Finding God in a Little White Pill

by Amanda

take and eat

I wrote it down that same day because I did not want to forget. The cost of forgetting was too high.

She was in the bathtub playing. She splashed her brother standing nearby and he slipped and fell, hurt and crying. And I yelled. I drove daggers in with my words and it was fierce. I’d felt it again, that gripping combination of frustration and panic, and my mama heart gasped for air beneath the force of it.

The verbal storm calmed and I looked at her there, soul-hurt and sobbing, and I knew. Kneeling there by the tub on that old tile floor, looking at my still-small girl, I knew it with that down in the bones certainty reserved for the most important moments in life.

I could either get help or destroy her with my words.

No matter what anyone thought, no matter the blow to my pride, even if no one understood why. It was my responsibility. I was not going to get this one wrong.

It’s funny how pride can rule even when you’ve been crushed low, even when you’re creeping army style, bruised and battered, face so near the ground you can feel the gravel brush your cheek. It’s funny how the Gospel that embraces the weak with sure hands, that binds up brokenness and grants access to the Holy One without a secret password, can be twisted into religion that claims weakness as lack of faith.

I thought that was it. I was doing it all wrong. I’d prayed and prayed and prayed, but could not dig up the answer. I’d asked God through earnest tears to help me fix myself. It took me years to understand the irony.

The day after the worst of the worst was when I finally dared make the appointment. I’d lost my head again, locked myself in the bathroom to keep my three small children from witnessing the freak show I saw in the mirror. Who was I? Where was it coming from, this tightening in my chest, my arms, my legs, my mind? Why would it not stop? It was my body, after all; why could I not make it stop?

I breathed fast and cried hard. I gripped the cabinet with white knuckles. I stared, terrified, in that mirror. I searched the blue walls and high ceilings for help. I recognized my house. I recognized my face. But what was happening inside them was not me.

And so I went. Two weeks later I dropped my blonde-haired boys off at school just like any other Monday, and I drove a half hour in silence and prayer to a windowless waiting room. Two hours passed and when it was over, I finally felt hope.

I felt understood. What was happening to me had a name; I could call it out.

I felt validated. Life had dealt ten gut punches in a row, he said. How had I managed it so long?

And I felt so, so relieved.

I did love my children. I had not ruined it all. I was not losing my mind, not losing my family or my life. I was getting them back.

I opened the paper bag right there in the parking lot, in the driver’s seat of my mini-van. I took the lid off the small plastic bottle and tapped its opening on the palm of my hand until a solitary pill fell out. I stared at it a while. Then I broke it in half, just like I’d been told.

Breaking that little white pill was like taking communion to me. Bringing it to my lips, eyes closed, I could hear Christ himself say, “Take, eat.” It was the voice of God Made Man, the One who’d heard all my desperate pleas. He was whispering, “This is my body, broken for you.” The mercy was almost audible and I took it in.

My faith has not cured my weakness. My prayers have not magically made me a better mother. But both give me the daily dose of courage I need to enter in, to dip bare feet into my brokenness and stand still on the shore of it, letting the water hug my ankles and breathing in the salt air. It’s there in the realness of my need that I see more clearly.

Healing does not mean what I thought it did. Grace goes much deeper than I thought it could. The gospel can look like a little white pill. Taking it was one of the most loving things I have ever done for my children, for my family, for my self.

131 Responses to “Finding God in a Little White Pill”

  1. Christy Nicholson February 8, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    Beautiful, friend. Thank you for sharing your courage.

  2. Amy Hunt February 8, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    This is worship, you know. This raw, honest, heart sharing. Where shame lies just below the surface and love covers, seals it tight so that peace bubbles over instead.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

      Yes, yes it is. Thank you, Amy.

  3. Brittany February 8, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    All too often I have been told that I should stop my antidepressant but oh wow. Thank you for this post. Because as I take my small blue pill and place it on my tongue, I now hear God saying, “take, eat.” I will now take it as a tool to help share his glory, as without it I lose all control and can no longer function. So thank you for reminding me.

