Is there a specific event, a time in your life that you can recall as being very significant?
Perhaps it even has a date with it, a day that when it comes up on the calendar…you remember. It could have been one of the happiest moments, or days in your life. A day that when you reflect back on it, it brings joy to your heart and a smile to your face.
Or, there might be an event that has the opposite effect on you when you remember. The memory of that time brings about negative emotions. Pain, fear, anxiety, trauma, regret, sadness.
This time of year usually brings about mixed emotions for me since going through my own dark, specific event that I’ll never forget. October is a beautiful month where the trees’ leaves change colors and the crisp, cool air brings about an energy with it. It is also one of my favorite months because it is the month that my daughter has her birthday and we celebrate her life and the joy she continues to bring to us.
After October, comes the month of November on the calendar. As the seasons change and the colorful leaves start to fall, for me it sometimes can still trigger painful memories.
I’ll always remember the date for me. November 17, 2014.
It was when I got blindsided by an illness that came out of left field. That I was not prepared for. It was an unwanted diagnoses. Postpartum depression.
It was a time when I was supposed to be my happiest. My daughter, our first baby, was born just one month prior. But I was sick. I was in a dark, scary place in my mind. Depression and anxiety were both playing off each other so well.
The good news to that story is that I got better! God healed me!
When I look back on the almost now past five years, it can bring me to tears. Sometimes I can get so focused on the negative things that happened because of PPD and the challenging journey it has been ever since finding healing years ago. The ways I have felt stuck. Enslaved to fear. Anxiety as my seemingly constant companion.
But…I MUST remind myself…
Look at how far I’ve come! Look at what all I’ve done since that time! What all I’ve overcome, how I have stepped out of my comfort zone countless times?!
THIS is what I need to focus on. It’s so hard for us to see this sometimes, because we are often our worst critic and do not give ourselves credit. We forget to see the beauty and to thank God for all He has done for us.
What event is it for you, that you need to release your grip from? To release to God? To come to peace with the fact that you might not ever know “Why?” Why it happened. But to thank God that you are standing where you are now. Thank Him that your heart is beating. That you are breathing. He has a purpose for you. You made it through, because You Are A Warrior.
Whether you see yourself that way or not…look yourself in the mirror and say those words out loud. “I am a warrior!” Let the tears fall. Let the lies vanish from your mind. Let the walls you’ve built to protect yourself come down. Let TRUTH permeate into the hardest parts of your heart. Let your heart soften to God’s truth. That He LOVES you. That you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
And that dark memory…that date on the calendar that you don’t like to think about?
“That’s not my whole story.
That’s a PART of my story.”
PPD is only a chapter in my story. A significant chapter that in many ways changed my life, for the better and in not so many great ways. It left wounds yes, but these invisible scars also remind me. They remind me of the almighty God who longs to rescue us from peril, who shows up to comfort us in our darkest hour.
But that chapter? It Does Not Define Me. It left me feeling crippled, weak and like I had failed after it was all over. It has held me down, held me back, for a long time. I’ve stepped out boldly and grown, and yet in many ways fear still keeps me a prisoner, because of the memories that still pop up from time to time of this traumatic event.
Perhaps I’m realizing, ever so slowly, that PPD does not define me. That’s just a part of my story. God has orchestrated a beautiful life for me from the time His daughter took her first breath.
There’s a purpose for me. I have not just ONE story to tell, but HUNDREDS of stories!
Of feeling God in the whisper of the wind through the pine trees at church camp as a little girl. Hearing him in the whisper of the wind. Of the moment when I met the man that God designed and made just for me, who is now my husband of eight years. Of feeling sheer delight, adrenaline and a bundle of nerves when jumping on the plane as newlyweds and moving across the world to the Land of the Long White Cloud. New Zealand. Of trekking across volcanoes. Standing underneath a waterfall and feeling it wash over my skin. Standing in fields of wildflowers, knowing that my God is a creative artist, and that He loves me. Of watching my daughter being born…hearing her cry for the first time, and the feeling of euphoria and indescribable love wash over my heart.
If you are in a place where you are struggling right now, or feel stuck in an event…please believe and KNOW that there is more to your story. There is More to You.
God ain’t done with me yet, and He ain’t done with you.
So keep on. There’s a beautiful life ahead of you, with HUNDREDS of grand stories for you to tell.