It’s Yellow Ball Monday, and Jen Spica has the ball!
My husband and I have tried to train our young girls is how to accept gifts—both ones they like and ones they don’t. It is so hard to receive an unwanted gift with thankful heart and words. But what about when that unwanted gift comes from God? I had to think deeply about this when God gave me the unwanted gift of post-partum depression (PPD).
I first experienced PPD after our first daughter’s birth. Her conception was unplanned, and her birth involved a tumultuous, unplanned C-section. Not an ideal introduction to motherhood. I was never one to be unstable in my emotions, so when the anger, uncontrollable tears, panic attacks, and thoughts of throwing my newborn babe off a balcony came around the first week of her life- it was unexpected. My husband and I were naïve and untrusting of our doctors. Honestly, I don’t think we could have even found the words to express what I was feeling. I wasn’t able to logically describe my symptoms until months later. The unwanted gift of PPD was long lasting and lonely.
When we found out we were expecting our second girl three years later we felt prepared; armed with family, a new doctor, and prayers. Then came the unexpected gift of prenatal PPD in my 7th month. While the journey was shorter and we had medical and spiritual help, the panic attacks and irrational behavior still rocked our world.
So what do you do with an unwanted gift? I am not wise enough to decipher if God gives struggles, allows them, or if it is simply a fall out from sin; however, I know that everything does work for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). PPD was an unwanted gift, but it has allowed a new, welcome intimacy with Christ. I’ve also been able to share advice and experience with others who suspect they are on a similar journey. And my empathy for others has skyrocketed! As I’ve come to understand the power of the mind and emotions, my heart has softened for those in affliction.
Post-partum depression is a mysterious, unpleasant journey. It was an unwanted gift that I would have gladly returned in the beginning, but now that I see the ‘before’ and ‘after’, I am thankful for the journey. I am grateful for my unwanted gift- it was good and perfect, from above.
Jen Spica is a happily married, stay-at-home mom to three girls, a volunteer curriculum developer, and freelance writer for International Steward. She’s passionate about serving Christ with all of her heart.
I first met Jen on a beautiful summer morning last June, when we both had the privilege of trying to maintain peace and order among a gazillion children who were all very excited to be at Ada Bible Church!
If you’re interested in having the Yellow Ball tossed your way, find out more, here.