Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How far we've come

This picture was taken about six weeks ago. Jim was out of town and I was at home with Halle by myself. I was trying to convince myself and everyone around me that I was NOT dealing postpartum depression and that I had Mommy-hood down.

And that is when Halle stopped sleeping. Seriously. At her worst, she went 28. hours. straight without sleeping.

I thought I was going to kill her. Or myself.

I took this picture when she finally slept for a few hours and I remember cringing because she is sleeping face-down on my bed which means she was now 1,458% more likely to die of SIDS and the reason she was finally sleeping was because I shoved as much formula down her throat as she would take without choking. In the back of my head I heard the SIDS- and breast-feeding-Nazis lecturing me on my parenting abilities. Also, the laptop in the background reminds me that I was watching non-child-appropriate movies on Netflix while my daughter cried nonstop. The NEVER-expose-your-child-to-TV lecturers can feel free to crucify me for that one as well (The worst part is that prior to Halle I was the SIDS/breast-feeding/how-to-correctly-parent-your-child Nazi... and all the parents smile smugly here.)

I pretty much lost it that week. Between the depression and the crying and the not-sleeping and the being alone I turned into what one wonderful mother calls a "bonafide nutjob".

I wish I could say that I turned to Jesus during this time. But this post is all about honesty and repentance so I will tell the truth.

I became filled with anger.

Angry that I was a mother. Angry that God had chosen to give us this "little monster" when I was NOT ready for a child nor asking for one. Angry that I had given up my entire life for this child. Angry that I wouldn't be able to continue working full-time at the job I loved. Angry that the oneness I had once experienced with my husband turned into bitterness that his life continued while mine did not. Angry that I was unable to participate with him in his activities. Angry that he seemed completely oblivious to how I was feeling. Angry that this baby WOULD. NOT. STOP. CRYING. Angry that my milk supply was tanking and I couldn't even provide for my daughter's basic needs. Angry that I would not be able to sleep a consistent stretch EVER AGAIN. Angry that I was confined to my house. Angry that my body was not as resilient as I had hoped and I was pretty certain my stomach would never again be flat.

This anger led me to despise God, my husband, my daughter and my situation. I had my "escape plan" figured out - down to exactly when I would leave and what I would take. Thankfully I still possessed one small fragment of motherly instinct that kept me from abandoning my child (also the same fragment that kept me from throwing her down the stairs).

I am grateful Jesus still chose to take the cross for me.

So here is where I am at this moment: Mommy-hood is hard. It is especially hard because I am a selfish sinner with two capital S's. However, God is good. I have not yet allowed Jesus to be enough but I praying I will be able to soon say (honestly) that He is. I no longer despise my daughter and I am working on not despising my husband by choosing to love him daily and asking God to change my heart and attitude. God is teaching me to view being a wife and mother as a high calling and ministry and giving me small bits of grace throughout my days to remind me.

Mark Driscoll says that repentance is not sweeping sin under the rug and pretending it doesn't exist. I hope and pray to be the sort of wife and mom who can be transparent with her family and admit that she is a filthy selfish sinner capable of no good apart from Jesus. I pray that Halle will look to Him, and not me, as her example of how she should live and conduct herself.

The moral of my story? I am a selfish sinner. Left to myself I am capable of even more selfishness and sin. Fortunately, Jesus not only went to the cross to take the punishment for my sin but He also sought me at my worst and rescued me from myself. Thank you Jesus.

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