Where is God?

I feel the need to update based on the events of the last few days. Not to add to the blabber of the media, but because if this had happened last year when I was in such a lonely and tormented mind-frame I am not sure how I would have responded to the tragedy. Babies are dead. Precious, precious babies. It hurts my heart to even say it- I am tearing up as I type this. I hope that you will bear with me as I try to get down some of the thoughts I have and some of the things I want to share- they might be a bit convoluted.

One of the first things I want to share is turn off the news. If you are already struggling with depression and anxiety, post-partum or not, you do not need to fill your head with images of pain and despair. I know that we want to know what’s happening, but there are other ways of going about that. This leads me to another point I want to make: we are not called to compare our burdens or our grief. Looking back, I think it would have been easy for me to see this situation and say “I have my baby, I have my family, and these people have lost a child/family member. Why can’t I just feel normal and be happy for that sake?” It doesn’t work that way. You will never know their grief and they will never know your struggle; each are uniquely experienced and walked through just as every experience with post-partum depression and anxiety is uniquely experienced. This season is difficult enough without the added weight in your mind that you should be feeling one way or another because of someone else’s experience. What has happened does not take away from the battle you are going through– the war waged inside you. It doesn’t make your battle seem any less important. But what it can do is provide the knowledge that you are not alone. There are others out there facing a battle, facing hurt, facing depression, facing pain. Don’t compare your pain to their pain. Pain is a non-comparable emotion.

I have to say: where is God? I think we all think it– especially those who are already walking through the battle of post-partum depression and anxiety and then some tragedy like this occurs. Where is God? To be blunt: I don’t know. Sometimes He can feel miles away when things like this happen. I don’t think we should be ashamed to say it if we feel it. When I first saw the news of the precious little 6-7 years old that had been killed, I felt miles and miles away from the loving God that I know in my heart exists. I know He is still the loving, kind, compassionate, ever-present God that is my redeemer and my love. But that doesn’t change that in that moment I felt an ocean of grief and misunderstanding between us. I don’t have an answer for this question. I don’t have an answer for why certain things happen in life and to be perfectly honest, I don’t want one. I don’t want to know the knowledge of why things happen. What I want is to be allowed to feel what I feel without judgment, without condemnation. The beauty of Jesus is: He allows that. He allows us to cry and be depressed and to grieve and to be angry and to stomp our feet in rebellion and cry in shame. His arms are never shut to us, they are always there waiting for us when we’re done. He is always standing beside us and longing to comfort us through our emotions. One thing I know is that we as humans, especially as Christians, don’t allow others to feel. We tend to admonish- to say that we are called to a higher standard and that our emotions shouldn’t rule our lives. Yes, we are and no emotions should not. However, God did give us emotions for a purpose: to feel. Just because we feel something doesn’t make it so. That feeling doesn’t become us (though it can if you let it). Grief, sadness, anger: these things we feel. We are suppose to feel. They don’t guide us, they don’t make our decisions for us and we must make the conscious decision to lay them aside when we are called to. But we have them and I don’t see the point in trying to shame them away.

This is where I ended up today in my thoughts. I ended up here, talking to God and saying these things, being honest. It was that moment when I remembered: HOPE. That’s where He was leading me. That’s what He wanted me to share with you today. Hope.

Psalm 42

As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

 

Depression, loss, pain, grief. All of these things come in life. We must work through them– we must feel through them. But where we should end up is back at the beginning: hope. I don’t understand many things. I don’t want to understand most things. But I do want to have hope. I want to love. I want to love you through this time in your life.

