As mothers, we unravel everyday: the baby takes a bath in spilled juice, the toddler plays superman with the last roll of paper towels, or the whines infest your entire crew of children. You know the feeling: the increasing, boiling urge inside you to snap.
Sometimes, though, it is deeper.
I recently experienced a bigger unraveling. And I never saw it coming.
Anxiety, especially social anxiety, has always silently dictated my thoughts and actions. But I learned how to manipulate my life around it. Honestly, I never considered it a heart or faith issue. I never even contemplated the existence of an intense internal battle. I never considered the constant nagging anxiety to be a product of a spiritual thirst for God that, despite my faith in God, I regularly fed with all else except Him.
Then I had four children.
I love them very much but the mounting responsibilities of motherhood created an unresolved tension that left me in a constant state of stress. The anxiety wore me out. But it was not necessarily visible or noticeable to anyone else. So I did nothing.
But after my fourth child was born, I suffered postpartum depression. The anxiety quickly plummeted into full blown panic attacks and intensified an anxiety driven, and quite embarrassing, muscle spasm of my neck and shoulders.
I finally unraveled.
My struggle, as much as I hated it, ultimately saved me. It finally led me face to face with my sin – I did not trust God. And I genuinely rejected His creation: I did not view myself as the treasure He made me to be.
Even with this confession, I still had a major problem. I could not profess God’s truths. I have long known the truth about who God is and who He made me to be. In the depths of my heart, though, I could believe it for anyone else but not for ME. My mouth could not say that I am His treasured possession or that God hems in the most intricate parts of my life. My fear always took over as I truly believed that I am nobody in God’s eyes. I believed that I had somehow slipped into the plan of salvation by accident.
I prayed for God to transform my heart. I searched His word. I sang His praises. I surrounded myself with God’s truth to drown out Satan’s lies. God had brought me to this low so that my eyes would look up to him. And slowly, His truth transformed me.
I still struggle.
I have had a few panic attacks. And sometimes, my muscle spasm rears it’s ugly head when I am under pressure.
But it’s only a moment that I lose perspective. I drown my thirsty soul in His truth and He daily sets my heart free. That constant, internal turmoil – it’s gone. God has blessed my husband, my children – my family, with a NEW me.
It is my hearts desire, then, that God would use my struggle to bring Him glory. So, I pray that my writing through The Unraveled Mom would be dear to your heart as you feel a little less alone and a lot more encouraged in your faith’s journey.