My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:

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Depression, Drugs & a Different Diagnosis

If you hang around this blog for more than a minute, you’re bound to stumble on a post (or 70) about my ongoing struggle with depression. I have remained very transparent about my love-hate relationship with medications because I know that so many of my friends, family and readers have a similar story to tell. Our culture, our physicians, the entire field of psychology, and even the church (!!!) have fully embraced the idea that depression is something that we can—or should—medicate with psychotrophic (mind-altering) drugs.

  • When I was pregnant for the first time and burst into tears in his office, my OB/GYN put me on Zoloft.
  • When I went to a secular psychologist who didn’t know what to do with my anger and resentment toward my husband, he diagnosed me with mild Bi-Polar Disorder and put me on LOTS of Zoloft.
  • When I got pregnant again and had no energy, a different OB/GYN put me on Zoloft.
  • When I was grieving what I believed was the loss of my marriage, a third OB/GYN put me on Zoloft.
  • When I was in the depths of despair last January after losing a baby, my general practitioner put me on Zoloft.
  • And when I went last fall to try to understand why—despite a period of great fulfillment and joy in my life—I was so lethargic, my general practitioner again put me on Zoloft.

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I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus

One of my very best friends (a fellow military spouse) and I had a conversation recently about Christmas and how we want our kids to experience this magical time of year. My friend is a fellow Christian who home schools her 4 kids—all of whom are young enough to believe in Santa Claus.

Before I go any further, I have to let you know that this post is a Santa spoiler alert. So, if you have a habit of curling up by the fire and reading my posts aloud to your children, now would be a good time to forgo that routine. Instead, you might want to read them something a bit less scarring.

Back to my story…

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Late on the evening of January 16, Dr. Matt and a female nurse walked back into the cold, sterile ER room where I waited quietly. He looked at the tiny television in the corner of the room and said, “Can I turn this off? Or are you into this show?” I laughed and said, “No. I just watch Toddlers & Tiaras to make me feel like a better parent.” He smiled, turned off the television, took a deep breath, and then sat on a stool next to the bed.

And I knew.

I knew what he was about to say. It’s the reason I came to the emergency room that night. Because I already knew.

“I’m so sorry to have to tell you this, but…”

“I know.” I interrupted him. I could tell he didn’t want to say it.

“I’m so sorry.” His empathy was genuine.

“It’s okay….” I found myself wanting to comfort Dr. Matt because I knew that was probably the worst part of his job. To face people like me and to have to tell them things like that. Also, because he told me to call him “Dr. Matt.” And that just made me like him instantly.

He shook my cold hand, told me I would be in his prayers and left me with his nurse who told me what to expect in the days and weeks to follow.

She was compassionate, but I could tell she wasn’t comfortable with how to say it.

“Well, the baby – er…fetus – will make its way out within the next few days or weeks. You’ll have lots of bleeding…”

It wasn’t just a fetus. It WAS a baby. With arms and legs and a soul…just no heartbeat.

It was our baby. Our third. We were thrilled. We found out just before New Year’s, and I just knew this was an unexpected blessing from God in the midst of what has been a terrible valley.

At around 11:45 p.m., on the saddest day of my 31 years, I walked through the ER doors back into the bitter, Kansas winter. In my hand I held the one and only ultrasound photo of our 8-week-old baby.

I fought back tears until I reached the car. Once inside, my shaking hands fumbled through my iPhone until I reached a playlist I created in November and appropriately titled “Right Now.” One of the first songs that played is called “Blessings” by Laura Story. I had never listened to it all the way through – mainly because her voice is slightly annoying to me at the beginning. (Sorry, Laura…whoever you are.)

I finally listened to the song all the way through as I got lost trying to drive through a flood of tears:

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near

We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

And then this…this is the part that caused me to stop the car in the middle of a deserted road on post and just sob:

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy

What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

What if?

What if every trial I’ve been through since November – things too heartbreaking and humiliating to mention now – are really God’s mercies in disguise?

What if God has more “mercies in disguise” prepared for me? Will He continue to give me the strength to get through them? Because there are times I feel I’ve reached the limit of what I can handle! Will He use these disappointments and the “aching of this life” for His glory?

The answer is yes. Yes, there will be more disappointment (Psalm 34:19). Yes, he will complete the work He began in me (Philippians 1:6) and give me grace in the moments I need them (Philippians 4:19). And, yes, He will cause all of these things to work for His glory (Romans 8:28).

God willing, I’ll keep writing. And, God willing, I will have some more lighthearted topics to write about in the very near future. Like feces. Or Honey Boo Boo. Or politics.

Kidding! I don’t talk about feces.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing on this earth more important to me than proclaiming the truth of the gospel. Nothing. That is why I was created. And that is why I created this blog.

But I could sure go for some silly, self-deprecating humor right now.

Like…did you know that I was a child model? Well, I was in an ad with Bill Cosby once. But they cut me out of the final ad because my hand was up my dress.

Stupid, uncomfortable tights.

Also, I cut my own hair the night before the photo shoot.

My mom was pretty happy about that.

Seriously, thank you all for the encouragement you’ve been in the midst of this valley. Thank you all for your kind comments, emails, Tweets, cards, and phone calls. And thank you most of all for your prayers.

I’m humbled. I’m thankful. And I’m truly blessed more than I’ll ever deserve.

Love y’all,



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