Yesterday I got to take some food to a friend who just had a baby! It was so fun. It's the kind of thing that I feel like I could do all the time, now that I've just got some practice. Do you ever do dinner deliveries? What do you like to make for them? I made rosemary chicken with garlic potatoes and carrots. I also packed a pineapple, some kiwi, and a jar of my cilantro rice salad, because I know she likes it. :) My mom always takes a hot pizza when she brings a meal to someone! I love that tradition.
I was so glad to get a chance to talk with my sweet friend. Connecting with brand new moms is one of my most favorite things. I crave it. I have such a heart for them! Any new mamas out there reading today? I just want them all to know that they're not alone. God is faithful. Don't lose hope, trust in Him, things will get better. The first couple months after my baby was born were tough. (of course/needless to say/duh/what did you expect?) The mental recovery took a long time. I don't think I had postpartum depression, but I do feel like I had a case of postpartum... despair.
Here's where I went wrong: I was not ready to do battle. Yes, I was exhausted, hormonal, nursing, and healing, all of which are simply going to be harder than you expect. (I was also away from home and without a true bathroom, which was also way harder than I expected.) But more than that, my mind was overcome. I wasn't fighting Satan for control of my thoughts. I didn't have peace. I felt so weak. The Enemy likes to H.I.T. us when we're down: when we're hungry, isolated, and tired is when we need to be especially watchful of his schemes... which is exactly what every new mom is, all the time! He'd love nothing more than to get her feeling like the change is too much, feeling hopeless, lonely, worried, bitter, empty, envious, scared, and misunderstood.
It took me a long time to feel like myself again, but the Lord broke through my perilous thoughts and brought peace. That time is so dear to me because when I think about it, I'm still amazed at how He sustained me through it. When I think how do I know that He is a faithful God? how has He been faithful to ME? I can look back to my first summer as a mom and see it firsthand. He alone upheld me. One morning that summer, the Lord brought this passage to me. He used it to speak directly to my heart. I can remember it; a rare moment when my baby was sleeping, sitting alone at a table in the sun, bible open in front of me, tears coming down under my sunglasses as I read it. These are the verses that I claim and cling to.
When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
You hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth
that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
psalm 73: 21-26
Dear new mom, if your flesh and heart are failing today, I understand. If you're feeling stressed out and trying so desperately to keep up appearances, I get it. I'm praying for you! If you are hungry, isolated, and tired, fight for your thoughts! Trust in the Lord and let Him be your strength!