Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dependence Is Not A Dirty Word

Hey Friend,

I was raised with the philosophy that you pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.  Self reliance was a good quality.  I remember as a fairly young child, my parents purchased our first color tv. (okay now I'm really dating myself).  They were so proud to have accomplished this achievement.  We went to the store in our big old Chevrolet station wagon and the nice people at the store loaded it into the back of the car. 

When we got home I watched as my parents struggled, on their own, to try to maneuver that thing in the house and up the stairs.  When strategies clashed then an argument broke out.  In my youthful ignorance, I piped up, "Why don't you ask one of the neighbors for help?"  Sounded reasonable to me, but you would have thought I had uttered the unspeakable.  "No," my father replied, "we can handle this ourselves."  End of discussion.

The wall of self reliance was built up over many years.  It's taken a long time, and the Lord is still at work, tearing down that old wall.  In its place He's taught me that to "rely" or "depend" on someone else is, and can be, a good thing...especially if I am relying upon or depending upon the Lord.  After all, "Apart from Him I can do nothing."

"I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."  (John 15:5)

I admit that at first I didn't totally buy into this verse.  I thought that on my own I could do 90% and I might need to rely on the Lord for the remaining 10%.  God was my "go to guy" in prayer only when I reached the end of myself.  We have a term for that; it's called pride.

Pride stands in the way of us experiencing true freedom - freedom to try, to dare, to risk because we are depending on ourselves and not on our Savior.

Ironically, dependence sets us free...let that sink in.

I like the way Oswald Chambers puts it: "The more you fulfill yourself; the less you will see God."

I used to wonder why God wrote this whole Bible of commands to follow when it was impossible to fulfill or complete them about a set up for frustration.  Now, when I read them it brings me back to a dependence on Christ, because only through Him can the law be fulfilled perfectly and completely.

The Bible brings me back, ultimately, to a dependence on Christ!

Back up the scripture I quoted in John by one verse and you get an even better and clearer picture.

"Abide in me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me."  (John 15:4)

I love the word incorporates depending and relying. Read this wonderful passage from the book Abide In Christ:

"Abiding in Him is not a work that we have to do as a condition for enjoying His salvation, but a consenting to let Him do all for us, and in us, and through us.  It is a work He does for us - the fruit and the power of his redeeming love.  Our part is simply to yield, to trust, and to wait for what He has engaged to perform."

I am learning to rest in Christ and to go forth in His power.

What are you trying to do on your own?  Are you trying unsuccessfully to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps?

Dependence is NOT a dirty word.  The Lord yearns to have you lay down your burdens at His feet and simply abide, in Him.  Trust Love's can depend on Him!!

One last thought on dependence:  If we attempt to always "fix" others problems we are robbing them of the opportunity to depend deeply on their Savior.  Our job is to point them toward Him...kind of like a giant directional arrow.

Remember too, that when you depend on the Lord, it gives others the permission to depend as well.  We all need to know that we don't have to do life alone or all by ourselves.  It's okay, in fact it's more than okay to depend on the Lord and to depend on others.  The Lord sees you in your trials and He doesn't want you going it alone.  He loves you deeply and furiously and wants you to come and rest and abide in Him.  He is one person you can depend on and He's calling you to do just that.  Be blessed...

In His love,


ps.  $10 Challenge for Redeemer Christian School still needs YOUR help.  Together we can bring Christ to a very dark corner of our world.  As one person you can make a difference!! 

Send cash or check made out to: Bev Rihtarchik
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Thank you :)


  1. Oh Bev, I can so relate to this. It is difficult for me to ask for help, but I've learned with time that God created us for community and to rely on his strength. It's not always an easy lesson to learn! But so much peace can be found when we don't try to do it all ourselves. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Abby,
      Like many of God's life lessons, I had to learn this one the hard way! I am still "in process", but like you much peace can be found when we don't try to do it all ourselves...and can't we all use a little more peace?! So glad you stopped by my cyber friend :)
      ps. Folks check out Abby's writing...she's wonderful

  2. Why do we fight asking for help so often? Many people want to be useful, but we shut them out. And we turn away from the ultimate Helper. I know I needed this lesson...

