As a young child (maybe 3 or 4), I was petrified of drive-through car washes. I vividly remember the panic I experienced watching those big brushes slam my window – no possible way of escape. But today’s Total Truth Tuesday isn’t about my fear of the brushes (I actually got over that). The reason I now refuse to enter an automatic car wash is that I can never seem to get on the track. I don’t know if it’s my depth perception or what, but try as I may I just can’t get my left wheels into place. This typically results in the young man on duty emphatically waving his hands this way and that (why do they always seem so angry?) and me breaking into tears because I. Just. Can’t. Find. The. Place. For. My. Wheel. It’s the truth. I am afraid of failing…at the car wash. So I avoid them at all lengths. I bribe my children to wash the van or pray for a downpour. But until this past week, it never occurred to me to simply ask someone else to drive me through.
Our van was covered in country dust from Nicole and Clint’s wedding at the barn, and I was embarrassed to park the dirty thing in the school parking lot one more day. So sucked it up. I admitted to my husband and the girls that I was scared to drive through a car wash and asked Justin to take me through. With Justin behind the wheel, I laughed, made fun of myself, and drove out with a sparkly new van. No panic or failure involved. In fact, it was fun!
I often feel similarly about other areas of my life. I know the result I want, but I’m too afraid to get on the track that will take me there. Fear of failure is the cornerstone of my nemesis, perfectionism. And so I avoid things like car washes and relationships and hard things because I think that I have to do it all on my own, or that I’ll look dumb or have to admit that I’m not all that…
But since my breakdown, I am learning that there is another way to face this fear of failure, whether it’s getting my wheel in a track at the car wash or sharing my journey with you through a screen. It’s called asking for help. Not being ashamed to admit that I can’t do it all, and relying on God and others to help me. We were not made to be solitary creatures, to live this life on our own. We were made to be in relationship with our Creator and with those He places around us. But to do so, requires vulnerability. It’s hard for me to ask for help, but I’m practicing. Sometimes it involves rejection or betrayal. But most often, people are happy to help. All you have to do is be brave enough to say the words.
Earlier this week I asked Justin to drive me through the car wash…something I never would have done 2 years ago. Next time, maybe I’ll ask him to sit in the passenger seat to help me manipulate the wheels into the track on my own. Because admitting we need help is NOT failure. It is the very thing Jesus came to help us do. Because He lived a perfect life for me, I can come before him and admit that I simply can’t make it on life’s track alone. My sin often prevents me from getting on the track and many times causes me to fall off when I do make it on. Jesus says,
It’s ok, dear one. I am the track that leads you through. Ask for help by admitting your sin (imperfections), receive my forgiveness (the help you need), and enjoy the beauty of the ride. In this way, your filth is made clean day after day until the track leads back to your Heavenly home and My loving arms.
Ask Jesus or someone in your life for help this week. It could be a big or small thing, but please practice because it makes all the difference in world.