Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Son Saved My Life (Part III)

My journey to a better life was born out of unintentional selfishness.  I wanted to feel better.  I wanted the suffering to stop.  As a lay helplessly in a bed at my parents' house, my motivation evolved into wanting to be better for my husband and children.  I worked my tail off and saw incredible results, unbelievable growth, undeniable healing.  And, now, here I was once again lying helpless in a bed wondering how to put the pieces back together--terrified that I might not get back to the good life.

Fear Drops Me to My Knees

I waved the proverbial white flag at the end of February.  I was about 7 weeks pregnant when I began to reintroduce escitalopram into my system....a couple of days at 5mg and then back up to the full dose of 10mg daily.  The depression receded fairly rapidly, but I was left with a demoralizing shroud of anxiety.  It was a constant feeling that something bad was going to happen--a perpetual "Just you wait until your dad gets home."  

I was overwhelmed by pregnancy exhaustion and a variety of emotions.  Every few days a new revelation would crash into me like a frigid wave regarding what this pregnancy and starting over with a newborn would mean.  We would need a new or additional vehicle.  The summer that I had been envisioning would never happen.  I had already donated all of my newborn clothes and most of the baby gear....and on and on.  

You Have to Be Broken Before Any Mending Can Begin

The memories directly preceding my breakthrough are murky, but I was a highly uncomfortable ball of anxiety, suffering from inexplicable feelings of doom and nearly constant racing thoughts.  I was taking a shower one evening and though completely naked, felt the weight of three hundred pounds.  I was figuratively on my knees.  I cried out to the Lord for relief from that most earnest portion of my soul.  He immediately answered me with:

Isaiah 26:3 (KJV) 
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: 
because he trusteth in thee.

In that instant my journey became unselfish.  It became about what it should have been all along--bringing glory to God.  My son saved my life because I was doomed to fail had I continued trying to be healthy for or living for my kids or my husband or for myself.  God used my boy to force me back to square one, back to broken, back to my knees, that I might acknowledge the true source of my strength, the true author of my story, that he might get all the glory instead of me or some therapist or any little white pill.

There isn't a sliver of a doubt in my mind regarding the promises of God.  As soon as I turned my eyes upon Jesus, the things of this world became strangely dim.  I found peace.  I found quiet.  I found joy.  When my brain would get cluttered or when I started to get overwhelmed, I would turn on music and start praising and worshiping God.  Without fail, I have been kept or returned to perfect peace every time I kept my mind stayed on the Lord.  

A Life With New Purpose

Colossians 3:17
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

My faith has been multiplying exponentially since that pivotal point in the shower in March of last year.  My life's mission statement became clearer--more defined.  

Matthew 6:33
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.

My Three Loves
I never wanted things like riches or fame, I wanted a peaceful life, a joyful life.  I wanted to be a good wife and a loving mother.  I wanted to be able to be used by the Holy Spirit to glorify God.  I wanted to be a blessing to others.  I wanted to acquire a better understanding of His word so that my way could become easier.  And, as I sought the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all those things began to be added unto me.  

God Begins to Move

Psalm 127:1-2 (KJV)
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: 
except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but but in vain.

Getting physically and mentally ill because of pregnancy shattered 95% of the progress my husband and I had made in our marriage.  God allowed my son to obliterate nearly all of that progress so that my husband and I would be forced to rebuild our union the right way and on the right foundation--His word.

Psalm 37:23 (KJV)
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

We had come to New York with one car--a tiny, 2009 Pontiac Vibe.  I couldn't see how we were going to afford the necessary second vehicle.  All five of us were not going to fit in the car.  I was shocked and immensely grateful when towards the middle of my pregnancy, my husband paid $1200 cash for a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder. 

I was so grateful that the Lord had provided and we didn't even have a second car note. I didn't even care that we would be forced to use both vehicles any time we wanted to go somewhere as a family--all three car seats wouldn't fit in this truck either.