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All who are Weary

Photo Credit: http://rebekahblocher.blogspot.com/

Are you weary today? Weary is an interesting word… It literally means tired, exhausted mentally and physically. When I read this scripture I find a great sense of comfort. The comfort I find in this scripture is that Jesus understood being weary. He understood being so mentally exhausted that all you want is rest. He understood the physical toll it takes on a person to have anxiety attacks day after day. He didn’t say “come to me all who are tired“…. We all get tired in our lives, we get over run by life and our circumstances. Jesus understood that, even He got tired. But what He is saying here is WEARY. He is acknowledging here that sometimes what are we experiencing is more than tired; He is acknowledging here that He understands that we are human– flesh and bone– living in a fallen, sinful world and because of that we might have to face the realities of walking through this place until we reach our home in Heaven with Him. The most important part of this scripture is what He is offering: REST. He is offering you (and I) a place of peace from the suffering. He is telling us that He will be the safe place, the place where our burdens our lifted and we are given the rest from our minds that we are so desperately seeking. He will be the place where we can sit and take a deep breathe and gather the strength to get us through another hour of the day, to get us through the next diaper change and feeding and sleepless night all while battling the chaos in our minds. He is saying to you: come to Me. That is the disclaimer in all of this– you have to go to Him. If you are weary today, if you’re having a rough day and you just need some rest and peace, find it in Jesus. Turn off the noise in your home whether it’s the TV or music or the computer and go to Him. If your baby is crying and can’t be consoled, if you’re running around trying to accomplish a million things, or if you’re laying in bed wondering how you’re going to manage to get the effort to climb out of your bed, take a moment and go to Him– even if it is just 10 seconds of saying “Jesus, I need you.” He will give you rest.

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He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless

I think sometimes that we forget how beautiful brokenness is. Sure, it’s a messy and sloppy thing– usually coming with tears and runny noses and fears and “what if’s”. But there is something beautiful about being broken: being put back together (and maybe even finding pieces that weren’t there before!).

If you’re broken, if you’re hurting and need help, if your depression or anxiety is getting the best of you today I just want to encourage you to cling to Jesus.  Cling to the love of your Savior, remember His love for you! He will give you strength– even if it’s just to get through the next hour. Sing Him a praise song, tell Him you believe He is your Healer. Thank Him for something in your life, tell Him how you love Him. You will make it!

Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of His understanding.
 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

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I AM THRIVING

After the last few posts, I thought it would be good to maybe cheer things up a bit. Evalyn’s birthday is tomorrow (gasp!) and we are planning on taking her to a Pumpkin Patch to have some fun. I have learned so much and grown exponentially in the year that she has come into my life and I think that it’s good to focus on our strengths to celebrate victory. I want to share some of the things I have learned because I think if you allow yourself to learn and get vulnerable through your postpartum depression and anxiety, you too will begin see your strengths in victory!

I AM STRONG (through God). What I’ve been through in the last year is immense– simply having a baby, handling all of the changes that brings, balancing school responsibility, being a wife/friend/daughter is a humongous load on anyone. But having post partum depression and anxiety in addition to all of those life changes was a huge burden. But I got through it. Oh, I didn’t think I would; I thought I would feel that way for the rest of my life… But here I am, a day away from my daughter’s birthday, and I am happy, healthy, and not just functioning but thriving! I say this with the disclaimer that it is by God’s grace I am in this new place in life: He brought me through everything, He carried me, He loved me, and He healed me. He was the hope I needed when I felt hopeless. I am strong– but my strength is found in Jesus! What a wonderful friend Jesus is to those of us who are weary or burdened. I love Him so much!

I AM BEAUTIFUL. No, I don’t mean physically; physical beauty is fading and fleeting. It’s subjective to the eye of the beholder– what you find beautiful, I might not (but I would probably never say that). No, I mean I am beautiful to God. This may seem a weird conclusion to come out of post partum depression or anxiety, but let me explain… When I was dealing with anxiety attacks and debating over and over in my head whether an antidepressant was “sinful” or not, so much of my deepest fear was that I would be shameful to God– that He would look at me and shake His head in disappointment. But through this process I have learned this: I am pleasing to God! Yes, we have sin that separates us from Him and we live in a fallen world… But when we cry out to Him and seek His face, we are so beautiful to Him in our need. Instead of Him shaking His head in disappointment at me, I know He is lifting my head, kissing my face and wiping away my tears. He see’s me for me, the beauty that it’s inside of me that no person in this world can look deep enough to see: my soul. And He thinks I am beautiful! If the Most High God thinks I am beautiful, then goodness gracious– I must be!

I AM HEALTHY. Yes, I am saying it: I am healthy. I might still be taking medication to help the physical part of my body do what it needs to do, but my mind and my heart are healthy. My thoughts are healthy instead of sick, my worries are healthy and valid instead of exaggerated and terrifying, and my outlook on my life and future is hopeful and happy instead of fearful and sad. I am healthy and thriving and excited for what is coming next! Life is full of possibilities and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for because I know His way is better than my way.

