"Maybe you're pregnant", Chris commented as he curled his head into his chest and prepared for my outburst and a slug in the arm. "I'm not pregnant, what makes you think I'm pregnant!" I was more than hostile by this point and then Chris proceeded to rattle off a list of symptoms he's noticed over the few weeks.
Truth be told, I was overwhelmed, overtired, and overloaded with wounded relationships on both sides of the family. It had been a battle that I had been fighting for years and it finally exploded, taking a heavy toll on my thoughts. It didn't help either that Tori, my six month old still refused a bottle or pacifier and was teething. Getting up several times a night for the last six months was really starting to take its toll on my well being. So much so, that apparently I was Godzilla.
I stalked off and analyzed what Chris had said, and started to wonder if my mental health was at risk. One of my close friends at church confirmed my sinking suspicions that I was dealing with postpartum depression and it was time to get it checked out. You have to keep in mind that I have been free of medications since the time that Elijah was an infant. I was too proud of the fact that God has healed me of my mental disorders and didn't need to rely on pills to be myself. Reluctantly, I made the call to my doctor and not only did she fill my prescription, she doubled the dose! I was more than insulted. Later that evening, Tori was inconsolable. Nothing I did soothed her. I broke down crying on my bed and prayed aloud to God and surrendered, " I cant do this anymore. It's in your hands!", and had myself crying session. I surrendered my worries about my mental health, the situation with my family, and the overload I felt with the kids. I felt so burdened and alone. My strength was gone.
Later that week with these thoughts still occupying my mind, I gritted my teeth attempting to pack our suitcases and keep Elijah out of trouble. We were headed to Fort Robinson for the weekend to visit the in-laws. I spent most of the first day alone in the cabin rotating out Elijah and Tori for naps which also helped me to avoid family members. Everyone else was off horse back riding, bike riding, and fishing. Tori finally fell asleep and I laid down to take a nap myself. Restless, I couldn't sleep so I turned to my mini bible that's an essential in my purse and thumbed through it. Words from the texts Philippians and Colossians began to jump out me. The verses were strung together in the form of a letter. "Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a matter worthy of the gospel (Phil 1:27). Do nothing out of self ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself (Phil 2:3). For it is God who acts in you to will and act according to his good purpose. Do everything with out complaining or arguing (Phil 2:13-14). Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead (Phil 3:13). Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your mind (Phil 4:6-7). I can do everything in Christ who gives me strength (Phil 4:13). Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart (Colossians 3:15), And whatever you do whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of Jesus (Col 3:17)."
I was shocked that all these verses applied to me. They didn't apply to all the people that were making me miserable. I had been praying that God would change the situation or change the hearts of my offenders, or at least how I was treated. I realized God was concerned with my heart and my tantrums apparently. Maybe the medication for the postpartum wasn't such a bad idea after all.
Reading these verses over and over, I realized I cannot control my circumstances, nor anyone's actions or emotions towards me, but I can change myself. I can choose to let God change me. I can choose to not be anxious and remember that I'm not in control anyway, so why worry? With this resolution in mind, it was easier to walk out the cabin door and attempt to take part in weekend gathering.Feeling less irritable, I was sure my medication was finally kicking in. All the while, a new sense of peace rested on my shoulders. God had been there the entire time waiting for me to send out the white flag so He could move in and do what He intended in the first place. It's a lesson that I am going to continue to learn. I'm not in control! I never was. I never will be. I cannot control my circumstances but I can have a say in how I choose to react. I can't control how others treat me, but I can choose to love them with the same love and humility God has shown me. With that in mind, I know that God is there in the silence, waiting for me to come to Him for answers, peace, and a new perspective.