    Take. Eat. Live.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Thank you for sharing here, Brittany. I continue to be surprised at the endless ways God can work his good in us, though you’d think I’d expect as much from a renegade like Jesus. It seems to me the “how” is where faith comes in; it all depends on what God has for me, for you. Amber Haines wrote about this, coincidentally, today, about how she is feeling led to stop the meds. You can read her beautiful story here:

  4. Anne Bogel February 8, 2013 at 5:18 am #

    “I felt validated. Life had dealt ten gut punches in a row, he said. How had I managed it so long?”

    Ack, I so relate to this, Amanda. I’m so glad you took your dose of Brave and hit publish on this one. These words, this message, is so needed.

    I wish had words as eloquent as your post to say “thank you” for putting this out there, and for reminding us that healing takes many forms, and that love doesn’t always look like we expect it to.

  5. Los February 8, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    Um. Wow. Fierce strength.

  6. Caroline February 8, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    Umm…tears… many mommas in the same boat… high fiving you for sharing, and not seeing it as a crutch but as healing. Been there,still fighting.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      With you. Thank you. I love virtual high fives.

  7. Kacia February 8, 2013 at 6:00 am #

    I want to be your neighbor even more– just so I can glean even an ounce of your strength.

    Thank you, Amanda. You continually put yourself aside to let Him work–I am so encouraged and amazed by you.


  8. Stevey February 8, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    “Breaking that little white pill was like taking communion to me.”
    So beautiful, and so timely. Thank you for this.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

      I’m so glad it was timely for you. Thanks for reading, Stevey.

  9. Kat February 8, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    Such beautiful, sweet words. I love this reminder that He is in ALL things and He holds us together in a vast variety of ways, including little white pills. I love that He is God-for-us in absolutely everything.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

      Yes, Yes. Amen. Thanks, Kat.

  10. Rachel February 8, 2013 at 6:46 am #

    Amen! Thanks for sharing!

  11. sonja lange February 8, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    Oh mama – thanks for sharing. It is things like this that help others know that they are not alone. Most moms have reached some sort of breaking point and needed help – and for some reason we are the worst at asking for it. It took courage to get help and it took even more to talk about it. Thanks for being brave.

  12. Aimee February 8, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    Beautiful. I feel like you know my own soul. I’ve been there, I fought back, it was my miracle.

  13. Stephanie Spencer February 8, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    I am so glad you found the brave you needed to post this. Such an important message. And so beautifully and powerfully written. “Healing does not mean what I thought it did. Grace goes much deeper than I thought it could. The gospel can look like a little white pill.” Yes, yes, and amen.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      Thank you, Stephanie. Appreciate your encouragement.

  14. hootenannie February 8, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    “It’s funny how the Gospel that embraces the weak with sure hands, that binds up brokenness and grants access to the Holy One without a secret password, can be twisted into religion that claims weakness as lack of faith.” So true – and it’s so wrong.

    Thank you for your courage in sharing a glimpse of your weakness here – I believe that courage neuters weakness of its power (yes, neuters). And it encourages me to be more courageous in sharing my own – even when the level of my weakness(es) is extravagant.

    Also, you’re one of my favorite people. Just had to get that in, too. xoxo

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

      I think neuters is the perfect word. And you are far more courageous than you know. Love you.

  15. Rebecca Moody (yo pal) February 8, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    This: “My faith has not cured my weakness.” And this: “It’s there in the realness of my need that I see more clearly.” Very true. I’ve been humbled about a thing in our marriage. I kept asking for the miraculous change in circumstances as my help from the Lord. I painted for Him what my provision should be. But when I finally got honest with Him? My help came in the form of a change in me. No miraculous check in the mail. Just some humble pie. And my humility has been just the help I needed. Love you buddy!

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      No miraculous check in the mail. Just some humble pie. <– Yep. Me too. This is why we’re friends. (Thanks for the clarification by your name, btw. Please do that from now on.)

  16. Rebecca Stewart February 8, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Amanda, thank you. I needed to read this. And I need write something like it.

    No more shame in weakness.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

      Please share it with me when you do. There is so much grace and community and strength and freedom to be found when we drag these things into the light. Thank you, Rebecca.

  17. Brenna D (@chicagomama) February 8, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    I can’t tell you enough how glad I am that you found that bottle of brave and hit publish on this. You are pouring out grace with this. Thank you.

