Just when I think I have things figured out, I get my world rocked.
I have a wonderful husband, two beautiful daughters, a nice house, car, clothes…everything I could want. I started grad school in August because since I started staying at home (something I never thought I would do in the first place), the plan has been for me to go back to teaching when the girls went to school. We figured this would be the perfect situation – I could be a mom full-time, but still focus on my schoolwork when I needed to. The Lord also brought us to our church, where we have already started serving, in June, and we are so thankful for this.
Long story short – a month ago, I suddenly started struggling with anxiety. Not only that, I was having irrational fears, depression, and just a feeling of “I am going crazy”. I think I was having warning signs of this, but I ignored them until I was THISCLOSE to breaking down. I have family members that have struggled with anxiety and depression, but I never understood it until I experienced it this past month. I didn’t know what was happening to me, but I had some serious issues I had to get through as soon as possible. I wanted to declutter everything in my life.
First, I deleted my Facebook. It started to freak me out that people that never talked to me, kept up with my children and me online….and there’s no way for me to know about it unless they mentioned it. I realized that I also knew too much about people that I never talked to, and I wasted precious time on there – so I decided just to get off altogether. (I am now back on, as of today. Everything just seems to be on Facebook now! I will not be on it often, however.)
I started making sleep a priority. Carlyn has not been sleeping well…well, for a long time now, and it’s killing Andrew and me. I feel like part of my problem was not sleeping, so I tried to get as much as possible.
I started taking time for ME. I realized that I needed to make myself a priority. I still don’t go get pedicures, or go on long weekends away by myself, or read as much as I would like…however, it was huge for me to make myself come home after dropping the girls off at Mom’s Morning Out one day, just so I could do some schoolwork and pay the bills alone. Before, I always tried to cram in as much as I could during my alone time (grocery shopping, errands, etc.), so I would go to pick the girls up and be utterly exhausted.
I also started really focusing on my most important role at this time in my life – being a wife and mother. I just sobbed one night to Andrew when I realized that I have this wonderful gift – being able to stay at home with my children – and I felt like I had wasted so much time trying to find other things to do. I feel a calling like I can’t explain (more about that later), but during this past month, it was like the Lord was telling me to look in front of me – this is my calling now! I have really tried to step it up at home and with the girls. (Disclaimer – my girls have never been deprived…they are spoiled rotten and I am the worst one about it. However, I was horrible about just being “in the moment” with my babies, and that’s the thing I’m working on the most.)
Can I just say….my mother has been telling me all of this for two years now? My grandmothers and sister have also chimed in a bit. It just took me getting to the brink to truly listen. So…that’s what has been happening here lately.
I ended up visiting my doctor and he prescribed some medication, which, THANKFULLY, I have not needed to take at all…yet. He reassured me that I was not alone. These feelings I was having were normal for a lot of women, and I was doing the right thing by trying to get help. And I have gotten help.
Not only do I have a very supportive husband, family, church, and friends, I also have turned to Scripture. This has not been easy either – which is so strange to me, because even when this happened, I was reading my Bible and praying daily. I feel such a conviction to serve in a church and share my faith in Jesus Christ, and I was certain I was following this. However, when this came about, I started having my worst anxiety about attending church and helping with anything. One Sunday, Andrew looked me in the face and told me – “You’re going.” This, thankfully, is what I needed, because the Lord spoke so clearly to me that day through John and Walt. I have really tried to push through my feelings of anxiety and I have continued my quiet time most days, making my way through the entire Bible (I started at the beginning of the summer). The Lord is blessing me through it. I have not felt my anxiety creeping in a few weeks (with the exception of last night when I finally shared my story with our small group from church), and I have learned so much about myself and my Savior through this journey.
I feel something under the surface here…I can’t describe it, except that I know there is a bigger plan that I have a TINY part in. This has been in the works for months now…I thought back on my meeting with a pastor at our former church just last night. One day in the spring, I showed up in his office, crying my eyes out because I know God has a big plan for my family – I just didn’t know what. I still don’t know, either! I just don’t want to miss a minute of the FULL, JOYOUS, PEACEFUL life the Lord has called me to. At this point, nothing is off limits. I have no clue anymore if I am EVER supposed to teach again, or what is in store for our family in the months and years ahead…I just know that God is in control, and Andrew and I just want to be obedient.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.