The darkness just wouldn’t lift. Until one day, it did. The dark moments in our lives (where our false notions of womanhood are put to the test) are the moments when God is yanking us out of the idolatry of what it means to be the perfect [single, girlfriend, wife, fill in the blank]. It’s impossible.
Part of that is because biblical womanhood is a topic I’m speaking on at an upcoming conference. Also, to coin an overused and sometimes annoying term, I’ve been feeling woke about the topic lately. And, lastly, it’s because talking about PPD, while mostly empowering, is also a vulnerable and scary thing. Everyone has an opinion on depression, and I can’t tell you how many people have critiqued how I tell my own story.
But it’s a real thing. And it’s something that continues to teach me so much about being a woman of God. Because of this, I have honestly been able to say that God used the darkest season of my life (so far) for beautiful purposes (Romans 8:28). Even though that is the last thing, I wanted to hear in the midst of my suffering.
Fair warning: this is about to get real.
THE TRUTH ABOUT DEPRESSION
I have never been a very hopeful person. My mom’s nickname for me growing up was Eeyore. The tiniest things could rattle my faith that God loved me and wanted what was best for me. That has always been my struggle.
But after I had my son, those moments of struggle stretched into hours; those hours stretched into months, I felt… adrift. Empty. Disconnected. Like, in sustaining the life of my son -the most beautiful part of me -I had killed the life inside of me.
Depression is different for all of us, but, for me, I felt as though I was drowning in an inch of water. All I had to do was get up. Push hands against the ground, rock back on my knees, and breathe the air that I could feel all around me. And I kept screaming to myself to do just that, but I just couldn’t.
And I was so ashamed because perfect wives don’t deal with depression.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ME
I had spent years leading up to my marriage planning to be a killer wife, y’all.
Sure, I was planning for God’s glory to be my ultimate focus, but that focus was this far off heavenly thing that didn’t seep into my day to day pursuits. No, day to day, God was relegated to my quiet time. Every other part of my waking moments were supposed to be consumed with being the perfect helpmeet to my husband and the perfect mother to my son.
And then I met my husband. He was neither impressed by my Suzie Homemaker skills nor fooled by the veneer of my wifely perfection.