This was a “lost” day since we traveled across the international dateline. But was it really lost?? God brings the lost to Himself. God pursues the lost. In fact, as I write this post, even “saving” this lost post seems to speak to its content.
My daughter, Donna, has suffered from depression for around 10 years. She has always been sensitive which gives her unusual compassion, but at a cost as she internalizes the pain of others.
Donna had a panic attack and was diagnosed with PostPartum Depression/PostPartum Anxiety. Additionally, she is taking antibiotics for mastitis. Friends have been helpful so they can get sleep. She has three appointments next week with therapists on MWTh.
Over the years she has had good counselors and bad counselors, good support from friends and bad support from those who she thought were friends. She has been given good medicines and bad medicines. Her family has sometimes helped and sometimes unknowingly hurt. Bible verses have been given: some are encouraging; others cause guilt.
All positive attempts have been like Band-Aids to the problem. Today as a new mom the problem has become insurmountable, and she has put her foot down and is confronting this head on!!
We were never meant to live our life in fear. We were never meant to be given a new life to care for in fear!
Just as Donna cannot be with Lucy 24/7 to watch over her safety neither can I watch over Donna. But in both cases, God CAN!! When the Word of God becomes real and is directly applied, faith deepens and human control of the situation is given up.
I remember a Sunday school exercise where we were to make a timeline graph of our lives with appropriate milestones starting with birth. The x-axis was years and the y-axis was to rate from 1-10 the closeness that you felt toward God. It graphically revealed that during hard times you were closest to God.
Donna has often felt that if she can control things on the outside, her feelings on the inside will improve. In the past controlling her world around her brought order to her chaos. With a baby that is impossible.
Today she is learning to truly let go. She is worrying about things that God never meant for her to take on.
Donna asked me to share her story. She wrote it on Facebook and I have shared it on Facebook and on this blog at her request.
Hello, Facebook friends, near and far. Nathan and I need your prayers more, now than ever. Will you commit to pray for me? I’d absolutely love it if you could remember me in your prayers as often as you can. Since shortly after my daughter Lucy’s birth on 1/30/20, I have been feeling severe anxiety brought on by the sleep deprivation and just trying to figure out mom life/keeping Lucy safe and cared for. Went to doc because I was in the middle of a panic attack, and they prescribed Ativan as needed to help bring my anxiety down a notch and help me fall asleep. It helped me to calm down to sleep for the first time for more than 2 hours. The first deep sleep I had of three hours, I had the most vivid dream of my life, and it was filled with worries about Lucy’s safety and the safety of other babies as well. After I woke up, I shared the details of the dream with my parents and Nathan, which helped me verbalize it and recognize just how stressed I was. I have never felt so afraid, but also I have been hearing God speak to me every day. I know that He is with us and that He cares deeply for us. I feel His closeness like I never have before. I know deep in my soul that God is writing a story through this. I want to share my story now, so that others may know that they are not alone and that I can know that I am not alone in this. After this storm of anxiety has passed, I want to share this story with others because I think it is a testament to the closeness of our God.
Last night as I lay in bed trying in vain to fall asleep, I started praying in a whisper, praying over my worries and pains, knowing that God wants us to commune with Him. He kept bringing Scripture to mind that gently touched each of the fears and pains that I was having. I got out of bed to use the restroom and realized that an hour had passed. I prayed that although I was not technically sleeping, that God would make that hour manifest in my body as if it was an hour of sleep. I decided to take an Ativan to calm me to sleep, and I know that God was working through that medication as well, as I got a few hours of sleep shortly after that. Waking up this morning to nurse Lucy at around 8 am this morning, I know that He heard my prayers and answered them, helping me to heal both mentally and physically.
Here are some verses that spoke to me that may speak to you as well…
Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Psalm 139:14 “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
Mark 4:41 “They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” In this verse “him” refers to Jesus Christ: The one who saves us and is God in the flesh.
I could keep writing forever about the Word of God during this time, as I feel so alert and well. I feel the Holy Spirit working through me in this moment of writing.
I pray that Christ-followers who read this will be encouraged in their own walk with God, and that my testimony of God’s work and faithfulness in this past week would open the eyes of people searching for fullness of life with God, Our Father and Creator.
I have never felt so alive and needed by God to share the Gospel. Before now, I felt that I didn’t have the words to say/felt awkward talking about my faith/and at times doubted if God was really with me or if he was even real or just a social construct. But, my friends, today at 10:30 am as I type this and Nathan and I get ready to take Lucy to her second pediatric appointment, I tell you, God is real. God is with us. God is good. He loves us and he loves Lucy more than Nathan and I love our daughter, Lucy. Seek God today and listen for His voice. Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
I hope to write more of my testimony, God willing, but for now, I need to change my baby’s diaper and head out the door.
Donna’s sisters want to help and be there for her. We knew that she would be a likely candidate for PostPartum depression. Her big sister, Elle, lives the closest and would come if needed.
All of them would drop what they are doing to help but, in reality, it is her road to walk. She is David meeting her Goliath. And like David, she has realized that the battle is the Lord’s.
These are our family texts concerning Donna:
Please call her but have her call when she is pumping or breastfeeding. She is mostly sleep deprived. (Everything gets out of whack when one doesn’t get enough sleep or not sleeping soundly due to worries.)
She was having anxiety and tears while we were in Durham but she and Nathan (and Lucy) were making progress. The doctor gave her medicine, told her that Lucy can be fed by Nathan. She is to pump and sleep, repeat for several days.
Posting her journey is giving her strength. I think that she is purging longheld depression. Lucy has had her come face to face with her depression.
I think daily phone contact is best. She is owning her journey so someone coming to help might not be best.
Certainly ask if you can provide any help but mostly encourage her!! Normally I would say sure, go help but I think that she is really owning it. Tell her that and that you stand at the ready…maybe plan a time that she can look forward to seeing you in the future???
Donna is walking down a tough road. In the past, she has wanted to lean on others. Today she realizes that people can only go so far with her. God will take her the rest of the way. Prayer is how we can best help her journey. Right now she is bold. I have never seen her more confident and assertive. No A or B selections!!
This is a heartfelt plea to add Donna to your prayers and prayer teams. Leave a comment and/or share an encouraging word/Bible verse on this post. She will see them and be strengthened.
Her fondest wish is that RTW readers come to Christ through reading about her struggles.