The end-of-year thing going around instagram is to post your top 9 most-liked photos as a depiction of your year. Of course, as a good social media follower, I caved. And I was delighted and not surprised at the photo it spit out.
And the photo seems fair enough. This year was marked by a sweet baby girl. A daughter, a sister. From day one we all were (and still are) smitten. Jordan and I still whisper to one another, “what a gift.” Because she is. The goodness of God brought to us through our sweet Naomi Rae.
But these photos don’t show what is happening beyond the phone. As we all know, these social media photos only tell part of the story, and the same is true for me. I never pointed out that I had tears streaming down my face in one of those photos with my daughter. I didn’t instagram the scolding and discipline that took place between shots of our family photos. I never told the story of how my adoration for my children was deeply clouded by my postpartum depression. I didn’t take pictures of the time I was a puddle of tears on my daughter’s bedroom floor, crying as she crawled around, her brothers peeking in to make sure I was okay. I didn’t share when I would call my friends crying, simply saying, “I’m just so sad.”
I’ve kept quiet here on social media for the past many months. At first, it was because the emotions felt like all too much. What even did I have worth saying? And then I stayed quiet, because how do you even begin tell the story of how you were humbled while still at your lowest and found deep breaths of freedom there? Because somehow, that is exactly what has happened.
I’m not where I was in many of those photos. I can only thank the Lord for his kindness in that. He gently led me to a place where I could no longer strive, I could no longer muster up strength, and I could no longer pretend to be okay. He was kind enough to bring a friend who would dive deep into this pit with me so that we could breathe deep of freedom together on the other side. He was kind enough to expose the lies I had been believing for what they were.
I vulnerably share the pit that 2017 was, because now I look forward to 2018 holding fast to the truth that I am seen, I am known, I am understood, and I am deeply cared for and loved. Something I knew I should know in my mind, but I didn’t know in the depths of myself. But now I do, and it’s true.
And I share it, because it is also true for you.
Here’s to the beautiful hard and the deep breaths of freedom.