How often do I find myself thinking that if I could just start fresh things would be so different? I don't want a big change... I am not asking for anything more than just the ability to hit pause for a couple of days so I can somehow catch my breath. Of course, that isn't really an option. Yet I still find my mind wandering there... to the place where I have a chance to just collapse without things falling apart around me when I do. Yes, I am going through yet another tough time. I feel like such a broken record sometimes. I just can't help but thinking that if I could just get a short break things would be okay.
I have learned so much in such a seemingly short amount of time this year. I feel like it has been a whirlwind of big lessons and strong longings. It has both encouraged me and left me feeling overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted. I feel like I know what I need to do, but I can't seem to make any progress in doing it. The cry of my heart is for help and rest, but the reality of my days seems so unyielding. I dream of a weekend alone, with just my Bible and a quiet place to think. I am starting to think that dream is a tool of the enemy, though... it keeps me from seeing the beauty of what I have. I have been spending much more time longing for things I don't have than appreciating what I do have lately.
I continue to focus on putting one foot in front of the other, when perhaps I am just walking farther away from where I want to be. I try to shrug off what I am feeling by calling it a "funk" or a "tough time" instead of calling it what it is. Because depression is a horrible word. I don't want to admit that I am in that place again. Not that I ever really leave it fully, but I feel like I had found a good place for a while. I try to remember what was different then. Of course I cannot do that because one of the main things depression does is surrounds my brain with a fog that infuriates me at times.
I can plainly see all of the signs that things are not okay. My patience is non-existent, my energy level is dismal, my ability to focus lasts for about an hour each day (if I am lucky). I try to focus on the good... but even my lack of instagramming is a sign that even that is harder than usual. I read yet another article the other day about how social media is hurting people with its false pictures of reality, but for me it is quite the opposite. I treasure the ability to capture my best moments. They are what keep me going sometimes when it feels like things are too hard. I look at the pictures of what life looks like when I am winning this battle, even if it is just for a few minutes a day, and they give me courage and hope to keep trying.
There really aren't words for how thankful I am for my Bible and my time with God each morning. Sometimes I let myself wonder if letting Aiden sleep in so that I have that time is bad somehow... but it is something I so desperately need. It is only through the daily reminders of God's strength and grace and love that I can keep going sometimes. It is often that message of hope... that truth... that keeps me from handing Aiden a tablet and crawling back in bed for the day. I find special comfort in the words of Paul when he writes about being in chains. I have these chains that hinder me, but I know that nothing can hinder God.
I have been thinking a lot about the last time things felt this bad, back when I struggled with postpartum depression and was so alone. I almost crave that time when I could just focus only on my own little family and spend more of my days soaking up God's Word. I learned so much during that time, even if it was so very hard. I feel like things are so much more hectic now. Gone are the quiet nap times and free evenings. Now there is always something happening around me and something needing to be done. There are obligations and relationships that need attention. There is work that requires my brain to actually function. There is always something more to do. It is this constant demand that is making things feel so impossible. So I go back to that place where I dream of a break.
It is time for me to let go of that longing, and try to figure out how to work with what I have been given. I need to be open to how God intends for me to work through this, instead of assuming the only answer is one that is not possible. I am just so tired and frustrated. Yet even at my worst, I am secure in my hope. It seems impossible. It probably doesn't make sense at all. It is true, though... even when I feel like one of those autumn leaves that is shriveling up and ready to fall, I have an undercurrent of hope and peace that never fades. I know that these trials are only temporary, and I know from years of experience that good will eventually come from them. I am just ready to see the fruit. Patience has never been my thing.