I came across an old picture of my mom and her sisters holding hands when they were just little girls. The picture must have taken around 1959-ish. I love this picture for so many reasons. Today though, looking at it made me think about raising my own children.
These three sisters all went in different directions in life, but stayed connected in a powerful way. Sure, they have had their fair share of issues; a few giant monumental arguments, a lot of bickering, and loads of tears. Yet still there remains a clear sense of love between them all. They all went on to raise their own beautiful families and now have gorgeous grandbabies. They still talk to each other and share special moments; and although they might not get to hold each others innocent hands anymore, they continually give each other support in their own ways. The thing with families is as we grow older and we lose our innocence, it’s not always as easy to take each other’s hands.
I am sure my grandparents made mistakes raising these cute little girls, and I know my parents made a few raising my siblings and I, and (I hate to admit it) but I am positive my husband I will make mistakes raising our children. But as I looked at this picture this morning I didn’t see the mistakes but only saw unity and love.
I pray that my son will be blessed with future siblings, and that my children can have an even stronger bond than the girls in the picture. I pray that they will continue to hands through the ups and downs of life. I pray that their love outshines all else, and that they never stop loving each other.
This picture was taken when my handsome little man was 3 months old. Looking at it makes me hurt so much for the new mom that I was. I am sure looking at it you see only a mom loving her gorgeous baby and enjoying a warm sunny day.
What you don’t see, what hardly anyone saw, is a new mom dying inside. A new mom trying so hard to pretend everything was ok, that she was alright and adjusting well to this new beautiful life she now had. What you don’t see is a new mom so sleep deprived she literally did not know how she kept going. What you don’t see is a new mom questioning every single decision she had to make throughout the day. What you don’t see is a new mom feeling so distant and disconnected from everyone and everything. What you don’t see is a new mom so afraid that she is failing as a mother, worrying that she will never feel herself again, terrified of what the future might bring. What you don’t see is a new mom on her knees every night praying to her God to help her feel joy, the joy she was so expecting to feel when she held her baby tightly.
What no one saw, including myself, was the Lord’s hand holding mine. He was with me the entire time, never leaving my side, even when I felt like He had deserted me. He brought me through the muddy waters, lifted the cloud that had so deeply settled, and allowed the sun to shine. He brought me to my knees to make me better. .
I will NEVER say I am grateful for my postpartum depression journey, but I am forever thankful for my Jesus who never left me and helped me eventually feel the insurmountable joy that every mother deserves to feel. I am forever thankful for the people He put in my path in order to get the help I needed. .
Sisters– if you are experiencing anything like I did, please know that you will get better. Reach out, get the help you so deserve. Postpartum depression tries to steal your joy but the Lord our God is stronger than all and with His help YOU win!
If you need prayers or a listening ear, I am here for you! 🙏💕