefully) at 6:00am, so I would have to be here by 5 – I should just stay here.
Her: Nope. We will bring you back in the morning. It’s the Mennonite way.
Me: Are you sure?
Her: Be there in 20 minutes.
I would have never asked her for help, and even when she was offering the help, I was hesitant to actually take it.
And the crazy thing in all of this is, I spend most of my life helping people!
I don’t know what it is in me that makes it so hard to ask for help. But I have a feeling it isn’t just me – I know from my work that it is pervasive in our society. But I don’t understand it, even when it is me.
Do you find it hard to ask for help? Why do you think that is?