I didn’t plan on writing this blog. I had other topics near to my heart I was drafting. That was the plan. But then God decided to move.
A few days ago I had grand intentions of being Super-Star Mom; of juggling it all and being just fine doing so. But a stretch without the husband’s reinforcement, mounting responsibilities and those cursed postpartum hormones combined with whiny, grumpy kids and a fussy baby sent my anxiety soaring. By Saturday afternoon my heart was racing and I knew exactly what it was….the precursor to an anxiety attack. I knew those all too well during the two years that followed the birth of our middle child.
(If you’ve never experienced an anxiety attack, count yourself grateful. It’s not so delightful. And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t something you can simply rationalize yourself out of. It becomes a physiological response and can be oh so difficult to stop once it starts. But I digress…)
In that moment, as I began to feel myself fall apart, and once again felt like a failure as a mom, I cried out to God in my brokenness. I wanted to display His LOVE to my children, but instead was becoming anxious and snippy. I was also supposed to serve at church that weekend, but who was I to serve? Who was I to represent Him? I felt like such a hypocrite.
I desperately texted a friend and asked for prayers as I swallowed the lump in my throat and got ready for church. Then oddly enough, by the time I got there, a peace had come over me. The message for the weekend was on regret. Can you guess what my regret was?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Despite the peace God had replaced with my anxiety at present, I continued to feel remorse at my inability to control the anxiety and for my poor behavior while the anxiety attack was building. I just still felt like a failure.
Sunday morning I received a text from an old friend that said: “Hey, I had a dream about you last night. You were crying but I couldn’t hear anything you tried to say. Then I woke up and knew I needed to pray for you. How are you doing?” We hadn’t talked in almost 6 months.
I nearly broke into tears upon reading this. It was like God’s little love letter to me, reminding me that he cares about my struggles.
“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31
You see, this wasn’t the first time God had used dreams in this way. When I was pregnant with our middle child, I got sick with the flu around 32 weeks. I was wretchedly sick. I couldn’t keep anything down and was getting extremely dehydrated, resulting in increasing contractions. I was terrified I might go into labor early.
The same friend, who just dreamed about me crying, also had a dream about me when I was sick with the flu. Despite it being weeks since we had talked, in her dream, she said I was living outside, it was very hot and I was dehydrated and starving. She prayed for me and called the next day, only to find out how sick I’d been.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Rewind all the way back to my teen years. When I was still sick and at my deepest depression (which you’ll remember if you read My Beginnings), an acquaintance from church I hadn’t spoken with in months approached me and said she was woken in the middle of the night and knew she needed to pray for me. Again, she had no idea what I was going through.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
Each time, these were reminders of how deep God’s love is for me, for you, for His children. If you take nothing else away from this little blog site of mine, let it be this: know just how much God loves you. He doesn’t just love you enough to provide a way for salvation, but loves you enough to care about your day-to-day struggles. His love letters aren’t just for me. He loves each of us more than we’ll ever understand and he is waiting to send these tokens of his love to anyone who will receive Him.
And while His use of dreams are some of the stand-out moments where God has displayed his love, really, God sends us evidence of his love every day. Through glorious sunsets painting the sky. A song that brings a sense of calm. Encouraging words from a friend. A scripture verse you just needed to hear. His love letters are everywhere if we pay attention.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9
My anxiety may continue to ebb and flow, particularly as I work through the postpartum period. God doesn’t promise to remove all our struggles. But God’s reminder assured me that he’s with me through it and continues to love me through it.