After giving birth to my second child, the two-week baby blues that I experienced with my first child didn’t want to leave. In fact, it was worse and coupled with anxiety. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. When my son turned two-months-old I experienced my first panic attack!!! I didn’t realize it was connected to my Post Partum Depression. Fretting about what had just happened to me, I called my OB’s office in which they immediately prescribed medication. In desperation, I took half a pill that night and the next morning felt worse than I had ever felt. Anxiety, fear, and depression hung over me like a lingering dark cloud. I never took another pill.
I remember not wanting to get out of bed in the mornings. Sleep was my escape because it was the time when I didn’t feel. I clung to God’s promises and began seeking him wholeheartedly. He truly became my refuge and strength as the depression slowly but eventually left. I sensed the Lord was telling me that He was healing me “day by day” and not an overnight fix.
After the birth of my third child, I didn’t experience a hint of depression, not even the baby blues. Praise God!
My fourth came along. That ugly cloud of depression followed suit. This time I lost my appetite, and felt nauseous at the very smell of food. Consequently, I lost 17 lbs. in a short amount of time, which was major considering I was already thin. During that dark time, I couldn’t understand why God was allowing this in my life. I questioned His love for me and yet clung to Him tighter than ever before.
God has a way of strengthening us through our trials: One scripture at a time? One word of encouragement at a time? One prayer at a time? One day at a time. Have you ever noticed that God never seems to be in a hurry? I often prayed for Him to make me well, while I slept, so that when I woke up I would be all better and go on with life as before. I wanted a quick fix. He didn’t answer my prayer. I’ve learned He doesn’t show us the quick way out of a situation or a back door to avoid all pain and sorrow in this life.
Instead, He takes our hand and walks through the storm with us. It’s going through that we learn to trust His tender care over us? despite how hard the trial may be. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you” (Isaiah 43:2).
In the middle of my trial, I remember waking up one morning and the Holy Spirit immediately whispered to my heart, “I have hedged you before and behind and laid my hand upon you.” I later discovered this was Psalm 139:5. It brought so much joy and peace to my heart because it reminded me that I was not alone in my “furnace” experience, and His hand was there comforting, protecting, and guiding me. This was one of many scriptures the Lord made personal to me during that time. His word became my strength as I struggled through hard days. But He has been faithful to me.
Depression has friends. And these friends lie to us:
• Despondency says don’t get out of bed it’s going to be a bad day.
• Hopelessness says your situation will never change.
• Despair says God has forgotten you or doesn’t care about your situation.
• Fear/Anxiety says you are going to go crazy!
God’s Word has promises. And His promises are Truth:
• He will restore. (Jeremiah 30:17)
• Hope does not disappoint. (Romans 5:5)
• He will never leave nor forsake you. (Matthew 28:20)
• He has not forgotten you. (Isaiah 49:16)
• He has not given you fear. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Lean on His promises no matter what difficulty you are facing. Remember seasons come and seasons go and whatever you are facing? It is just for a season.
Corrie Ten Boom’s sister, Betsy, while enduring terrible tribulation said it best,
“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
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