Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's not always easy...

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 (jillberan@yahoo.com), 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!)

8 comments:

  1. Jill, I'm still praying and believing with you!

    I think it is such a comfort to know that we are not alone in our struggles. I find so much comfort in reading the Psalms. David's words often mimic what I am feeling.

    I want to write out these verses and give them to you because they helped me when I've battled with depression. I'll share them here as well.

    Psalm 40:1-3
    "I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord."

    He hears your cry! Be patient and He WILL lift you out of this pit of despair! He WILL set your feet on solid ground! He WILL give you a new song in your heart! He WILL be glorified through you!

    I want you to know that you WILL get through this and I am here to help in any way I can...even if it's by just listening.

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  2. Oh Jill,
    I have been there. 2 years ago I was struggling through a summer feeling worthless and like I was just in the way of everyone. I kept believing the lies that my two kids and husband could do so much better without me.

    2 yrs ago in October, after trying different anti-depressants that weren't working, I ended up in the hospital, on the mental health unit, after telling a few people that I was suicidal. Little did anyone know at the time, that I had completely planned out what and how and when... I look back on that weekend before going into the hospital, and wonder at my calm... but now realize it was because i had made a decision, and it was just up to me waiting for the "scheduled" time.

    I have been on medication now, anti-depressant (the right one finally) anti-anxiety, and mood stabilizer to help me through PMS and stressful times. They have made a big difference for me. But the two things that made the most difference was that I got to a very good Christian counselor. She helped me in amazing ways... showed me the lies I was believing and where they originated from. There were a lot of things to work through, but after a year, I finished counseling with her.
    The other big thing was a good friend that God brought alongside me to walk with me through all of this. She has seen me through it all, including taking me to the ER when I wasn't doing well, and she didn't trust me alone to be safe. She and I are like sisters now, and it is a wonderful friendship.

    You are so right in that you need someone to talk to, who you feel comfortable with, who you can talk to without fear of judgement, and who will lovingly help you if they can... esp. by praying for you (and crying with you too at times!)

    I am so thankful to hear that you have someone like that with you.

    I know that I have been to your site before, but not sure how I got here... even now.
    But I plan on being back!
    God bless,
    Heather

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  3. You are so brave to share your story and so good to want to help others going through similar experiences. Thank you for your openess and courage, Jill.

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  4. Hi Jill,

    I'm so sorry that you are going through such a rough time right now. Thank you for being so honest and real in your post.

    I've been there many times. I just wanted to let you know that I understand and I'm praying. It was so difficult to admit I needed them, but medication and Christian counseling ended up being an incredible help to my recovery from depression after my miscarriages and I used medication again to deal with the post-partum depression/anxiety I blogged about in January.

    It sounds like you have a powerful message you are writing about in your book and are dealing with spiritual attack. I'm glad that you recognized it and are getting help. Keep pressing on with your writing. I'll be praying that God protects you and helps you in your time of healing and as you continue on in your ministry. It feels so good to get to the other side of this. I'm praying for that for you. God bless you!

    Love,
    Becky

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  5. Oh, bless you! I've never been so thankful for a little bunny - that little life helped to save yours. We serve an incredible God.

    I was thankful to hear from you today. I'm so sorry that you're suffering, but very glad to hear that you're going to get some help.

    It just...well, sucks to be human sometimes. Even after all these years, I still find myself trying to wean myself from my meds only to sink like a rock again. My struggle with depression began almost at the same time as becoming a Christian. I still fight feelings of not being loved, worthy, or precious to the Lord. "Why won't he heal me?"

    I pray that you'll find a treatment that helps thoroughly and quickly.

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  6. Jill thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I have been there and I know a lot of people have and probably what makes it better is sharing it with people and listening to people. I am praying for you!

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  7. You know I do understand and that I am praying for you! And I love how so many others here have testified of having to walk this road, too. The enemy LOVES to make us feel alone, to cover us with shame. I am so thankful God created us to walk together in His truth and in His light.

    Blessings, sweet Jill.
    Love and prayers,
    Kimberly

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  8. Jill, what an awesome testimony this post is! Not only to the fact that God will use even the death of a bunny to bring His child back into His embrace, but it shows a willing heart.

    We know that God never promised it would be easy... in fact, Jesus said it would be hard. John 16:33 has become a favorite of mine. We [will] have tribulation, but we must be of good cheer because Christ has overcome this world. That is what we have to rest in and where we find our peace.

    Christ has overcome your depression! May He bring the manifestation of that and through it, may you use your experieces to help others.

    You, dear sweet sister, are an overcomer!

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