So, I’ve had a lot to catch you up on… just not enough time to do so. 🙂 Those of you fellow mommas with young children can use your imaginations!
This is a bit of my story.
I struggled a lot with postpartum emotions after Hannah was born. The first 2 months were a lot more miserable than I cared to admit to anyone (denial! I do it well). I finally started to freak out a little when I realized I couldn’t make it a single day (sometimes not even an hour) without breaking down in tears and intense frustration. I couldn’t understand why everything was SOOOO HARD!! I mean come ON… I’ve handled classrooms of 20-30 kids with poise and finesse. I’ve worked in clinical day treatment schools, responding with God’s unending, supernatural love and grace to all sorts of physical and emotional hostility. I’ve worked 14 hour days before. I’ve worked on 1 hour of sleep before, many times. SO WHY CAN’T I HANDLE A QUIET HOUSE AND JUST 2 SMALL CHILDREN?!?!?!?
It was maddening.
I prayed. Constantly. I drank herbal tea. I thought happy thoughts. I ate chocolate. I ate ice cream. I ate green things. I “got out.” All those things helped a little, or even a lot, for the moment. But nothing was really working. Nothing was changing. I wasn’t changing.
Then one day, while numbly and randomly flipping through my Bible, trying to find some gem of a lifeline to pull me out of my muck, I came across Proverbs 24:10, “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.”
Well! I flipped the book shut in annoyance. I might as just throw in the towel, because clearly, I suck at life. THANKS, SOLOMON. I DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW.
But, like all quiet nudges from the Holy Spirit, this one stuck with me.
Then a few days later, I was walking out a local store, and I saw a demon in the parking lot.
I know a few of you may check me off your list for that comment, but bear with me… I’ve never seen something like that before. I know they exist (see: Bible), but I really don’t know (or care to know, admittedly) much about them at all. But this thing freaked me out.
It looked kinda like a human being… but it was not. That’s all I will say. Except for the one thing that matters right now, in this context: it smiled at me.
Taunting. Gloating. As if it knew how much of a failure I was feeling like.
And my heart sunk. I know as Christians we say all the time, “the battle is already won,” but it’s not entirely true… the WAR is already won, but we are still fighting every day… and at that moment, my heart had to face the truth: I am not winning right now.
Two days later, I sat at a little desk in my kitchen, looking out the window into my back yard. The kids were actually sleeping at the same time, and the house was quiet… you could only hear the birds singing happily and the leaves swaying outside through my open windows. It was lovely. I stared miserably out the window, thought for a minute, picked up a pen, and wrote this down:
“I have a kind, loving husband. I have two healthy, adorable kids. We are home, not in a hospital anymore. I live in a lovely house, that we can afford only by God’s grace and our landlords’ kind generosity. There are trees in the backyard. I have plants, a bird feeder, a clothesline… the Lord knows I take delight in these things, and He made a way to give them to me. We’ve been blessed with a 2nd car (miraculously); I can take the kids anywhere, whenever I want. They sleep pretty well at night. They often nap at the same time. I have a cabinet full of good tea, a little white desk, pretty calendars and notebooks, and a Bible I am not in danger of loosing my life for owning and reading. My husband cheerfully takes a shift with the kids now and then so I can get out for a bit. So why do I feel like this?”
And the answer was whispered in my ear: “The battle is not outside me; it is within.”
Duh. I knew that.
But somehow, my heart hadn’t connected the dots till that moment. Suddenly I understood: nothing outside of me was responsible for my misery. It was all coming from inside me.
And thus began a month-long (and still going) therapy session with the Holy Spirit… for someone who has denied counseling for years. lol.
I feel like my heart has been through boot camp. I feel freer than I have felt since very young childhood (when you feel free just because you are alive), and I have learned things about myself that I had NO IDEA existed.
I will share a few things I learned, but that’s for another day. 😉
For now, I encourage… nay, beg you to ask the Holy Spirit, “walk me through my heart.” It a painful journey to be sure, and exhausting beyond measure. The LORD is patient beyond belief with our stubborn souls, but He can also be breathlessly swift when we are ready to listen and learn. Follow the lead of the only One who’s strength is big enough for the battle. The air is glorious out here, in the freedom His spirit offers… trust me, it is so more than worth the pain!!
I can truthfully say, I am tearfully thankful for the misery I experienced after my daughter was born. Yes, I’m sure there were plenty of hormones involved, but a huge percentage was stemming from years of backlogged emotions and experiences I had not yet allowed the Holy Spirit to work through with me yet. And since that day, about a month ago, looking out at the trees in my backyard and finally asking “WHY,” and really wanting Him to teach me the answer? I have not gone back. Sure, life is frustrating, and I’ve definitely been emotional (I think that’s just part of being a lady 😉 ), but the darkness I was feeling has completely left… because I am free.
“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17
Let Him walk you through your heart!