Over the last year I’ve had a big flare up of my depression and anxiety. I gave birth to my first child (a beautiful boy!), almost died, subsequently experienced PTSD and have been through hours and hours of various forms of therapy in my recovery, and resumed my role in our new family business. It’s been extremely overwhelming. I certainly don’t need any more on my plate!
As open enrollment for health insurance has a lot of my friends stressed and in a tizzy, I sit by as cool as a cucumber. Paying my medical bills (nearly $400,000 from my maternity care, to childbirth, to 3 weeks in and out of ICU, and recovery care) has been the least of my concerns over the past year. The reason? I don’t have insurance.
Continue reading No Insurance, No Worries
I sat on my in-laws couch the morning after being discharged from the hospital, where I was critically ill for most of my one-month old son’s life, and I look at his tiny face.
Who is this child?
What is he like?
What does he like?
What doesn’t he like?
My parents knew. My in-laws knew. I had no idea. He was a stranger to me. I was supposed to love this itty bitty baby but my heart was filled with grief. Disbelief. Confusion. Continue reading Healing Mind, Body, and Spirit
About a year ago I sat in church on Easter Sunday holding back tears as I watched a beautiful little toddler dance wobbly next to the rows of chairs. I had been wanting a child of my own very badly, but situation and means prevented us. When my husband and I got in the car he told me that he was ready to start our family. The tears came forth, but transformed from longing to relief.
Continue reading He Makes All Things New
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4
I don’t think I ever fully understood the depth of this passage until just recently. I grew up with this unrealistic view that heaven was for everyone and everyone will eventually end up there. Maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t end up in heaven if they were really bad; I mean really really bad. But, for the most part, the gate was wide open.
Read at a surface level, this passage may have proven my point – Don’t worry, my Father’s house has plenty of rooms. It’s this wide open, doors unlocked mansion, and I’m making it ready for you, so just chill and meet me there someday. So casual, so welcoming, so open. If you read it like that, than you are missing the whole point. Continue reading Preparing A Place
Constant life transitions, depression, and apathy have stolen my consistency in my time spent before Jesus’ feet over a few years. I just couldn’t seem to get it together. Sure, I had periods of being more consistent and the fruit of that was evident in the blogging I did during that time. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve also read posts about my struggle with the Lord. I prayed and prayed for God to help me find a way to be consistent in my time praying, journaling, and studying His Word because I’ve experienced how it can bring me life and shape the way I live. Then, a series of events and the influence of three women finally helped me get back on that path in a way that only God could have ordained. Continue reading Finding My Sacred Space
While the phrase “hit rock bottom” has become a bit cliche in our culture, I find it a rather accurate description of my experience with depression. I most definitely hit my rock bottom seven years ago. My depression became so severe I pictured myself as a helpless child curled up in fetal position in the bottom of an abandoned well, much like what you’d see on TV or the movies wherein a harrowing rescue effort would ensue. These scenes usually ended with frazzled parents embracing the frightened child encircled by a cheering crowd of dirty rescuers.
The only difference between the movie scene and my reality was that in a movie the child can’t wait to get out of the well, whereas I found safety in my pit, as dreadful as it was. I was too frightened that if I sought help, I wouldn’t be able to face myself, or the cheering crowd of rescuers. Thankfully, peering down from the top of the pit were a handful of people who coaxed me out with God’s grace. It happened very slowly during which time I did my best to hide in plain sight. I moved to a new city and spent a lot of time at home. I found a large church where I could blend in with the crowd and avoid any kind of meaningful conversation. I kept at distance from my peers, avoiding making friends. Continue reading Receiving Help at Rock Bottom and Preventing the Fall
Many people are posting memories and notes of encouragement and love on Facebook to a dear friend of mine who is dying of cancer. Each and every one of them touch me deeply. Many make me choke up with a strong combination of joy and tears as I identify with their sentiments.
It’s a joyful occasion when a believer in Christ gets to meet Him face to face for eternity in heaven, but it’s sad for those of us who are left behind in the absence of such a wonderful person like Michelle.
I quickly realized a Facebook post just wouldn’t cut it. Michelle Beckman made too much of an impact on my life to be summed up in a few sentences on a Facebook post. So, instead, I decided to write a letter to her, here, on my blog. I hope this letter is an encouragement to you, even if you never knew Michelle, because of the great truths she showed me along the way.
Continue reading Saying Goodbye with Joy and Tears