Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Christian and Postpartum Depression

I have been praying about writing this post for awhile. Never having peace about it until now. Even as I write it though, there is a small voice saying, "Don't tell everyone you went through this...". Shame, anxiety, some anger, resentment, and pride are all things I am experiencing at this moment. Why? Because I am human. Sometimes, in Christianity, our humanity gets shoved aside (as it should, we are to be like Christ), but even though we should not submit to it does not mean it isn't relevant. I hope that makes sense. I am just going to share my heart about Post Partum Depression and the Christian Life and how those 2 things CAN and DO exist in the same life.

I would like to preface this by saying, I am a born again Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for MY sins. It took me quite a while to realize it was for me, but once I did, it changed my life. I could not survive anything without my God, my Lord and Savior, and the Comforter within me. He is my strength and shield and I do desire to please Him with my whole life. I am not only saved but I am surrendered. Meaning, I have given God what life He has given me, in the hope that it will be used for His honor and glory. I pray everyday there is nothing between my soul and the Savior and I have surrendered my will to His. I have a very loving and Godly husband. He is the greatest person I know and when I grow up I want to be just like him ;). I have 4 beautiful children that have given me so much joy and significance. I would not change motherhood for all the world. It is my calling- I know that now! God has been faithful, trial after trial, He has fulfilled His promises in my life and I cannot complain.

 The Darkness

Now for the hard part...I have suffered with postpartum depression. Gasp! It is true. It was a very dark time in my life and yes...I was saved at the time. It was after the birth of my first child Abigail. I remember being so happy when I was pregnant. Preparing to bring our first baby into the world- it was almost euphoric thinking about motherhood and all of it's joy! I was on cloud nine, making my birth plan, getting her room ready, praying for her future, and awaiting her birthday. My husband and I were so excited. Then the day came when I had to go in for a routine Dr's appointment and I was dilated 3 cm and my blood pressure was 210/130. The Dr. was scared to say the least and I was admitted that moment and put on magnesium sulfate. My poor baby would dilate to 9 cm and then curl back up inside me to 3 cm. It was awful. I was in hard labor for 14 hours and I was tired. I refused medication because I wanted a natural birth so when she wasn't coming and her heart rate was dropping, they came in and through my fatigue and pain I heard the word, "C-section". I burst into tears. I didn't want a C-section. I didn't want medication. I was trying so hard. I had prayed so hard. Why was this happening to me? and before I knew it I was receiving a spinal and being prepped for surgery. I remember shaking because I was so scared and cold and I remember feeling like I wanted to throw up but I hadn't eaten in so long nothing would have come out. Then I heard her cry, so much pain and hurt melted away and I cried tears of joy. To finally hear that cry you have waited 9 long months to hear is wonderful and overwhelming. God is a miraculous God. I am going to fast forward to going home. The hospital stay was a grueling experience (I was there for 10 days waiting for my bp to return to normal) but I will skip it for the sake of keeping this concise. At that time they used staples to keep wounds together so my C-section opening was closed with staples. Well, I am highly allergic to metals of any kind and it got infected and I was violently throwing up everyday. I felt very alone and helpless. I couldn't even get up to change my baby's diaper and then my husband had to go back to work and I was expected to pick up the pieces of my shattered dreams and move on. Continue with life with this new body, new responsibility, and overwhelming sense of failure. I felt I had failed before I had even gotten started. I COULD NOT clean, I COULD NOT pray, I COULD NOT think, etc... Everything seemed overwhelming. I had anxiety about Abby not seeing me smile enough, not hearing me sing enough, not having a spotless home, not having enough physical comfort, and the list goes on and on. I was consumed with worry and doubt (both sins by the way). Everything seemed so big that I lost the will to try. I stopped getting ready in the morning, I stopped smiling at my husband, and I stopped crying because I was sad (this is what really concerned me) the lack of emotion. Who was I? Where had I ended and my child began? This is what I started to wonder, because until this point- I knew who I was. I knew what God wanted me to do. I knew where He wanted me to be. But now...I was lost. I would read my Bible everyday and I would pray. I felt as though I was making more effort than I ever had before. I was striving on the outside but on the inside I was hurting. My life was on fast forward but I was in rewind. Some instances of postpartum depression people feel an aversion to their child, praise the Lord I did not suffer with this kind. Her physical and (I hope) emotional needs were met and I never felt detached from her. It was more like everything else. I was almost over attentive to her and gave up everything else. But I was riddled with worry and anxiety and pressure. This is a glimpse into what I went through in the beginning. I am going to share how I made it through without medication and I am praying this will be a help to someone.

