We had been living in Northwest Arkansas for exactly one year. We were about to welcome our fourth child to our family with a four year old, two year old, and one year old. We had had such easy pregnancies, deliveries, and recoveries that I just assumed this would be the case. Once Silas was born we hit the ground running. He was a challenging baby who would scream every night from 10pm-1am. I would go in our backyard to let him cry so he wouldn't wake the other sleeping people. At around 2.5 months the colic finally went away just in time for his reflux and asthma like symptoms to flare up. I decided to potty train Anna Kate because three kids in diapers was expensive! Also, this was right around when we decided to do some testing on Hudson to see why his growth had drastically slowed. I was basically going through the motions and just surviving.
If you asked me on any given day though, I would say, " I'm good" or " we're busy, but getting it down". On the inside though I was seriously struggling with frustration and exhaustion but too embarrassed to let anyone know. I was a new pastor's wife and there wasn't any way I was going to let anyone know that I didn't love my situation. I was buying into the lies of guilt and shame for the way I felt. I had a loving husband, healthy kids, a home, food, clothes, cars, and I was a believer in Jesus. Shouldn't that have been enough? I was getting more mad at myself and trying to pull myself together on my own. I never had feeling of harm, just feelings of gloom. My pride ruled what could have been a sweet time. I was also snapping my fingers and expecting God to make my baby sleep through the night and make me feel "normal". I felt disappointed that those things didn't happen when I felt that they should happen. Again, hindsight is 20/20. I know he allowed me some adversity for my sanctification and for His good plans.
There's only so many target runs and sonic happy hour drinks a mama can do to make the days better. Around 6 months after Silas was born, I was so drained that I began pouring my heart out to the Lord. He listened and heard me. He brought Psalm 23 my way... The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. HE makes me lie down in green pastures. HE leads me beside still waters. HE restores my soul". I was trying to keep up an impossible appearance and trying to do it on my own. In truth, Jesus is the only strength that can carry me. There's such a stigma about postpartum depression that makes women stay in it longer, at least I think so. I really believe that if we can let go of the shame and bring it to the light that the Lord gets the glory and we get to bask in the blessing of fully depending on him. While you may or may not have had a season of depression, my guess is that at some point you have felt weary. Even Jesus felt weary at times, but he knew where to place his weariness. Hebrews 4:15, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin". He was fully God and fully man.
So, when you are at your wits end, bring it to the Lord. Matthew 11:28, " Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest". Some days I still struggle with being overwhelmed and it's ok. I'm not perfect.But, I'm doing what I can to remember I have a God who sees me and hears me and knows me and is waiting to meet me just where I am. And for that, I am thankful.