ask for what you need

I used to think that I needed to shrink myself smaller and smaller so my needs would disappear. Some years ago, I was talking to my therapist about the intense anxiety I felt as I sat for over an hour in a doctor’s waiting room not long after I had had a miscarriage. The doctor’s office triggered painful memories. 

I wanted her to help me cope with my anxiety, but instead, she said, “Ask for what you need. Go up to the receptionist and tell her you recently had a miscarriage, and waiting for a long time makes you anxious. Tell her that if the doctor can’t see you soon, you will need to reschedule the appointment.”

It was so simple, but I felt so validated and empowered. My anxiety wasn’t actually the problem; I didn’t have to needlessly suffer a panic attack for someone else’s convenience. I just needed to advocate for myself.

This morning I was on a walk, praying and listening, and I felt God whisper, “Ask for what you need.” In the quiet outside, away from other people, I immediately knew what I needed. My instinct was to shrink myself and try to get rid of the need because it felt vulnerable. I started out with a long preamble as I asked for things I thought might be more acceptable and less needy, but I wasn’t fooling God or myself. 

“Ask for what you need,” God repeated gently. So I asked, and God flooded my heart with the answer. I don’t know what you need this day, but whatever it is, you are not too needy for God. Your needs do not repel Jesus. However vulnerable it makes you feel, God wants to know. Really. Ask for what you need.

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