Ah! Hello again blog. Here I am! Over here on my couch with my Mickey blanket, ready to tackle this blogpost. I haven’t been around very much lately because, to be quite honest, school is kicking my butt. I have now moved forward to only having to complete major specific courses and finding time to read 100 pages of content a week is very difficult for me. It is not a surprise to anyone who knows me that time management is not a strength of mine. I have a very large tendency to get way off track, finding myself in the catacombs of Facebook or Instagram. So, with all of that said, I am so glad to have some time to share what has been happening in our lives the past few months.

Almost a month ago already, we celebrated Judah’s first birthday. I wanted to compile all of my feelings about that specific event into one blog post, but the only word I could come up with to describe it is, whoa. WHOA. WhOa. My kid is one year old! I couldn’t believe that 365 days had passed since I first met him, since he was laid on my chest for the very first time. His birthday party was an enormous success and I told Aaron next year, we have to scale it back. No more huge birthday parties until 5 years old (kind of, not sure if I’m maybe totally kidding)? It was exhausting putting the party together, and sending out invites, buying all the decorations and making sure no one starved while enjoying the presence of my child, who sat in his highchair and threw his cup on the ground repeatedly.

Judah got so many toys and clothes for his birthday, I also say, no more toys…for 5 years. Whenever big events like birthday parties happen, it reminds me of how many family members and friends we have surrounding us and loving Judah. It was really eye opening for me to watch all of these people who had influence on Judah’s life in his first year, be there to celebrate him! I also realized that I had no anxiety during the party. There were many things I was having to work through in the weeks leading up to his party and when the day came I was able to say, “come what may” and let the day go as it was going to go.

Aside from a really amazing birthday party, we took our first family vacation and jetted off to Walt Disney World. For those who know Aaron and I personally, you know that we can never get enough of Disney. We had the most fun with Judah. It was definitely the most relaxed and fun time I have had at Disney in a long time. Judah did so wonderful with all of the characters and the traveling. We are headed back in November for a huge family vacation and I can’t wait to see what he is like then!

So aside from all of that, there are more me things happening too. I wrote a post awhile back about my postpartum depression and my anxiety. Through therapy in the past few months, I have been able to work through several revelations about who I am and why I have certain tendencies. It has been completely liberating for me, but at the same time it is emotionally exhausting. Since Judah was born, the depression and the dark cloud has covered me.

I have never experienced such darkness in my entire life. The feeling of being so unnecessary and inadequate pierced through my heart every day. The beauty in this though, is that I no longer live there every day. After my first two weeks seeing my counselor, I could feel myself pushing through the cloud. Having a name (general anxiety and postpartum depression) for what I’ve felt for as long as I could remember, finally made me feel some semblance of normal.  I have real tools and coping mechanisms to work with when I begin to feel very overwhelmed. It has helped reduce my stress from day to day, and I’ve seen my every day life have more smiles and less tears.

This brings me to the title of this post! Yesterday I came across the new Elevation Worship album and I am typically really hesitant to listen to new worship music because I never know what sort of theology is wrapped up in the lyrics. On this album though, there is one song that when I heard the opening lyrics, I immediately felt the Holy Spirit and broke down in tears while driving down the highway. The lines go like this:

“Hear the Word, roaring as thunder, With a new future to tell. For the dry season is over. There is a cloud, beginning to swell.

To the skies, heavy with blessing. Lift your eyes, offer your heart. Jesus Christ, opened the heavens. Now we receive, the Spirit of God.”

The words that struck me so suddenly were, “for the dry, season is over. There is a cloud, beginning to swell.” This depicts my life for the past year. It has felt like I have been in the desert, alone, thirsty, scared, and hungry. I imagine nomads who walk across the desert, waiting and searching for their next drink of water. I have been waiting for the rain, for a break from the thirst, and I am finally feeling it. I finally feel quenched from the desperate feelings of inadequacy and unimportance. I am not saying that just one day those who suffer from mental illness can get up and be healed, I can say that is is a battle that is waged every morning when I wake up and feeling victory over that battle is liberating. Feeling rain pour over me and God’s presence pour over me is the greatest gift I could receive, at this time in my life and any other.
There was a moment several months ago where it came to a breaking point in my marriage, I was not able to pick myself up and ask for help. At this time though, I knew that if I wanted to keep all I held dear, I was going to have to muster up the strength to reach out for it. No one else could do this for me. I went and referenced one of my favorite and very relevant Bible verses,
Ephesians 6:10-17:
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to al of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

 

In the midst of my depression and anxiety, I had forgotten what God says about me. This verse in Ephesians comes at a time when the church at Ephesus was struggling, and Paul writes them this letter to encourage them to live in the Spirit in all aspects of their lives. How easy is it for me to forget this? I have felt that the battle that goes on in my mind every day is impossible to win, and there are days that this is true. There are days though when the relief of the rain on my desert pushes me through to joy. I find myself in prayer more now than at any other time in my life, I have found myself taking tangible steps towards the career I want, and learning many new things about myself and those closest to me.

I hope that if you are struggling with mental illness that you know that it does not always have to be dark, that the help you need is not too far. Whether that help be medicinal or not, all of us need shoulders to lean on and if therapy helps you have at least one shoulder, you should do it. I firmly believe that my ability to function every day is a gift from God. I also firmly believe that God has given us such amazing tools like medicine and doctors to help us in this life, we can’t do it all on our own (this is something I’ve learned the hard way).

Here is the link to the songs official lyric video on YouTube!

 

I know that this post is much longer than normal and if you have read this far, thank you for following my journey through motherhood.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts and need help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

With Jesus’ love always,

Amanda

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