God Speaks Through The Storm, Part Three
If you’ve missed any part of this series, click on any post directly below.
Part Two-My Storms in a nutshell
Part Four-More Depression
Part Five-Even More Depression
Part Six-Guest Post, Dan Blanchard
Part Seven-The Last Depression Post
Part Eight-Death of a Child
Part Nine-Death of a Child
Part Ten-Guest Post, Holly Good
Part Eleven-Death of a Child
Part Twelve-Death of a Child
Part Thirteen, Death of a Child
Part Fourteen, Death of a Child
Part Fifteen, Death of a Child
Part Sixteen, Conclusion
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
I thought I was just crabby. Very, very crabby. With a terrible case of PMS (my apologies to my male readers…but that’s seriously what I thought.) PMS that was lasting longer than it should. Like months.
Maybe it was that we had just adopted a new toddler. Talk about adjustment! Laundry suddenly multiplied exponentially, toys and crushed Cheerios littered my floors, schedules of five people perpetually clashed. And it was up to me to single-handedly balance all those plates in the air.
It always takes me a while to get into a new groove. I’ll be fine, once I have time to adjust.Or perhaps it was the lack of sleep. Elliana was 13-months-old when we adopted her. Her precious foster mother informed us that not only did Elliana and Foster Mom sleep together in the same bed every day of her life, but Elliana took only one morning nap—for a whopping 20 minutes. Which happened to be in Foster Mom’s arms.
No, no, no. This just won’t do in the United States. Not in a home where there are two other children. I need her to take—uh, I mean SHE needs to take—a longer nap than that. And while the thought of sleeping next to my beautiful new baby every day for a few hours sounds luxurious, it doesn’t work in a household with three little kids, exponentially multiplying laundry, and a husband who works 60+ hours a week.
So, let’s just say the transition from uno 20-minute morning nap to uno 3-hour afternoon nap had both of us tired and in tears for weeks on end.
Once Elliana starts sleeping on a regular schedule, all will be well and I’ll be my old self again.
I was trying like crazy to keep it all together. To maintain a heart of thankfulness. To spend time every day in the presence of the Lord and in His word. Yet, little by little, day by day, I felt joy slipping from my grasp. And in its place came irritability. And anger, defeat, exhaustion, guilt, and negativity.
And the tears. Lots and lots of tears.
I like to fix things. Make them run better and more efficiently. So when I felt “broken” I started on my quest to “fix” me.
Then two extended fasts. One for spiritual cleansing—because, clearly, I am completely self-absorbed and need to focus on God and not myself. And one for physical cleansing—maybe I have an overgrowth of some toxin in my system that’s throwing everything out of whack. You never know. I’ve heard yeast overgrowth can do this sort of thing.
Oh, and I better kick up those work-outs a notch, too, while I’m at it. Another 30 minutes on the elliptical every day ought to do it.
Next, I sought for creative outlets. I reasoned that my boredom and disinterest with life was simply an indication that I needed to try something new. Thus, my blog was born.
Once I start writing every day, I’ll feel more fulfilled and, thus, happier.
Then I started consuming and memorizing entire chapters of scripture. Clearly, something was wrong with my thinking and I needed to flood my brain with the word of God.
If I could just get my thoughts to align to God’s word, I would find joy. That’s the key. Scripture memorization.
I can fix this. I refuse to let this crabbiness—or whatever it is—over take me.
I tried and I tried and I tried everything I could think of. I felt like the Little Engine that Could. Only crabbier. I tried big things and I tried little things. Like new scented candles. Long baths. Time away from the kids. Book after book after book.
Yet at the end of each day, (and the beginning and middle of each day), I was still crabby. Though, now, it was far worse than crabby. It was scary. Because as the weeks and months went on, I was forgetting things. Really important things, like paying the bills, or helping a child with a major school project, or my volunteer appointments…or words.
I was forgetting words, midsentence.
So, in true, Sandy-fashion, between the tears and guilt, I would make a joke of myself. “Oh, kids, have you seen Mommy’s brain? I can’t find it anywhere! Maybe I left it in Guatemala. We should call the hotel and see if they found it.”
The kids thought it was a great game…looking in the cabinets and under the bed for Mommy’s brain. But inside I was frightened to death. What in the world was happening to me? Why couldn’t I shake this thing?
And I was never going to change. I was hopeless.
And as I drove off, the sound of the rain now pelting on my windshield magnified, and I felt as if I was going to have a complete break- down. I always wondered what a “nervous breakdown” was. Now I was pretty sure I was having one.
When I got home that day, I called my Christian friend, who is also a maternal fetal specialist (high risk OBGYN). Still convinced that I was dealing with whacked out hormones, I hoped she would just put me on something to stabilize my PMS. Instead, she told me I had all the symptoms of Major Depression.
I swear, I am so clueless sometimes. Still at this point of the game, I questioned her.
At that moment , sobbing on the phone with my wise Godly doctor friend, I heard God say to me,
I knew then and there I needed to obey God. If I ever wanted God to restore my joy, I needed to listen to Him speak through my friend, and allow Him to lead me into His healing—His way. I didn’t even know what that meant, but I didn’t care. I was willing to do whatever I needed to do to get better.
