When I wrote in this post that it’s “life as usual” now, I almost wanted to rewrite it. Life as USUAL? Maniacal, yes. But usual? I left it alone in the end.
While I didn’t want to give people the false impression that caring for a toddler is easy-peasy (but I guess no one in their right mind thinks like that!), I didn’t want to sound like a depressed duck over here – because hey I am NOT depressed anymore!
And that’s the thing. Life with a toddler is tiring, exhausting, draining — or any number of synonyms you can think of as you please — but it’s NOT depression. So life has indeed, in a way, reverted to the usual.
A tiring, exhausting, draining usual: one filled with making breakfast, lunch and dinner, washing dishes, reading storybooks, changing diapers, grocery shopping, making playdoh, raiding (or rather he raids and I pack) the pantry, sorting beans, dancing and singing, disciplining, bathing, putting up with a earful of screams, cleaning up, making sure a little person doesn’t jump off the sofa as he tends to…
That kind of usual. And for that I am thankful.
Some nights I joyfully and proudly tell Graham what Jireh had accomplished that day. Some nights I scream murder. Some nights I just want to do my own thing and go to sleep. Some nights I struggle to find the words to express what I feel. Some nights we watch a movie and eat chocolate in bed. Most nights we still agonise over Jireh’s sleep (but that’s another story).
That kind of usual. And for this I should be very very thankful.
The danger in talking about post-natal depression is I could easily grieve and mourn over what was lost (and there are losses), lament over what could have been (a myriad of possibilities but none mine), and harden my heart for what is to come.
But I want to stop and be thankful.
For Jesus Christ.
Through the cross.
I am thankful that no matter what had or will happen, as God’s child, I can be certain of his love for me because he gave up his only Son to die for my sin!
That is his ultimate proof of love:
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?… For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:32, 38-39 ESV)
Reminded by Weijun to acknowledge that while the past had definitely shaped me, yet it is over, and the present is what I can change, I am encouraged to examine the past without letting it hinder my future.
Paul also says:
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)
God calls us to be with him for eternity! And when that day comes, post-natal depression will be a forgettable blip in my short life on earth. If it had (and I hope it has!) caused me to trust more in God, then post-natal depression is a merciful gift from God.
He is getting my heart right with him and preparing me for eternity.
And for that I am thankful.