At the Heart of It All, Part 3
Following on from Part 2, which you can read here.
I tell these two stories as a sort of compare and contrast exercise - for me. Prayer is at the heart of both stories. In the first story, I was ashamed and embarrassed, and completely at a loss for why I wasn’t able to take care of my son in the ways I thought he needed. So ashamed and embarrassed that I did not ask for help. I did not ask for counseling of any kind. I didn’t know what to ask, but I surely didn’t even ask for prayer. I was so broken that there was no way I could help myself, much less my child.
And let me just interject here - that if you suffer from depression or anxiety - postpartum or otherwise - and therapy or even medication is the right answer for you - or you are thinking that therapy and/or medication might be the right answer for you - I hope and pray that you feel no stigma associated with that - either the illness or the treatment. There is no judgment on you. No judgment.
So, for me, prayer was at issue after Jed was born. I hurled some pretty ugly prayers at God and I didn’t even ask another soul to pray for me or my heart or for Jed. I was so broken and numb that I couldn’t.
In contrast, before Fletcher was even born, we began to ask far and wide for prayer. The knowledge of all those prayers rising to God on our behalf made all the difference in the world. To hear over and over that so many different people had us in their minds and on their hearts. That they would even remember to name us before God - I cannot adequately express the love and care and the grace of God that I felt personally through those early years of Fletcher’s life. No matter how it turned out, I knew that we would be lifted and carried and held together with the knowledge of so many prayers.
I’d always heard people say, “thank you for your prayers; I feel them,” but I had never personally known what that was like. Was it just something people said in response to you when you told someone you’d been praying for them? But no, it’s real. To me it is, at least.
And so my story is, that before, I was one way - hardened, unbelieving, doubtful, angry, hurt, depressed, broken; and then I was different - trusting, believing, assured. God was there through it all. And by God’s grace I have come back to my favorite verse - that He will not leave you nor forsake you. And so, when someone asks why I follow Jesus, I tell them some version of this story - my story - about the good news of God’s love through Jesus Christ.