Faith & Motherhood: Upcoming Bible Study


 

It’s a lazy Sunday around here. We stayed home from church this morning (I know, I know). I would have stayed home regardless due to strep throat. The family didn’t go because well, it’s been pretty stormy here and they did not want to be out and about in a downpour. I can’t say that I blame them. Sometimes, it’s best to stay home and enjoy a quiet day at home.

When I was a little girl, I listened to a lot of Christian music. Among the Christian artists I really loved was one in particular – Sheila Walsh. Imagine my surprise when my daughter received a Little Princess devotional written by none other than Sheila Walsh. I had no idea she had begun writing devotionals.

Then, I discovered she was on Twitter.

Oh my heart.

She’s quirky, inspirational, compassionate, and all around awesome. I love this woman to pieces.

Lately, she’s been promoting her most recent book, The Shelter of God’s Promises. I checked it out on Amazon and really liked what I saw. The reviews were excellent too. I rushed out to a local store to purchase it and started reading. It got set aside due to sick kids, life, etc. But I want to dive back into it. And I want you to dive in with me.

So here’s the deal:

Pick up a copy of The Shelter of God’s Promises by Sheila Walsh either through Amazon or your local bookstore. For me, it was cheaper to get it locally plus I didn’t have to pay shipping. Start reading. In two weeks, on April 10, I’ll start with the introduction. I won’t be going too in depth as far as content of the book but will instead be focusing on my reaction to the book and the lessons it offers. I hope you’ll read along with me and start a discussion in the comments.

I can’t wait to begin exploring The Shelter of God’s Promises with you. I have a feeling it will be a very powerful study. Life-changing for some, even.

Faith & Motherhood: 02.13.11: On Feeling Forsaken


We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them.

~Charles C. West~

Just as mechanics kick the tires when evaluating a vehicle, carpenters shake foundations, kick legs, make sure they’re strong and will withstand the wear and tear that life will bring their way.

Sometimes? God does that with us.

Every so often, He shakes our foundations to make sure we’re awake. To make sure that we are growing strong in Him as we journey through life.

It’s not fun when God shakes your foundations. Sometimes He shakes them until they break. Then we are left to decide if we will rebuild.

The thing is? God knows what we will do before we do. And He is there to help us do it. He’s got the plans, the tools, the nails, the screws, the crew, everything.

We just have to ask.

Every day, all day, every day.

Even then, though, the help we ask for may not appear in the manner we expect.

Prayer, while an important aspect of recovery for a woman rooted in faith, should not be the only tool used to fight depression.

God may send help in the form of an awesome therapist, a non-judgmental friend, medication, herbal remedies, etc.

What’s not okay is for someone to use your faith to make you feel guilty about your depression.

God often took strong men and women and put them in perilous situations in order to grow their strength. Think of Job, Esther, Jonah, Daniel, David, and many more.

I leave you today with Bible verses that kept me thankful for every single thing which happened after the birth of my second daughter. These verse soothed my soul during the month she spent in the NICU. It soothed my soul as I spent time in a psychiatric ward. I carried them with me everywhere I went.

The verses are from James 1:2-4:

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Know that my prayers are with you as you find yourself tested by God. I know first hand it is not an easy place in which to be, especially when you have little ones who so desperately need you and cling to your every waking moment.

He is there with you even if you cannot sense His presence. He may be carrying you. He may be waiting for you to call upon Him but He is there, oh yes, He is there. He is always there. That’s the easy part. The hard part is trusting Him with it all, waiting, and listening for His answers. They may not be what you expected them to be but they will always be just what you need them to be right when you need them.

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On the Twelfth day of Dismissmas: Twelve Ladies a-praying


On the twelfth day of Dismissmas,

Postpartum sent to me

Twelve ladies praying,

Eleven instant cures,

Ten women drifting,

Nine ladies grinning,

Eight maids no longer nursing,

Seven sins a-lurking,

Six women a-denying,

Five hours of sleep,

Four Just Snap out of Its,

Three perfect babies,

Two depressed parents,

And a wailing mess in a pear tree.

 

Prayer is a powerful tool for any deeply religious person. I believe deeply in the power of prayer. The past year has taught me to rely upon God for all things and to trust Him for all my needs. He has provided every single one of them.

There’s a story I would like to share with you that I use as an example for people who tell women with Postpartum Depression to just pray harder and they will be healed.

Once there was a great flood. A man, who had faithfully sandbagged his home, witnessed the flood waters rise over his meticulous sandbagging efforts. Forced to abandon the first floor of his home and eventually the second floor, this man became trapped on the roof of his home.

He began desperately praying for God to save him.

Shortly thereafter, a police boat motored up to his home.

“Sir, come with us. We can save you.”

“No thank you, I’m just fine. God will save me.”

With that response, the boat left.

A fire boat soon came by as well.

“Sir, you really need to come with us. The flood is only getting higher and will not recede any time soon.”

Again, the man answered with a calm, “No Thank you, I’m just fine. God will save me.”

With that, the fire boat left as they had several other families to save who gladly accepted their help.

A few hours later, with the flood waters now lapping at his toes, a helicopter came by, winch lowered. The crew madly encouraged the man to grab on in a last ditch effort to save his life.

The man refused and was swept away in the flood just thirty minutes after the helicopter left.

When the man reached Heaven, he had a question for God.

“God? Why did you not save me?”

“Son? I sent two boats and a helicopter. You didn’t really expect the Heavens to open and scoop you off the roof, now did you?”

God’s response to our prayers may not be in the form we desire. They may not be within the time frame we desire. All answers are His and His alone, within His time frame. Our answers may come in the form of therapy. Or medication. Or social connections. Or herbal supplements. Whatever path you choose, whatever faith powers your life, do not turn your back upon it when you are struggling. Lean hard upon your core values, trust them, pray if you so choose, but do not let anyone at all tell you that praying harder alone will save you from Postpartum Depression. Postpartum Depression is not a sin for which you must ask forgiveness. It is not  a punishment for a prior sin. It is a mental illness from which you can recover through the aid of the approach of your doctor and your own personal beliefs.

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