Some days I feel like an open book and other days I only want to let certain people in my life. But when God works I have to share it. It’s not my story to keep hidden.
I’ve been withholding sharing something because I haven’t known what to say or how to say it. But, the past 4 years have been the biggest changes of my life.
I developed something while pregnant with Zoie & had no idea it was severe anxiety until a couple years into it. (I realized a few years before this that I wasn’t just an awkward mess, I had social anxiety and have been able to deal with that nicely) This is totally different and kept me in a constant fight or flight mode and I had my first & worst anxiety attack & ended up in the ER in July 2016. More anxiety attacks, doctor visits, testing, etc. until last year when I was to the point of crying everyday because I couldn’t function.
It was debilitating.
I felt like my brain & body were living in a state of panic & I was just an innocent bystander.
Along with the severe anxiety symptoms my body was experiencing, we lost our church home and had 3 miscarriages in that time frame. You truly don’t understand until you live with anxiety, but I wanted more than anything to just feel myself again.
I had an amazing husband, caring parents and siblings, best friends and living my dream of being a homeschooling mom. I had no reason to “have anxiety”. I wanted the hobbies I enjoyed back in my life and the things that I valued to mean something to me. And, I know it sounds crazy with what all I was experiencing, but I still wanted another baby. I just didn’t feel like we were done adding little people to our family.
Through all of this I wrestled with God.
“Why are you abandoning me?”
“Why don’t you love me? (It’s because of all my mistakes right??)”
“Why don’t you just fix me and give me what I want?”
“Why does everyone else get to move forward in life and I’m stuck not understanding why I’ve spent a year and a half physically feeling dizzy and hyper-aware of my breathing, swallowing & heartbeat.”
Well intentioned Christians who were trying to help honestly didn’t help me at all. Mental health is not something you can take lightly or just pray away.
We started our new church in Oct 2018. It was awesome, but it just didn’t feel like “home”. It challenged me and put me out of my comfort zone. I trusted God having us there but it took me 20 years to feel comfortable at my other church so how would I find community here?
I just kept pressing into God. He was growing me, removing weeds that were preventing my growth and removing my wrong thoughts all while having me face my judgmental thoughts. We joined the church, joined a small group and just kept praying.
Fast forward to September 2019. I started finally taking medication. This is no small thing if you know me & my holistic ways.
Three days in and the anxiety cloud was lifting. I was shocked and thankful and realized just how bad it had really gotten. Not only was I experiencing severe anxiety but also, depression. I’ve been so blessed to find the key that could help unlock me from myself.
This is not a story about the medication though. I’d have to look through my journal to see WHEN, but my prayers changed from “Why me, God?” to “God, what are you trying to teach me?”
I pressed into God, church and BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) even when I had no idea if I would ever feel normal again. I prayed and prayed and prayed for God to give me the desires of HIS heart and not my own. I finally came to the point of wanting what Jesus wants for me more than what I want for myself or my family. And that was huge.
So in September of 2019 I trusted God through a surgery that I put off for a year because of sheer terror. I trusted God through starting medication the day after my surgery and I’ve never taken medication in my life, much less swallowed a pill. (I’ve still never swallowed a pill- I have to crush it & eat it in applesauce.)
In October of 2019 we were pregnant again & are now due in the summer of this year! I had already started the grieving process if you will of that not being part of our life so I was shocked but hopeful and just so so thankful.
When I got pregnant with each baby (that I ended up miscarrying) I would look at Pinterest & find my favorite ways to announce or new names or you know pretty much plan that baby’s whole life out because I was so excited. After losing those 3 I could no longer look at a pregnancy announcement the same way. There’s so much more to a story behind a pregnancy announcement and I could never find the words. I feel the heartache of ones who lost babies or who are still trying to get pregnant. I couldn’t just announce a baby & pretend that it was easy. So here we are, 22 weeks pregnant with Baby Zeke! It’s a BOY! 🙂
What fixed me was not the surgery or the medication or this new baby. It was God. If you are struggling or going through a rough time just know that God loves you and he will never leave you. Keep pressing into Him even when you don’t feel like it.
I would not change the last 4 years of my life for anything. I’m not completely “healed” and still have uncertain days but being so close to Jesus in the midst of my suffering is the sweetest feeling in the world. We don’t have to have all the right answers, we can just keep pressing into Jesus one step at a time.
(There are SO many layers to my story I couldn’t possibly cover them all but this is a pretty good start.)
If you see Jared give him a hug. He is a rock-star for dealing with all of this with me and loving me through it. 💙 Thank you, Jesus!