I remember it like yesterday. The moment when the gravity of being responsible for a tiny, little person hit me like a ton of bricks.
Our first son Elliottt was 3 days old, I was adjusting to being a new mamma. The euphoric haze was beginning to wear off. It was nearing bedtime, and out of no where I was consumed with sudden panic over where the safest place was to put him to sleep for the night. Certain that if he joined us in our bed something bad would happen, but also just as sure that putting him in his crib, one whole room away, was a terrible, terrible idea. What if I made the wrong choice? And there was my poor husband, trying to gently rationalize with his hormonal, sleep deprived, crazy wife (and we all know that is never a good idea). Certain that we were not capable of making such a big decision, I called our midwife. She gently talked me ‘down from the ledge’ and reassured me that wherever we decide to put our son to sleep, he would be ok. We eventually arrived at putting him in a little Moses Basket beside our bed. And of course, he was just fine.
It’s been more than six years since that moment. The moment I realized that we.are.the.parents. He depends on us. Completely. People can give us advice but ultimately, it comes down to us. We have to make the call. And in our six years of parenting, there have been many decisions that have been made. And yes, with time and experience it has gotten easier. But there are still those moments when the weight of this responsibility hits me again, just like when he was a tiny newborn nestled in my arms.
We’ve been struggling with Elliott for some time now. He’s always been a bit of a question mark with mild developmental delays, anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues. While theses struggles have always been a challenge, they have been mostly manageable. Three months ago, everything changed. The little struggles became major issues. Every single day became a fight. Homeschooling became nearly impossible. Outings with my little ones became a huge fiasco…so we stopped going places. No more trips to library. No more trips to the park. We even stopped going to church. Our life became consumed with these hardships.
These recent months have been filled with every kind of appointment you could imagine: psychology, psychiatry, naturopathy, and occupational therapy. We have been fighting so hard to bring life back to a manageable place for our little guy and for our family. Initially, we dove into natural treatments with hopeful anticipation. Being a home birthing, natural medicine kinda gal, this was the obvious first step for us. We’ve been through a slew of natural supplements. Testing for food sensitivities. We’ve done dye free, we’ve done preservative free, we’ve done gluten free, and we have gotten absolutely no where.
We’ve come to a crossroad. The question: Do we continue pursuing natural treatments or is it time to look at more traditional methods? We’ve tried so much, but the reality is, we could explore natural options for a full year and still not exhaust all of the possibilities. Eventually one comes to their breaking point. And that is where I find myself.
So this past week, I made the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make as a mom. I took the prescription the psychirstist handed me. And I filled it. Something I never, ever dreamed I would do. And once again, I was back to that moment. My heart filled with anxiety and dread. What if this is the wrong choice?
There are so many emotions wrapped up in this decision. I’m struggling greatly with the weight of what this acceptance means. Have I now given conditions to my love? The voice of failure echos loudly. Certain that I let my son down. If I was a better mom, somehow I could have prevented this. If I could have fought a little harder. Hung on a just bit longer…
This such a hard place to be. Overwhelming. Lonely. Scary. Humbling. Defeating. But as I see it I have two choices, I can give in to the guilt and the fear and let it consume me, or I can run to Jesus. I’d like to say that I always choose the later. Of course, I don’t. But oh, how I want to. I want Jesus to be my strength. I want Jesus to redeem this ugliness. I want Jesus to use me in my brokenness.
And that is why I share this today. We all have our individual struggles. Mine may look different than yours. But we are all struggling just the same. Sometimes these struggles become so consuming that we begin to believe we are all alone in them. And even though there are many days that my flesh fails and I give into that lie, deep in my heart the truth resounds. I am not alone and you are not alone. And I am choosing to rest in that hope today.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous hand.” Isaiah 41:10.