There I sat with tears in my eyes, looking down at my sweet five-month-old baby boy, feeling numb. As someone with a bubbly personality and a wealth of positivity, I knew something was wrong. I wanted so desperately to enjoy my first experience as a mother, but I couldn’t muster up the happiness that I once felt. Most would say that I had Postpartum Depression. I believe it was something more profound.

The backstory is that after I gave birth to my son, my husband and I moved away from our friends and family to pursue an opportunity that was presented to us. He was working a full-time job, and I was alone a lot of the time. Before this, a lot of unfortunate events happened in my life, and I pushed it all down so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. I shoved things in places inside of me, hoping they would never come to the surface ever again. God spoke to me shortly before we moved that I was about to go through a hard time. He did not give me any specifics. He just said it would be hard. I shook it off and decided not to pay attention. I was terrified of another “tough time.” When we moved, there I was, alone. Just me and God.

I was alone with God, and we hashed it out. Everything under the surface that I hadn’t dealt with came up, and I felt like God was my counselor. What a Wonderful Counselor He truly is. There were many days and nights when God and I just wrestled. Some mornings I would wake up with a lie from the enemy, and by the time I went to bed, I was thinking about the truth that He taught me that day. I had to fight through a lot of anxiety and depression, but I always felt God’s sweet presence everywhere I went. Even on my worst nights when I could barely close my eyes because of the intense anxiety I felt, He never left my side. God gently and graciously helped me deal with a lot of emotional stuff, and at the end, He blessed me with immeasurably more than I could ever imagine. After the birth of our newest addition, my seven-month-old daughter, I was terrified of developing “Postpartum Depression.” I haven’t had the slightest decline in my emotions. I have enjoyed this postpartum period with my daughter, and I feel so healthy and free. I understand that the process is sometimes excruciating but the result of the process if you lean into Jesus, is always beautiful.

In Mark 1, After Jesus’ baptism, verse 12 says that the Spirit took Jesus out into the wilderness. He was there for 40 days, being tempted by Satan. He was encountered by wild beasts. However, angels attended to Him. We make a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus, and we end up in the wilderness. He doesn’t send us to the wilderness because He wants to punish us. The wilderness is a part of the process. The wilderness is hard, but it’s worth pressing through because even though we are encountering “wild beasts,” an angelic host is protecting us as God so gently ministers healing to us. We press into Him and push through. I think of surgery sometimes. Surgery is not easy, and it’s painful. However, the outcome is meant to be better than before. Consider God as the great surgeon when you are going through an exhausting process because you will come out on the other side, better than before. Hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5). There is always hope.

“Immediately after this, he was compelled by the Holy Spirit to go into an uninhabited desert region. He remained there in the wilderness for forty days, enduring the ordeals of Satan’s tests. He encountered wild animals, but also angels who appeared and ministered to his needs.”

-Mark 1:12 & 13

Father, thank You for the process that you take us through, though it may be hard. You bring us through the hard things to bring us to a place of wholeness and freedom. May we press on through the battle to reach this place. We know that You promise that you will always be with us. Amen.

Lauren Roberts