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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Healer (big H) -

Take Two:

I wrote a little bit HERE about my experience with Postpartum Depression.  I think I have a lot to say about this period of my life and feel compelled to share some of the things that helped me in moving out of that time.  In this post, because it is first and because He is first, I will be writing about the Healer (big H), but I think it crucial at the outset to say this:  I believe that the Healer helped me through many different means, including putting some excellent healers (small h) down here for us.  There are some very compassionate, wise doctors out there who have medical degrees and God-given-smarty-pantness.  If you are suffering postpartum depression now and especially if you are suffering some sort of psychosis, you must get yourself to a doctor, girlfriend.  That is one of the first things that I did when I recognized the seriousness of my problem and I feel it very important to note.

All-righty! So, I really must reiterate my complete lack of medical expertise/psychology degrees/seminary attendance, etc.  I have a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science of which I am proud, even though I remember more about the Fiji House parties I attended in college than my 8:00 AM Latin American Politics class.  I have a Master's Degree in Education.  I like Diet Coke, sunshine, shoes and pedicures. And then there is this:  I am the mom of three.  I am the mom of three who at one time were 6 years old, 4 years old and newborn.  I suffered a bout with postpartum depression and anxiety which was no big deal or a huge deal, a short term problem or a long term problem.  It just depends really . . . because these things are all relative, right? 

In any case, I'm okay now.  Why am I okay now? I am okay for many reasons including the good ol' passage of time.  Many of these reasons are ones that  I can point to and many are those that I will never fully understand this side of heaven.

One thing that I understand is that the ultimate reason that I am okay is because of God.  There she goes again, right?  Maybe you are rolling your eyes and frustrated at the impracticality of it all.  I will write about the practical things that helped me, I promise. I simply cannot truthfully state anything unless I state this:  In my life, I will always credit God with everything.  I am nothing without Him.  There is nothing without Him.  I will not acknowledge anything before acknowledging that.  For me, He is the leader, the fighter, the light in the darkness.

I know that I should clarify what I mean when I say that I give Him credit for everything, especially in the case of my healing.  I know many have tried to clarify their faith for centuries.  I'm quite sure there are many who have done a better job than I will do.  I'll give it a shot though and as always, it will be muddled and rambling.

I can start by telling you what it doesn't mean.  It doesn't mean that I lay in bed and asked Him to heal me and He suddenly did.  It doesn't mean that I think my faith is stronger than others.  It doesn't mean that my family and the few friends who knew about my troubles prayed harder than others.  It doesn't mean that I was more important to Him than another.  It doesn't mean that He loves me more.  It doesn't mean that I did something right or good or pleasing for Him.

In fact, I don't remember praying at all for myself at that time.  I didn't go to the Bible looking for verses to help me.  I didn't rush to my pastor or church.  I recall an email that my sister sent to me at the time, full of passages and scripture, bursting with faith and hope and love for me.  I remember that I couldn't focus my brain long enough to read the entire email.  Did I honestly, specifically feel His presence?  No, I did not.  Was there a lightening strike moment letting me know that it would be okay?   Nope.  Did an angel appear to me and clear my jumbled up mind?  No, but that would've been pretty cool.

I think what it does mean is that somewhere, very far down in the depths of my hurting soul, even when it didn't seem possible or even probable, I knew that my God would never, ever let me go.  Even when I couldn't recall a single one of the verses that I had known my entire life about His presence, His power and His grace, those promises were still there and they were still real.  His character is proven.  He is infinite and unchanging.  I knew that I belonged to Him and I knew that He had no intention of giving me up.  So, I can't point to anything without pointing to the blessed mercy of Jesus.  I know that God brought me from that season to this one.  It might sound simplistic.  And that part - the knowing down deep that He wouldn't let me go even when it didn't seem logical - that was the simple part.

I hesitate to write how simple it is.  And I'm not sure why.   Maybe because I know it might not be so simple a thing for someone else to believe.  Maybe again, it is because of that nagging "Who do I think I am?" question.  I am told that we are all to spread the Good News.  But in writing this post, something that one of my Bible teachers said, as she fought back tears, kept coming to me.

It is a heavy thing to hold the word of God. 

It is heavy.  I am not an expert in Biblical theology.  I have not attended seminary.  I have no experience in pastoral care.  I don't know much, but I know Jesus.  I know that I am His.  And I believe that every single one of us, whether we know it or not, are His also. 

If perhaps you find it hard to believe that you belong to Him, here's the thing:  There are a lot of people, including me, who are believing it for you.  So if you can't reach down deep enough right now to believe, that's okay because whether you know it or not, I'm going to just keep on keepin' on and praying that you might believe one day.  Because it's really in the slightest hint of believing, I think.  It's that little sliver in the deepest part of us, that little flicker, that maybe, just maybe, He really is here, He really does see, He really does love me.  Maybe, He thought I really was worth dying for . . . I think it's that belief that will make us all well.

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