  18. Michelle February 8, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Transparency is honorable, and this is a beautifully transparent piece. Thank you for being brave!

  19. Erika Morrison February 8, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Amanda, you are so brave and so beautiful. This was meant to be written and shared.

    Love to you,

  20. Casi February 8, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Amanda, this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  21. AnnieDowns February 8, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Proud of how you live, write, and love.

  22. blair @ wild & precious February 8, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    Don’t EVER stop writing! Duh — i’m in tears. LOVE your brave heart. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for writing this.

  23. Alece February 8, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    Such grace, strength, and courage… Just beautiful. This is holy, truly.

  24. Faye Bryant February 8, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    “Where was it coming from, this tightening in my chest, my arms, my legs, my mind? Why would it not stop? It was my body, after all; why could I not make it stop?”

    Been there. Still visit frequently. Your words help. Thank you.

  25. Natalie February 8, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Thank you for the naked beauty in this post. Of course I haven’t walked your steps, but I have been in the car with a little orange bottle in my hand too. I just wrote about my experience last night, and it isn’t easy to put it out into the open, but knowing that another woman had courage to speak about this issue has meant so much to me today. Thank you, thank you.

  26. the Blah Blah Blahger February 8, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Damn, that was beautiful!!!

  27. Lena February 8, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    This – “Healing does not mean what I thought it did. Grace goes much deeper than I thought it could. The gospel can look like a little white pill. Taking it was one of the most loving things I have ever done for my children, for my family, for my self.” – just thank you for writing and being brave and speaking up.

  28. Bethany February 8, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Beauty….. Absolute……. Exquisite beauty

  29. Darcy Wiley February 8, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    After writing about my own rage issues the other day, this post especially resonates. Maybe you started with pride in the idea of fixing yourself, but I see that doctor visit and that little pill as pictures of humility, you acknowledging your need for help. These struggles in motherhood (or in stressful life in general) can feel like such dark secrets. It does the sufferers good when somebody speaks up and brings the issue into the daylight. Glad you wrote this.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Yes to this. Looking forward to looking back on your post as well. Thanks, Darcy.

  30. mongupp February 8, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    ThankYou…from one Christian mother who takes pills, too.

  31. Genevieve @ Turquoise Gates February 8, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    this is so courageous, in a Prosperity culture where we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and CARRY ON and place hope in change. sometimes it is in the pill – His Body broken for us – that we find relief. too often, it’s considered the sign of a “bad Christian”. I’m not a bad Christian – I am a smart one. And you are, too. Praise God you had the fortitude to make that one little appointment.

  32. kirsten February 8, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Thank you for this. Thank you thank you!

  33. Angie February 8, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    You were an answer to a very early morning prayer today. Thank you!

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      I love that. Thank you for saying so.

  34. Amber C Haines February 8, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    “Grace goes much deeper than I thought it could.” Oh, that made me cry.

    Strangely I wrote about this today, too. I hear the fear and guilt of this hard stage everywhere. Thanks for sharing. For me it was faith to stop taking my meds. He leads us in the way of faith.

    • Amber C Haines February 8, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      and by that, I mean that sometimes faith is taking it and sometimes it’s not taking it.

      • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

        I suppose I should stop assuming I know where he will/should lead. It had honestly never occurred to me that he would walk with me here, that he would enter in rather than wait for me to crawl out. Your words are so often water to me, Amber. The ones from your post today were no exception. Thank you for continuing to pour them out.

  35. Diana February 8, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    SEE???? What did I tell you?? Look at this list, Amanda. This beautiful, brave post so needed to be here today. SO needed. Thank you, thank you. There is no shame in finding help, in using the goodness that science has helped to find. Because all goodness, all truth – is God’s goodness, God’s truth. Yea, and amen.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

      “All goodness, all truth – is God’s goodness, God’s truth.” Diana, I just appreciate you so much. Thank you for your encouragement, for your gentle nudges to keep after the truth.

  36. Stephanie Glidden (@StephneGlidden) February 8, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    “Healing does not mean what I thought it did” Such a lesson, one I have been learning much of these past couple of years. Thank you for sharing these beautiful words today!