You Are Not Alone

I did not understand that what I was suffering from truly was, postpartum depression. Finally, after 10 months I decided to talk to my husband. The poor man. He had no idea what was going on with me and I am sure somewhere in my selfishness I blamed him. We were lying in bed one night and I had tears streaming down my face and I said, "I think I am depressed... and I am scared of the person I have become." He rolled over in bed and said, "Whatever you are going through, we are in this together. I am here for you and you are not alone." That was  when the flood gates broke and healing started for me. I knew God was with me (though I wasn't really giving Him the faith He deserved), but I needed to know there was a physical person in my corner. The first thing you need to, if you believe you have postpartum depression is talk to someone. Make someone you are close to, that you can trust, aware of what you are going through. Getting it out, saying it, makes it easier to deal with because you are finally acknowledging that something is going on. Use this person as your accountability partner. For everything that makes you sad, that you dwell on in your mind, tell them 3 things that make you happy or bring you joy. I realized the closer I stayed in my walk with God to the day I got saved, the better off I was emotionally. Ask this person to keep you accountable in your personal devotions. Make sure they know when your prayer life and Bible reading is slipping.

Physical Awareness

You are experiencing physical changes. This is not a myth, this is real. Your hormones are off if you are suffering from depression. You need to seek medical attention but I do not believe from an MD. I would seek help from an osteopathic Dr. or someone who practices natural methods of healing. The side effects of pharmaceuticals outweigh the benefits by a large margin and it would be in your best interest to get your own hormones working properly again (not synthetic ones). I personally believe that diet is important. Everyone knows that you naturally feel better when you eat well and when you exercise so do these things. Get up early, work out, do your devotions, etc. Having a routine like this builds strength, inner and outer. Plus, getting your hormones balanced may be the ticket to you feeling completely yourself. I recommend the book, "Wheat Belly" written by William Davis, MD. This book has helped me personally. Don't disregard the physical aspect- it is real. Take care of your needs. If you are a Christian, you may feel as though this part is not important, but it is! Remember God gave you a body and you are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Treat Him well.


This is the most important part. You first must remember there is an enemy. So often we forget that the devil really is walking about seeking whom he may devour. And the scary thing is...he has our playbook. He knows our weaknesses because we are not good at hiding them. He will try to make you useless for the Lord. That is his goal. He can't have your soul anymore but he can take your mind. Don't give him an inch. When something enters your mind that is a worry, doubt, or fear immediately turn it over to your Heavenly Father and let it go. Pray for strength, for peace, for contentment. If you do not give place to the devil in your life he will flee from you. Don't give him the opportunity to take your joy. Keep it safe. Safeguard your heart. I Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." It is interesting that the next verse in this passage is, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" When we deal with issues on our own we cannot fight and win. We are not strong enough without the Lord. Stay close to Him through this time. When we keep our cares, the devil twists them and cripples our abilities through fear. The next verse in this passage is, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." Ask God for these things. He has called you- He will be faithful to make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, and settle you. Claim this verse!

Make gratitude your attitude. I truly believe no Christian is further away from the Lord than the Christian that ceases to be grateful. The Lord has given you life and breath, He has blessed you. There are always blessings in the Christian's life. Even trials are a blessing because it means God has not forgotten you and He wants to use you in a mighty way! Be thankful! Things can always be worse than they are right now. Ask God to give you His perspective. This will help. Claim His promises, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee...", "...Godliness with contentment is great gain...", "...I will not suffer the righteous to be moved...". Claim Scripture that means something to you. Think about your salvation and what it took to save your soul from death. God has not forgotten you- He died for you. Psalm 56:13, "For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?".

