Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Surrender All

This has been one of the toughest weeks by far since I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I felt as though I had lost faith in God and thus was unable to go to Him for comfort or help. PPD has cornered me into feeling hopeless many times, but without being able to talk to God... the hopelessness was unbearable. I just wanted to give up and give in to the dark abyss the was threatening to overtake my spirit and fight. My tortured soul kept yelling at me that there was something wrong with me... why couldn't I handle my life? Why couldn't I be happy when I had such beautiful and precious children? Such an amazing husband? Why couldn't I be confident in the person God had created me to be?

This afternoon I was hit out of no where with the hopelessness of my situation. I had decided to skip church orchestra practice in the evening because I had no energy to do anything besides take care of the kids. When Dhrumil came home from work he urged me to go do something that would make me happy. Barely seeing as I walked up the stairs to my room... not knowing what I was going to do... I felt a clear and strong voice inside of me say "GO." Strangely I didn't hesitate... I grabbed my violin, said goodbye to Dhrumil and the kids and went to church.

After playing through the first song, the director gave us context behind the songs that were chosen for this Sunday. He said the pastor was going to speak on a particular passage that in essence would reiterate the facts that God sees you, He is with you and He hears your cries. I felt as though he were directing this at me. I quickly blinked back tears... God had heard my cries today... He had seen my hopelessness, He was with me through all of it.

After orchestra I decided to grab dinner and was going to go to the bookstore to eat when I went to the  park instead. I sat on a bench overlooking a small pond and after eating decided to close my eyes and be still. In the stillness I heard birds singing their joyful songs and crickets chirping as if in a symphony. The smell of fresh earth and flowers enveloped me and the cool breeze felt as if it were wrapping around me like a crisp sheet on a warm summer night. I was in-tuned to God's creation. Then I heard the voice within me... this time it said "GO HOME" For someone who hadn't been seeking God He was being very loud, clear and direct. For a moment I let my thoughts cloud in... I wanted to stay away... I wanted to go to the bookstore and escape. I stopped my mind again and heard "GO HOME"... and so I went.

As I drove home in silence, windows down, wind blowing my hair... tears started to pour down my face. I didn't want to go back home... I wanted to go somewhere and distract myself from all that had been keeping me down. Again... "GO HOME"... "Why God?"

As I pulled up I noticed Dhrumil was doing yard work and had the back yard still to mow. I walked over to him and he asked if I wanted to mow. Keeping my mind silent and void of thoughts I agreed and went at the mowing with all the power that was left in me. As I pushed the mower my mind was silent... and then God spoke again "I know what is best for you, I know you better than you know yourself, I am with you" The last few patches of grass I sprinted towards, pushing with all of my might,  as I finished I noticed the sun had set and the moon was high above. I raised my hands and yelled... "I surrender... Lord God I give you this, You will heal me, You will continue to direct me towards the right treatments, You are with me."

In the twilight as if moved by an invisible force I went to weed the flower bed and heard "My child, this is Not your fault..."

And so I share this story to you... so that you may believe. God is REAL and HE LOVES you!

My experience tonight was a reminder of His individual and infinite love for me. I know I am not done climbing this mountain...I know that tomorrow will be another day of hurdles and battles against this illness and I know that I may lose faith again. BUT I will get through this because of my God and because of all those who are praying for me. He hears us and He does answer...

I lift up my eyes to the mountains-
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip-
he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you-
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The lord will keep you from all harm-
he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121


Sunday, June 16, 2013

He's There... Even When You're Not

I had gotten to the point a few days ago where I was unable to pray.

Frustrated after doing so well for so many weeks to only be back at square one... or even further back... I just wanted to give up and give in to the black cloud the was chasing away any part of myself that I thought I had gotten back. I was evaporating once again into a shell of my former self and it was a hopeless place to be.

Thankfully when I shared this feeling to a few close people... instead of scoffing at the idea that I couldn't pray or look down their noses at me... they did the opposite. They came to me with words of compassion, wisdom and understanding. I felt loved by them and felt the love of God through them. I was reminded that even if I couldn't pray... they could pray for me. That even if I couldn't come to God in that moment because I was angry, weary, exhausted... that He was still there with me, holding my hand. And that once again... I wasn't alone in my fight.

This morning at church as I was singing the great hymn, How Great Thou Art, I felt God's presence all around me. The beautiful image of His hand holding me, protecting me and guiding me came to me... and I was at peace.

Even in the midst of the darkness... I see the light!

Thankful for a glorious laugh today!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Beauty in the Darkness

Anxiety, along with a few other symptoms from PPD, reared their ugly heads during our first family of four mini vacation this past weekend. It was discouraging after having a really good month... almost four weeks of finally feeling like myself again. These past few days I was in a constant battle within myself to just relax. 

Obviously vacations aren't what they used to be... two little kids in tow will do that. The change of scenery is wonderful, change of pace rewarding, having daddy with us all day is fantastic... but let me just put it out there... I think Dhrumil and I are more tired than when we left. Trying to navigate two tiny rooms and who will sleep where, naps, snacks, meals, the hour and a half it took to prepare everyone for the beach, the day of pouring rain, the slathering of sunscreen, the non-stop responsibility.

After a day of rain yesterday, this morning's sun was bright and we were able to enjoy a few hours on the beach before heading home. As I sat on my beach chair nursing Nolan, breathing in the sea air and watching Mikayla and Dhrumil play in the waves, I was thankful for the moment of peace that I felt. Everything stopped... I could just be. It was as if I had forgotten that I still need to live in the now... that I still need to stop and listen and feel God's guidance down this difficult path.

Though these last few days were tough for me in dealing with my illness, there were amazing moments in it! Our family walk on the beach... the special moments I spent with Mikayla collecting shells, swimming in the pool, building castles and running into the waves (she kept looking up at me and saying "this is my most favorite part of the day!") The walk on the beach I had alone with Nolan, who promptly fell asleep in the Ergo and didn't realize it was pouring rain on us as I power walked over the sand back to the hotel... the excitement that both kids were asleep and Dhrumil and I could enjoy sitting on the chairs outside in silence... the family meals. 

All of these moments made it worth it. 

And so... I will look back on this vacation and its precious moments as something beautiful. The moments that I didn't feel like I had to document constantly with my camera, the excitement on Mikayla's face when she looked at the ocean, sweet Nolan eyeing the sand as something he wasn't quite sure of and the loving looks Dhrumil gave to his family. In those moments... I truly lived.

And this postpartum depression thing? I will just keep on fighting the fight until I come out victorious on the other side.