  37. HopefulLeigh February 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    You are my hero, friend. I’ve learned so much from your bravery. Proud of you for sharing this. I have no doubt your words will offer freedom, truth, and encouragement to many.

  38. Leanne Penny February 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Amanda I’m in tears, in public over this. I’ve been there, I still go there sometimes, wracked with shame as I open the cupboard for my morning (pink) pill, the one that helps me function.

    After my mom’s suicide my doctor told me that it was preventative medicine with me, that I was safer on it, I still don’t always know how to feel but your post makes me feel so much less alone.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

      We stand together friend, distance be damned. Maybe knowing how to feel is overrated. What do you think? This is one of the two hundred things we’ll discuss over coffee one day.

  39. Jessi February 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    So heartbreakingly honest and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  40. Gillian Marchenko February 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Thank you for this gorgeous, painful, honest, needed piece.

  41. Tarasview February 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    I love this so very much.

    I felt the very same way when I started taking my little white pill every day when my children were very small and I thought I was going crazy and that I was just failing at being a mother, a wife, a Christian. I still take my daily pill and maintain it saved my life.

    Thank-you for sharing your story dear one.

  42. Ariana February 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Thank you. That little pill felt like failure to me for so long. Now I can see it as something else. I needed help for awhile and I got help. Praise God that He cares for us in our pride and His Grace reaches down to the depths to pull us out.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

      I still hear the voice that calls it failure. Some days it’s louder than others. But knowing the voice is a liar helps, and knowing I’m in the company of faith-filled women like you helps, too.

  43. ellen February 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    these words? such a blessing.

  44. Suzanne February 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    From my mama heart, thank you for sharing this. You were brave to let light into this place yourself, but you are a downright badass for shining that light for the rest of us. I am just so proud to know you.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      All I’ve ever wanted is to be called badass in the comments section. Successsss.

  45. Jim February 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Amanda..this is powerful, honest, and beautiful. So well done!! I hope this post will give many, many others hope.

  46. Sarah Bessey February 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Eshet chayil, Amanda! Woman of valour!

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      Whoop whoooop. I’ve many a fine example to follow, you know, and you’re at the top of the list.

  47. Stephanie February 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Every time a lover of Christ opens their heart with transparency like you have done right here, the light of Christ shines brighter. Bravo for your brave words. Courage takes many forms and you have courage on many levels. Blessings on you.

  48. Mary Ann February 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have taken medication for depression for fifteen years – and it is my life saver – quite literally. This past year has been a tough one and saw a major relapse of the depression – it has been a rough road – one I am still travelling. While my recovery is multi faceted, I am very thankful for the little pills that I take every day that help me be a loving mom and wife.

  49. Kelly @ Love Well February 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Well done, friend. Well done.

  50. Christine February 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Yes, I have heard words similar, after fighting the battle alone, wondering why I wasn’t strong enough, why God hadn’t seen fit to heal me without medication. Then my doctor said, “Five years is a long time to try to do it by yourself.” And then…the relief, the healing. God spoke against my pride and answered my prayer. In a way I may not have wanted, but I have accepted gratefully. Thank you for being honest with this post.

  51. Tammy Perlmutter February 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    I heart you sooo much.

  52. jill burton February 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Thanks for your take on this…a blessing.

  53. kendal February 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    um. yeah. me too. all of it.

  54. Sarah Beals February 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I am so glad that you did what was best for you and your family. Somehow along the way, we believe the lie that to ask for help is shameful. Seriously, a conscientious mom knows when she needs help. And, I don’t care what “men” say about depression, women are affected differently due to hormones. Plain and simple. Enjoy your kiddos!

  55. Sandy February 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    As wife of a man who has struggled with depression and the mother of a daughter who also struggles with depression, I say amen. The medicine is the gospel to those who struggle and those who watch them struggle. It is grace and I am so thankful for what it does for those whom I love.

  56. Heather February 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    I appreciate this so much, sweet lady.

    So many many women, mothers, people…need to read this. I wondered what was wrong with me for a long time, too. Why do I GET like this? I’m weak! I’m failing! And I self-medicated, which is what so so so many do…when we could have gotten help from a grace pill, if only the shame were not stealing that chance from so many.

    I swallow the pill now and I’m beyond grateful for not swallowing my own damaging self-hating version of it.