I AM ME. I might be a Mom, a Wife, a Daughter, a Friend but I am still me. I still have my goals, my dreams, my passions, and my secret daydreams. I thought that becoming a Mom sort of stripped you of those things, not in a negative way but that being a Mom became the central focus of life. While being Evalyn’s Mom is the most important role of my life, I still have a heart for the things I did before she was here too which surprised me.  I still desire to be a Nurse, I still have a passion for helping other Christian Women, I still like to shop for clothes and shoes and makeup (what woman doesn’t?), I still like to space out on a good TV show, I still like to spend time with my best girlfriends, and Christmas is still my favorite time of year. This is refreshing to me: that I still have myself in the midst of everything going in life. It’s good to know yourself, what you like (and don’t like), what you dream of, and what you enjoy. These things keep you going when you’re exhausted and dealing with a teething baby or when your antidepressant has only just kicked in and you’re having major anxiety; these things that make you YOU help keep your candle burning, even if it’s burning at both ends.

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An Experience in Anxiety/Panic

2 posts in 2 days? Phew, I am on a roll! I thought today that I would share an experience I had with anxiety and panic attacks– not to relive it but to help you or a loved one maybe try to grasp a little bit of what that hell feels like or what it does. I want you who are suffering to not feel like you’re crazy or that you’re the only one who has been through things like this and the only way to do that is to share my own journey. I want to say that I am not going to rationalize some of the thoughts I had, because I would be rationalizing my entire experience.  My thoughts/feeling were at a time when I was sick and that is just the disclaimer I am sticking by.

I woke up at 7 am on my own, despite the fact that Evalyn was sleeping through the night like I had been praying for constantly and I could have been getting the sleep I so desperately needed. I lay in bed thinking “I should go back to sleep, I need more sleep, today will be miserable if I am tired, go back to sleep” but my body was awake. The more I told myself to relax and go back to sleep the more tense and anxious, until I was literally shaking in bed. At this point I had experienced a number of panic attacks and I knew what brought them on and I knew that shaking uncontrollably was one of the signs. So my mind began to whirl and I kept repeating “I am not going to have a panic attack, I am not going to have a panic attack” but the more I repeated it, the more terrified I became of having one (which is also called Agoraphobia– yes, it’s real) and the more I started shaking. I should add here that although I can’t remember, I probably hadn’t eaten in a few days in fear of throwing it up when I had anxiety attacks so I was probably also physically weak. At this point my stomach started to turn and I recognized the feeling of needing to throw up, but I was shaking so much that I couldn’t walk. I also didn’t want to wake Jesse, who was sleeping next to me so I crawled out of bed– literally and crawled to the bathroom, on my hands and knees. I made it to the bathroom before the full blown anxiety and panic hit and I started gagging, shaking, and hyperventilating. I lay in front of my toilet on the ground because I couldn’t get the strength to get up again. It was probably only about 2 minutes but it felt like 15. I had nothing in my stomach to come up so eventually the gagging stopped and I tried to stand up, but I was shaking too much to even make it to the bathroom door. I opened the bathroom door and managed to crawl on my hands and knees back to my side of the bed, but I didn’t have the strength to get back into bed so I just lay on the ground. Eventually Jesse woke up, saw me, and carried me to living room where I sat the morning trying to recover. Evalyn woke up, needed feeding and changing and morning went on all while I was shaking and anxious inside. Eventually it got to a point that Jesse was concerned enough to call his Mom over. (I am skipping things to take less time.) I remember sitting on the couch crying while my MIL hugged me and asking “why is this happening to me?” It didn’t seem to get any better and it hit a point where I just wanted relief, so Jesse and I went to the hospital. Yes, we went to the ER. I felt ridiculous but I also felt like it was my last resort. They admitted me and took my history and asked me a bunch of questions that I can’t remember and told me to wait for the mental health Doctor. Meanwhile I was still a mess: shaking, felt like I couldn’t breathe, emotional, scared, tired, exhausted. I told Jesse “maybe they should just knock me out or something, I don’t want to feel like this anymore!” Poor Jesse, I am sure it scared him. I remember a very kind nurse coming in to check on me and though I am never pushy, I told her that I felt like no one believed me– what I was going through, and that I was scared and that I just wanted help and I just wanted someone to believe me. She was very kind and held my hand and told me that they did believe me, they understood and they were working hard to get the Doctor down here to help me. It was the first time I felt like I might actually get some relief. Awhile later the Doctor came in and asked me questions, like if I had thought about hurting myself or my baby– which was shocking to me. No, I just wanted to feel normal! The Doctor gave me some medication that helped with anxiety and I was extremely nervous to take it; I have a lot of family history with alcoholism and though I had never suffered from it, any drugs of any kind scared me and I worried I might turn into some sort of junkie. But the Doctor assured me that wouldn’t happen and explained that while it could be addicting, that many patients used them for anxiety for a few weeks and were just fine. It helped calmed my already frazzled nerves and when the medication kicked in, I was actually able to get some rest and calm down. I felt horribly embarrassed for going to the ER over anxiety and panic attacks, but I thought I was going insane! I just desperately wanted to feel like myself again. I left with a prescription for anti-anxiety medication and had previously received a prescription for an anti-depressant.

