Walking Through Darkness to find Joy Pt. 2
I want to start off by admitting that I was struggling with postpartum depression was a hard pill to swallow and it shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t feel ashamed, but I did. But I’m here to tell you, if you feel unlike yourself, if you feel like you are in a dark place and can’t get out, you can. Seek help wherever you can. A doctor, your family, God.
Also- bear with me, this is quite a long post.
After finally finding my true joy (or so I thought), I still questioned why God brought me through that dark valley? You see, it just came full circle just recently after I attended a Girl’s Night Out Event on August 2nd, 2019 hosted by one of my all time favorite gals, Jess Connolly. Side note: if you don’t follow her on instagram or read her books, you totally need to check them out, they’ve been so great for me, my faith, and my life.
Y’all, I walked out of my depression the summer of 2018, so why did my realization come almost a year afterwards?? Well here’s the scoop, A LOT has happened in the past year so let me give you quite the recap.
In September of 2018, we took an impromptu vacation to Disney World because of a hurricane potentially coming to our area. Her name was Florence, or for humor I like to call her Flo. Well during this escapade, my personal “flo” was supposed to come to town. I knew the day that it was supposed to come, and it didn’t. After a very long, hot, fun and exhausting day in the park, I told David, we need to stop by CVS to get a pregnancy test. Well, we got back, I peed on the stick, and within a minute the word “pregnant” flashed. Yes, I splurged for the digital because I didn’t have time to sit and try and decipher whether there was or was not a second pink line. I cried immediately and by cried I mean bawled and screamed and probably hit David quite a few times. Parker was only 2, Gray was only 8 months, and as my head spinning I hear my husband laughing and saying, “what a blessing.” How could this be a blessing? I just walked out of my depression, I still hadn’t lost my baby weight from Gray, and I was not ready to deal with this all over again. Needless to say, I was happy Flo didn’t hit Charleston, but I was not happy about Flo not visiting me.
I came home, told my family and close friends, who all assured me life would be fine and I could handle it. Easy for them to say, right? I called my doctor after, made an appointment, and waited. I prayed, I cried some more, and then came to the point of acceptance. Three kids, I could do it.
Finally my doctor’s appointment came. I told David he didn’t have to take off work because it was going to be quick and this was our third, he could just see the picture and pretend he was there. BIG MISTAKE. I got on the table, my doctor (who I love & adore more than life) walked in the room and laughed at me, not expecting me to be back so soon! We joked and then the ultrasound began and that’s when life took an epic turn. She turned on the screen and gave me this look. At first, I expected her to say there was no heartbeat, no baby, but she moved the probe and staring right back at me were two flashing little heartbeats. It was twins. TWINS y’all. I think I busted out laughing and then immediately started crying. I said some few choice words that I can't quite type out, and my doctor and her nurse just held me. I called David screaming, I called my dad, and my sister, and my mom just screaming. How on earth was I pregnant with twins? Twins don’t run on either side of our family. Aside from twins, I would have 4 children under 4. Cue complete panic mode.
I gave myself a week. A week to feel however I wanted to feel, and then after that week, I promised to take the pregnancy with thankfulness and grace. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t feel nervous or overwhelmed, but I was going to take what God had given me and roll with it. If he got me out of my depression once, he could do it again.
Throughout my pregnancy I sought counsel from two of my other favorite gals, Hannah and Connie. Hannah is one my greatest friends. She always has sound advice and an open ear. And Connie, one my pastors and now friend who constantly amazes me at how she cares for others. These two were my constant prayer warriors and any time I had doubt, they assured me that God was going to get me through it.
So fast forward to the arrival of our twins. Our sweet Charlee girl and handsome boy Crew were born on April 19th which happened to be Good Friday. This was definitely a sign that good things were to come. I expected this transition for our family to be overwhelmingly difficult and while there are days that are hard, things have gone better than I could have ever imagined. We are still trying to navigate how to be a family of 6, but overall, through prayer, positivity, community, and let’s be honest, a daily zoloft pill, I have found more joy than I ever thought possible. People always ask me how I manage these munchkins, and honestly I feel guilty telling them, “it’s not that hard, you just figure it out.”
And so comes the conclusion of this long winded blog, back to Girl’s Night Out. We heard a group of amazing women sharing their hearts and their struggles. I was open to hearing what God had to say and I heard him loud and clear. I felt like all the women were speaking to me with their messages and then we started worshipping. The song "Defender" came on and if you aren’t familiar with that song, here’s the lyrics that brought me to tears.
“When I thought I lost me
You knew where I left me
You reintroduced me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces
Put me back together
You are the defender of my heart
Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better this way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way
All I did was praise
All I need to do is worship
Lord I will just bow down
I'm just gonna stay still”
And then it clicked. It all came full circle. I was in pieces and lost. I was reintroduced to His love. I walked through that darkness because He knew his plans for me. He knew I needed to walk through this depression, seek Him, so that when the twins arrived I would know what to do to find and keep my joy. And you guys, I can tell you, I am more joyful than ever before. My hands are full, but so is my heart.