Saturday, October 13, 2007

In a nutshell

I have been avoiding writing this post. It is something I feel I need to write to really explain why I am here in the world of blogs.
I struggle so much in the day to day of my life. I don't have joy in the midst of where I am. I don't feel like I'm blooming where I'm planted. I'm planted as an at home mom to three children in three and a half years.

Here's what happened:
Got married.
Got pregnant 7 months later.
Had an infant that didn't cry, but screamed!
Got used to it, but used birth control.
Got pregnant anyway when she turned one.
Moved from CO to NC. Had a pleasant baby.
Husband traveled with this new job and missed all of this 2nd child's firsts.
Looked for new job. Got one and moved to OK (oh, and I was pregnant again.)
Had third baby girl! Got "fixed" and got settled.
When baby #3 was one and I wasn't pregnant and wasn't moving, I hit depression.

The best way I can describe the depression I felt was to compare myself to the character that Meg Ryan plays in "When a Man Loves a Woman." Only, I wasn't an alcoholic. I just felt like her. I wished I could turn to something to numb what I felt, but, thankfully, I had the Holy Spirit in me keeping me from turning toward those impulses. After a year on anti-depressants, I was freed from depression. You can read about that here.

Slowly over this past year, I have felt this discontentment within me that I don't know what to do with. I have written just bits about it on this blog. I called one of them bound and one resisting. I know that those are part of what I struggle with, but really it feels like something so much bigger.

I have discovered in my attempts to consider every trial pure joy and to try to pray through my wrong attitude toward my children that it is actually possible for me to cuss in the middle of a prayer. That makes me laugh when I tell my friends about it, but it makes me so sad that I could weep over what is actually within me. This unhappiness and unfulfillment that I can't get over is making me question so much. Each day I wake up and spend that necessary time in God's Word. I pray. I begin the numerous duties and begin the battle within me to find joy. I can't. I search on other Mom's blogs for words that will fix it. I can't find them. There is one mom that I think has come the closest. She says that she doesn't consider her children to be her enemies but sometimes mothering feels like an enemy. Er, maybe it's her expectations that are her enemies. I totally relate to that way of thinking. I was just telling my Dad that I think it's hard to be around sin ALL day long. They are three little sinners that I feel responsible for and when they make the wrong choices, it just frustrates me to sit and watch (or listen to) it. We have to continually die to our selves each day and numerous times each day. I have learned that a lot of my struggles stemmed from selfishness. So, putting my "self" aside and still feeling the way I do made me see that there was more.
I can sit down and scrapbook pictures of my kiddos, smiling as I lay them out on a page or watch my screen saver scroll through many wonderful memories with their darling little faces and truly see that they are God's blessings. I "know" all of that in my head. But there is nothing more frustrating to me than waking up every morning not liking the job I do and the person I feel that I am becoming because of not liking it.
So, I'm done writing about it for now. Praying for change. If you are reading this, pray for me. I know that in my weakness, God is my Strength. I know He is my portion. I know that His mercies are new every morning. I just pray that I will feel it first hand instead of just knowing it in my head!


Irritable Mother said...

Rachel, I am praying for you right now. I am begging God to bring you hope in mothering. My heart is breaking for you because I understand you so very well. The place where you are right now stinks!
I have been where you are. Had three kids without ever "trying," (In fact, we were trying progressively harder NOT to get pregnant!) I've missed the joy, and I've questioned God's wisdom in giving me children. The discontentment - yep, I've known that, too.
That's why I consider it a miracle to say I have HOPE in mothering now. Many days having JOY is a choice I have to make, but HOPE is always there.
If you'll email me your address, I'd like to send you something.

Aron & Suz said...

thanks so much for your honesty. wow, there is alot here to digest. it's good that you recognize the resentment in you; it's good that you are telling yourself truth. keeping pushing into the darkness and crying out for Him; He is faithful and you know this. i wish we could grab coffee and just chat. well, maybe we could. come visit. :)

Amber said...

i just came over from your comment on my site. i, too, have struggled with depression at different times in my life. oddly while i was pregant with my first (after we had tried for 2 1/2 years to conceive) it was the worst. i'm praying that you will be freed from this pit and just experience true joy in Him. i'll pray for you :) i hope you have an especially good day today!

Anne Jackson said...

Thank you so much for your honesty in this. I am so proud of you for talking about it! It's not easy, I know!

StaceyStace said...

I found you through Karen's (Irritable Mother) site. I'm saying a prayer for you. It's tough to admit the deep down struggles of ourselves as believers and moms, but the battle is very real. Ignoring it won't make it go away - but confessing it, seeking God's grace and strength, and pursuing godly counsel is wise. It is apparent that you are doing all these things - that's great! I pray for your deliverance!

Anonymous said...

I got your blog address off of a facebook comment...I'm enjoying catching up with old friends there. Anyways, I was scanning through picts of your cute kiddos and your favorite posts and I happened upon this one. Can't believe how you just wrote my mind. I noticed that was 1 1/2 years ago, so do you have any advice for me on the early side of not enjoying motherhood much? I have 3 kids (7,4,1) and am so much like the pictures, the precious memories, how God has created them with amazing personalities, but I LONG for the contentment to love this job of mothering. So hard to explain to many people. I'm at my best when I'm at work (I'm a part-time dentist), but I want to be at my best when I'm at home! Anyways, I feel your words so much.
Are you still in OK? We're in Tulsa, Nate is a youth pastor here. Would love to hear from you!
Angie (Voth) Nauman