Bear the fruit of the Spirit. Kindness is the most important aspect when you are in depression because it forces you to think of others. Believe it or not, this will help the healing process. When you are tempted to stay home and wallow, go help someone. Find a person in a situation that you can help with and do it. Bless someone else's life and it will bless your own. Show others the kindness that you want to be shown. Pray for others they way you need someone to pray for you. Be the person to others you want people to be to you. What is amazing about this, is people don't always return the favor, but God does! He sees your small deeds and rewards you. He returns the kindness even if people do not.

Feed your Spirit. This is important because in order to stay right spiritually, you must surround yourself with spiritual things. Reading a romance novel, watching TV, obsessing over facebook and social media, etc., these are not spiritual things. They are not necessarily wrong but do not give them the place the Lord should have in your life. Satan can use these as tools to feed your flesh. Surrender the desires of your flesh to the Lord and make sure you are yielding yourself everyday.

Final Thoughts

Read Psalm 13 and cry out to God. Speak the verses to the Lord. This Psalm helps us to understand how to handle a trial. We can go from sorrow to singing because of God dealing bountifully with us. Read Isaiah 43:1,2 and know that the Lord will not give you more than you can handle. Read Proverbs 3:1-14 and apply them to your life and the list goes on and on. Read Titus to learn how to be a godly woman, read I Peter to learn how to remember what God has done for you, read Psalm 51 to confess sin, read Hebrews to strengthen your faith, etc. God's Word changes lives, keeps us right, and is the only true unchanging thing in life. God honors His Word above His own name- that is how sacred it is. Use it to guide your life. Without it there is no wisdom or understanding- only darkness. There is healing. God is the great physician and you can get through this with help. Lean hard on your Savior, Seek the right medical and physical care, and help others. I will be praying for anyone who reads this because they are suffering.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Standing in an arena of Sitters

I have read more on the internet in the last few days than I normally do in a week. And I am just appaulled at our "Christian-ized" society. What happened to taking a stand? What happened to being different? Can someone please explain it to me, because for the life of me, I cannot understand how we are all starting to run together. Am I different than the person I am in line with at the DMV, the person in front of me at the grocery store, or my own Dr? Has God changed my life or not? Because if not, then I should carry on as one of them. I should, think, act, look, and speak like them. But, if God did save me, if He did pull me up from the miry clay, than shouldn't there be a difference? Or do I carry on as I always have- just  now labeling my life "Christian". Not doing anything about it. Not telling anyone or changing the way I live.
Who are you? Have you been bought with a price? Is your life your own? Is God even involved? It is so disgusting to me when I meet someone who says, "Oh yea, I am a Christian...", yet He holds no part of their life. He is not directing their steps. He is not allowed to fully bless them because they have control. It has never been surrendered. What happened to trusting God with our decisions? And letting Him change us from the inside out? Where are the few who hold up everything they watch, listen to, and wear and say, "My Heavenly Father, are you pleased with this?" And if he says, "NO", they rid themselves of it.
Where are they? The separated few. Who will stand through ridicule, hate, and persecution...even from their own brethren. Are we to be so "tolerant" of lifestyles and sin that we live no differently?
We are committing to stand in 2013 as a family. We are not sure where that may take us, but we know that the Lord will be leading our steps. We are trusting Him to do His perfect work in us until the day of His appearing. Will you stand? Will you stand against criticism, against sin, and against mediocrity? I pray that the people out there who know they have been saved to the uttermost and have been miraculously cleansed from their sin will start to stand. I pray they will start to stick out in this sea of "Christian-ized" society. I pray we will not just have a form of Godliness, but that we will try for Godliness with power. There are Biblical principles that cannot be ignored by us anymore. Please join me in praying for fellow believers to start taking a true stand for Christ.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Children are an heritage of the Lord...

