Sometimes I feel as though others can look and think my life is grand - they are excited I'm writing a book, expecting a child and enjoying life with my wonderful family. All of these events are true, but they don't translate to an easy life.
Just this past Friday I quit denying the reality of the struggle that is taking place. As I met with one of my best friends, who is also the co-author of the book, our talk shifted from typos and spelling errors to what felt like a big mistake in my life.
She sensed something wasn't right and asked, "What's wrong Jill? Are you having second thoughts?" Leanne is aware that not everyone, including close loved ones, is in favor of me publishing a book that chronicles a faith they don't understand. I'm sure worry about what they think and how they will react is part of the recent struggle, but over the last couple of weeks I've realized it is more than that.
You see 10 years ago I walked through a valley of clinical depression and took medication, but in the 9 years since I've accepted Christ and through His strength didn't need the medication any longer. Everything hasn't always been rosey, as life always has ups and downs, but the extremes of emotions, thoughts of worthlessness and feeling of being overwhelmed have just now returned.
I denied it for awhile and chalked it up to pregnancy hormones, but I'm afraid it's more than that. As I wrestled with this I felt like a failure, thinking here I am about to publish a book and share my faith with the world and I'm in a place of doubt. I felt so week and messed up. It seemed if my thoughts were disappointing me, it was only natural they'd have the same effect on everyone else.
That line of thinking caused me to do exactly what satan wants - close myself off from those who love me most. I felt myself keeping conversations on the surface and pretending things were alright. I mean - God has blessed me with a great husband, wonderful kids, a baby on the way, the privilege to serve Him - life should be great, so I started acting like it was.
All last week I knew that was wrong, which only caused me to feel worse. Here I was encouraging others to be real, trust in God's plan and what was I doing? Obviously not practicing what I was preaching. And the realization of that almost drove me further down - it seems when your mind is low, it doesn't take much to push it even further down.
Wednesday was the worst day - I felt if I had no purpose what so over, like everyone would be better without me - yeah, I might be missed, but the lies in my head seemed to out weigh the truth, so I found myself in tears quite often throughout the day.
My kids saw it, but I was amazed at how fast I slipped back into old ways and played the "fine" game as I talked with friends on the phone. I was denying the truth and falling deeper in the pit.
Until Thursday morning, when God used a unique experience to really grab my attention and prove to me my thinking was wrong and this was more than pregnancy hormones. My 6 and 4 year old had rescued a wild baby bunny four days earlier, but Thursday morning our son checked on "Jenny" and walked back into the kitchen with tears and delivered the message, "She died." Instantly Joy was crying as well and soon I would be too.
We went outside to bury her next to Dorothy, the goldfish that actually died last August on the same day as our miscarriage. Pain from the loss of their fish and my baby came back as Job dug the hole. J.D. then placed the bunny they knew for a short while, but loved from the depths of their hearts.
As they stood and looked at her one last time and whispered their good-byes, tears fell to the ground - not just from their little faces, but from mine as well. It's hard to write these words, but I sensed God telling me, "See their pain, they can't say good-bye to you." I cried hard too, I think they were surprised I was sooo sad to say good-bye to a little critter that made me scream days earlier in the kitchen! They didn't need to understand, but I got God's message.
I couldn't deny the pain any longer. I was heading in the wrong direction and it wasn't a place He wanted me to go. He has a plan and in that I have a purpose. Though at times I feel I have no worth, He knows my value.
So I answered Leanne's question and the tears began to fall. She listened, but didn't judge. I shared and she reassured. I cried and she did too. After talking I no longer felt alone or ashamed and I once again sensed God's presence.
Tuesday I have my next pre-natal visit and I will share with the Dr. the events of the past, I'm no longer afraid and wanting to hide the pain. So I share with you as well. I appreciate your prayers as I know I'm not magically better and this will be a process. But I also know I'm not alone in my struggles, so if you're in a similar situation, please, I pray talk with someone. I know it's hard - I avoided doing so myself. Though it's not easy, it is right. God didn't create us to walk alone, He is there to help and I found He works through those who are close to me. If someone like that is not available for you, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), I'm willing to listen and honored to pray.
Remember no matter what battle you are facing, it's not easy, but God is on our side and the victory has already been won. Keep holding on and looking up! (Those words are for me, just as much as they are for you!)