Out of the Ditch (audio link)

Sometimes, I end up in a ditch.

It might be my own fault: I made a mistake and drove off the road. It might be someone else’s fault: the idiot ran me off the road. Or it might be no one’s fault: a boulder came crashing down the mountainside and knocked my car off course.

Whatever the cause, I find myself in the ditch.

Off the road.


Unable to climb out.

You’d think I’d call for help, right? That would be the reasonable response. But  often I don’t. It sounds silly, but sometimes I’d rather stay in my ditch than ask for help getting out of it. Truth be told, I’ve often chosen to spend my energy decorating the ditch, making it as comfortable as possible, rather than calling for assistance.

I’ve got a great list of reasons not to ask for help. Here are some of mine–you might be able to add a few of your own.


I harbor a secret wonder at those who find a way to ask for the help they need. I study them. I try to learn the skills they’ve already grasped:

the knowledge of when they need help

who to ask for help

how to ask for help

why the long-term ache of the ditch is harder for them to bear than the short-term pain of the ask

I’ve recently been spending time with a woman who gets this. Who found the tenacity to ask for help out of her ditch (and to keep asking till she got the help she needed). Her story is told in the Bible, in the book of Mark–one of the biographies of Jesus.

I love this woman. She challenges me on all kinds of levels.

Earlier in May, I spoke at our church’s women’s retreat, and I talked about this woman. If you’d like to hear what I said, click here. (It’s about 30 minutes long.)

The talk might be a good fit for you if you’ve got any parts of your life right now where you feel:

invisible (to God or to others)


stuck in a ditch

afraid/ashamed to ask for help

afraid/ashamed to share your story

Sometimes, I end up in a ditch. Whatever the cause, I find myself off the road. Stuck. Unable to climb out.

You’d think I’d call for help, right?

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