Serenity

No, not a Firefly post.

I was finally able to put a word to it tonight. Last year was crazy; I was just trying to survive. New baby, preschooler, husband deployed, onset of postpartum depression, relational struggles, internal struggles — it just continued to add up. I felt like I was drowning, barely holding on. My baby wouldn’t sleep longer than 1-2hr stretches until I started sleep training at 9months old. My preschooler couldn’t understand why his daddy couldn’t be home for 8 months. I, myself, couldn’t understand the trials I was going through. It didn’t make sense to me, why wasn’t a new baby enough of a trial? Why add all these other things, and my own health, both mental and physical, to the mix? 

I survived the first half of the deployment. Barely. That’s all it was, surviving. All I could do was take one day — no, one hour — at a time. I filled my days to the brim so I could avoid the sleep-deprived, achey emotions that Effexor was trying to help keep at bay. It worked for the most part. Effexor kept my emotions steady, which meant very few major lows and major highs. My busy days helped me get through the emptiness in the house. 

But eventually, I had to start living. Surviving is good — it means that life didn’t beat me down so hard I couldn’t find the strength to get up. But it also meant I was stumbling along, holding onto the end of the rope, unsure when I could set my two feet on solid ground. 

The middle of the deployment was more of a purging of all the things I had set up to help me survive. I slowly and carefully chose what was important to me and my family. By the end of deployment, amidst the thrill sand trepidation of a homecoming and reintergration, I had begun to find my peace. I had begun to live. Truly live. 

And tonight, it’s serenity. 

God has worked in my life so closely and steadily, though many times I felt like He wasn’t near. He remained faithful:

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”‭‭ Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NLT‬

He doesn’t give up halfway. He doesn’t look at the work being done and think, “oh, that’s really not the direction I was going with this. Scrap it and start with a new human.” No, He continues working until we are made perfect — until I am made perfect. 

Even after Adam came home we had some transitions to work through. Reintegration isn’t easy, but when you add a few extra things it can get a bit more rough. I had started weaning Aaron from nursing, which, as those of you who are familiar with it all, can cause some emotional upheavals now and then. Or more so than I would care to admit. I thought weaning would take longer (if you knew Aaron, you would know why), so my doctor and I decided to come off of Effexor before Adam had a crazy work schedule again. Turns out Aaron wanted to drop two feedings at once, so things got pretty rocky. 

The reason why I bring these things up is because I didn’t expect to have that joy I always wanted. Joy — in the face of circumstances, I still am content and at peace. Happiness is fleeting, but joy is in the Lord. Truly.

And serenity… I never imagined I could have these things so soon after postpartum depression.

Yes, emotions go up and down, and life gets crazy. In fact, usually when I feel this peaceful and content, I get thrown a crappy day to see what I’m really made of. To see if it is just emotion or if God has grounded my heart more in Him. 

I am thankful that He doesn’t give up on me. I’m grateful that it’s not up to me to decide if I’m a lost cause. I’m confident to say that He is faithful. And He is good. 

He blessed me with serenity. 

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