{31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way} :: Lesson 11~Give Up

I've never really liked asking for help. I've always been pretty independent, a go getter, a driver. I've always said I don't want to be a burden to anyone. I'd rather suffer quietly than make someone feel obligated to help me in some way.

About two years ago, my doctor had advised me to undergo a surgery to help with some issues I'd been having since the birth of my last baby. I found a time that worked with our schedule and a time that my mom had available so that she could help with the kids. It's not easy finding time in our personal schedule, much less find a time that coordinates with my mom! But we knew we needed her. The recovery was to be pretty intense the first two weeks and I was supposed to be fully recovered after 6 weeks.

Unfortunately, when I called to schedule the surgery, my doctor didn't have that week available. He had the previous week available...right when my mom was supposed to be out of the country!

We had a decision to make. We could wait another two months until we had another clearing in our schedule that coincided with the doctor's or we could go ahead with the surgery without my mom in town. I decided I didn't want to wait any longer. We would go ahead without my mom.

You know those times when you just want Mom? This was one of those times. I am confident in my mom's ability to care for my children. She knows how things work. The kids love her and find comfort in her. She knows ME so well! I wanted HER to be there when Brad brought me home. I wanted her to comfort me and help me and cook me her amazing egg rolls and know what I needed before I did.

But it wasn't going to work out that way. So I told Brad that he didn't need to stay at the hospital. He could drop me off for my surgery and then pick me up when it was time to go home. That way, he could stay with the kids. A friend was arranging meals for the week. Everything was in place.

As the date for the surgery drew closer, I grew more fearful. I was scared to "go under the knife". I was nervous about being at the hospital by myself. Really, I wanted Brad to be there with me but in order to make that happen, I had to entrust my children to friends.

I remember clearly...my eyes tearing up and almost choking on the words as I asked a friend for help. We had decided that Brad would stay with me until the evening, spend the night at the house with the kids, and then come back to the hospital the next morning. We needed someone to come to the house early and get the kids ready for school and drive them. I had everything else covered except that one morning. My friend was offering help. She was wanting to help. She was available to help. So why was it so hard to ask?

Because I had to give up control.

I had to admit that I couldn't do it all. There was no given, simple solution. I had to trust my friend (who has 4 kids of her own, by the way) to care for my kids. I had to admit that although it may not be done "my way", it would get done...my kids love her and would enjoy being with her. She loves my kids and loves helping.

I had to give up control. And let someone in. I couldn't guarantee that the house would be picked up. Or that my kids would behave perfectly. I couldn't guarantee that she'd ever want to speak to me again after she witnessed first hand the craziness of the Parsley household!

So I did. I gave up control. My husband was with me to comfort me (exactly where he wanted to be). The house probably was a wreck and I'm sure there were some hiccups during that morning. But she is still speaking to me...and we're closer now...and she's kept my kids for several nights in a row since then!

I gave up control and I received comfort. I gave up control and I gained a closer friendship. I gave up control and it was all okay!

What are you holding onto today?

This post is part of the series {31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way}. Did you miss a lesson? Catch up here.


  1. The stronger you are and the more capable you are the harder it is to let go.

  2. Giving up control is so hard, Andrea. Good for you. I have experienced that same challenge throughout the years in various areas. I think it's the whole trust issue. We have to "practice" trusting like you did with your friend and in that you were "practicing" trusting the Lord. Thanks for sharing.


I'd love to know what you think!