I will be totally honest.
I have NEVER been more ready to say good bye to a year in my entire life, and I have had some pretty rough ones. I think that the fact that the postpartum depression and anxiety affected so many people outside of just myself though is what made it the worst. It was scary, overwhelming and has changed a lot of who I am indefinitely.
But instead of wallowing in the lost time, the events that I don’t remember or the fact that I spent much of this year in fear of myself, I am determined to forge ahead and make the best of an experience that I never asked for but am realizing that I was truly blessed to experience. I am moving forward and I want to let you in a little bit about what I have learned…
I have spent much of my Christian walk hearing about how God can really do anything, how He can turn anything into good and how He is with everyone in the midst of struggle, even when he appears to be silent. I have spent time in prayer for others and I have watched the lives of people close to me turn completely around as a result of giving their problems, concerns and desires of their heart over to the Lord. And to be honest, I thought that I had too…
And then I woke up one day and my entire world had been turned upside down. Instead of turning to the Lord, letting go and riding the waves, I threw my anchor overboard and tried to stop the storm on my own. Instead of moving along in the way the Lord desired for me to go, I tried so desperately to push against the wind and the waves, attempting to reign everything into my control.
The result wasn’t the storm ceasing, but instead my life turning into a crumbly, broken mess with a million pieces to pick up. It was overwhelming to say the least. But the Lord never stopped trying to get me to see the light. He put it on the hearts of those closest to me to rally around me, to show me His love through them. He strengthened my friendships and breathed new life into my marriage. He brought new women into my life that made me take a look at my role as a wife, mother and daughter of God and allowed to me ask the tough questions about who I really wanted to be. And then, when I was ready to listen, He used his life giving word to speak to me the truths about Him and His love for me that I know He had waited so long for me to hear.
For the first time in my life as a Christian, I felt the love of Christ I had been so longing to feel. I understood His desire to have me walk with Him, what He gave up so that I could have life and the depth of His devastation when I turn my back on His help.
Hand in hand with my Savior, I faced each piece of my postpartum depression head on and battled through each issue with my warrior at my side.
Am I healed completely? No
Am I still struggling to get off of medications that I don’t believe I need to be on anymore, as well as struggling with the fact that certain medications may be required to keep me stable for awhile still? Yes
Do I still have to remind myself DAILY that I don’t need to control everything, that certain things are not meant to be within my control, certain feelings that I have don’t deserve the power that I give them and that at my strongest, I am still a woman struggling with my own sin issues even though I am responsible for lives outside of my own as a mom? Of course
Is all of this still overwhelming?? Each and every day….
But, by God allowing my default reactions to be stripped away, I have learned to look for Him at the end of the tunnel.
And the rewards are far greater than what I could have ever imagined. I realize more than ever what an amazing, important and difficult role I have been given in being a mom to these girls. I look at my husband as my rock, partner and the leader that God always intended for me to have. I look to God first, both in prayer and in His word, to the answers to my struggles, worries and temptations.
And I feel the hope, excitement and longing for the calling that God has for me. I am so enamored with the idea of sharing my story and testimony. I get giddy with excitement when faced with the opportunity to share with other women and help them get through their own struggles, whether it be postpartum depression, anxiety, loneliness, lack of confidence or desire for a relationship with this incredible king who calls us His own.
I have already been asked to speak at two events in 2015 on postpartum depression and my journey over these last 13 months. I am attending a conference in the summer with some incredible women who want to be just as outspoken as I do on what it truly means to be a warrior mom. I am pouring my heart and soul into a book that I want to share with the world on the quiet struggles we face as moms.
But the most important thing is that I never knew what it felt to be content, happy and in love with Jesus. I thought I did, but I didn’t…..
Because I have never felt the way that I feel now and while I don’t wish my personal struggle on any new mom, I wouldn’t trade these past 13 months for anything…
And I am never going back.