Their knees are covered in bruises and scratches.
Exploring that great big world (garden, driveway and every cupboard in my kitchen) often results in bumps, bruises and tears. As mommies, it is our privilege to bend down, scoop them up and kiss it better before we send them on their next discovery mission.
But what happens when mama falls down?
For this mama, falling down comes in the form of an invisible black cloud in my mind: depression.
Have you been there?
Lying on your tear-soaked bed every breath feels like hard work while outside your room you hear your husband (trying to work from home) taking care of the kids, the housework, the meals, everything.
Because you can’t.
Because you don’t want to live anymore.
It’s not pretty.
It’s hard, it feels impossible. It’s not something you can “snap out of,” it’s not a result of ingratitude, it is just a part of this mom’s journey, a really difficult part.
But there’s hope!
This is how I’m learning to deal with the darkness.
1. I cling to truth
It’s something I’m trying to teach my little boy.
God made me and put me here. It’s as simple as that. He gave me life so it’s up to Him to decide when He wants it to end. I tell myself this over and over again until it sinks in.
He wants me here.
He will sustain me.
He’s got me safely in His hand.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
2. I let go of PMS (perfect mommy syndrome)
I accept that on the “dark days” there will be more TV watching and take away dinners.
Structured, stimulating educational experiences will happen again, just not today.
Because sometimes, grace looks like a puffy-faced mama cuddling her toddler on the couch in front of Disney Junior.
3. I lean
I let others in and I let them help.
It’s raw. It’s real. It’s love.
Some people “get it” and some don’t and that’s okay because just talking about it helps me breathe a little easier.
And this mama needs oxygen.
I lean on Jesus. Powerless to navigate this on my own, I rest in the knowledge that He’s carrying me and He knows where all this is going.
I may never know “why” but I know “who” – and that’s enough.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4. I wait
The darkness lifts.
Sometimes it takes a few days, sometimes it’s a week.
I wait (I’m still working on the patiently part of that), and I embrace the light when it dawns.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.