Friday, August 23, 2013

Being Needy

A couple days ago, my eldest's English teacher sent home an email with an attachment for a release form we needed to print out, sign, and send back to school for her.  I had to write her back and tell her that we are in temporary housing at the moment with no access to a printer . . . could she give my daughter a hard copy to bring home to me?

A minor incident, I know, but it seems like there are a hundred little moments like this every day.  And this particular moment sent me over the mental edge finally:  I'm tired of being needy

A few friends may balk at what might seem like a casual hyperbolic use of the word "needy".  But a wonderful book recommended by a friend after my recent posts about how rich and poor think (A Framework for Understanding Poverty) defined "poverty" as "the extent to which an individual does without resources."  And there are many necessary resources in life beyond financial resources:

- emotional
- mental
- spiritual
- physical
- support systems
- relationship/role models
- knowledge (such as of hidden rules)

These are the types of resources I have felt sorely lacking in . . . particularly for the last couple months, but also for a couple years now, since the unemployment saga started. 

Oftentimes, the resources are there.  I mean, I had plenty of support systems and relationships to turn to in Sioux City when needs arose. And I had no qualms about asking for help -- we all have difficult times in our lives, and God intends for us to depend on each other.  We are created a social people.   But there comes a point, after a while, when you are tired of asking for help.  Tired of leaning on others. 

We've been able to use the "new to town" excuse for a couple months now here in San Antonio, and I expect we'll have a legitimate claim on that for quite some time.  But it's already getting old.  Sorry, we're new to town and I don't know where this is . . . Sorry, we're new to town and I'm not sure where I can get that . . . Sorry, I didn't know what the traffic would be like . . . Sorry, I didn't know this was the case . . . I don't know how that's done . . . Sorry . . . I'm sorry . . .

Two benefits coming out of this extended stint of neediness.  One, I have all the more empathy for those whose similar neediness is not temporary.  How exhausting and humbling to never quite have all the resources available to you that "society" expects folks to have.

And two, although I'm longing to get back to a feeling of being on top of things and in control of my life and comfortable . . . I have a feeling God doesn't want me there at all.  I have a feeling God would be quite happy if this unsettledness became my new norm so I learn how to lean on Him daily -- hourly -- and not on my own resources.

Not sure I'm happy about that, but I'll get there.  One step at a time.

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