Tuesday, 22 September 2009

God's discipline

December 2004 Jacob and mum!
Appearances can be deceiving can't they? Don't I look so happy! I probably was at that precise moment but you don't know the half of it!
I felt anxious, scared, down, cried all the time, avoided people, couldn't cope and that I was the only mum who felt like this. I felt like a bad mum and a failure as a Christian and a mum.
I am writing this today for everyone out there who looks at each other and thinks they have it all together. No one knew I had Post Natal Depression. I didn't have a huge label stuck to me warning people off. On the outside I looked "normal" but inside I was aching and oh so confused.
6 When I felt secure, I said, "I will never be shaken."
7 O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain [
c] stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.
8 To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:
Psalm 30:6-8, NIV.
I was so proud! I never thought I would become ill, I never thought that I would need to admit I couldn't cope with things. I could not be shaken!!! What a humbling I received from the Lord.

I learnt first hand that there is an awful stigma attached to mental illness. I felt ashamed to admit that I was ill. People tend to look for outward, physical signs of illness and it can be hard to understand someone who is ill in this way. I remember being told to "get a grip of myself" and it will be better in the morning. Those who said this meant well but just didn't get it.
I hid my illness for months. Only my hubby knew really and then the Doctor. I hid it from friends at Church. Of course, hindsight tells you that you shouldn't have but in the midst of the suffering you just can't admit it.
I think I want to say more about this to help others. If you are feeling far from the Lord, ashamed, depressed, or anxious as a mum or as a person then don't be afraid to tell someone, anyone you can trust. Speak to God, even if you feel far from him. God still hears you even when you are angry with Him. I felt very angry toward God for "giving me this illness" but I still talked to Him. He was still faithful to me when I wasn't faithful to Him.
I believe God guided me through this period of suffering and disciplined and matured me.
I would not have wished it upon myself. God humbled me, He did not let go of me even though at times I had let go of Him, ministered to me through a wonderful older friend, and has made me rely on Him in EVERYTHING.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:11 NIV
I will finish here for now but I think I may write a little more on this experience. I found that as a Christian especially there was a lack of understanding among fellow Christians about mental illness. It is hard if you haven't experienced it directly or indirectly. I read some awful literature about demons and possession and such like. This did not make me feel good at all! And this was Christian literature!
I will leave it at that but am thinking right now I want to write more on how I felt pressured as a Christian mum once I have gathered my thoughts!


  1. I can totally get being ashamed about the mental illness. Ugh that bugs me. I have more to say on your posts and i look forward to you writing more but I am on ambien and tinzanadine and am about to clonk out. I will check back. I am very interested in what others say

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Collette. You are right that we hide those things in our lives for which we need the most support from others. And it is sad that, especially in Christian circles, mental illness remains so taboo.

  3. I had post natal with my fourth child. Had no clue what was happening, total personality change. It was so strange. And you are so right, society as a whole shuts it's door on mental illnesses. It's more acceptable to be a drug addict or alcoholic!

  4. Thank you for sharing Collette. I don't believe any Christian really has it all together. Thankfully we worship a big God and He always takes care of us.

  5. Collette,

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to share something so personal for all of us. You are doing a great thing by writing this because for those of us that have never been through it need to hear about it from someone who has. You are a great inspiration to everyone who comes by!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  6. Thanks for sharing what you went through. It is so true that we don't know what others go through and that the topic should be more talked about! So glad God brought you through--as He loves to do! Laurie

  7. Yes, I think that sometimes we think that just because we are a Christian we shouldn't be suffering from things like that.

    Well, sometimes there are physical causes for things and we need to go to the doctor for help. We don't feel guilty for having strep throat and taking antibiotics for it, so why should we feel guilty for suffering from other things?

    ~ Nan

  8. I'm so sorry you went through that. It must have been horrible!!

  9. Well, praise the Lord you are able to talk about it now!! I know by this post, you are going to bless somebody by it!!

  10. Thank you for sharing this. It is difficult to share something as personal as this, but it is helpful to others. I agree about the stigma attached to mental illness and wish it wasn't so. This post reminds me that there are an awful lot of unseen pains hanging around in those I encounter every day. Grace and compassion are needed, even for those things I have no understanding of...I pray that God will let me be aware of these when they are in my presence,so I may remember the afflicted in my prayers and show extra care in the moment.

  11. Hey Collette,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. I have chronic depression and bipolar, and it does get very overwhelming at times. I have to remember that it is a chemical inballence, and it is just like diabetis or heart issues, it has to be taken care of, and I have to stay on my meds.
    I have been praying about sharing some of my illness on our blog, but haven't had the courage. Thank you for the encouragement. I hope that you keep sharing with us. It helps to know that you aren't alone!
    Much love and Prayers,
    Lori and girls

  12. Sometimes we hide things because we think it's protecting us. We don't realise that it's often causing deeper pain.

  13. It was neat to see a picture of you. The one on our profiles is so small that we can't really see who each other is. Thank you for sharing this and being so honest. It's a great way to show the work that God has done in our lives. I struggled with depression for years and almost lost my life to it. I don't talk about it much because it's not a shining moment in my life. I really should though because nothing worked, outside of Jesus. He rescued me from the depths of Hell and in one night, I was completely healed. Just like that. No medicines, no counseling, just me and Jesus, and it was done! Praise God for miracles and healing.

  14. Ah, yes, we call it "post pardum depression" and I had it also. Not fun. I did talk to others about it during the episodes, but it scared me a lot. Looking back, I can see how God used it to shape my character, but I would never ask to re-visit it for all the gold on earth or blessings in heaven. Very complicated and few people understand. I have not gone public with my struggles (other than comments on other people's blogs) so I'm glad someone is. thanks.

  15. Thank you for sharing that. I have suffered from severe depression since my son was born and finally just beginning to get back on track. It's encouraging to hear when others talk about their struggles especially after the fact. And I love how you chose to show that photo and and explain the way you did. So many people hide it or others overlook it because we appear to be fine. It's so true. Thank you for sharing that.

  16. I, too, suffered from clinical depression in my early 20's. It was such a dark time in my life - a wilderness season that took much longer to emerge from than I would have ever dreamed. I also had an eating disorder. I am so grateful to God who delivered me, revealed his amazing grace for me and has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. I pray you will continue to walk in the freedom and grace that God has for you.


It is always lovely to hear from my readers and I enjoy all you have to share!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin