Letting the Leaves Fall

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I've been watching color surface slowly from the tired, graying summer greens around our house. The dogwood tree across the street is loaded with red berries that tint even the remaining green of its leaves into red.

I'm feeling the change of the seasons, remembering things I enjoyed about this last year, looking forward to replaying a few new traditions - well, "traditions" made with one good memory of doing this or that at a certain temperature, in a certain mood.

I can't wait to hold Button, to touch his face and hands with my fingers, cuddle him close, drink in his baby scent. But I am aware that his coming will bring even more change - and not all of it will be good change. More uncertainty for Piper when she needs affection. More financial strain. The possibility of another year or two of postpartum depression.

It was hard to read this today. I am still realizing that things really weren't okay after Pip was born. I was never suicidal, but the thoughts of leaving, the disconnection, the inability to cry...

I've spent a lot of time time trying to explain away what happened, trying to make sense of what God must have been doing, drawing conclusions that aren't really conclusions. I know they aren't; because I can't welcome the possibility of living through that again, putting my husband through that again, putting my children through that...

Change like this requires a good God. I don't mean a God who operates on my idea of what is good, but a God who is Himself good even if hell breaks loose. A God who is not afraid of change as I am, who is the same yesterday and forever, a Rock and a Hiding Place and a Stay for my soul.

During my freshman year, I sang a song in what seemed like a hundred churches with my college chorale: Almighty, Unchangeable God.
Who spread out the clouds before Him?
Who fashioned the earth with His hands?
Who created the starry host,
And formed the earth at His command?
Who scatters lightning before Him,
Commands the rain and snow to fall?
Who makes the nations tremble?
Who is Lord over all?

He is like the light at sunrise,
Like the brightness after the rain
Robed in splendor,
He’s seated on His heavenly throne above.
His glory fills the heavens;
He is exalted over all.
Yet He loves me
With an everlasting love

He is Almighty, Unchangeable God,
King of kings,
Lord of lords,
robed in majesty.
He rules and reigns,
For all eternity,
Almighty, Unchangeable God.

- Cindy Berry ©1996 by GlorySound (a div. of Shawnee Press)
The words still pile the tears in my throat as they did when I sang the song before, moving my heart-eyes past my limited perspective to a Job-vision of unchangeable I Am.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me."

- Ps. 23:4

(Image © Informal Moments Photography)


emily said...

I struggled with the birth of the twins in some of the same ways you describe here, but I didn't know enough at the time to label it anything. The birth of my third brought great redemption. I was able to be more present with him than I had been with them. I will pray this for you as well.

Anonymous said...

love the photo!

chances are, it could be different for you after this birth. better.

i know...we all think about the future by the experiences of the past. expecially those hard things that we go through.

i like to read of the beautiful things that you write in your strong faith that has been made strong through your lifetime thus far.

i helps me and others in their faith, i think.

letting the leaves fall....i like that.

Heidi said...


I am so praying that this time is different for you, that your body will not rage against you, that your hormones will not be so seriously depleted. I don't know postpartum depression, but I know the power of hormones and the hopelessness it can bring.

I only wish I was closer so I could be there with you through it, whatever "it" entails this go around.

But you will have my prayers and understanding. I love you.

Monica Sharman said...

I've tried that explaining-away, too. And ever since the last pregnancy I've always put pregnant and new moms high up on my prayer list.

Maureen said...

Your image, that extraordinary deep red, is beautiful, as is your spirit, as is your determination to be.

Your awareness of the possibility of postpartum depression after the baby is born will allow you to be watchful of changes in your spirit that might require attention. It can be so difficult to understand the feelings, to acknowledge their existence and the lonely place they leave you, to seek help to deal with them when everyone around you is focusing on the baby. Be watchful for you. You matter.

Thank you for sharing the words to "Almighty", which I think send us the message we all need to hear: God is unchangeable in His love for you.

Hugs to you today.

Carrie said...

Looking forward to reading the posts you linked to - I struggled emotionally after I had Z, too, and I was told that it was normal...but I didn't feel normal...because EVERYONE I saw said things like, "OH, what a precious baby! Isn't it FUN???" and all I wanted to do was sob and say, "NO - I HATE it - what did I get myself into???" It was so hard. I've been praying extra hard about not losing it this time as well, and nervous, because Z gets so upset when I cry in front of him...though it's becoming more common lately as my large size & tiredness & hormones all combine...I have not been a pleasant lady these last few days. I don't know why I'm rambling on, but I feel your pain, I know some of what you've gone through, and I know the fear of going through it again. I will pray for you!!!

Jessica said...

Hadn't read your post on the other blog before, but I did just now. And along with other ladies who have commented, I can say that I have definitely been there too!! I didn't really think to label it as PPD, but I certainly struggled with the thought that so many people seemed to think having a baby was so wonderful, and I was miserable a lot of the time. I still struggle with those feelings now sometimes... that everyone thinks my life is so happy, that I SHOULD be so happy, but I'm many times I'm not. I know I need to dig further into the truth that HE is the one who ought to make me complete... not a perfect family. But also, I think I am starting to learn that I don't need to feel guilty when I have a "down" day, or week, or whatever. I just need to cling harder to God and let Him and His truth pull me through, even when I feel I'm going to drown.

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