    Beautiful post. Thank you.

    • Amanda February 8, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      YES. You explain it so well. I still have my damaging versions of it, some I’ve not yet learned to put down. I’m getting there, I hope. Scrolling through all these words of solidarity is a medicine all its own. Thank God for the Internet and no longer standing in these dark places alone.

      Thank you, Heather. So much.

    • kirstin February 9, 2013 at 7:38 am #

      A grace pill . . . I LOVE THAT! That’s how Jesus shows up for me.

  57. Megan February 8, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been on antidepressants on and off for years, but I have stayed off of them for over 3 years until this week. After a month of hiding the tears from my children, curling up on the bathroom rug sobbing, somehow pushing through it all but barely making it through the day, I knew it was time to swallow my misplaced shame and get help. Thank you so much for the encouragement and for being brave enough to share your story.

    • Amanda February 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      Megan, thank you for sharing a piece of your story here. You are certainly not alone. So many mothers that I know have their version of this same struggle. May we speak truth to each other to combat the lies of hopelessness and failure we hear in our heads and may we accept grace in whatever form God sees fit to give it. Bless you, mama. xo

  58. brenda February 8, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    what a beautiful gift this is that you have written. this so needs to be spread and distributed throughout the Christian circles that can be so unforgiving and lack understanding of all this complicated mental anguish illness world. THANK YOU SO MUCH THIS BEING OUT IN THE OPEN IS TRULY ANSWERED PRAYER.

    • Amanda February 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      I appreciate the kind words, Brenda. Thank you for reading.

  59. Lindsay February 9, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    Thank you for writing this. I have been there – and I struggled so much with the idea of taking medication. Now I actually feel alive again. Keep being brave.

    • Amanda February 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

      Feeling alive is no small gift. Thank you, Lindsay.

  60. tammy February 9, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    that little white pill saved my life too. i had no idea how bad i had gotten until i took it and sanity returned. it made me aware of my emotions and actions, and how little control i had over them. over a few years time i was able to regain control of them, and no longer take the pill, but you are right-God used that little pill to bring me closer to Him, and He will you too!!
    grace and truth to you on your journey,

  61. Susan February 9, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Thank you so much for this. I took anti-depressant medication for years and a year ago, stopped. It went well.

    But now, in a terribly stressful situation, finding myself crying when people were kind and when they were not, I asked my doctor for a prescription. And every half-pill I took this week to keep myself from crying at work, I felt like I was letting God down. Like I wasn’t strong enough, or faithful enough – or maybe, “enough”.

    • Amanda February 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      Hi Susan. First, thank you for sharing this. I am certain your sharing this in a public space is giving someone else courage. Second, you are not letting God down. I think you may know that, but I hope that you truly know that. You are not a disappointment. You are a broken and beloved child of God, and the first fact does not and can not negate the second. I believe God’s love is both infinite and specific, meaning He is capable of healing us in ways we can not even fathom but He heals us intimately, specifically. For me, for now, part of that healing comes through anxiety medication. I do not know you, your situation or God’s specific provision for you, but I do know that accepting grace and healing through the means He provides it to you is NOT weakness. It is not lack of faith. It is strength. It is faith. Cliche as it may sound, you don’t have to be enough. His grace is.

      Forgive the sermon-esque quality of this comment. I just really want to hug you, and since I can’t I hugged you with words instead. :)

  62. beth February 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Courage…thank you for sharing your beautiful courage!

  63. Amy February 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Thank you for this. I am going to go fill the prescription for zoloft that my midwife wrote four months ago. I finally acknowledge that I can’t keep going like this… my family deserves more and so do I. Thank you again.

    • Amanda February 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      Bless you, Amy. Praying God provides grace for you as you soldier on, strength to accept the help He has for you, and people in your life to support you. Thanks so much for speaking up in this space.

  64. erin February 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    just cried and told my husband that I think I need to go back on my medicine, checked my email on my phone and my sweet sis had sent me this article… now sitting in target parking lot crying again. Thanks for being vulnerable and honest. We need it. Have 3 littles too and what to be the best momma and wife I can and realize I’m sinking again. Gods timing is perfect. I needed this perspective.

