I have wanted to write about how to overcome fear and worry for some time now because so many people struggle in this area. I feel especially during certain seasons of motherhood, that this is an issue that needs to be talked about more often. What ultimately overcomes and defeats fear and worry is fully trusting God. My journey about how I came to fully trust the Lord and found peace is longer than I’d like to admit… and at times still feels like it’s an ongoing battle in my mind.
I like how when our pastor prays over a baby at a baby dedication, he prays for them to have a boring testimony. He prays that they will know and trust the Lord early in life. I pray that over my children too. I pray that they will not have to face pain and suffering, guilt and shame, heartache and loss. My story is not so boring. But God delivered me from living in bondage to my traumatic past. He is so good and faithful! God brought me to the realization that the pattern of bad choices and terrible consequences were NOT just symptoms of my circumstances… they were side effects of a mentality… a lack of trust in Him…
Let me say that again. The bad things in my life were NOT symptoms of my circumstances… they were side effects of a lack of trust in God!
And He promised, “… being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:16). He delivered me through some nasty bumps in the road throughout my life. He is so good and so amazing. Knowing how good He is helps us to fully trust Him. In order to know just how good God is, and to come to the place in your walk with Him that you truly trust Him, one needs to spend more time with Him… to truly get to know Him. As Joanne Weaver says, “for it is impossible to be in the presence of Jesus and not be changed.” (How to Have a Mary Heart in a Martha World). Proximity does not ensure relationship. Meaning going to church, serving in ministry… All that, while it honors God, it will not bring you closer to God. Spending time in His WORD and in prayer alone with Him will draw you nearer to Him.
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I am forever grateful that God delivered me from the darkest years of my life. But becoming a mother was a whole other world to me. Becoming a mother threw me off completely. The combination of a new marriage, newborn baby, new busy schedule, my parents getting a divorce, sleep deprivation, and wacky hormones can do that to you. My trust in the Lord became weakened after I had my daughters. They were only two years apart, so the Post-Partum Depression I had was an ongoing thing that lasted about 4 years. I feel Post-Partum Depression is an important topic that is far too stigmatized and not talked about enough. I want to talk about my journey through it, and how my trust in the Lord was renewed again and made stronger than ever before.
I experienced Post-Partum Depression bad. I was told during my first pregnancy that there could be a possibility that I could experience this as I had a history of Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But I wasn’t receiving that! I stood firm on God's promises (so I thought), and was praying against it fiercely… but by not being proactive, and considering what to do in case it occurred was a big mistake. Perhaps the warning through my midwife, did come from God who laid it on her heart to talk to me about it, and I just didn’t listen. But the months went by, and there I was post-delivery , finding myself feeling like I belong in a padded room. I didn’t want to hurt my baby, nor did I neglect her or have the desire to. I mean that’s what Post-Partum Depression is right? Moms who want to starve and drown their babies? At least that is the stigma that I was taught. So I was taken completely off guard. I was unaware at first that PPD was what I was experiencing. I had some pretty rotten things happen to me in my life, and the thought of any of those things happening to my precious baby girl tore me up and consumed me. I would have these “visions” of these horrific events happening to my baby. I was filled with morbid thoughts. It was a deep, dark, hole of despair that I didn’t think I could ever crawl out of. I remember locking myself in my bathroom for hours crying for what seemed like no reason and every reason all at the same time. I would use the excuse for a shower to go be alone and cry my eyes out. I wouldn't even wash myself at times. I didn’t care about myself. I would just stand under the water and cry. I even wished I would die sometimes. I didn’t want to hurt myself, I wasn’t technically suicidal. I just remember thinking, “If I died in my sleep, my husband and daughter would be so much better off without me.” It was a demon I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
When my oldest daughter was one, I found out she had a severe life-threatening peanut allergy. And when my youngest daughter was a baby she needed brain surgery to remove a mass in her head. These things intensified my anxiety and my deep, dark pit of despair went deeper. Until I found myself unable to find the words to pray. So one day, when I locked myself in the bathroom to cry as I grown accustom to do as I didn’t want to upset my babies or burden my husband, I brought my Bible with me. I just started reading Psalms, and I prayed the prayers of David. Usually, He would start off a Psalm in some sort of state of woe or despair, but would end singing the Lord’s praises!
The Lord is my Shepard; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou are with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." (Psalm 23).
And I’m reminded of His promises. That nothing I face is too great for God. That in my weakness, He is made strong and perfect. That He equips me with all I need to overcome any adversity, any imbalance of hormones or chemicals in my brain He can settle, and lies from the enemy He can destroy! All I needed was to TRUST Him again. All I needed was His TRUTH.
To know God is to know He is good! So good! Reminding myself that He is good and wants good things for me helped me to trust Him again. Psalm 34:1-10 says,
I will bless you at all times. Your praise will continually be in my mouth. I sought You, Lord, and You heard me, You delivered me from all my fears. When we look to You we are radiant. Your angels encamp all around those who fear You and You deliver us. Help me to taste and see that You are good, oh Lord. You say I will be blessed when I trust You. Those who seek You lack no good thing.
Psalm 91 says, “You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Fortress?! What does that mean?! It means the LORD is in me and I am unbreakable. The enemy will be defeated. (I read the book, I know the ending ). So why waste my earthly life in fear and worry?
His WORD cleanses me. “Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me. An lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139: 23-24). He leads me, guides me, so that I may not be consumed in the darkness any more, but be a light to lead others to Him, to lift others up for His Glory.
There are times I still get anxious. That same ol’ fear pops its ugly little head up. But glory to God I’m not consumed by it anymore. It doesn’t define me. God has blessed me with the discernment to recognize it so I know I need to spend more time with Him. Strengthen my trust in Him by talking to Him and studying His WORD. Remind myself to constantly commune with my Father. Just direct every thought towards Him in my daily life. Soon I am at peace in His loving care. Spirit-filled and free. It is by far the best kind of joy!
Thank You Father YOU are so good! Ever faithful! My redeemer and my Deliverer! Glory to You GOD! Amen!
Fast forward to a year and a half ago. I had my 3rd baby. My son. After nearly not making it to the hospital on time, he was born at midnight, the moment it turned my 33rd birthday! It was a joyous and stressful time. And then my Mother-in-law, whom my husband was extremely close with, and I have know for nearly 20 years and grew to love her like my own fell very ill. A couple months of ICU and life support, and Our merciful and loving Father ended her suffering and brought her home. So you can see, I have recently been through some very emotional times lately…
He is so faithful. He delivered me swiftly from my anxiety, and He completely spared me from the deep dark pit of Post-Partum Depression. I am so Amazed at His ways and just how much He loves me. How much He loves us. How much He loves YOU!
God tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication. With thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil 4:6-7).
Another verse that has become one of my favorites, was one of my mother-in-law’s favorite Bible verses. Timothy 1:7. She would recite it for me often as she knew it so well and used it to fight her own anxieties. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
If you’ve made it to the end of this testimony, thank you for allowing me to open up my heart and world with you. I was cautious about sharing something so personal on my blog. But if I can encourage just one person to trust Him deeper… then I will have glorified my Father and be blessed to have honored Him, and helped that person’s life. Just look what God has done with my life! He can do the same for you. If you just learn to trust Him.
Please comment below if you share a similar praise report. Or even if you have a prayer request, as I would love to pray for you today.
In His love,
If you found this post inspiring please remember to share it with your friends. After all, sharing is caring!
*Be sure to keep an eye out for a follow-up post listing the natural holistic remedies that I feel God lead me to that have supported the fight against Postpartum Depression for me.