I think one of the hardest things I’ve been dealing with during this postpartum depression is my altered sense of faith. I’ve grown up with a fairly sunny, optimistic, and idealistic view of the world. I came by faith quite naturally because life contained so many beautiful things that pointed towards God. I experienced hardships and suffering, but nothing like I’ve been sinking in over these last few months.
This lens of hardship and suffering with which I am seeing in myself and in the world has left me wondering: why? Why is life so incredibly hard? God, why have you permitted this?
A really lame example is this weekend. Josh is gone. Joseph is sick. I am sick. Joseph won’t sleep. Joseph is up at 1 am throwing a tantrum because I took the kitchen chairs away because he was dancing on the table. I am too exhausted to deal with that, and I cry. As I type this, Joseph is still refusing to fall asleep, and it is 4 am. He sounds so sad, but I don’t think I can go back in for a 4th time tonight. I am afraid to try to sleep because I know he will be up multiple times tonight. Why did it have to happen like this, when I am all alone?
I feel guilty about saying that I’m suffering, because I know there are other mothers who are going through much worse things that I am. It seems silly to be complaining about a sick kid being awake dancing on a table, when I know that there are mothers who are choosing to take their kids on an unsafe boat to hopefully bring them a better life. Or mothers who are on their own all the time. Or mothers who can’t even feed their child.
Thinking those things actually just makes me feel worse. Why is the world like this?
I’ve been taught that God created us because he had such an overflow of love that he wanted to pour it out into creatures who could return it. He gave us free will (and the capacity to choose evil and good) because he loves us so much, and he wants that love returned freely. Our ultimate goal of this life is to make it to heaven. So we live an average of 70 years, making choices that hopefully will land us a spot in heaven.
Honestly, the way I am seeing it right now, it seems as though this life is full of bittersweet heartache most of the time.
Why make us like this? Why make this “trial” period of life when all we long for (whether we know it or not) is perfect happiness in heaven?
All of this thinking has made it really hard for me to pray.
Why make this life, with all the sufferings included? There are moments that are beautiful and lovely and breathtaking. But then there are moments of sorrow and pain that are so intense, despair starts to set in. I used to be ruled by hope, but lately my world is tainted by bitter.
I want to go back to those joyful days, when it was so incredibly easy to believe in God’s goodness. It makes me feel sad to think that part of me is lost right now. God, can you show me how good you are again? I’ve forgotten who you are.
**Update: Joseph fell asleep at 5:30 am. It was one of the most trying nights I have ever experienced. But once he slept, he slept really well. And I slept. Josh came home. Life was just fine again. I survived.