    • Amanda February 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

      Erin, I just read your comment aloud to my husband because *you*, beloved wife and mama, are why I shared this story. So many mothers have their own version of the “sinking” story; that is exactly the word. Grateful that you shared a piece of yours here today. Saying a prayer for you as you reach out for help. May you feel hope and not shame, peace and not fear. A tearful thank you to you…

  65. Karen (formerly kcinnova) February 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    We have these things in common, and we have hope. ♥

  66. Stacy February 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. People are so judgmental when you need help in the form of medicine sometimes. People like you make the rest of us stronger in our conviction to do the right thing for ourselves and take anti-depressants if we need them.

  67. Stacy February 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. People are so judgmental when you need help in the form of medicine sometimes. People like you make the rest of us stronger in our conviction to do the right thing for ourselves and take anti-depressants if we need them.

  68. Jennifer D. February 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Sigh…. Love you, sister-friend. (that was a breath-of-fresh-air sigh, btw :)

  69. Julie February 9, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    This is what I’ve been trying to put into words for so long. Thank you thank you thank you.

  70. Fiona February 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Wow! Thank you for sharing this. I will be sharing it with several dear friends of mine whose struggle takes a slightly different form, but who need to hear your wisdom and grace to give them courage to keep taking their little white pill and not feel weighed down with guilt and shame.

    • Amanda February 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      I appreciate that, Fiona. Thank you for reading, understanding and sharing.

  71. Sarah February 10, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    “It’s funny how pride can rule even when you’ve been crushed low, even when you’re creeping army style, bruised and battered, face so near the ground you can feel the gravel brush your cheek. It’s funny how the Gospel that embraces the weak with sure hands, that binds up brokenness and grants access to the Holy One without a secret password, can be twisted into religion that claims weakness as lack of faith.”

    Yes. This. And even after God walked with me, step by faltering step, through a horribly dark year, and even though he’s taught me more about his love and grace than I could ever have imagined, it was still incredibly difficult to go back to the doctor and say that trying to come off the medication wasn’t working for me.

    God is so much bigger than the boxes we try to keep him in. He heals and comforts and sustains in so many ways. And for me, today, part of how he does that is through the little white pill that enables me to function and engage with my life and enjoy the family and friends and work and church he’s given me.

    Thank you for this – I really needed to hear it this week.

    • Amanda February 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      You are so welcome Sarah. Saying a prayer of peace for you as you go where He calls, even if it’s not where you’d hoped. Trusting His grace is there for you in abundance. Thanks so much for reading. xo

  72. Linda February 11, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  73. Kreine February 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    I wish I could’ve seen past the lies and pride when my oldest children were small. I now believe I was depressed, but we lived so far from anywhere…so far from any kind of help. And I was so deep in a “Christian” cult mentality that told me over and over I just needed to have more faith, rely on God’s sufficiency more, and that seeing a therapist or taking medication were selfish, man-made, quick fixes to my inner spiritual problems.

    It has been nearly a decade, and I am better now…better at least, at recognizing when I am overwhelmed and better at using coping mechanisms. But at what cost? My sweet children had to suffer my words and my blows when the frustration and panic and anger overwhelmed me to the point where I couldn’t recognize myself. They lived with a monster for the first few years of their lives.

    And although I am better (I no longer use my words as knives or my hands to hurt), although I have apologized countless times, my sweet children will always bear the soul-scars of my pride: my fear of admitting I needed help from a pill.

    • Amanda February 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

      Kreine – Please accept my belated thank you for your comment. One thing I am learning is that the art of apologizing to our children is not a small thing. Though I deeply understand the regret and fear that comes along with struggles and mistakes like ours, I believe there is grace enough for even us. I know our children aren’t immune from the scars of our shortcomings, but I hope/believe/trust that they will know God and his grace by watching us admit our weakness and lean into Christ’s fullness. Peace to your mama heart today.

  74. Zhanna February 12, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    Amanda, reading this made me cry. Because I’ve been there. I’ve lost my temper. I have yelled at my girls more often than I dare to count and wounded them with my words. I have had days where I didn’t want to get out of bed, where I didn’t want to face the responsibilities of raising two kids and all that came along with it.

