As I lay in bed this morning, I could not help but reflect on my post from last night. It was a tough time for me and my references to the church may have sounded derogatory-they were not, the church folks giving us advice did not send me to a dark place. The classes I attended had nothing to do with my insecurities-it was all me, baby. My journey made me insecure and depressed. My past and what I thought was my present took me to an extreme low and my reactions to normal conversations was very flawed indeed. In fact, supermoms taught me so many good things that I have often declared that it saved my life. Even some of those parenting classes and discussions gave me kernels of truth about parenting that I still cling to.
So now, without further adieu, some of the many people that were bright spots in my darkness:
Otillian: She always said something nice about me and my parenting. Often she shared a story about her life and kids that made me smile.
Erik's mom and dad: They went to our church then and always helped us with the kiddos during church-even bringing a special bag of books and toys. My mother-in-law is one of the most encouraging people I know. She loves me and brags on me so much I'm almost embarrassed-but mostly I like it. She and Jerry have blessed in ways too numerous to mention. My in-laws are the best in-laws in the world.
Jennifer S.: I reminded her of herself because she had two so close together too. She and Kenton and her kids babysat for us often but mostly just became good friends and mentors.
Michelle H.: Held my babies alot even though-and I didn't know this then-she doesn't like babies. She was always pursuing me and helping me if I needed it.
Stephanie R.: Kept my kiddos for at least one long weekend-but I think it was two-so that Erik and I could get away and have some much needed time together. She also still loves my kiddos and they love her. Like really love her, they gravitate to her before and after church to love and be loved on.
Rhonda B.: Oh the places we've gone! She was the homeschooler that made me want to. She invited us along on many of their daytrips and it was a delight! She also kept my kids for a weekend for Erik and I to take a long weekend trip during our anniversary. My kids still idolize her kids quite a bit because they always made the kids feel really special-they still make my kids feel really special. She and her husband, Steve, have always gone above and beyond to encourage us as young parents. Once Steve even loaned us their camper and actually even set it up and tore it down for us.
Terrell: Our preacher. Oh my, he has counselled us(mostly just me though) more times than Carter's got pills. He has watched me cry more than anyone else I know. AND, he still likes us. He overlooks our flaws and sees our potential. A preacher that is truly your friend is a blessing indeed.
Lynn N.: Encouraged me to draw closer to God no matter what. Paid my way to go to Bible study the first time because she sensed that might be why I didn't sign up. She also is the biggest source of encouragement to my husband in the whole church, past, present and future.
Keith W.: Spoke the truth in love to me in a way no one else would. It cut me to the quick and I didn't really like him for a long time. However, the things he said did more to improve my life and my marriage than any other thing ever. Also, he and Jane mentored us like crazy every chance they had. Best neighbors ever.
Of course, there are more. There are also some that are much more recent. However, these are the people who loved me through the darkness. The people who actively sought me out to mentor a young mom with no self confidence. I hope I am able to follow in their giant footprints someday and be an encouragement to other folks.
The funny thing about depression, or even just low self esteem-I had a fatal combo-is that it taints how you see the things around you. Your 'truth' isn't actually truth at all. It is more of a dark cloud that hangs over everything you do. Hypersensitivity, low self-esteem and depression are a deep pit. It has been hard to climb out of that huge pit and with God's help, I hope to never slip back into it again.