Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thorns and Trust

I've had this post mostly written for months, but hadn't published it. Because honestly? I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. But it hasn't. And it's time to say these things.

 I've mentioned a couple of times how I  got upset to the point of tears thinking that Annie may have to deal with some of the same issues with emotional health that I have. I've been thinking about it all alot lately.

What I always called anxiety I really think, at some points, was closer to depression. Peyton has always said depression and anxiety are two diseases on the same continuum. Anxiety is a less severe, or more occasional/fragmented, depression; depression is a more severe, longer lasting anxiety. Looking back at much of my life, I think I didn't realize, at some points, how bad it was. You never do until you're on the other side. And I think I was in denial. It's not a word I was comfortable using and to be blunt, it's still really not. Partly because I didn't want to minimize the suffering of people with a truly severe form of depression. Partly because I didn't want to jump on a bandwagon. But partly because, in an effort to cope, I had normalized it.

But, I'm in a better place now. I don't know what it is. I think some of it is a perspective that comes with maturity, and the necessity of dealing with things better now that I have two little people dependent on me. I think some of it is situational- the first year of our marriage was so, so hard; I spent Annie's first year dealing with a lot of fear; my second pregnancy compounded things a lot; and then I dealt with SO much insecurity Graves's first year. Right now, I feel like I've found a flow. Peyton and I are at the best place our marriage has seen. The kids are happy and healthy and I've finally been able to allow myself to relax and enjoy them with abandon. I've found things that minister to me when I'm down- writing, music, and reading others' words. I've nurtured some very important relationships more diligently. And I've also grown a lot in my faith and in my love for the Lord  in many ways. 

Will there still be days where I can hardly figure out the meaning of everything? Days where I look into those two gorgeous faces and feel so undeserving of them- of this? Days when I beseech the Lord to take this thorn from me? Of course. 

In a wonderful heart to heart with Ellis awhile back I realized to a greater degree than ever that this has made me who I am.  It's made me a more empathetic friend, a more compassionate mother, a more sensitive spouse, a more diligent writer, a more understanding person and a more faithful disciple. I've honestly learned to see it as both a thorn and a gift. And I think that's part of what has helped me. Embracing the fact that while this will never, should never, define me it is a huge part of my story and it's okay to claim it and acknowledge the good it's brought into my life. It's good for me to trust that the Lord may not take this from me, but He can redeem it. Actually, He has redeemed it. He is redeeming it. He will redeem it.

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