    I know it all too well. I wholeheartedly understand it.

    Which is why I have to be honest with you, with all sincerity and compassion, that anti-depressants are nothing more but a band-aid.

    They simply cover up the problem :(

    One thing I have learned through my own ugliness is that the more time I spend with Jesus, the more He enables me to be like Him, the more indescribable joy He pours into me.

    5 years ago I battled severe anxiety and depression that almost destroyed everything that mattered to me.

    Some people, who meant well, had suggested meds. But I knew deep down, in the pit of my gut, that it would do nothing. It would simply sedate my mind, my soul. It wouldn’t give me TRUE peace or joy. It wouldn’t be genuine. Because as much as modern medicine wants to tell us there is some chemical imbalance in all of us, they have YET to prove any of that or provide any scientific research. And all I wanted was true peace and joy. The kind that was indestructible and inconceivable and I knew it would only come from Jesus. I also knew that whatever it was I was battling inside was a spiritual issue and as much as it terrified me, I decided to rise up and fight.

    And I fought again and again each and every single day, crushing the devil with my feet and telling him with all authority given to me by the blood of Jesus Christ that he was messing with the wrong woman.

    Sure enough, all glory to God, I won the battle with no meds. And God did a mighty fine work in me, refining me through the fire that He intended me to walk through all along.

    I hope you will allow me to encourage you to do the same.

    You are so raw and beautiful and a breath of fresh air. And my heart goes out to you because I can deeply relate. I’ll be praying for you! Truly!

    • Amanda February 20, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

      Hi Zhanna. Thank you so much for your comments and your honesty here and forgive my delayed response. I appreciate you sharing part of your story so transparently, and I also appreciate your words of encouragement to me personally. The heart of your plea resonates with me for I do believe these decisions are indeed very spiritual and personal, in addition to physical and mental. I actually intend to explore these questions further, perhaps on my own blog, as a follow up to the small segment of my experience that I’ve posted here because I am aware the issue is far more complex than a simple story can indicate.

      For me, the crux of the discussion is nearness to God and openness to his help, his healing, his grace. I actually love how those look so different in each of our stories. I understand the spirit of your concern that medication is merely a band-aid; funny thing is, when I hear that word, I hear relief. I’m hopeful that the medication will not always be needed, but for me, for now, it is a welcome band-aid. An opportunity to breathe, to heal. I feared the sedation as you did, but what I experienced was actually the return of my truer self, the self that had been stifled by heavy layers of anxiety. Everyone’s experience is different and I’m grateful to you for sharing yours. May God continue to meet you where you are and give you peace. xoxo

  75. jacque February 16, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. God is faithful and He is so very good to us. Bless you my friend and all reading this article.

  76. Jane @ See Jane Learn February 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Amamda, I’m SO glad I saved and read this as I was “cleaning out” my inbox. From this day forward I will refer to my morning yellow pill as a “grace pill”, thanks to your words. As I think about what you shared and all the comments from other Mamas/sisters in Christ I smile thinking of the tag-line our pharmacy girls at Walgreens say as I’m leaving; “Have a good day and BE WELL.”

    • Amanda February 20, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

      Thank you so much, Jane. And YES. Be well.

  77. Rachel February 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    So interesting how God places sign-posts for us on our journey… I’m almost there – almost ready to make the appointment. I’m at least able to acknowledge this thing called depression. I can relate to your realization about your words. While it seems like defeat, I’ve realized it’s not fair for my family to have an angry, distant wife and mother just because I don’t like the idea of anti-depressants. No matter how real the feelings are, it doesn’t justify the way I act, and it’s not the way I want to be remembered. Thanks for your honest sharing.

    • Amanda February 20, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

      Rachel, thank you – for reading and for relating. I encourage you to take a step – just the first – into exploring who and what God has to help you on this journey. The vehicle of his grace may look very different for you than it does for me. The important thing, I think, is to know that needing him, needing his grace/help/hand, that is not a failure. That is not a thing to be feared. (I am still learning this. I imagine I always will be.) Just take the next step. I am praying right now that he meets you there. Love to you.

