Saturday, July 9, 2016

Life's Trials That Have Made Me Better

I've missed a few weeks of the 52 Lists Project with Chasing Slow. We've been super busy since we got to North Dakota, and I don't see any hope of it slowing down yet. We are enjoying it up here immensely.

This week I must list life's trials that have made me a better person. This list made me really think.
Post-Partum Depression

I experienced very minimal PPD with my first four children - the usual mood swings and crying for no apparent reason lasted a week at the most. After I gave birth to Titus, PPD hit me like a brick. I didn't recognize what it was at first, and I really struggled to "keep it together" in front of my family and friends. Titus was a very challenging baby. He cried non-stop for the first 8 months of his life. Nothing made him happy - N-O-T-H-I-N-G. He nursed every hour {or more} for nearly two years of his life - and I mean through the night, too! The fact that I was already fighting PPD just increased my frustration, panic, and destructive thoughts. I won't go into all of the dirty details of my battle with PPD, but I will say this - when I finally called it was it was and cried out to the Heavenly Father in repentance and desperation, He answered me. He lifted me my head back up. I felt like I had a new life. Post Partum Depression is not a joke - it is serious. I try to encourage new mothers that I know not to hide it and to seek help - from God, from their spouse, from their mother, from whoever they trust. I learned so much from my struggle and now that I'm on the other side of it, I hope I can help others. This is my very favorite portion of scripture that gives me hope and encouragement as I choose JOY and LIFE in my every day situations.

11 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach. 12 It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ 13 It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ 14 No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.
15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.
17 “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.
19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This[a] is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 
{Whew, y'all are going to think I have serious problems if I keep spilling my heart...} Anxiety is something that my father's family struggles with, and I have inherited the battle. I have anxiety about almost everything, so I'll save you from having to read a long list. I will say that traveling with my anxiety has been a trial, as travel is one of my top anxiety triggers. God is refining me, though, and I feel that by blessing Rod with this job - one that required travel and lots of it - He is telling me to trust Him. It requires a lot of trust and faith for me to get behind the wheel and drive the many hundreds or thousands of miles to get to the next job location. I feel like my anxiety is a trial that is making me a better person by requiring me to put my FAITH into ACTION.
Image result for scripture image on depression

Homeschooling isn't really a trial, but it isn't always a piece of cake either. Homeschooling has made me a better mom for sure! Spending time with my children every day and being able to help build their foundation on Christ is a blessing. I have learned so much about the Bible, history, science, and literature  by teaching my children! Homeschooling has forced me to become patient, organized, and motivated. I have had to learn which education is most important - learning God's word and character building, or learning Latin and playing the violin. Not that those aren't important, but I have had to have a major priority straightening out meeting with God!
Close Friend's Suicides
Rod and I have had 3 friends commit suicide since we have been married. They were all three Rod's friends from childhood who became my friends when we married. All of them were totally unexpected, leaving Rod and I to wonder if we could have done anything to prevent it. These tragedies {two of whom left behind children} have inspired me to make sure that everyone I love {and even people I don't know} are saved and going to Heaven. It has opened my eyes to the reality of depression, helplessness and suicide. It has caused me to want to help and encourage all of my friends and family, to be observant of any evidence of depression or sorrow, and to pray for my loved ones.
What are some of life's trials that have made you a better person?


  1. Those truly are some hard trials. ((hugs)) I've never experienced anxiety until my health issues hit me. It was so scary to feel panicked.

    And, please don't worry over missed lists. If you ever want to do them, just let me know and I can manually add your link to the list on my end.

    I'm glad that you are enjoying your time away.

  2. Praying that the Lord uses your trials as a way to minister to others! When we are going through difficult times it's always wonderful to have someone encourage us that they have been in our shoes!