    1. I know for me, it was a matter of pride. I never thought of myself as a "prideful" person, but my insistence upon doing things on my own was robbing God of the glory. I also robber others of their opportunity to serve when I refused help. I am learning, slowly, that dependence can be a win-win opportunity. Take are not alone! Thanks for sharing and popping by...
      Blessings and ((hugs)),

  3. Hi Bev,

    I do ask for help. But, often a home with special needs kids, such as mine are, don't really get help. A person who has a family who looks normal, like our does, just think the boys are "active" which they are, but they don't see the horrible temper tantrums that last a long time, the fear that daddy might not come home, or mommy might not come home, the aggression, the constant messes, the hyper-vigilance and sensory integration issues that mask itself as hyperactivity, and the fear that adults won't take care of their needs which comes out as strange control issues with adult's authority. Then when we do ask for help, people give inane suggestions that would work with a child who has a typical background. Typical parenting does not work with kids who are fear driven, it causes more fear, isolation, and feelings of worthlessness, and being unlovable. I'm talking about time-outs, 123 Magic, sitting in a chair not seeing the caretaker, direct confrontation, etc.

    We then quit talking and asking for help because the same help is not worth it. Or they feel the child will have the life of the worst case scenario if we don't "control" the child. We can't control the child because we know Jesus has to do the work. We have to be faithful, love these kids, try to find a sitter who will watch the kids, and we often are God led to others who are in our situation, who we can freely talk about our situations without judgement, with compassion, understanding, love, direction, and ears to hear.

    When I was talking about being exhausted to a person in leadership, their response was "Well you must be doing okay, you're still standing" I shut my mouth. I will respond with something kind on the order of "Think about how tired your mother is when she watches your kids, and it may be only for a day, maybe a weekend, and then she gives them back to you. We have this 24/7 and we are the age of your mother, actually older than your mother. So, we are exhausted. But, there is a grain of truth to his statement. We are still standing, and Jesus is faithful. We cry out everyday, and little by little, we are pointed to answers. Sometimes, it is only to stay the course.

    When I was younger, the first time around, I did ask for help. But, I also made the mistake of not understanding what was my responsibility, and what was God's responsibility, and I took on too much responsibility to try and change what my daughter was doing. It surely did not work. It caused more harm that good. This time I know that lesson, but still need to get better at practicing it. I'm getting there a little more as time goes by.

    We do look for help with counselors, therapists, experts, other parents. Counselors and therapists are very costly, and often we may have to drive a distance to get to someone who will actually be able to help our kids. This takes money, time for the appointment, and then the follow up on our part, while juggling our other responsibilities with school, home, other kids, marriage, ministry, required volunteer hours with school, health issues, etc.

    Sorry for going on. I wanted to give another side to a percentage of the population who are in my shoes, and have asked of help and gotten what we didn't need. I fully agree with what you are saying. I don't see my situation most of the time as doom and gloom. I really try not to have a pity party, (sometimes it squeaks out) but it can get to me when I am hungry, angry, lonely, tired, overwhelmed. Then Jesus will give me a sweet glimmer and I am encouraged again.

    ((Hugs and loving blessings)),


    1. Hi Joanne,
      I know all too well that well meaning people say the most inane and non-helpful things. I suffer from depression and anxiety and people have told me, "just don't give into the depression...think happy thoughts." My gut reaction is that I want to pop them in the nose. I'm sure you feel the same way when people, unaware of the dynamics you are dealing with, offer up cliché responses. God, does see, however, what you are going through and truly knows best what you need. I am amazed that you are raising your two special needs boys at your age (not that you are old, but you know what I mean). I pray all the time that God would give you the energy and wisdom to best deal with what you encounter everyday. There is a crown of glory that awaits you. Thank you for drawing to my attention the percentage of the population who ask, but get what they don't need. Humans can be just plain daft, but God gets it and He is in the business of offering rest for the weary and hope. Praying the He will continue to give you those sweet glimmers of hope and bring alongside you people who can truly help!! As always, you are in my thoughts and prayers dear friend!!
      Love and ((hugs)),

    2. Thanks Bev,

      I needed your response today. The reality is there are a lot of us grandparents raising our grandchildren (at LEAST 10% of the total population) due to the economy, substance abuse, dysfunction, and 25% of all adoptions are people who are 55 years of age or older. I know there are other people out there knowing the basic statistics, but I have not run into the older parents with young kids yet.



    3. Joanne,
      I didn't realize the high percentage of adoptions are by people over 55...that's an interesting statement on our society. I am praying that God would bring alongside you another "mature" mom who "gets it". We all need someone who we know has walked in our shoes...meanwhile, know that I am always here and praying for you!!
      Love and ((hugs)),


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