Children are an heritage of the Lord...I think about this every time I am struggling to know what to do as a mom. Ultimately, they are the Lord's heritage. I need to rear them in as pleasing a manner as possible. My Heavenly Father needs to be involved in every decision that I make for them. I should be consulting with the Holy Spirit every moment of the day. I know the people that I want them to grow up to be, but what about who God wants them to be? What about His plans? Have I truly surrendered MY will for their lives? I ponder these questions as I am away from my girlies this week. We are headed to camp with our teens and we are so excited to see what the Lord is going to do in and through our young people. Aside from that though, I have been thinking about my role as a mother a lot lately. These questions have kept me searching the Scriptures to make sure that my life is pleasing to the Lord. Leading by example is the BEST way to teach someone and I am praying that I can be that example for my children. I want them to be Godly, sweet, forgiving, loving, and kind. Slow to wrath and speak, and quick to hear and follow. I believe that desiring the things God wants for them I am following His leading for my life and theirs. God has been so good to me, I hope that I can repay Him with a tiny army of Godly women. Women who are not afraid of what others might think of their bold witness, their modest dress, and their true, deep love for God. We need to be trying to rear courageous, Christian women, rather than the next (fill in the blank) because that was our desire for them. We need not be afraid of who they will become, if we follow what God has for their future, by being surrendered ourselves. God has never failed me and my children need to know that. They need to see Mommy following Him without question or fear. Fighting the good fight of faith. I have just rambled some personal thoughts. I hope they were encouraging to you and your babies :).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ode to Mother's- A Mother's Day devotion

Let me preface this by saying I wrote this devotion for a Nursery Worker's Meeting on Sunday and each of the points were an item in a gift basket that we gave away as a door prize. So, sorry for maybe the random feeling of the points. It made sense when it was given :). But I still think it is an encouraging and applicable read. Thanks for taking the time to do so!

                   Ode to Mother’s Day

a.       Wrote Memorization”- Lam. 3:21-23- “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope…” I love the idea of journaling. Maybe it is because I realized my own mortality much more vividly when my mom passed away and the things that she had written down became so precious to me. I want to write down everything God does for me and my family. I want my girls to have a legacy they can not only remember but one they can physically reference. I can’t remember things unless I write them down and so God has really convicted me about writing my blessings and struggles down. I want my children to see how real and good my God is. Satan’s goal is to get us to forget! If we forget, we will not live unto Christ because we are not remembering what He did for us. So write things down to remember!

b.      “Let Them Eat Cake”- Lam. 3:22- “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not…” They are new every morning the Bible says. I think as Christian mothers we sometimes feel pressure to be very HARD on our children and strict with them. I believe in discipline and I believe in running a seamless home that does not center around your children or their behavior. But I also believe we are to exemplify Christ’s attributes to our children and so often, we forget how merciful God is to us. We try to “play God” in our children’s lives and while God is holy and just, He is also fair, kind, and loving. Many of our Christian homes are missing the very attributes that made us Christians in the first place.

c.       “If mama ain’t happy; ain’t nobody happy”-  Proverbs 31:22 –“She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple…” Ladies, if we are not careful, we will neglect ourselves so much, in the name of our family, that we start resenting them. We can have the attitude that they have somehow robbed us of our identity or our “alone” time. Instead of embracing our role as mother and wife we become very cynical and cold to the people we are supposed to protect and serve. This cannot happen in the Christian home. The mother is the center of the home, let’s make sure we are a healthy, happy center. I know when I do not get up before my children and have my morning routine. Shower, devotions, coffee, I am grumpy inside all day!!! It is so important we are taking care of ourselves so that we are equipped to take care of others.

d.      “Clean up on aisle 7”- Proverbs 31:26- “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness…” Do you ever feel like you are constantly cleaning up messes? After your children, your husband, and yourself? Sometimes a dog too J? Well, that is what mom’s do. We clean up. We clean up tears and sickness and broken hearts. We have a responsibility to our families to turn every negative into a positive. We need to clean up our families messes and make them beautiful. If your husband makes the wrong decision- stick by him anyway. If your child does something you told them not to do and they got hurt for it- remind them they are still loved. Do not teach your family to be bitter at others for the way they are treated or for their circumstances; they will get enough of that from the world. They need you to remind them that God is still on the throne and Rom. 8:28. Don’t teach them how to complain, teach them how to praise.

e.      “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…”- Phil. 4:11- “…for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content…”- This is very difficult for women!!! Don’t you love being around someone that is truly content?? Don’t we try to teach our children contentment??  We teach them to be happy with what they are given. Well, are you living a life of contentment or do you constantly have want of something???Your children know when you are not happy with your life, so why should they be happy with theirs??? Contentment is like a sweet odor, infectious. It is something everyone wants to be around, because they know there will be no complaining.