Sandy, my friend, thank you for sharing so openly and honestly from your heart. We each have different storms we’re going through or have gone through in the past. I love that we don’t have to pretend that we are so together this side of eternity. I know the Lord will use your story to impact others.
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Awesome once again. Thank you so much for sharing. Although now I am starting to worry if I should be worried :-0!
Have a beautiful day!
Thank you for sharing this. It’s good to know I’m not alone. I’ve been on medication for a few months, and many of my symptoms are gone, but some I still battle. It makes me wonder if I am crazy sometimes. I’m scared to tell my doctor that I still have symptoms, but scared not to. Thank God for a patient husband!
Wow, thanks for sharing. My mom struggled with major depression for years, and it went untreated for several years because she was from the generation that “Christians don’t get depressed”. I know God is going to use you to touch others’ lives.
Thanks for sharing this post. As I read, I thought to myself…hummm, is she talking about me?
I have suffered with major depression on and off for about 25 years. I’ve been told…it’s a “chemical imbalance…take this pill, take that pill.” I have taken so many different medications, makes my head spin.
There have also been times where the medication has stopped me from feeling anything at all…sorrow, pain, love and joy. Obviously, it was the wrong medication for me.
As a result, I have struggled for the past 8 years to do this on my own…no medication. Not working!!
I must admit, when clinically diagnosed, I was relieved to know that I wasn’t crazy. As I read through this post, I couldn’t help but realize…yes, chemical imbalance…but sometimes “life’s circumstances” cause depression.
I’ve just realized the misconception I have had regarding medication…take it and all will go away, all will get better. This is so far from the truth.
What the medication does is help us think a little more rationally, cope…but in order for all to work together we must just “be still” and listen to God.
For the first time…I see,I have been trying to do it on my own…no medication…no God…the result…total helplessness…I am broken!!!
Don’t misunderstand, I’ve prayed, believe me I’ve prayed! The problem…I haven’t “listened” It is time…a visit to my doctor and to Listen!!!
Wow, what a revelation!!! Thanks Sandy from the bottom of my heart.
Blessed again!! Thank you for sharing your heart another time…
Wow, it sounded like you were describing me in my own car screaming at my own children when they were younger. I think this is more common than we women would like to admit. But God is good and can use all different ways to heal us. Thanks for sharing your story.
ummm, no surprise here, you’ve captured my heart here. I am praising God with you today for His freedom, His sovereignty and even for the storm that makes the rainbow brighter.
In a weird but neat sort of way, meeting you makes me feel more unalone. Know what I mean?
I had no idea you went through this after you adopted Elijah and then Elliana. We lost touch there for awhile and I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you.
Thank you so much for sharing your heart and story so openly. I’m sure it will help others.
I love you!
“I waited patiently for the Lord, and He turned to me and heard my cry.”
I have been standing on that scripture for a good month now – sometimes saying it 10 times an hour.
Thank you Sandy. Since I lost my job in July 2007, I have dealt with many different forms of grief. My life took a radical turn. And as I sank a little deeper each day, a voice somewhere within me kept saying . . . you need to get back on the Prosac. I thought it must certainly be a voice that needed rebuking. So that is what I did – continually.
The ‘dances’ you did to earn the Lord’s favor to overcome your own circumstances sound so familiar to my own cha-cha. I think I will now listen to that voice that I’ve been rebuking. God’s voice and healing comes in so many different ways.
After I read your blog this morning, I thanked the Lord and got right on the phone to my doctor to get a prescription refill called in to my drugstore. It may not resolve all of my issues . . . but I’m certain the Lord has spoken through you to me today!
God Bless you girl!
Thank you for your honesty and your vulnerability!
I am always encouraged when I see God use ALL things for good and how He redeems and restores!!!
PS — i can relate!!!
Sandy, this is such a powerful message that so many Christians need to hear. I know for a fact that many people who deal with eating disorders or food addiction also suffer from depression. It is sometimes due to the eating disorder but it can also be one of the underlying reasons they are struggling with food in the first place. So I hope you don’t mind but I referred the members on my site to this awesome post of yours.
Wow! This is the first visit I have made to your blog but I’ll check back in regularly.
You are ministering to women.
Wow, nearly most of your post could have been written by me! :o) It’s a comfortable feeling knowing that I am not along in this and we can blossom in God’s grace regardless of what the devil throws in our path. Thank you for sharing your testimony, God bless you for that!
This reminds me of a post I wrote a couple months ago, you can check it out if you want to. This is my Story
<3 Keep writing, you inspire me!
Thanks for sharing this, Sandy, your honestly and frankness in sharing what you went through will help anyone who is in that place, and reads this article.
Your struggle to find out what was wrong, while refusing to accept that it could be depression, is also typical for so many of us who have been down that road.
You should see my diary from 1990, page after page of entries as I tried to work out what was wrong with me. Did I need to see a physio because of the very bad yet hard to explain muscular aches and pains, did I need to get my ears checked, did I have chronic fatigue syndrome, was it a spiritual attack? Did I need to fast and pray more, did I need to give up something from my life?
Yet in the end, it was just severe depression, causing all of the above.
That scene where you shouted at your kids, that was so heart breaking. I can relate to what they went through, but even more to the anguish you felt afterwards after seeing your control slip away.
Praise the Lord for your courage to face the truth and get the help you needed to recover.