This Thanksgiving season, I am giving thanks to God for something I never could have possibly imagined would be a part of my life, more or less a saving grace for me.
This Thanksgiving season, as a Mom with a new full-time job, three children in elementary and middle school, and a husband home with a brain injury, I am thanking God for the world of pharmaceuticals that keep ME sane.
This is a strange post for me, and I recognize the variety of comments and judgments I am opening myself up to by writing about this.
I have always prided myself on being level-headed. I have always prided myself on being able to go through trials in a way that brings glory to God. I have always prided myself on not needing medication to get through a crisis. Well, as we all know, pride goes before a fall.
When I was thirty and my mother died, I walked through a heart-wrenching grief while clinging hard to God. Six months later, when my dad was diagnosed with a very rare, deadly cancer, God upheld me and allowed me to maintain my faith. My faith was at the forefront of my life when, six months later, my husband was diagnosed with a shallow melanoma. And My faith was at its strongest when I was pregnant with our third child and Ben experienced 8 seizures in a row, spending four days in the hospital unconscious on a respirator and waking with almost no working memory.
But the crises have passed. It’s now almost eight years since Ben’s seizures left him unable to remember even the simplest moments of our life together.
And after years of struggling to always be the one to keep things together, after years of being everyone’s caregiver, I have found that my body and my soul are worn out.
Stress is no longer something I can control through meditation, eating right, or exercise. Sleep is no longer something I can rely on; nor can I escape into it when life becomes too much. Anxiety borne out of life’s trials and the knowledge that God does not promise to shield us FROM trials (although He does promise to walk with us THROUGH them) has become a constant theme in my life.
My anxiety requires medication. My depression requires medication. Think what you will. I know I would have judged someone in my position. But these medications stop the flood of fear and anger and frustration that swirl around in my mind and in my body, and they allow me to get to a point where I can quietly and humbly turn to God and read His word.
And this year, at Thanksgiving, that is truly a lot to thank Him for.