Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Postpartum Cabin Fever, Teaching Addiction, and Ballerina Complex

I don't believe I ever experienced postpartum depression.  I had extreme gestational crankiness which was usually followed by extatic joyfullness of holding my precious snuggly newborn and FINALLY not being pregnant anymore.  Then....about two months down the road, the real sickness would start.  And boy would I get it bad. 

Let me digress for a paragraph. I was a very involved single woman for the Lord.  I'm not bragging, you just need to get through this paragraph to get the whole point of this profound blog that is going to change your life forever and ever.  I lead the children's worship, I was on the adult worship team, taught Sunday School, taught a young girl's Bible study, and went on every mission trip.  On top of all that, I taught ballet all week in a christian studio.  I was an active, visible, genuine, servant of my gracious and loving Savior.

And then I had a baby girl.  ALL of those things stopped. The 200 eyes that were on me for teaching and guiding and mentoring and example getting became just those 2 sweet little eyes of baby girl.  No depression came just joy over my lovely little one but OH MY GRACIOUS the lesson the Lord wanted me to learned for the next five years was a hard one to swallow and OH how excited I am to share it now that I see the Lord's gracious plan from beggining to end. 

Isn't that what we need so often? Someone just a few miles ahead of us to look back and smile and say. Keep walking....the Lord has a plan....and it is a good one.

I went through such a dry time in my walk with the Lord in that first year of mothering.  It was the same feeling that consumed me when I lived in Peru. Complete Isolation. There was actually a short while that I felt like I must be backslidden because I just wasn't feeling that vibrant firely love for the Lord that I had in my single years.  I blamed it on not having that constant motivation of so many young eyes looking to me for spiritual guidance.  I thought starting back into teaching right away would solve that empty pain.  Yes, my heart really was feeling pain.  My wonderful pastor encouraged me that my family was my new ministry now and yes my head knew this and my heart knew that but neither were fully submitting it all.  I continued to really feel the dry pain and really missing that fire that kept me in such perfect peace.  One Biblestudy evening, I was walking a noisy little baby girl in the very back of the back room of the church when one of the ladies walked in to go to the service.  She cooed at the baby and then smiled at me and said, "After you have a baby you go from the front of the church to the back of the church."....


And then it hit me....foolish foolish foolish Rachel...oh silly little lamb of little faith. Oh poor little woman overcome with postpartum cabin fever, consumed with teaching addiction, and lover of great attention due to your ballerina complex and yes even that thing that's starts with "S" and ends with "N" and has an "I" in the middle...oh foolish Rachel.  Do I need people to watch me love You so that I can fully love You?  Can't it just be You and me hanging out and stuff? As the Lord is opening those teaching doors back up now that my children are older I rejoice that He taught me that loving Him privatly is just as honoring as loving Him publicly. 

Jesus wanted to meet with me in my new role as mother but I wanted to meet with him in my old role as single teacher girl.  It was no wonder I kept missing our meetings.  It was no wonder I thought that I could only love Him completly if I put the baby girl-less me back in place with the new mother me when He just wanted to work through me in a new and glorious way.  

My baby girl is a Christian now.  That makes her my sister in Christ.  That makes her my fellowship.  As the Lord is opening those teaching doors back up now that my children are older I rejoice that He taught me that loving Him privatly is just as honoring as loving Him publicly. The cabin fever is gone most of the time and I admit I am still hopelessly addicted to teaching and yes I still have a bit of a "Hey look, I'm on stage!" stuck in my ballerina brain....but please dear friends...go forth in your isolation and just let the Lord love you...He really wants to just love you.  And love Him back whether 200 people are watching or maybe just one little baby girl. 

He leadeth me, O blessed thought!

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