Saturday, January 9, 2016

Accepting the Lord's Helping Hands by Julie Nielsen

I think there are so many times in life that I’ve felt like I could do it all. I’ve got my husband and my kids, and we can get done what needs to be done. To an extent this is true, but lately I’ve realized even more, that not just in being raised or raising my kids, but in all aspects, it takes a village. For us, that is the town of St. Johns. I have a hard time asking for help or even admitting that I need help. I realize that that’s not necessarily a good thing. As I’ve reflected on that the last few months, I’ve wondered how I could overcome that and at least be willing to accept the help that is offered without dying a million deaths. Recently, as I was reading my scriptures, I instantly knew that the Lord was answering my question. I read in Mosiah 29:20, which says, “…and thus does the Lord work with his power in all cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him.” The words, TRUST HIM, came blaring out at me. He was speaking to me through scripture. I thought to myself I do trust you, I always have. But upon further consideration, I realized maybe I don’t fully trust Him. Maybe this is what I am lacking, so to speak. So I began to ponder this. How can I trust Him more fully?  Different thoughts have come over the last couple of weeks that I have pondered this, but one of them that stands out is that the Lord sometimes sends the help we need through someone else, and me not allowing them to help, then doesn’t allow the Lord to help me. 

            I can’t remember who shared this story, and I’m sure I won’t get it all right, but it conveys the meaning. There was a man on a boat and it began to sink, so he prayed with all his might for help. Suddenly a boat appeared and offered help, but the man answered, no the Lord will help me, it will be okay. As water began to fill the boat, the Coast Guard came along to save the man. Again, he replied, no the Lord is going to help me, all will be well.  As the boat was almost capsized, along came a helicopter with a ladder, and they called down, “Just climb up the ladder.” Yet again, he refused the help because the Lord was going to help him. 

            We want to laugh at that story and say, “Come on! That was the Lord answering your prayer! How did you not figure that out?!” Yet, how many times in our lives do we say to someone who offers help, “No, I’m okay,” or even, “I’ve got this, but thank you.” It happens for so many reasons. We may think that the help we need will come in a different manner. We think things such as, “If I take their help, then I’m weak. If I let them in, they’ll see the mess that didn’t get cleaned up because of lack of time and energy. If I let them help me, it may be a burden to them. They have their own things to do, so I’m relieving them of that feeling that they need to help.” So many excuses come of why we can’t allow someone to help. I’m guilty of it for sure.  

Although it is hard for me at times to admit that I could use a helping hand, I am grateful to live in this community where people are willing to help. I’ve been reflecting on the times when I’ve felt that my prayers were answered through another person. How grateful I am for people, who, whether they’re aware of it or not, have listened to the spirit and been there right when I needed them. I’m sure there are other places where people are willing to serve, but I dare say not as much as here in our community. In my short life, we’ve experienced many ups and downs. It’s been amazing to see how people rally around you. Whether it be the death of a loved one, the coming of a new baby, or the putting on of a reception, the people of St. Johns are continually asking how they can help, or they are just showing up to help. My family and I have been the recipients of so much help, love, and concern over the years. For that I am forever grateful. I remember sitting at a funeral and my sister-in-law telling me how great St. Johns is, and that she wouldn’t expect such an outpouring of love where she lives. 

Whether we like it or not, the Lord sends help and answers to our prayers through other people. Are we willing to let them help? Are we willing to trust the Lord, who has sent one of his servants to serve us? By trusting them to help us, we are trusting Him. My ready answer is, “No, I’m okay, but thank you!” Yet, is that what it should be? No matter the act of service - someone helping you carry something to your car, bringing dinner, cleaning up a mess, simply asking how you are - this is probably an answer to your needs. Trust the Lord. I dare say we are willing and happy to help, but sometimes, we need to be willing to trust that maybe the Lord has sent someone to help us today, and that’s okay.


  1. You were an answer to my prayers at one time. I'll never forget it. I love this post. Thank you.

  2. I believe this is how the lord teaches us to love one another...thanks Julie

  3. Oh Julie-I love you so much. You are one of those people that is always giving, and giving and giving. I'm so grateful for you and your family. You have always been an inspiration to me.