I couldn’t come up with a title for this post because to be honest, it is probably going to be a bit all over the place.
I know that I have posted about setbacks before, and I know that they are part of the process, but that doesn’t mean that they are not just as tough every single time.
I have been in a funk – I wouldn’t even fully classify is as depression, though I have been showing some signs of apathy, and it isn’t even really directly related to PPD or my role as a wife and a mother.
This time – its between me and God, and I feel like I have got to be brutally honest. Truth brings growth right??
Throughout this whole process I have simultaneously run from God and towards Him, if that even makes sense. I had a period where I was afraid of Him during my season of incredible panic and anxiety, I had a period where I stayed up and prayed all night begging Him to come and rescue me, followed by a season of apathy regarding Him and then a few weeks of really studying the word, working on my prayer life and feeling incredibly close to Him again. It was wonderful, and I expected things to keep moving in that direction.
And then Saturday I woke up and suddenly realized that I was angry with Him, and that I had a lot of questions that I have felt have been going unanswered.
Its no secret that depression can leave you searching for some kind of meaning in everything around you, and I felt that I had found sufficient meaning in life to get my motivation back and made incredible strides moving forward. I have a purpose: serve God, be a good wife, raise godly women, and help women and families who have suffered through PPD, raise awareness and try to compel change within our medical community. I was going to bed happy, and waking up happy – at 5:30.
But lately my mind has been running off on its own again. And Saturday night I laid it all out on the table to my husband. I am mad, incredibly mad at times, that God would allow me to go through this and to have it last so long. And I don’t want to be.
For about half a day my mind was racing with thoughts, and true questions about whether or not God loved me and whether or not I wanted to follow Him. Why would I want to lay down my life, fleshly desires and wants for a life that is now riddled with bouts of depression and where I am fighting off panic attacks at every turn? While I look to David and Paul, who both battled illnesses and besieged God to take them from them, I couldn’t wrap my head around how they could still praise Him. How were they so sure that He loved them? How could they be certain that all of this was for their own good?
Why would a loving, powerful, all knowing, all encompassing God create me for suffering? Why would He create anyone for suffering? Why would He create anyone at all?
As I let my mind wander, and as I began to lose faith, I started to feel more and more disconnected from Him. I could feel Satan building up the wall around my heart and trying to so desperately to pull me away. I know he wants me to turn away from the Lord, and I know that he sees his opportunity mounting as I began to become increasingly aware of the amount of things about God that I don’t know. I was quickly drowning in my own self doubt, and Satan was standing there with a life boat going in the wrong direction…
But I’m not about to get on…
Because even when I squelch my spirit by bombarding it with questions that I don’t even need to know the answer to right now, and as I give into the same negative thought patterns that can keep people away from Jesus for their whole life, there is a part of me that still knows that I want to live in righteousness with God. I may not know WHY right now, and I may never find out until I get to heaven, but I know that there is still a desire in my heart to grow closer and closer to Him. To know Him on a deeper level than I ever imagined possible, and to allow myself to accept and feel His love for me.
I didn’t have an awful childhood, but I didn’t grow up knowing and understanding the kind of love that Jesus truly has for us. Intellectually I know He is there, I have faith in His existence and I am thankful for His sacrifice (even though I currently am questioning why God couldn’t forgive us in the first place – it will be the first thing I ask him when I get to see him, if we are allowed to ask questions. I am however sure that it will be for a very good reason…). My mother is an emotional basket case at times (sorry mom – but you KNOW its true), and she lives life dramatically allowing her feelings to dictate her situation. Her life is creative and fun and full of light, but at the same time it has been filled with seasons of darkness, depression and apathy that brought with it its challenges. My father is as unemotional as they come about 80% of the time, growing up you never knew what he was thinking unless he was really mad. A hard worker, an excellent provider, but emotionally unavailable for a large part of my younger years. None of these things are to be negative reflections on either of my parents, all of our families have their own dysfunctions. But, what I am realizing now is that, even though I KNOW my parents love me and loved me while I was growing up, I never understood that that love was unconditional. I didn’t know how to manage my own feelings of inadequacy, and while I was never asked to live up to a certain standard to receive affection, I truly believed that my self worth, my value, was based on my choices, actions, achievements etc. Disappointing them, to me, was taking their love away and I needed to find a way to earn it back.
Unconditional – without condition….not based on acts, works, achievements, disappointments, failures or anything. Just being loved, whole heartedly and forever. That’s the way that I know that God loves us. Now I just need to figure out how to accept it. His action towards me don’t dictate the amount of love he has or doesn’t have for me, and even though I am in a season of darkness now that I never saw coming, I know that I will make it out on the other side. Maybe I won’t have all of the answers, but I will begin to see the pieces coming together.
Until I can feel it, walk in it, not question or doubt it, I have to make a choice to believe it.
To believe God created me for a reason.
To believe that life has great meaning, despite the fact that I can’t understand it right now.
To believe that God is walking me through the battle right now.
To believe that He loves me – no matter what my day looks like.
Perhaps all of the other stuff doesn’t matter. Maybe we will learn it all when we get to heaven, or maybe we will get there and not care anymore.
Maybe like the writer of Ecclesiastes says – everything that we think has meaning is meaningless, that we just need to walk in righteousness with God with our very best effort, and learn how to find joy in the midst of it all.
I expect all who are reading this to hold me accountable when my faith is wavering, when my spirit is saddened, when doubt begins to creep in a fog up my mind…
I choose to believe that God is faithful. I choose to believe that I will get through all of this. I choose to believe that God loves me.
I choose to be happy.