About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. I know that it is okay to ask for help but it seems so hard when the need comes. My first reaction is to retreat and withdraw from community. I don’t want to be a nuisance, high maintenance, or put others out. I want to deal with things on my own and come to the table with no issues. But that is not real community. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Me too! I hate to ‘bother’ people, especially my parents, but as a wise friend pointed out, “Bother them! it’s their job to help you and listen to you” I think the same applies for our Heavenly Father. “Bother Him” He is your best comfort in life, death and in every situation.

        • I am glad you like it. It’s a paraphrase of the first question in the Heidelberg Catechism. My family is reading through a book called “The Good News We Almost Forgot” By Kevin DeYoung. It’s wonderful and has some life changing insights.

  2. Mary,
    Your post really touched my heart and my hurting places this morning. After my 3rd surgery in less than 3 years, I’ve had a big setback. I’m back on crutches and basically able to do nothing. I am so frustrated and disheartened. I also have a senior dog, Zoe, who is so sweet, but at 13 and a half, is experiencing many problems that neither the vet nor I can fix. Weighing, with a heavy heart, if it’s time to put her to sleep. I’m soaking wet and really need a big towel right now (and some prayers). Thankful that I have a God who truly cares for me. I needed this loving reminder…
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev my heart goes out to you and your sweet dog. I cannot imagine the pain in your heart and body. I am sending a prayer your way for you and sweet Zoe. May almighty God place a warm towel around the both of you.

    • Oh Bev, I’m so sorry about Zoe and how hard that this comes when things are already so tough for you. Praying for peace and comfort in this dark time and for the Body of Christ around you to step in and love and support you through this. Hugs from afar.

      • Anna,
        Your continual support and sweet spirit lifts me up…thanks for the hugs!
        Bev xx

    • As I read your comment, Bev, I was struck by how being soaked also makes us heavier. Your word picture really stuck with me as I went about the rest of my morning (after reading your note first thing)! I pray that the Lord will bring healing and comfort to you this very day, that He will be a big, warm towel that lightens your burden and shows you rays of hope despite the storms. I hate that you’re hurting, Bev, and I’m praying you see the other side of this soon (but feel His presence and His love in the meantime)!

    • Bev,
      Praying for you right now! It is hard enough to endure pain and surgeries plus recovery. We all want our pets to come and soothe us. So sorry to hear about Zoe! May God bring about healing in her and allow you to keep her for a while longer! Prayers for you to recover quickly also!
      (((hugs)))

      • Thanks, Beth, for your prayers and ((hugs))…much needed and appreciated!
        Blessings back to you… xx

  3. Thanks for your post. I need a big towel wrapped around me by my God. He is all we need to warm us up and dry our tears.

  4. This is a beautiful piece, Mary. Just yesterday, I got soaked in the rain, so I could visualize it perfectly! I am coming out of the other end of a dark, stormy season and yes, asking for help is so important…and for me pride has been a big stumbling block…and something I’ve been praying against. The more I’m admitting I need help, the more I’m choosing to let go, the more I’m choosing to trust, the more I’m learning to love God. It’s an ongoing process, but I am being shown just how lovingly tender and patient my Lord God is. He knows me inside out, better than I know myself and He’s been pointing that out to me time and time again. I’d encourage anyone facing a storm to dig deeply into the Word of God. I’ve been finding my greatest solace in the Word. And it’s the Word that has been giving me the courage to step into my fears and seek help and seek friendship and community.

    • Anna, thank you for sharing your heart with us! What you’ve said here about the Word being encouraging AND pointing us toward community is beautiful. Thank you.

  5. I have little faith in people,even zChristians. My pastor at the time of my worst trial,getting thrown out because my ex favored men,pastor said go live at the haven for hope,san antonios homelee shelter.i went to interview and encountered men by the door who talked about the kind of women they liked to lay-young men with no job and nothing better to do. The “Christian” friends who offered help picked me aparr-I was too naive,did I not know,how did I not see his gayness? One went on and on about how blessed I was,she had had an affair during her marriage with a drug dealer and bore his child.,and kept telling me how blessed I was to see my kids at all.i was blessed but our situations were very different.naivity was my problem,not actively having an affair.i can be more open and honest with internet friends who don’t judge,thank you sisters in Christ for bring His ears hands and feet

    • Oh Cindy, I am so sorry to hear how you’ve been hurt. Trusting someone does not make you naive, and there’s no shame in grieving your loss or in being hurt in the first place. I know the value of human hands holding yours, but I pray that you can also receive comfort in knowing that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Even when men fail us, even when friends are clueless and hurtful, God is there – holding you, loving you through it. I’m thankful you’ve found encouragement online, and I pray God provides you in-real-life friends who give you the support you need soon as well.

