Archived - My Reflection of Something
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Give It Time...

I have to laugh as I sit here right now... I have been meaning to sit down and write a bit about having patience in the midst of trials, and as I thought about a title for the post, I thought "Give It Time." Then, I went and looked at the comment on my last post, and what do I see? Give it time...

Clearly, I am on the right path!

I have never been one for waiting. I am quick to point out that patience is not my strong suit. I like to dive in to things head first, and when it comes to the endurance portion of any project I often lose interest. So, it shouldn't be any surprise that when it comes to finding my way out of hard times I want immediate results.

The pat six months have felt like both an eternity and the blink of an eye. There were times when I thought I wouldn't make it through another day, but I also look back now and am shocked that a whole half a year has passed. I feel like there should be some tragedy or significant event that I can point to as the cause of this long, long struggle. But there isn't. It seems as if I can't possibly have let things drag on for so long without "fixing" them. And yet, here I am. Here I sit, staring at a blinking cursor and wondering how I can possibly work through this mess in my head.

I want to be able to wrap things up neatly and move on. I feel the fog lifting, but it drives me crazy that I can't just sit down and explain things, or even understand them myself. I want it to be like the flip of a switch where I can proclaim that I am once again "good" and then charge forward from there. Part of the reason I have this inner conflict is that I can sense that something has indeed clicked inside, but I can't explain it and it is only a feeling. I know that right now I am in a place where I will continue to emerge from this... well, this depression. I don't like saying that. It is easier to call it other things. Less threatening to call it a "funk" or something. That isn't accurate, though.

I guess it is the realization that I can't make light of things that is giving me pause. I have had periods of depression before. After Aiden was born, the postpartum depression was intense. I guess part of me felt like once those days were behind me the depression would never return. How naive. Or rather, what a lie I told myself. There are so many lies surrounding mental illness... and so little truth. I am feeling challenged to stop feeding the lies. I have this sense that I need to stop hiding and share truth that others may need to hear. Truth like...

  • Just because I struggle with depression, that doesn't mean I don't trust God. 
  • Being a mother who battles depression doesn't mean my child is neglected or burdened. 
  • Taking medication for depression is not something to be ashamed of. We live in a broken world, and our bodies are not perfect. 
  • Depression isn't just being sad. It isn't something you can shake off. It doesn't always make sense or have a super obvious trigger. It isn't something that is easy to understand. 
  • Depression won't just "go away" and it will take effort to fight it. While I believe God can do all things, I don't expect miraculous healing. I may often cry out for God to take this burden from me, and He hears me when I do. However, when His answer isn't immediately what I want it doesn't mean He doesn't care. God provides direction, and strength to walk the hard road where it leads... but I have to take the steps or nothing will change. 
These are all scary things to type. Uncomfortable things to admit. I know I blogged a lot about depression in the postpartum days, but in the time between these periods of depression I think I found a false pride that now keeps me from sharing as easily. I want to have it all together. I want to share about "happy" things. That is so much easier. And yet, there is such a sense of deep joy in knowing that my Heavenly Father has walked with me through a dark and stormy season. There is a peace in knowing that I am once again learning and growing after some serious time in the refining fire. I don't know... in some ways I am thankful for the battles I have faced in my life. Not that I want to repeat them. Seriously... no thank you! I can, however, appreciate the opportunities for growth that have come from being someone who battles depression. 

So, today I continue to move forward through a time of recovery. There are things that I know from experience that I need during times like this. One is a solid routine, which explains in part my decision to start homeschool now instead of waiting until Fall. Another is physical activity... hello, FitBit! 19,000 steps this weekend was a great start! And, of course, the most powerful tool I have at my disposal is the Word of God. How often to we say that, but fail to really embrace it? I know my time with God has suffered during the last few months, although I feel like He has taught me a lot about prayer in that time as well. Any serious battle requires discipline, and (like patience) that has never been my thing. I am learning, though. So, for now I will continue to give it time. It isn't easy for me, but it is what I am being asked to do.  

Getting Back to Good

Remember like a month ago when I pretended I was going to start blogging again? Ha! Well... who even knows where the last month has gone! Here is a brain dump sort of post about life right now... with bullet points. Because every brain dump is better with bullet points...

  • I am continuing to feel better about life in general. I shared in that last post that things have been just plain hard so far this year. However, I have been more focused and hopeful over the past few weeks. A big part of this has come from some pretty drastic changes in my commitments outside our home. I am once again being reminded of what my primary purpose... my calling... is during this season of life and I firmly believe that it is to be a wife and mother first. And, as my lovely best friend pointed out, being a homeschool mom is a full-time commitment already. I could write a LOT about my struggles and thoughts during this process of being pulled back onto a more narrow path, but I will just focus on moving forward instead. Maybe I will share more later (that maybe seems to be a theme for me, but I feel like I am still too vulnerable to share what I am learning in the moment...)
  • Today I turned in our paperwork to make our homeschool official. In Nebraska we have what is called and "exempt school" and have to have a name for our school. After much thought... propbably TOO much because choosing names for anything is hard! Ha!... we named ours Cornerstone Lutheran Academy.
  • On a related note, I have decided that I definitely prefer a year-round homeschool schedule. So, our official 2016-17 school year will start on Monday. I like being able to take breaks as needed, so starting early works in our favor there. 
  • At the start of July we were able to visit Missouri for a few days. It was a wonderful trip in many ways... even if it went too fast and the weather didn't cooperate for much. We had a good visit with Matt's parents and brother, and got to meet my best friend's darling little Livy! There is just never enough time to do everything we want to do while we are there!!
  • I finally found my fitbit again... woohoo! I desperately need some kind of motivation to get more active again, and this is hopefully going to help. I feel like the more I got weighed down by the worries and stress over the first half of this year the less I moved. It was like there was a literal weight pinning me down physically along with the mental exhaustion. So I am more than starting from scratch here. Like... I would say I am in the absolute worst shape of my life right now. Ugh. 
  • I am still struggling to find inspiration or any kind of creative energy. I know that it really helps my overall mood to have some sort of creative outlet, but I can't seem to find the spark to make it happen. 
  • I can't believe summer is almost over. There is a part of me that is sad about that, but I think I am leaning more toward being ready for fall. Or maybe I am still just waiting for that one thing that is going to make me really feel normal again... and hoping a season change will do the trick. 
  • Clearly, reading back through this, I am far from bright and bubbly still, ha! I continue to pray that over time God will restore my soul, but I also trust that this crazy extended time of struggle is for good in some way. I love when I can look back and see how God has been at work, and I am sure that will happen again at some point. For now I just continue moving forward in faith.