He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak (Isaiah 40:29).

As I read Isaiah 40, I’m preparing to finish one of the biggest projects of my life. This season has been hard, and the work has come about with great sacrifice, determination, and if I’m honest . . . assistance from others.

I’m not sure why, but the older I get, the harder it is to ask for help.

Why is that?

As women we need help, but often fail to reach out and get the support we need. When times get tough, our instinct is to hunker down and weather the storm, rather than making ourselves vulnerable by asking for help. As I reflect upon my journey, here are a few common themes I’ve noticed:

Reasons I don’t ask for help:

I lose control.
When we ask for assistance, we surrender our ability to solely shape and direct the vision. Our personal plans and designs must bend to accommodate the input of others. Asking for help means I am no longer the sole architect of this endeavor.

People will think I can’t do it.
If we admit weakness, we become vulnerable. People might think we’re weak, that we can’t cut it, or that we weren’t as good as our predecessors.

It’s quicker if I do it myself.
If we ask for help, we’ll have to explain how to do something. Explaining takes time. And even after its explained, it may not get done the way we wanted. Or, it might not get done at all.

I’ll feel inferior.
If we ask for assistance, we’ll feel like we failed. That small voice in our heads will say, See, I knew this was too much for you.

The list goes on, but no matter the reason, asking for help is important. As ministry wives, we can accomplish the things that God has called us to do. But we are not meant to do it all. As you work to accomplish goals, dream dreams, and embrace new visions; I encourage you to keep these principles in mind.

Work should be joyful.
It’s true that God has called and equipped us to do great things, but our work should be a joyful experience. As we model a healthy work ethic to younger women and those around us, we should remember to rejoice in the work of our hands. How often are you smiling as you complete your tasks? Are you remembering to laugh? If not, some adjustments may be needed to your to-do list.

Our work is God’s work.
Whether you work in or outside the church, what we do reflects the character of Christ. When we burden ourselves to the point of exhaustion, we fail to emulate His character. Genesis 1:28 demonstrates that God did create work for mankind, but He also modeled rest on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3). Jesus also modeled rest during His earthly ministry (Luke 8:24). Remember, your work is God’s work, but rest should be part of the equation.

Remember the greatest commandment.
When we’re working to accomplish goals and meet deadlines, its easy to forget what really matters. The primary objective of Christian life is to love one another. Remember that your work best honors God when it is rooted in love. Take time amidst the business to express the joy in your heart, and the love He bestows daily.

You were chosen for this day and this time, but you were designed for relationships. God desires your work to be fruitful, not solitary.

Take time today to examine whats on your plate. Are there areas of strife, and frustration? Consider how you can ask for assistance in these areas. What is draining you might be a wonderful possibility for growth and development for someone else. When God directs our efforts, the very things that tire us may energize and empower others. Today, allow yourself the freedom to ask for help.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise marked, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblicia, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com. The NIV and New International Version are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.