Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Story I Never Told...

I have kept a secret from most of you for just over six years now.

Six and a half years ago, God gave me a gift.  Her name is Ruth Elisabeth Larson.

Ruth Elisabeth

With Ruth, we became a family of three!

A grey cloud hung over this Mama's joy - thoughts interrupted her cuddle and almost awake times.  Dreams that no Mama should ever have about their beautiful gift from God.

As time wore on, the thoughts faded. Life moved on and it soon became apparent that God had another Gift in store for Josh and Rebekah!

Shalom Elkanah! 07-17-07
God  gave us our petite little bundle of Peace!  Shortly after God gave us Shalom, He moved us from Louisiana to Pennsylvania. A long journey for this Mama who was still recovering from a birth, and struggling to learn her place in the world of breastfeeding.  The grey cloud that had visited after Ruth's birth became a little greyer and stayed a little longer.  It would be two whole years before God added another gift to the family...more than enough time for the darker grey cloud to dissipate and be forgotten.

God was gracious to us, and gave us our little Anna Corinne. Within a week or two, it became apparent that this Mama's body was tired. I couldn't produce enough milk for my Baby Girl...and by 5 months -  months of being tired, feeling tied to a breastpump...and nursing...AND taking care of Anna's older sisters - we started Anna on formula.  I felt like I had been ripped off. The grey cloud got darker, and stayed longer.

The March after Anna (06-05-09) was born, I was pregnant. Life at our present ministry was VERY hard. Josh was crispy, I was kind of spacey... We took the month of June off. In August we knew the job was in limbo. September 23rd - at 7 months pregnant - we were jobless, and would have been homeless if not for friends at church. We moved into a friend's apartment on October 23rd, and Josh had a job!

Two days from my due date, two WEEKS before Ezra arrived.

And Ezra makes six!
Ezra Nehemiah was a healing balm to our hearts. He came at a time when we really needed God's Help and Comfort...and He gave us Ezra Nehemiah (his name means Help and Comfort of Jehovah).

A month after Ezra was born...a black cloud settled on my head and heart.  Thoughts no Mama should ever have took over my cuddle times.  Within no time at all, Josh had permission to carry and answer his cell phone at work (against the rules at this job). He worried constantly, wondering what he would find when he got home.

By the time Ezra was 10 months old, we had moved to Missouri. Before the month was out, I 'knew' that Josh was a better parent that I was, that the kids liked him better than me, and that I really wasn't needed at home anymore.  Of course this was completely false, but I could no longer fight the thoughts that overtook my brain. My family was better off without me...if only I weren't scared of what God would say if I did kill myself. That was the one thing that kept me from killing myself,  I - ever the people-pleaser - was scared of what God would say.

Please don't think that we didn't try many avenues to get through and around this depression that was my constant companion.  I tried herbs, I tried homeopathy (two totally different things, if you didn't know)... A year ago this Thursday, I started taking anti-depressants...feeling like I had again failed because I couldn't "heal myself with my own herbs."

After a while, I was well enough that I wanted off the meds.  Because I couldn't comprehend what I was reading, Josh read the book "The Mood Cure" for me.  The book taught us how to use the aforementioned herbs and supplements properly to correct the deficiencies in my body to heal the depression.

I stand here today, a whole woman, able to tell you my story...a story that, but for the Grace of God, could have ended QUITE differently.