Do you know just before our son was born, the Lord led my husband to a 2010 Nissan Pathfinder, where the dealer gave him $2000 for the hoopty, and all of the car seats fit inside it!  And he was just promoted at work which eases our financial situation even more!

Phillipians 4:19 (KJV)
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Eventually, we found out we were having a boy.  I was devastated because in my ridiculously narrow sphere of vision, I was not logistically prepared for a boy.  God began to quietly move and show Himself strong and myself idiotic for ever worrying about a thing.  

The crib, playpen, high chair, car seat and both strollers that we still had for my girls were all unisex--I never was a girly girl and boy! was that coming in handy now.  

My number one angel (Sheryl) gave birth to her youngest son 9 months before my little guy came along and to this day she is passing me his clothes as he outgrows them. Shocking right?

A beautiful woman named Judy took my blood at the lab for my prenatal glucose test.  She was so kind to me.  (I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, so, I cherish each and every individual who goes out of their way to make me comfortable.)  I went and got her breakfast from McDonald's after my test and we've been heart friends ever since.  

A heart friend is someone who you may never get to know very well, you may not get to spend a lot of time with them, but you love them none the less for you are kindred spirits and sisters/brothers in Christ.  

Judy has a precious grandson born almost a year before mine--shocking right?  And she and her daughter gave me 3 (or more!) large trash bags FULL of clothes, shoes, hats, pajamas.  He has a full wardrobe through 18 months because (another shocker) little Jaden is big for his age.  God's sense of humor is unmatched!
Some of the many, many clothes given to us.
His Amazing Ways Are Not Our Ways

I heard this passage in church during my pregnancy and it brought me to tears:

Matthew 7:9-11
"Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children,
how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?"

I cried because my gracious Heavenly Father didn't just give me a piece of stale bread when I was hungry, He gave me a full course, 3 star feast.  He didn't just provide a hoopty for my family to get around, He provided a gorgeous, like new 2010 model that my entire family fits it.  He didn't just provide some basic clothing for me to put on my son's back, He provided top notch threads--things I never could have purchased myself.  My son has swagger for days!

I cried because I'd hit brick walls of my own making for so long. I cried because I'd felt undeserving for even longer, and I used to get in the way of every single good thing that could have come my way.  The healing that had occurred in my mind and spirit allowed me to open my heart and arms wide--it gave me the ability to receive unimaginable blessings.  

I was satisfied, grateful, even amazed when God met my needs at a basic level. But, I was absolutely blown away by the love of Jesus each time He showed up and showed out--not only exceeding expectations but defying human logic.

How does this all tie into my broken brain?  Once I saw how I could find healing through the promises found in God's word, I began building a solid mental and spiritual foundation.  The examples listed above have been key pieces in this foundation.  It has been within the fulfillment of these promises that I have found new strength.  I have grown in ways I never thought possible--I have achieved what once seemed impossible.

There are little signs of His goodness all around me.  I worked on my backyard oasis a bit today.  That seems like nothing to the average person, (I haven't time to explain why now) but this yard was made possible by the growth that has come through the fulfillment of His promises.

The oasis I never thought was possible.
  I mentioned in a previous blog about composing a post (or two or three :O) about my anxieties.  My son's birth blew the lid off of that pot of roaches and the healing that has ensued would take more time to describe than I have at this moment.  

A Disclaimer

Finally, I'd like to emphasize that I am a firm believer in "first the natural, then the spiritual."  Although I am confident that God would cover me should I no longer have access to my medication, I currently do have access and it is in my best interest--it is both the decent and orderly thing for me to take my medication.  From there, as long as I keep my eyes focused on Him, things will keep falling into place.  This post is in no way insinuating that I have been led to abandon my medication and physically rely solely on the Lord.

This is my son today.

Now that you know how my precious son saved my life won't you Holla Back!! with "Well played, Bubsy!" in the comments.  Bubsy is my son's nickname.  I pray you each have a blessed week.  Thank you so much for reading my crazy crazy thoughts.  All my crazy love...