I’m not entirely sure where to begin so I’ll just start here.
I have depression.
And, yes, I am now on medication for my depression.
This may cause some of you to gasp, pull-away, frown, and shake your head. While there will be others who nod, understand, and sigh knowing the scope of the fall of the human body and mind.
Still there may be others whose eyes widen and throats catch because you know the feelings yourself. You know this is you or has been you. Maybe you’ve not had the courage to talk about it. It scares you – rightfully so – but it forces you to draw the blinds of your heart and turn the lock on yourself for fear of what others will think.
This is the beautiful, messy, life-giving, energy-draining dance of motherhood. A delicate spin between joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, and clinging to and letting go that makes up our days and our nights. We vacillate between the when-will-she-evers and the it-seems-like-only-yesterdays.
We are told to “cherish these moments” when we don’t feel like it; we are warned not to blink when all we want is a nap. We know it is ending and it aches but we also anticipate the excitement of all the firsts fully understanding that one day all those first will be lasts.
Motherhood is not to be trifled with.
For the last few years I’ve had a theme for each year. This year it’s pretty straight forward, but each time I come back to it I am both shocked and relieved by its simple truth.
This is my theme.
One of the hardest things about this stage of motherhood is the silence. I’m not talking about silent nights and quiet evenings at home, but a silence that speaks of no results. It’s a silence that gives no immediate feedback, that doesn’t recognize your work; that folds, stirs, scrubs, drives, schedules, and juggles without praise or recognition. It is silence that gives no indication of effectiveness or accuracy. It is the silence of the unrecognized mundane.
But there is truth in the Christmas story that stirs within me the desire to embrace this hard kind of silence.
Praying without ceasing – through gritted teeth or through tears – are prayers freed from the constraints of high language and certain positioning. These are prayers connecting us to God who much prefers a heart of surrender and words of honest need.
These are the “Lord, help me” prayers. These are the “show me, guide me, save me” prayers. Really, these are the prayers of a mother. And these are the realest kind of prayers I think I’ve ever prayed.
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