I posted a picture of the boys walking with the wagon down our street. The cursor didn’t blink long waiting for me to type a photo description; I simply wrote exactly what I was feeling. Then, I put my phone back in my pocket and walked on, taking in the cool fall air and the wonder of the moment – my boys independently enjoying each other in the great outdoors.
“I love my life.” the caption read.
I have a lot of wonder- filled moments lately. Moments when I look at my boys, shoveling scrambled eggs into their mouths at the breakfast table, and I sigh with contentment. Moments when I dance through the kitchen with a toddler on my hip and I laugh with abandon. Moments when I lay in our sun-soaked, white-draped bed with a sleeping preschooler and I want to cry from the beauty.
Moments when all I can think is I love my life.
It wasn’t until I got back from that wagon walk, put the boys down to nap (At the same time! Cue angelic chorus!) that I saw a comment on the photo left by a friend, “I love how much you love being a mama. That’s rare to see these days.”
It occurred to me as I read the comment that it hasn’t always been this way.
Then I caught my breath, paused, and asked myself: When did this happen? When did my lens, my perspective start being I love my life? Wasn’t it just the other day that I was paralyzed by anxiety and fear?
There was a time not very long but also a lifetime ago when my ability to reason was compromised by the dark grip of depression. Not only would I not have done an impromptu wagon walk through my neighborhood with nothing on hand but my phone, I would have managed to find the wrong in the moment. I would have twisted something and accused myself and then the yucky feelings would have pummeled me into the ground.
I wouldn’t have captioned a photo I love my life, that’s for sure.
The journey here snuck up on me in some ways. Not as in I woke up one morning and was blindsided by it, this life-loving, but that it maybe wasn’t even my intended destination. So much of combatting postpartum depression for me was about stopping the sky from falling and consuming me in its dense, suffocating clouds. It never occurred to me that more than that, my sky could actually be sunny.
I started medication, I saw a counselor and a therapist, I had a concrete action plans for when things started to slip and spiral. But these were all simply responses to the negatives of my mental and emotional life as a mother. I never thought, never let myself believe really, that I would not only overcome but that I would thrive here in motherhood. Somewhere along the way though, friends, God met me where I was and gave me more than I could have ever imagined.
He didn’t just wipe my tears and clean my dirt. He really, truly has turned my mourning into dancing; my ashes into beauty.
I love being a mama.
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