Dependence: When We Must Depend on Others by Jeanne Takenaka

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I read this thought the other day, and it stopped me hard. Jennifer Rothschild has been blind since age fifteen. She’s had a lot of years to walk in the darkness.

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My eyes work as they should. I live an independent life. I drive myself to the store, to doctor’s appointments. I drive four children to school every morning, read in my Bible, check out blogs and go about my day, needing no one’s assistance.

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I see my boys’ smiles as they tromp through the door at the end of a school day. I cook meals for us without fear of burning my hand by setting it in the wrong place

That’s my physical life.

There are times when I am blind in my spiritual life. I think I know which way I should go, so I move in that direction. Only to hit a wall that leaves bruises on my heart. I walk forward, sure I’m heading in the right direction and tumble down spiritual stairs.

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I am a woman who does “independent” well. The older I grow, the more I realize this isn’t necessarily a gift. When I walk independently of God, I distance myself from the One who knows the path I need to take. When I rush forward, certain of my course, I usually discover too late I veered onto the wrong track.

But I like my independence. Who wants to be forced to rely on another—to give control of their lives to someone else?

My supposed independence leads me to a lot of heartache. Disappointment.

Is it so bad to depend on someone else to guide me?

Not if that Someone is one I can trust. I trust Him because I know His character. And that He loves me perfectly, passionately and completely.

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As I face situations with our boys, sometimes I have no clue what will reach their hearts. What will bring them out of their willful place and into a soft-heart place, where they are receptive to training and truth.

I’m learning to slow down, and ask for wisdom from the Wisdom-Giver. The One who crafted these boys from the womb. The One who knows the plans He has for them. And He knows what these boys need so they’re ready to walk out that plan.

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As I grow in my relationship with my husband, we face trials. Uncertainties. When he’s going through a difficult time, I need more wisdom than my finite mind contains. I must depend on the Lord to give me what I need to encourage my husband. 

To walk through life’s trials well.

Sure, I can walk this all out in my own strength. But I’ll inflict bruises on those hearts and lives that matter most to me if I do. 

Yeah, being dependent on another is hard. No question. But, when it comes to being dependent and knowing peace in the midst of it, or being independent and walking distant from God, I’ll choose dependence any day. I know I can trust Him to give me all that I need for each situation I face.

All I have to do is ask.

What about you? How do you respond when you have to depend on someone else? What wisdom do you have to offer when it comes to depending on others?

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13 thoughts on “Dependence: When We Must Depend on Others by Jeanne Takenaka

  1. Boy, you sure pick ’em!

    I learned early never to depend on anyone that wasn’t a dog. Then I modified it. I’ll also depend on a Marine.

    The problem with depending on another person is that it can impose on that someone with responsibilities they didn’t expect. They may want to live up to them…but the burdens are simply too great. Thus the trust one extends, as something of a gift, becomes destructive. This is something I’m learning on a steep curve now; the worse I am physically, the more independent I need to be, for a lot of reasons. It isn’t fun.

    Mutual dependence works best when it’s part of an ethos – “Everyone who goes in, comes out, or NO ONE does.” Sounds like silly macho posturing, but live it once and you know the solid security of someone having your back.

    It should work in marriage – it’ part of the traditional vow, after all – but it’s been badly affected by the self-absorption of recent generations, and the thought that we are in some way entitled to happiness. Enough psycho analysis can ruin anything.

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    • Andrew, I always appreciate your thoughts. You bring a thought-provoking perspective to the conversation.

      I think you’re right in that marriage should be the earthly relationship that shows dependence on another in a safe zone. It doesn’t always happen that way, but if trust isn’t intrinsic in that relationship, it is hard to depend on the spouse.

      When someone has your back, there’s definitely security in that!

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  2. Jeanne, this is precious. When I was about to go into surgery … depending on my anesthesiologist … he said, “Think of your best dream ever …” I knew that was futile … so I prayed. “God, don’t let this be cancer … God, I just love you. You and me, God.”

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    • Thanks for your words, Shelli. Yep, that is a scary time. As nice as dreams are, they’re intangible. Leaning into God, especially during the uncertain times in life, gives a greater peace, in my opinion. Thanks for stopping by today!

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  3. You truly write so beautifully, Jeanne. I’m enjoying your place here. Your pictures are BEAUTIFUL. This time apart from my husband has really been teaching me that I need to depend on others…that God does not expect me to get through this time alone. He purposely places people in my life to help me through. What has helped is depending more on Him and letting Him lead. There are still times I try to get ahead and do it on my own, but He has this way of revealing Himself to me and I’m a bit quicker to turn back over control to where they belong.
    Blessings to you.

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    • Beth, thank you for your kind words. I know the times my husband has been on an extended business trip (TDY), I found myself in many circumstances where I needed help. Sometimes the greater strength is in asking for help when it’s needed. Especially from God. Like you, God has taught me to depend more on Him when my husband is gone. I love that you’re learning to trust him more quickly with Control. 🙂 It’s a hard thing to do for us “independent-types.”
      Thanks so much for stopping by today!

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  4. I have the opposite problem. I’m all too ready to ask for help. I can quickly get to the point where I think that having a maid is a right. HA!! But I’m learning that with this writing gig, at least, that *I* am it, until I send it out for fresh eyes. Maybe that’s why it took so long for me to start writing, because I was afraid of flying solo.

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    • Hmmm, I hadn’t thought about that side of things, Jennifer. I would imagine many people have seasons where they ask for help, especially when trying something new. I guess it’s a matter of finding the balance between knowing when to do for ourselves and when we genuinely need help.

      And you’re right, the writing journey is a place where we truly have to do some of the work on our own. Although, I’m not shy about asking for brainstorming help! That’s not one of my strengths. 🙂 I love that you started writing, because I got to meet you. 🙂

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  5. I hear you Jeannie. The Lords been working this area in my heart too, but He’s cool, He really does have the answers and will share them when we dedicate our hearts to Him. Guess i’m getting old enough to know the independence isn’t worth it! Depending on Him is a joy!

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  6. I’m not very good at depending on others. I am independent. I am usually the one others depend on. But, it does stretch you past what you are able sometimes. My husband has been good to teach me to allow others in and give them the gift of supporting sometimes. Thank you for these wise words.

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    • Lisa, it sounds like you and I were cut from the same cloth. One thing I’m learning is that when I deny others the chance to help me with something, sometimes I deny them a blessing. And myself. It is a gift to be able to help others. And to be helped. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

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