    • Cindy,
      So sorry sweet girl that you had to go through that ordeal! Christians, especially pastors should be more comforting! I am praying for you right now! May God heal your heart and bring about a sense of peace and contentment in you mind, body and soul! Also prayers for your children to understand all that has happened!! May God bring good Christian friends to you that will love and care for you Just As You Are without judgement! You are NOT naïve in any way! Trust in God and He will bring about restoration and healing!!
      (((Hugs))))

  6. Mary, this is just perfect. And loving. And supportive. Thank you for your words.
    And I’m VERY happy to know you weren’t one who need fireman rescue from that flash flood we had. I quite fortunately made it home before the clouds exploded that night. So glad you’re safe. 😉

  7. Mary, the analogy you’ve used here to illustrate the differences in needs at a given season of life is amazingly clear to me. I’ve experienced much of the napkin giving in my time of soaked heaviness in the trials I face. Interestingly, because I’m surrounded by others with similar heavy needs (i.e. moderate-severe environmental illness), often others are asking me for help. So I give them my napkin. What we really need in this overwhelming situation is the big towels like you said, a strong support from the local body of Christ. However, there are mountains in the way; the mountain of fragrances that most people wear, the mountain of fear and skepticism which comes from not understanding the illness, the mountain of not being able to attend church or small groups where counseling/discipleship typically takes place, among others. However, the Lord has drawn me into meditating upon Mark 11:24 where Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be your.” I praying this way about the mountains named above. Will you please pray with me? I pray the Lord continues to bless you with the warm towel sheet that fills your heart and soul with satisfaction in Him. May your joy in Him glorify Him daily. That’s the desire for my own heart too!

    • Diana
      Praying with you that the mountains will be removed and you can receive the counseling you so desperately need!!
      Father,
      Please remove all the mountains for Diana and others with environmental illnesses. Help them to find the counseling they need and be able to support each other!
      AMEN!

      • Beth, thanks so much for joining my prayer that the mountains be removed, for myself and many others facing environmental illnesses. I lifts my heart to have another pray with me. Bless you!

  8. Oh, Mary, this is good. It’s honest and real. Such needed encouragement. Oh, and I prefer to just go ahead and use the beach towels at my house rather than the so-called bath towels. 🙂

  9. My mother is napkin freak, she always has them tucked in car. It is perfectly alright to ask for help, pray for the best person to counsel you. And it is okay to offer to help as well, not everyone is deeply rooted in faith and may require gentle assistance to grow. Bev, stand on Isaiah 53 for your health, and your sweet Zoe will just sleep and wake with Jesus. I had to let my poodles, Cozy and Candy go, and other pets. I know that pain! I retell a story I know to be true, knowing the lady personally, after her dog left at 15, she was so grieved by it that when her next pet, who was only 6 passed, her son saw Jesus in a vision take him and he told his mother the dog’s tail was wagging. May the Lord bless you with His rest and peace.

  10. Absolutely beautiful. I love the picture of the storm you got soaked by and the absurdity, albeit well-meaning, of one measly napkin. I love the parallels you drew from that.

    Thank you for this encouragement.

  11. I Loved this! Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. My family and I are strugging with serveal things and I personally am dealing with differetn issues. Thank you for the reminder that Jesus holds us and helps us. God bless you!

  12. Thank you for your thought provoking post, very true we all need love and to go to a place of rest, thank you for the reminder of Gods love for us, for me. Bless you Mary as Jesus used your words to speak to me today!

  13. What an inspired visual reminder of God’s loving compassion and care. Thank you, Mary! Also important: your affirmation that needing a bigger towel and asking for help is a wise (not weak) thing to do when you’re getting soaked by one of life’s storms. Amen!

  14. Mary
    Great post! Sometimes a napkin just won’t cut it–we need the body of Christ to come around us and help us! We were made for community not to live alone and do this life on our own!!! Don’t let fear and timidity stop you from asking for a bigger towel!!! There are many of us out there with the towels to dry you off and offer you help and assistance!!
    Blessings 🙂