I am a stickler to plans. I like to know the why’s, when’s, how’s and if’s. This mental structure allows me to compartmentalize stuff and therefore know what channel to follow and how much time to allocate each thing so that I am less freaked out when the brown smelly stuff hits the fan. In a perfect world, this happens daily. I have a daily planner, filled out with my day’s schedule, a diary with entries filled out a month in advance and holidays catered for towards end year.
The reality of life is that planning is the best we can do, because life has a way of throwing curveballs at the least expected time. This could be in the form of just about anything that threatens to taint our perfect mental pictures with smears from the past or the present. The curveball could be a power blackout for days, a sick baby, floods, mornings when the car needs to get jump-started, an irrational client, an inebriated neighbor noisily making his presence known at 2AM when you have had a rough night trying to get baby to sleep, rains that ruin date plans, misunderstanding with parents… you get the drift.
I look back at my motherhood journey and can’t help but muse at how my ‘perfect’ life was turned around by the arrival of my son and a monstrous condition such as Postpartum Depression (PPD). See, PPD has a way of rocking your little boat and bursting your perfect bubble before flooding your life with worry. And that’s simply because it does not respect class, race or religion. Anyone, both moms and dads can get PPD.
I learnt pretty fast that I needed to let go of the perfection I had set for myself.
I needed to know that it was okay to plan, and have the plans messed up by things beyond my control, because that’s how life is.
I needed to know that it was okay to sleep past my regular wake-up time at 5AM if my son was unwell the previous two nights.
I needed to appreciate that I was putting in effort and working with excellence even when a client took off with my cash (took years to let the bitterness go).
I needed to learn that some things were simply beyond my control.
I needed to know that I was not a ‘bad mom’ just because I was depressed.
I needed to put a STOP to the incessant worry.
One of the major things I struggled with when I had PPD was the fear of the future as well as feeling like I had no control over this condition. The former was the most chilling… Not knowing what the future held for my son and I, not knowing whether we would ever pull through this dark phase. I am slowly coming to a place where I realize that my worry over life’s imperfection does not add any value to my future; it only subtracts the joy of the present.
Yesterday morning while doing my devotion I was elated to read and reread this verse:
Matthew 6:27-29Amplified Bible (AMP)
27 And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these.
The next day, as I walked to pick my son from school, I took time to look at the wild flowers, blooming in all their glory. The vibrant orange and yellow colors stood out. It was amazing to think that God took time to ‘clothe’ these flowers, How much more did He care about my son and I? How much more was I worth more than a flower, or the green grass that was trampled on by the sidewalk?
I got home encouraged, so much so that even when things did not go as I had scheduled them, I need not worry because He has my best interests at heart. It is comforting to rest in God’s Word and know that even when things look messy, He is working behind the scenes for my good. And so today, even in the haze of crazy days, may my heart remember that He is in control, and I need not worry.
Bonus Lesson: Most of the stuff I worried about did not even come to pass, hah!
Hammock living at Olooseos Resort