In 2012 I gave birth to our third son, 10 ½ months after having birthed his older brother. The early years of having Irish twins brought an exhaustion and hopelessness that occupied itself deep within my bones. I felt both with every breath of the day, each day the same as the one before, each day challenging any shred of hope in my heart that I would make it out of the baby years with my health, sanity, or marriage.
In the midst of the fog, I began to write. I wrote to relieve the anxiety pulsating in my chest. I wrote to send to the page the questions that I felt were answerless. I wrote to vent. I wrote to pray. I wrote to process. I wrote to feel. I wrote to say the words that fear had kept in my throat. I wrote with the intent to heal, and so I needed to write about and discover what was truly ailing me.
I wrote recklessly and fearlessly and hardy and honestly.
During this therapeutic practice, I decided to start a blog, talking candidly about the depression that I had finally admitted to having, and about God’s gentleness with my aggression and hardened heart. I wrote about the hard days of motherhood and marriage. I wrote my story.
To my surprise, my words found their way to thousands of mothers feeling their insides and their minds slipping from what once was; from sound mind and rational thought, to chaos and irrational behavior. I learned quickly, through writing my story, that I was not alone. And then, a beautiful thing began to happen. God, all along, had been faithfully showing me what it was that he created me to do with this life. Through the hard days, the hold of depression, the countless conversations with him that came from my soul, the fights, the tears, the hurt and frustration, through all of my story, he was writing with me, an additional chapter, that lead me to my job, my passion, and my emotional redemption.
He created me to encourage, empower and lift up his daughters. The only way for me to give hope, was to claim it for myself. The only way for me to love my sisters’ wide open and wildly was to first love myself with that same fierceness. The only way for me to preach of God’s goodness and mercy was to acknowledge its presence in my own life.
Now, when I say “Come on sister, this way”-it’s because I am walking it with her. Fully submitted to the story that is yet to be written, and thankful for the chapters that have been previously pinned.
There is a beautiful scripture in Revelation that says “they triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” (Rev. 12:11). I think of this scripture often, acknowledging the power of speaking aloud and sharing what God has done in my life, and how Jesus continues to triumph in my story.