Jireh turns one month old this Wednesday. What a month! I wondered at first why don’t more new mums share their struggles because I never heard from anyone that it would be this tough — the want-to-die-or-cry-and-give-up-and-throw-away-baby kind of tough. At one point I regretted wanting a child, and even now, I am toying with the idea of having only one.
I wondered but then I think I know why now — it is just indescribable. Unless someone has gone through it themselves, you end up sounding whiney and filled with self-pity and the other person wouldn’t know what to say anyway. It is hard to be honest about the struggles in a way that is not discouraging. And I’m still trying to talk about it with words that will glorify God.
I have struggled emotionally — seeing Jireh sick and feeling guilty about not enjoying him; relationally — I was very fearful of visitors, finding them a nuisance, even the grandparents and also missing my time with Graham alone; physically — a decade long of insomnia had not prepared me for an exhaustion such as this; mentally — I kept asking Graham if he thinks I have post-natal depression; and lastly spiritually — fighting to apply the gospel to all of these.
And you know what? The more I don’t feel as ‘spiritual’ as I used to be (long meditative quiet times and prayers are a thing of the past!), the more I am aware of my sin (speaking unkindly to Graham, responding wrongly to people’s concern, hardly felt thankful for anything), the more I don’t feel like part of the community (haven’t been to church in 5 weeks) — the more God is telling me he isn’t kidding. He means it when he said Jesus died for my sin.
Day after day, as I pray alone and we pray together at night, the more confident I am of his promises, that I can come before his throne of grace to seek help — even help to continue believing — while my heart is overwhelmed with woe-be-me feelings that puts me at the centre of the universe.
The truth is the world doesn’t revolve around me and that’s okay. God has a plan for redemption in the world that goes beyond me but that plan also includes me and everything I am going through now. There is hope in knowing it doesn’t depend on how strong my faith is, but how good his promises are.
God is a promise-keeper; let every new mum take heart in that!