Updated: Sep 16, 2018
I ran towards the raspberry bushes, green Tubberware bowl in hand. The delight of each berry brought joy to my seven-year-old heart. I remember our garden having huge stalks of rhubarb growing so tall they seemed to melt into the Montana sky.
It was Sunday morning and the sun bounced off the snow-covered ground. The last of the fresh raspberries had been eaten months ago. I felt mom kneel down beside me, the scratchy fabric of our love seat brushing against my forearms. My heart was so proud because this is what I knew I was supposed to do, this was the moment that would change my world. I prayed, I repented, and it was done.
I would cling to that day for 23 years. Cling to the belief, that in one solitary moment, I had changed my eternal destination and that I was now safe. I tried so hard. I read my bible every day. I tried to pray with words that were not just about asking God for things. I went to church two to three times a week if not more. I was a good Christian girl. Mom said God would see how I had been faithful, I just needed to wait, and my time would come. I persevered and I waited.
While waiting I had a constant companion, her name was Anxiety. She never left my side and she was always protecting me, even if it meant she needed to wake me in the middle of the night to make sure I had not forgotten her. Sometimes I felt brave enough not to take her along, but when I looked back I could always see traces of where she had been.
Did you ever have a friend that you were sure your parents wouldn’t like? Anxiety was that friend. I knew that they would not accept her. You see she was afraid, a lot, and my mom talked about how “fear is not of God”. Well crap, what do I do with this friend who is not of God? So I prayed about her, prayed a lot about her. I asked God to take her away and remove her from my life. The hardest part is that she never left and I felt as if I had failed at faith and failed at this eternal calling that I so desperately wanted to master.
It was almost midnight. I had not slept or been able to keep anything down for over 48 hours. His tiny perfect little body lay in the bassinet next to our bed. I was at my wit’s end. I called my mom and she asked if I had prayed about it. I was done. I now know that I was going through postpartum anxiety and sometimes prayers are not enough.
You see, what I had been waiting for and praying for all those years was a husband and family. I now had both and my faith was crumbling faster than my hands could grasp. So I let go. I welcomed anxiety and asked her to stay and chat for a while. I stopped running from her because after all she was a part of me. Authentic discoveries require that no parts be left out and I needed to know her, because she is a part of me.