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Shadows

By: Beth Lyda (From: Volume 2 - Issue 3)
(Smiley Graphic by David Lyda)

Have you ever thought much about shadows? When I was a little girl, there was a certain shadow in my room that reminded me of a witch. Even though there was nothing for me to be afraid of, I was the victim of a very overactive imagination.

Shadows can be very scary for adults as well, although our shadows are often very different from the ones of our childhood. Many of us live in the oppressive shadow of depression and anxiety. Some would have us believe that Christians don’t get depressed. This is simply not true! Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be “…a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).

Remember the Lord’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane? Scripture records the Lord’s agony in the Garden quite vividly in Matthew 26:36-38. “36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.” Notice what Jesus said: “…My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death…” He understands depression.

Maybe you’re a new mother terrified by the shadows of post-partum depression. Motherhood doesn’t feel the way you thought it would. Nothing feels right anymore. You don’t just struggle to make it through the day ahead, but you struggle to make it through the next hour, even the next five minutes. You may have even thought, “Maybe my family would be better off without me.” If any of this sounds familiar, know that you’re not alone. I’ve been there, too, and so have countless other moms.

I still feel pangs of heartache when I look at baby magazines. Seeing all of the happy smiling moms looking adoringly at their little ones painfully reminds me of how unlike them I was. I was a wreck for months! Last year, my husband and I were at an Audio Adrenaline concert, and the Holy Spirit was moving in such an incredible way. It was almost like I could have reached out my hand and touch God. I felt as if He spoke gently to my heart and said, “You will never face anything that I can’t bring you through.”

Looking back on post-partum depression, I realize how true this really is. I was in such darkness that I was afraid that even God couldn’t bring me out, but I know now that I was wrong. My Father was with me, even when I couldn’t feel Him. When no one else could really understand what I was feeling or help me overcome the shadows, He could and He did. I’m persuaded that there were times when He had to pick me up and carry me, but He was so faithful to bring me through.

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