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Search My Heart: A Broken Wife


How Depression affects family

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This post was written with tears, and it’s hard to share.  I promised myself (and the Lord) that I would follow His leading, and be real on my blog, even when it’s uncomfortable or embarrassing.

Have you ever seen a truly horrible picture of yourself?  Maybe it’s a yearbook picture, or that time when you had the awful perm or dye job.  Maybe it’s when you’re already overweight, and the camera adds 10 about 25 extra pounds.  It could be an awkward pose or a strange expression on your face.  But whatever the reason, you want to hide that picture away and make sure that no one ever sees it.

This weekend, I saw a really bad picture of myself, deeper than any camera could portray. 

You see, as I have struggled with depression, my family has suffered along with me because their wife and mommy wasn’t really here.  As I have fought this illness (because that’s what depression is—it’s not a sin or a choice, it’s an illness.), my husband and my precious boys have had to suffer as well.

It started out as an innocent conversation about dessert while we were headed home from an outing.  I told the boys I would make them a fruit and yogurt parfait.  Chad said he might have one too, with crushed graham crackers on top.  I told him I usually put some grape nuts on their yogurt (the grape nuts that Chad thought he remembered liking, but once we got them, he didn’t).  And, that conversation was over. 

Or so I thought.  Fast forward a few minutes as we get closer to our driveway, and the conversation goes something like this:

Chad, clearly distressed:  You’re going to be so mad at me.
Me:  What is it, honey?
Chad:  I don’t even want to tell you, because we’re having such a good day and I don’t want to ruin it.
Me:  Honey, I don’t think I’m going to be mad, just tell me.
Chad (sighing):  You are going to be mad.  But it’ll probably be better if I just tell you instead of you finding out in there.

Okay, at this point I was kind of freaking out…what in the world was my husband so scared to tell me?  Finally, I said, “Honey, just spit it out.  I won’t be mad and it won’t ruin our day.”

There was a moment of silence and then he took a deep breath, “I threw away the box of grape nuts.”  Once the words were out, he hurried into an explanation, “We weren’t eating it and it was expired anyway, so I threw it away.”

All I could do was stare at him, speechless.  That’s it.  He threw away the box of grape nuts.

What kind of wife am I that my husband was so afraid of my reaction over a box of expired grape nuts cereal?  (rhetorical question, please don’t answer!)

As God has lifted the fog that is depression, He has renewed my desire to serve Him in all things, including being a more godly wife to my husband.  To submit to him and respect him in the way that he deserves.  I know that I have a long way to go. 

 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
-Psalm 139:23-24

This has been my prayer lately.  I long to be intimate with God, closer to Him than I have been before.  Closer to the woman He is calling me to be.  But sometimes that requires Him showing me a “wicked way”, and it’s not pretty.  But even in the midst of the pain of facing the woman I had become, His hand is gently leading me. 

It is worth the pain of chastisement to be led by the Almighty God.  It is worth the disappointment in myself to rise above my shortcomings, through Him.  It is worth seeing the ugly truth in order to become the godly wife my husband deserves, and more importantly, the woman my Savior deserves for me to be. 

Jesus gave His all for me, and he deserves nothing less than all of me, given up to Him and His purpose.


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