It is a hot, bright Sunday morning last summer. I get up early to get myself and our 5 kids ready for worship, as is my habit since my husband is a pastor and leaves long before we wake up.
I love worshiping God with other Christians, but Sunday mornings are not fun for me.
We run late. I burn the toast — twice. A shoe is missing. The shirt for this boy that fit two weeks ago is now too small, and all the other church clothes are in the dirty laundy. No, bringing the entire Minecraft Lego collection is not an option.
As we drive to church, the kids fight in the car. One child asks the same question 15 times. This is a typical day for us, since I parent children with special needs.
But I am done. Fried. At the end of my rope.
Insurance has turned down our repeated requests for day treatment for one of our boys with intense behavior needs, and I am managing his care at home. I can not do one more minute, let alone one more day.
I drop the children off at Sunday School and get back in the car. I mean to sit in the car for a few minutes to compose myself before heading back inside, but I find myself driving out of the parking lot instead, tears pouring down my face.
“I’ll just drive around for a few minutes to calm down,” I tell myself. “I can’t go into the church building until I have myself pulled together. I don’t want anyone to see me like this.”
I drive about a mile down the road towards our local hospital. I know if I go into the emergency room and tell them I am suicidal, they will admit me.
I consider this option. If I can’t get my son the treatment he needs, maybe I can get treatment for me instead.
I am not really suicidal, and I don’t know if I can pull off the lie convincingly enough.
I am not suicidal, but I am coming pretty close.
I drive by the hospital once. Then I circle back and drive by again.
Oh God, where do I turn for help?
Church, of all places, should be where I feel safe to receive love, acceptance, and emotional support for depression. Why do I feel like I need to put on a good show of having my life together?
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