By Katie Brown
I’m the type of person who likes to get things done by myself. I often jokingly quote Mr. Incredible from the Disney Pixar movie The Incredibles when I say, “Fly home, Buddy. I work alone.” Of course the irony in that movie is that Mr. Incredible finds out he accomplishes more when he asks for help. I’ve come to learn the same lesson, although thankfully I was able to do so without fighting giant robots and super villains.
When I was in high school, I struggled a great deal with depression and anxiety. Being as hard-headed as I am, I wanted to believe I could overcome it on my own. Try as I might, I made no progress alone. Frustrated and ready to give up trying—and being the angsty teenager I was—I angrily told God that if He were ever going to intervene, now would be the time. I remember saying that so clearly. I felt so defeated that I fully expected nothing to change. Turns out all I had to do was ask for help.
I decided that, if I were going to ask for God’s help, I would have to take it seriously. I began to pray every day—something I had never done before. I Googled prayers for those suffering with anxiety and depression and stumbled upon a Novena to St. Dymphna—the patroness of those suffering with nervous and mental illnesses. Go figure, right? When I finally broke down and asked for help, it was like answers were falling into my lap.
The first day of that novena I remember crumbling to the floor. Someone finally understood. It was like this novena was created specifically for me. The words it said and the things it asked for were the words I had been desperately trying to form for months. That was the first day in a long time that hope started to creep back into my life.
Recovering from my anxiety and depression was not easy, and it certainly did not happen overnight. It was a long process that forced me to come face to face with things I had been hiding from. However, I am confident that I was only able to overcome these things because of prayer.
Asking for help was the last thing I wanted to do, but Jesus tells us specifically, that sometimes all we have to do is ask.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8
Sometimes what we ask for is emotional healing, or like in my case the strength to overcome something. Other times maybe we find ourselves in a situation we never thought we’d be in, like an unexpected pregnancy or with a sudden illness. No matter what life throws at us, we have the strength to defeat it. Sometimes you just have to ask for help.