So many nights I've gone to bed with a heavy heart and anxiety in my chest over the way things unraveled in my house during the day. Scenes replay themselves. My failure, perceived or fully real, is front and center. Sometimes it keeps me awake, or wakes me up in the middle of the night.
When depression and anxiety are your constant companions, they can make parenting harder than it really is. Have you ever looked on in envy at the ease with which it seems other moms smile and laugh and play with their kids?
"It looks like they actually have joy." You whisper to yourself.
It's then that shame and worthlessness creep in, in their sinister, evil way. And when you leave these things to roam wild and free in your mind and heart, it's nothing but a downward spiral from there.
Prayer feels nearly impossible.
The need to somehow be better or change the script out of your own power takes over, and at the same time it feels like there's nothing you can do to regain any semblance of normalcy, of grace....of joy.
But the good news is there, if we allow it to enter.
"There's good news? You ask. Seems too good to be true, doesn't it?
Yes, there's very, very good news.
The good news - the best news - is that you don't have to do it alone: we can't make better situations in our own strength. Only Jesus can, through the power of the Holy Spirit, which is already alive and well and active in your life if you've given it to Him.
See, this God who lives inside of you, who is working His power to bring redemption and healing to you also wants to help you parent your children. Especially in the midst of depression and anxiety.
So when I feel the dark thoughts creeping in and the overwhelm surround, sometimes the words don't come easy. So let me offer some to you today. Because wherever He is, so is Hope. And if you've claimed Him as your own, that means He lives inside of you...which makes you a Holder of Hope.
Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit,
My powerlessness to exact the change I want in my family is staggering.
The feelings of hopelessness are taking over all of me.
I know you love my children. I know you love me. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but in my head I know it to be true.
Give us the grace and mercy we need for this day. Cover over this day's failures. Cover over my failures. Let these precious ones see that I need you, so that they will know that they need you, too.
Let the words that were not edifying to them fall to the floor, inactive, unabsorbed by their little hearts.
Protect them. Hem them in behind and before; lay your hand upon them. (Ps 139:5)
Redeem them. Redeem me. Redeem our family. Let this be enough for me.
May we be the beneficiaries of the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph 3:8).
Let my mind and my heart be at rest in You.
I submit this to you, releasing my heart from the bondage it feels.
In your sweet name I pray, Jesus.
If your life is plagued by depression and anxiety, slogging through each day feels like wading through quicksand. My blog is here to offer a breath of fresh hope and companionship. If you'd like to join me on the journey, you can sign up for my email list at the bottom of the page. When you do, I'll send you an interactive PDF with some of my favorite books and songs for dealing with depression and anxiety.
You truly don't have to do this alone.