By Emily Brisch
Originally Published in Be Still Magazine, Issue 6
It was February. My daughter was six months old, sleeping in her crib while I had locked myself in the bathroom. I was sitting on the cold tile floor, my body shaking inconsolably while tears flowed from my exhausted eyes, and a pit grew bigger and bigger in my stomach. Fear and questions ran through my mind as anxiety pumped through my veins. What is happening? Why is this happening again? What is this darkness, and why can’t it go away? It was my fifth month battling postpartum depression, and nothing seemed to be giving me any comfort, let alone relief. My husband had grown weary and frustrated as he witnessed his wife on a slow downward spiral, unable to “fix” it with his constant love and support.
A few blended days had passed since that anxiety attack, and I was sitting on the couch with my husband. I said to him, “I need to go to church.” This may seem trivial to those who have any kind of faith, but I had absolutely none. God, you say? I was not a believer. Yet, something had come over me which made me need to go to church. I had to hear the Word of God though I didn’t even know what the Word of God was at that time, but He knew I needed to hear it. My husband, although in shock at my announcement, agreed to attend church with me. This was the beginning of how God called me to Him. To this day, there is no rhyme or reason for my immediate change of heart toward God, and the only solution I have and know in my heart was that He could see me breaking. He could see the destruction my family was going through, and He wouldn’t have it.
God called me to Him, to believe in Him. He led me to salvation through Jesus Christ. God showed me grace and taught me how to forgive myself for all of the guilt I was holding for the mother I couldn’t be at the time. He allowed me to give up my insecurities from my newly altered body and all of the shame I carried in my heart for hating myself so much. He replaced them with unconditional love. He showed me that I am loved unconditionally exactly how I am right now, at any given moment; His love never wavers or changes. He led me to be baptized, to lead a new life in Christ, and to bring Him into my home, to my daughter and into my marriage. God not only saved my life figuratively and literally, He gave me life.
These changes did not happen overnight, and I still struggle with some of these things, but that is what is so amazing about God—He never leaves. My relationship with Christ is growing every day, and He occupies every corner of my heart and soul. But sometimes I need to force myself to open my Bible and read Scripture. I do it though—I continue to take steps toward God even when I don’t feel like it. God has saved me from the worst darkness I had ever come to know, and I am forever His child. I will forever honor Him and make sure that my daughter comes to know Him.
God has led me to write about the issue of postpartum depression while spreading the truth, the Word, and sharing my own testimony. I want every woman and man struggling with depression to know that there are better days. Even if you don’t have depression but are having a difficult time trusting in the Lord, do it. I promise you that your life will be transformed once you give everything up to God. If someone had told me a year ago that I would even be writing this, I would’ve laughed it off. That is the miracle God has performed; He has completely changed my life all in His own time and for His own reasons, and I trust in that. Once I let faith enter my life, once I had that faith, my life began to change, and I truly was saved.
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast.Ephesians 2:8-9