I can honestly say that it was one of the worst experiences of my life, but at the same time humbling. My body was out of control and I couldn’t just snap out of it. I thought I needed to be admitted to a mental facility, in fact I remember saying that clearly. I knew what normal felt like for me and this was not normal. The decision to use medication of any kind is very personal and private, but I want to share the internal battle that I faced while making that decision… I didn’t want to take the easy way out, I didn’t want to just think that God couldn’t heal me, and I didn’t want to be sinning. In fact, many of my panic attacks and anxiety after this experience were based on the worry that I was somehow shaming or sinning against God because I was taking medication. This is was a hell for me and it was completely unnecessary! Mental health, just like physical health, sometimes requires us to put to use Doctors and medicine. I finally came to the realization that if someone broke their leg, they didn’t just pray to make it better– they also went to the Doctor to get it placed and put in a cast so that it could heal properly. The cast doesn’t do the healing; the bone does. It fuses back to itself, it regrows the necessary things it need to be a functional limb again. I finally knew what I needed to know for my recovery and healing process: the medication didn’t do the healing, the recovery, the work in my mind. All it did was help fuse and rebuild the physical part of my brain that needed medical help. By going to therapy, counseling, post-partum recovery groups, anxiety classes, and just discussing it openly I was doing the healing that I need in my mind.

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1 Year

Evalyn’s first birthday is fast approaching (October 11th)! I know that every Mom says this but it really is true: I can’t believe how quickly it went by. I never thought I would be able to say that because when she was first born time seemed to be a burden to me: I was ill and miserable and I didn’t want to deal with anything. But now that I am not ill/miserable, I can honestly say that it was one of the best years of my life. Having a child is like no other experience; once healing comes, once you are healthy, and once you are able to enjoy your days I firmly believe you will feel this way too. I actually have a lot of things on my mind today that I want to share so I am going to try to limit myself on what I share so that I don’t get long winded.

1) Don’t let anyone (ANYONE) tell you that what you are doing is not enough. Let me just be honest: there is always going to be someone who does more than you and handles more on their plate than you. Everyone has different tolerances for the things going on in their lives and it’s the way that God meant us to be; if we were all constantly on the go it would be a chaotic mess! If we were all laid-back people then nothing would ever get done (because “hey, it can get done tomorrow!” am-i-right?). But I know for my life as a woman who is a wife, a mother, a daughter, a student, and many other things it can feel like what you’re doing is not up to par and it has a way of making us feeling inferior. My friend, I want to tell you this from the deepest part of my heart: you are amazing. It doesn’t matter if you have a billion things on your plate or if you have just a few: what you do is amazing! If you are content with your life, if you are happy with the way things are, then don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Post-partum depression can make us feel less valuable, less purposeful because we are dealing with our own health– but that is not the case. We are dealing with our health; but we are dealing with the health of our families! Mothers are the heart of the family. You are invaluable. So get healthy, be healthy, stay healthy– whatever you have to do for your family and know that post-partum depression and anxiety doesn’t define you, in the midst of the storm and afterwards.