f.        “CHOCOLATE!!!” Ladies love chocolate and this is just a reminder to do things you like with your kids. You do not have to suffer through everything you hate doing just because you are a mom. Get your kids to like the things that you do! Get them to enjoy everyday activities by making them fun. Being a mom is all about influence and you can influence them to enjoy life’s simple pleasures like you do, like chocolate.

g.       “Growing, growing, growing,….Gone!” “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it…” We have a small window of influence. I was just thinking the other day, by the time I am 40, I will have lived with my husband longer than my parents. Yet, what a formidable time that is!!! It is the part of life your kids will remember and reference forever. We need to make sure we are growing them spiritually. Challenging them. Now, our children will not grow, if we are not growing. If we are not getting closer to God, our children won’t. If we are not being faithful, our children won’t be faithful. We must first live it and be the example and when we do that, we can count on the fact that God’s Word will not return void! I know the reason I am serving the Lord today is because God was so real to my mom. And even when I was bitter and rebellious, I still feared the God that my mom served because He answered her prayers and was faithful to her. I wanted that for my own life and that is the reason that I trusted Christ, because my mom proved to me that her God was real, long before I knew Him myself.

Friday, April 27, 2012

On my mind....

I want to please the Lord with my life. I want HIM to be pleased with ME. So often, I think, we want it  the other way around, or we live our lives the other way around. Are we trying to squeeze the Bible into our already established life? Or are we living by God's Word, every moment, consulting with the Holy Spirit? I think American Christianity has missed so many things, but this might be one of the GREATEST. We have become humanists. We take Jesus and all of his benefits and that is WHY we become Christians. Not because He is worthy of our lives, but because we KNOW he can make our lives better. We serve ourselves. We wait for the next moment of instant gratification. We make decisions based on what "we feel is right", rather than what God truly wants. We go through the motions of being seemingly faithful in our outward lives- all the while living unto ourselves on the inside. How can this benefit me, or my kids, or my relationship??? What about Him...what about what we ACTUALLY deserve? We wear what we want, we watch what we want, we go where we want, and dare our Holy and Heavenly Father to tell us "No!". We act like if it is a "good" thing, it cannot be wrong for us to partake. But doesn't that actually make it more dangerous? Doesn't that mean the line just becomes more grey and indistinct? What happened to God's people having convictions about living holy lives? About being separate? Why is there no line anymore? Did it disappear when God left schools? I don't think so...that would be too obvious. Or when they threw out prayer and starting cramming evolution and post-modernist theology down our throat? I don't know about that either. I think it started in the home. I think the mom and dad said, "Well, that's not a big deal, we can do that....just this once." I then think it translated into the House of God, because God's people were dull of hearing. We did not fight for God to stay in schools, nor did we fight for prayer. What we are left with is anemic Christians, who barely deserve that title. We have forgotten who God is and what He represents. Isaiah 6:1, 3-5- "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the Temple. And one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."  Doesn't God's Word say serving him is our "reasonable service"? It is REASONABLE, not ridiculous. And it is necessary for true worship. I hope this helped encourage you. It is something that has been on my mind lately. Living unto God, not unto myself. Bringing my body under subjection and obeying the voice of the Lord. God help us all as we strive. I want to finish my course with joy and the best way I know to do that is to have no regrets. I will never regret living my life for God. But I will definitely regret living my life for self.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kids say the darndest things...

Abby- "Mommy, can you teach me how to be saved?" Me- Yes, Abby I can teach you how to be saved!" Abby- "Mommy, can you also teach me how to raise from the dead?"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ministry Moment

I always keep a frozen lasagna on hand, just in case I come in contact with a family in need, someone who just had a baby, or we have someone over for an impromptu visit. If none of that happens within a few weeks I bake it on a Wed. because it takes about 2.5 hours which is a little longer than the church service. So, If you think this would be convenient for you to do as well, just buy double ingredients and make 2 at the same time. Put one in a disposable pan and then if you give it away, no worries about getting it back! It is just one more way, I can, as a stay at home mom, be hospitable to others. Hope this was helpful!