It seems like forever since I’ve written a post. So much has happened this last year, and even though I’ve wanted to start blogging again, deciding where to start felt overwhelming. But then while I was packing, I thumbed through a journal from last year during one of my depressions. I remembered it being a dark time, but I’d forgotten how bad it really was. Like, didn’t-want-to-live bad.
Some people know, but I haven’t shared with everyone how dark my spiritual walk has been. While I’ve wrestled with God at other times in my life, this was something different. For about a year, I really have just turned my back on Him. I haven’t been to church. Or been reading my Bible (didn’t even know where it was until a couple of days ago). When I caught myself praying, I would intentionally stop. I wanted nothing to do with God, basically. I felt betrayed by Him for a lot of reasons which I won’t get into today. But the short version is that I had been struggling and crying out to God for years, and yet for so long—so long!—I did not get the answers I desperately wanted. I was in more pain than I knew what to do with. And I blamed Him.
And then I got pregnant. Unexpectedly. Not that it wasn’t happy news, it was. But I was scared of so many things. As my belly grew, so did the hardest questions in my heart about motherhood: would I be a good mother; would I even like being a mother? There were days I couldn’t get out of bed. Hours of crying curled up on the bathroom floor. I could hardly take care of myself at that point, much less a tiny baby that would depend on me for everything. Though I didn’t ask Him directly (since I wasn’t speaking to Him, after all), I wondered what God was doing in letting me get pregnant. I didn’t understand, but I was going to do my best. My baby would not suffer in any way because of me.
I worked hard throughout my pregnancy to take care of myself emotionally and physically so that baby would be as healthy and happy as possible during those long months. Expecting the worst, I got resources in places to help me with postpartum depression because there was no doubt I would have it. I put PPD books on my Amazon list and researched natural antidepressants that would be safe for baby. I had a counselor lined up who specializes in PPD and attachment issues.
But I didn’t need any of it. I didn’t ever get PPD. Yes, with the challenges of being a new mom came moments of exhaustion, doubt, and tears, but underlying all of it was a new kind of joy I have never known.
My hesitation in writing this post was that I knew I would struggle with putting what’s in my heart into words. I’m not sure I can describe the change in my being that has come with arrival of this sweet little boy. Every morning since I brought him home from the hospital, I sing “You Are My Sunshine” to him while he nurses. Truly, he is sunshine for me. It’s been six months now, and I still get choked up when I hold him and feel his soft, fuzzy hair against my cheek. When he smiles, I feel happiness all the way to my toes. Over the simplest of things, I’m utterly overwhelmed with a love that comes out in quiet, thankful tears.
Because there are no words. All I know is this: God answered my prayers. It wasn’t in the timing or in the way I would have imagined. Other things in life continue to offer aching disappointment and insecurity that threaten to break me…but then I look at my baby boy. And I know that I will be okay.
It’s a process, but I’m reconnecting with the Lord and with my faith. I had no idea what it meant to be a mother. But by giving me a chance to love in a way I never could until now, God has helped me see His love for me. I’ve got some things to work out still, but I think I’m finally starting to understand.