2)Mental illness is a touche topic. The cold hard truth is that there will be some people who no matter how much you express what you went through or how much it changed you, will never understand. You and I can argue, defend, and explain things until we are blue in the face but mental illness is one of those things that until it touches someone personally, is just not understandable. I’m learning and have learned through my healing process that it’s okay to just let go. Someone might say something hurtful or even uneducated regarding post-partum depression… But don’t let that dig into your soul. You know you. You know your Heavenly Father. You know what you went through and they never will– they aren’t you! So just let it be, remember to thank God for your experiences, your healing, and your life because walking through the waters of mental illness is something not everyone will experience. It changes you… If you allow it, it can change you for the better.

3) I want to really stress how important I believe it is to find someone or many people who do understand what you went through. Even if it’s just a phone friendship or email or an online community. Mental illness is isolating– something people don’t grasp– and even the most good intention-ed person can make you feel awful without meaning to. But being able to vent and express your experiences is a vital part of healing. To be able to hear “Oh honey, it’s okay. I felt that way too!” or “Just ignore it, you and I both know that’s not true” can really make all the difference. I really encourage you to find a safe place to just be you.  (Note: I am available anytime through my Contact Me page if you would like to get in touch with me)

I just want to share that I wish I could be there with you right now– I wish I could hug you and make you a cup of hot chocolate and tell you all of the things that are still in my heart about my experiences. Sometimes I feel alone– I feel like I am standing in an empty cave shouting and no one hears me. But I know you’re out there and I know that God gave me these tools and experiences for a purpose: to be here for you. I may never see your face or talk to you in person or even chat online, but if you are reading this and it is helping you walk through your post-partum depression then you should know that it many ways, I feel that you and I are in a special sisterhood. A sisterhood based on Christ, on love, and on grace. I hope that this week finds you well, and if you are still walking through the waters of post-partum depression and anxiety I hope that you have some moments of heavenly peace and rest.

Love

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It Was The Precious Blood Of Christ

I know that I haven’t updated in awhile… Things have been just a little more busy than normal with school starting again and having a baby. I have to find a balance and as always, family comes first. I also haven’t updated recently because I haven’t felt inspired to write about any one topic and I want you to have the best of me, not the drabble in my head. But this morning as I was getting ready, I suddenly had inspiration– God has a funny way of turning on the light bulb sometimes!

I want to share what God has DONE for me through my Post Partum Depression and Anxiety. When I was in the midst of the depression and the worst of the anxiety, there is no way I could imagine myself being here– healthy, happy, and functioning. I just couldn’t. Life was so chaotic at the time.  But now that I am here, I can look back on my experience and share what God did for me through it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that God brought Depression and Anxiety into my life… But I do think that He allowed me to walk through it for many reasons.

I was never a party girl or a “bad” girl. In fact, if you ask my family I think they would say that I tend to make wise decisions and seek the Lord. I’m not saying this to brag, I am saying this to give you some perspective into my personality. I like to make good decisions that please God– it makes me feel good! I’ve been this way since I was very little, I think. But part of being that type of person comes with it’s own challenges and consequences, much the way that being the party girl or “bad” girl has it’s challenges and consequences. One of the challenges for me was to remain humble and walk in Gods graciousness. No, I wasn’t high and mighty and shoving my Jesus in people’s face or rude… But I can tell you that I did think that I had done something to deserve the life that I have– that my decisions had put me into the position my life was in and therefore, my decisions were better than others that were making. Now, some of that is true: our decisions do affect our lives and we’re better off making wise, Godly ones. However… I didn’t get to choose what family I was born into. I didn’t get to choose who my Mom was. I didn’t get to choose to be born in America. I didn’t get to choose what education I had as a child. I didn’t get to choose what path my life took as a child. God did. It is by His grace that I was born to a Mom who loved me so much she changed her life around after I was born, it was by His grace that my family are God-fearing, wonderful, kind people. It was by His grace that I lived in an area that afforded me a decent education. It was by His grace that He brought my step-dad (aka Dad) into our lives and changed us. I used to think that the crazy homeless people could be helped if they would make better choices. But now I look at them and I think: that could be ME. I could be mentally ill and not able to take care of myself and therefore I am put out on the street to fend for myself– talking to myself, hungry, perhaps drug addicted because that’s what the streets are all about. I am NO DIFFERENT than them. I have a gracious Maker who afforded me the opportunity to live the life I have. What God did for me through my Post Partum Depression and Anxiety is give me perspective. He gave me eyes to see my life– the life He gave to me. He told me “just as much as it breaks my heart to see you, My faithful servant, suffering, it breaks my heart to see anyone suffering.” He brought me to a place of compassion that I didn’t know I had in me– that life and situations and “world” experience had hardened in my heart. He softened me through my experience. What a blessing that is! I would much rather feel the way I do now about people who are suffering from mental illness than to go back to being hard: not unkind but uncaring.

