Recently I found myself laughing with my children. It was a beautiful thing. What makes this so extraordinary? I realized that I could not remember the last time I laughed with them. It makes me want to cry to admit that to you, but it’s true.
When my babies were little, the Lord took me through the valley of the shadow of death, He allowed me to spend some time in the wilderness. I wasn’t alone. He was there with me in the darkness the whole time. I do not look back on those years with anger or frustration at God.
But, when I look back, I am sad…
The anti-depressants I started began working after a few months. I wasn’t depressed. I could get out of bed. I could prepare meals for my children. I could accomplish my daily to-do lists. I homeschooled my children. I served in my church.
But, I rarely laughed.
It’s been right at two years since I have been off my anti-depressants. Praise the Lord!! Coming off was one of the hardest seasons I faced. I don’t discount the good months I’ve had. In fact, I count it as a miracle that God performed.
I also recently went off another medication that was altering a lot of things about my personality and my hormones. It was helpful, but there were also negatives to it. I’ve been more weepy since going off this particular med. But you know what? I have, at times, missed my sensitive self! It’s ok to cry, life is hard! Why shouldn’t we feel it?
That’s the thing, these medications are GREAT for a time being…but I hope and pray I never have to go back on them again.
I want to laugh with my children.
When your children look at you like you’re strange, because you’re laughing? Something is wrong with that picture. My goodness, I feel as though years of my children’s lives have been ruined.
But, God. He can take ashes and create beauty. He can work things out for their good, my good and His glory. He is faithful God.
Why do I tell you all this?
I tell you all this because I know there are some of you hurting and struggling with depression. I know many of you are on anti-depressants. I know many of you are weaning off of them and going through the hardest thing you’ve ever done. I know some of you are praying about starting an anti-depressant…or how to wean off of it…or whether it’s right/wrong to take it to begin with. I know there are desperate mamas out there. I’ve read your emails, your comments, you’ve given me glimpses into your hearts. I know there are so many hurting people in our world today.
You are not alone. I have to share my story so that even one of you can find hope again. I have to remind you (because I needed reminding as well) that God is at work. He isn’t finished with you yet. He is making you into something so beautiful. Everything He makes He says is good, that includes you.
It is my earnest prayer that one day, someday soon, you will laugh again.
But until then, if you find yourself in the valley, take heart. Cling to Jesus. Practice hope. Don’t lose heart. Pray the Scriptures. Write the Word. Know you are loved and God is for you. Take a deep breath and ask for help.
You are loved, dear one.