snaggle-toothed grins (Emmerson lost a tooth!) the new smackle of "frecko's" across Hutch's face. (zoom in!) facetimes with baby Jack. warm, cozy, Christmas vibes. wrapping presents. sleepovers in Mommy and Daddy's bed. all.the.Hobby.Lobby.things. making poms. delilah on the radio. documentaries.
Growing up in a strong, Christian community in the 90s,
I was under the belief that if God was within you, depression simply cannot be there too.
For years I struggled with doubt.
I AM in a very dark place and I DO love God...
am I really saved?
I remember pieces of the night I asked my mom and dad to pray with me.
I remember being baptized by my dad at the precious age of 6.
But my high school years were racked with fears and doubts.
In college, while ministering next to my (soon-to-be) husband, I reconciled my doubts.
I was having heavy, dark times, therefore, I was not saved.
So, in an emotionally driven (think: last night of summer camp with our youth students worship service,)
I laid down my life.
Thinking THIS time, it'll work.
THIS time, I won't feel anymore depression and anxiety.
My (soon-to-be) husband baptized me.
All my doubts flew away.
Fast forward a few years (full of even more doubts and fears) and I realized this wasn't an "if" situation.
IF I'm a Christian, there cannot be depression.
IF I love God, I won't have anxiety.
The world, and Lauren, had to see that it was an "and" situation.
I AM a Christian AND I have depression.
I love God AND I have anxiety.
That thinking changed how I viewed, well, everything.
I knew I had a secure relationship with Christ AND I also had something mis-firing in my brain.
The two CAN hold hands.
(turning to medication on my next post...)
Hutch: I wanno go cry in hammock.
Honestly, I get it, kid.
In the car...
But...I want the moon on my side.
Look! That house is coming with us!
Emmerson: Look! That's cool. They put a manger at the hospital!
Me: Yeah! That's cool! Hutch, that's where you were born. Up there!
Hutch: Yeah! In the hay!
I get LOTS of kisses.
I like your mask. It makes my heart so happy.
Ewwww. You're kissing again and that's yucky.
Sister. You're being so nice to me. It makes my heart so happy!
Seeing a spider hanging down from a web for the first time...
THEY CAN FLY?!?!
I can do this.
You got this.
I can walk on walls.
Here I go.
Full speed runs toward the wall.
He has us laughing preeeeetty much from sun up to sun down. This kid. Man, I love this kid.
I'm sure I've said it before, but I'll say it again...
I love this small town of ours.
(Fun fact: this is the longest place I have ever stayed put in my entire life. Let's shoot for forever, God!)
The kids are finally both old enough that going to football games are actually fun and not "where's my kid?- did he fall in between the bleachers?- no,we aren't going to the bathroom again." stressful.
Half the team/band/cheerleaders are a part of the youth group.
The stands are full of church families.
Hutch marches from one group of people to another, entertaining them with his knowledge of dinosaurs, cool voices, fighting bad guys, etc.
Emmerson begs for candy the entire time and asks me all her football questions.
(I answer confidently, because, naturally, I totally know what's going on.)
We're smack dab in the middle of our community, surrounded by stand-in family, and I can't help but be filled with joy.
I love this small town of ours.
We started therapy not long after Hutch was born.
... there were tears falling
and fears spoken.
There were blames thrown
and convictions hitting.
There was trust tearing
and walls building.
It started hard, with defenses rising to deflect any pain.
It came each week with both dread and relief.
In my darkness, I had my realities and lies switched.
My lies were stone cold truth.
Reality was seen through twisted glasses.
Therapy gave my Husband tools to understand me.
To re-love this broken version of me.
To guide me back to the real reality.
Therapy gave me validation.
That I wasn't going crazy.
That I wasn't alone.
And that I wasn't going to stay like this forever.
After months of speaking all the words that could be spoken,
we turned to medication...
Get a hold of yourselves and let's live in peace, shall we?
Why are there so many of you? Why do you have to be washed every week? #letsallbenudists
Dear Precious Baby Angel Nephew Jack,
Stay little. Stop growing. I will be back soon. Wait for me!
...to not have it all together.
...to feel the things I've pushed away.
...to re-start the dryer once again,
...to snap at my kid (then later apologize.)
...to go to bed before tidying the house.
...to not know all the answers.
...to be quiet.
...to not be okay.
...to run to my Father again, and again, and again.
It feels like years since I've been able to sit down and write.
I found out I have Hashimotos Disease. (More on that later.)
I got the flu and then bronchitis.
I lost one of my dear, dear friends to Covid.
We spent 3 days/nights in the hospital with Hutch.
MY BROTHER AND HIS WIFE HAD THE MOST PERFECT BABY BOY.
And sweet Emmerson has been going with the flow with surprisingly few meltdowns.
...it was a breath of fresh (but, really, really hot July) air.
To be honest, just leaving Kentucky alone was enough, it didn't matter where we ended up.
But here, in Lavaca...
These people are real.
I thought I'd been "cured" once we moved here.
But the depression was only deepening.
On the outside, I had it together.
Ladies nights out.
But my marriage was falling apart.
I still had all this darkness within me and I didn't know where to place it.
I loved our home.
I loved our community.
I loved our church.
So it zeroed in on my Husband.
I would say things I knew I didn't mean.
I would be angry for reasons unknown.
I honestly, truly, felt out of control of my own words, my own emotions.
Depression doesn't hold hands with logic.
Depression makes your ugly parts shine.
At church, I was flourishing.
At home, I was dying.
Thankfully, I married a strong man.
A man that will fight for us, even if it's against me.
When I gave up, he picked me up.
And then we started seeing Kerry Underwood...