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver.  It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

1 Peter 1:18,19

Morning Light From Heaven Is About to Break Upon Us

Personally, I think it’s hard to recognize what depression looks like. I didn’t think that I could have it so I thought I was just going crazy after Evalyn was born– partially because mine was mixed Anxiety, which can make you feel completely out of control (because in reality, you are out of control of your body). It seems like depression is really hard to accept if you are the person experiencing it and/or it’s hard to diagnose if you are a loved one or a Doctor… Simply because it’s in the mind and brain. I say those two because they go hand in hand: the brain is the physical part of our body that can have physical illness or damage and our mind is what we do with that illness or damage– it’s our thoughts and much of what makes each of us uniquely us. I don’t know what you’re experiencing or going through with your postpartum recovery, I only know what I went through… But I can tell you that my brain and my mind were battling it out during my postpartum recovery. How? Well, first I would like to say that I am NOT a Doctor of any sort and I can only grasp what my Doctors have told me, but from what I understand my brain was ill after giving birth. Meaning that the natural homeostasis (balance) that it was used to was completely thrown off by birth; the sudden absence of specific chemicals and hormones that it needed were gone: now with my daughter, who was outside my body. And because my body was literally in shock from birth (I had a difficult labor) and physically depleted, it couldn’t replace those chemicals and hormones quickly enough. So my brain was completely thrown out of homeostasis!

Why am I going into this detail? Because I think it’s important to grasp the physical side of what happened to me– to know that what I was experiencing was part of living in a fallen, sinful world: we have to live with illness, physical pain, and disease. Not because we are ourselves are sinful or unpleasing to God, but because we are living in a decaying world– physically and spiritually. This world is not meant to last forever– it is not our home. Our home is Heaven with Jesus, where we will be eternal and there is no sickness and pain and disease. What a joy it will be to be there someday!!

If this sounds depressing to you, it is not meant to: it is meant to be an encouragement and uplifting. Truly grasping that we are living in a PHYSICAL world helped me to understand that I am not perfect (hello!) and that I am not above illness or disease just because I am a Christian. I got comfortable in my little life forgetting that although I have the umbrella of protection of God, I am still walking through this world. It’s hard to grasp this concept unless illness or disease has touched you personally or a family member. But it’s the truth. And although I had to walk through the valley of postpartum depression and anxiety, God was with me the entire way… He never left my side and I am sure it broke His heart to watch. Looking back, I can see His mercy in so many ways and it makes me appreciate that this world is not my home.

Luke 1:78
Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us

One of my favorite funny pictures of Evalyn as a newborn.

God of compassion and mercy

Here is something that I know: 

You will be okay. You will get through this.

I hope that this weekend, in the midst of life and maybe your struggle with postpartum depression and/or anxiety, that you have a moment of rest. A moment of peace and calm– that you have a moment where you find the strength from the Lord to carry on despite what is happening in and to you. I hope that you feel loved and cherished and appreciated while you’re feeding, changing, and taking care of your baby. I hope that someone holds your hand when you need it or gives you a hug when you feel alone. I wish that I could do these things for you– to be there for you. You are not alone no matter how isolated you feel. My love and my prayers are with you. Remember to cling to the hope of salvation– the everlasting love of Jesus. He will cradle your head when you’re weary and embrace you when you can’t stand.

Psalm 86:15
But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.