After posting my article, The Mother’s Room, on postpartum depression last week, a couple of things happened.
ONE. Women reached out to me. They heard me. The related because… well, a lot of people do. In the United States it only takes a year for 600,000 women to show signs of depression after childbirth. And that’s based on percentages of women who even identified the signs. I didn’t until it was over. I was honored that so many women would tell me what they’ve been through and trust me to handle their story with care. I thought I should be stunned by some of their stories because, “Really? YOU?” But I was surprisingly unsurprised. Don’t ever be fooled; nobody has it all together.
TWO. It didn’t take long for doubt to creep into my mind. Dang that vulnerability. It always feels risky. My biggest fear was that I left you all hanging. I didn’t give you a solution. I didn’t even give you BIBLE! I just told you my story without any answer how to make the ride stop.
Did I give people permission to wallow?
Did I deprive them of the victory they could have by just saying it’s ok to be depressed?
Did I give the impression that Jesus can’t fix it? (Even though, HELLO, I finished up the article reminding readers that God can hold his own).
Holy fluffernutter sandwiches. I have to stop telling myself this trash.
I got my new “Write the Word” Journal from the Lara Casey Shop. Each page offers a scripture reference for you to write down with your own hands. I love writing things by hand. It sticks with me, you know?
Two days after posting The Mothers’ Room, I was prompted to write Matthew 5:13-16. Allow me to begin, with the Message Paraphrase:
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”
Shoot. When I was depressed, did I lose my saltiness? Will I end up in the garbage? DID I JUST TELL PEOPLE TO GO THROW THEMSELVES IN THE DUMPSTER???
I’m so glad I didn’t stop there. Because my questions display a terrible lack of understanding. I’ll continue:
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand – SHINE! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. BY OPENING UP TO OTHERS, YOU’LL PROMPT PEOPLE TO OPEN UP WITH GOD, this generous Father in heaven.”
Did anyone open up to God because I opened up to them? Maybe I didn’t let them in my house, but I let them in my life.
Do you know what honesty makes you? Do you?
Oh, and PS. Here’s a picture of my new pumping room. It’s not a Mother’s Room (so I’m getting used to sharing!!!), but look what it’s called. SERENITY ROOM. Perfect for a fresh start, don’t you think?
Please pretty please please please. Keep bringing out the God-flavors of this earth with your honest stories. And tell me all about it, how you’ve opened up to others, how they’ve opened up to God… Because, you know, I want you to. (That’s a good reason, right?)…
I love, love, love you. You are sooooo salty.