I wanted to share with you a piece of correspondence between myself and a “Titus 2 mentor” in my life. I hope that this will be a blessing to you and an encouragement if you have or are facing similar things. The following is an edited “snippet” from a couple of e-mails…
“I am enjoying a bit of a restful morning and soaking it in for the blessing it is. Lately I have felt strong hours of depression and then felt guilty for feeling weary of life while having new life inside. Thankfully, it never settles for long…maybe the baby is stealing my “happy hormones” 🙂 …one of the frustrating things is that its not simple to pin-point “why” I am so down at times. Sure, there are reasons or things that trigger it I suppose – but not enough to make me feel such despair. It’s hard to know how to handle it – yesterday I thought I would have a breakdown… and didn’t want to see people and have to smile and talk. A few weeks of this and I hope continuing on a routine, consistently reading the Word, spending more time outside, etc. will help. In the mean time, I am really savoring moments like this – feeling more stable and happy.”
“Melancholy seems to be a real struggle for many young mothers/homemakers. (ESP. pregnant with toddlers) I struggled alot with it in my early years plus it is more my temperament tendency and I found only one thing that made a large difference. My girls have struggled with depression and discouragement also and I gave them the advice I am going to give you…it isn’t strictly spiritual (though everything is spiritual according to C.S. Lewis) or even a human profundity of insight but simply this: whenever I felt that retrospection which always leads to depression I would get up and grab either a broom, a dust cloth, or the windex!! Anything that would get me physically working and just start doing something. It was amazing how that physical action would stop my negative thinking. It wasn’t that my house was necessarily dirty or clean (although a clean house is a natural high) but rather that I couldn’t seem to turn inward with my emotions or thoughts when I was active in that way. Self dialogue, introspection is the ‘kiss of death’ for a mother. We can’t go to the gym or meet friends or busy ourselves with our ‘job’ away from home, but believe me it catches up with those women too, often later in life when their choices are a done deal and they find themselves alone with their consequences.
I have very little struggle with melancholy these years and really haven’t for many years. It used to be my worst enemy! Remember, the enemy is no gentleman and when you are struggling with hormone issues, fatigue, fear of the future (not without reason), etc… he will always hit under the belt at our weakest moments, and God allows it to strengthen us in some way. I don’t think more prayer or study or seeking the Lord, though important in its time, is as effective as just jumping up and getting moving. Too simple? Too dumb? Too something? Well it works at least a large percentage of the time and I believe Satan knows it and wants us to sit and focus on our lacks or undisciplined spiritual life or any other heart or cerebral confusion about our personal weaknesses, physical/psychological even world events like war or hard times. Down time and relaxation are important but we have to be ‘wise as serpents, and harmless as doves’. As Richard Wurmbrand says, ‘wariness is a very important part of the christian life’. We have a foe and must be wary of him in all respects.”
Sharing in this way is not often easy to do. Of course I considered and re-considered not sending the words, and even almost regretted it after I sent it. But I am so glad I did! Sometimes asking for prayer or advice is so important. There is a feeling of relief that follows sharing some of your dark, heavy, even embarrassing struggles. We were not made to walk alone! 🙂 May these words bless you today.