  78. Jess February 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    With an almost 3 year old and a 9 month old, I thought what I was feeling and how I was acting was ‘normal’ for all mamas with two littles at home and a husband who travels a lot. As I slowly scrolled down and read each sentence, tears began streaming down my face. What I was reading, how you were feeling and reacting, it was like looking in a mirror. Thank you for being honest, for your willingness to share, to show that ‘hey, you’re not the only one going through this mama, and you’re not alone!’. While I don’t feel shame in needing to get some help, there is shame in how I’ve treated my children and my husband.

    • Amanda February 20, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

      Oh, Jess, I wish I could hug you through this screen! I get it.. so, so much. As I just commented back to Rachel, I encourage you to just take the next first step. God may meet you in different ways than he’s met me, but I am certain that he will meet you. And I am absolutely certain that you are not the only one. Scroll through the comments here – so many mamas struggle with this difficult, beautiful life of motherhood. I understand the shame you feel; I feel it too. But I don’t believe God wants us to live there. Praying peace for you as you go to your appointment tomorrow. Thank you for sharing here, truly.

  79. Jess February 20, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Also, yours words were the confirmation and I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow.

  80. Stephanie February 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Thank you. Just…thank you.

    I’ve been on anti-anxiety/anti-depressants since I was 15 or 16. It has been ten years. I have cut back, I’ve considered going off, I’ve tried multiple kinds. And I have finally accepted that it is “just the way it is.” It is who I am and who God has allowed me to be.

    Thanks for letting us know that it is ok.

  81. Lindsey February 26, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    Thank you oh so much for this post… I am a 22 year old young woman that’s deepest desire is to please my God, and for some reason I have this idea that it means being perfect. And of course being on my antidepressants makes me think I am anything but perfect. But the TRUTH is, God’s strength is made PERFECT through my WEAKNESSES, NOT through my strengths. Life is ALL about GOD’S perfection and definitely not mine. Your words were water to my soul(and my eyes, too;)), and I especially liked your one comment – “It had honestly never occurred to me that He would walk with me here, that he would enter in, rather than wait for me to crawl out.” My prayer is that I would let Jesus enter in. God Bless you!!

  82. Connie February 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    The writing here? Just…Girl…wow. Oh and: YES.

  83. Olivia March 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    This is so great. You are SO brave. Your writing is beautiful.

  84. Liv March 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    This makes me think it is time for me to go BACK on my medication. I felt like there were so many reasons I could go without it, but after almost a year of surviving life instead of living it, your post helped me see the truth.

    Thank you.

  85. RebeccaTheArtist July 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    1) Jesus told us directly that when we are afflicted to be anointed with oil and prayed over by elders. I thought that translated into today’s church as being anointed by oil and being prayed over by the elders. Well, oil was medicine. Jesus was telling people to take their medicine and get help from mature believers!

    2) I grew up as the daughter of a mother with undiagnosed borderline personality disorder. The verbal and physical abuse left many wounds. When I was in my early 20′s my mother checked herself into a hospital and got “secular” psychiatric help, which included medication. It has brought her much freedom, and also some struggles. But I can know say that she is one of my best friends and I trust her with my own children. To all you moms getting help, thank you.

    3) I have my own struggles with depression. I spent most of my life struggling with suicidal thoughts and what that meant about my relationship with Jesus. Jesus literally saved my life. Maybe, one day, I will write my story… anyway, when I became a mother I knew that I did not want to pass a legacy of despair and rage onto my children. I had been to many christian counselors. I went somewhere new, reached somewhere deep and asked for meds. It was amazing. I don’t feel like I don’t struggle now, but the constant voice in my head that negates and argues every thought, every action, every word has been tempered.

  86. Parker Grace November 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Thank you for your words. I’m not a mother, I’m only a 20 year old young woman. But your words have given me hope. I completed my first year of college rather successfully but I had to stop. I couldn’t put words to my feelings but the same cycles of fear, terror, and despair have gripped my heart. Making it impossible to ignore any longer. So I’ve taken the year off the out names to those moments that I often can’t speak of. I pray I’ll be able to handle it better. I know I’ve made the right desicion for my future. But I’m often made to feel like I’m crazy. People say it’s just the stress of school or moving away from home. They say I should just suck it up and finish school. Knowing that others understand why these people is wrong keeps me going. So thank you for your words.


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