After the birth of my second beautiful son, Judah, I had two issues. Chronic infections and post-partum depression. It was a horrific combination, and led to the darkest time in my life. Physically, I was ill all the time- fighting chronic bronchitis, viruses and UTI’s – and dealing with all of the doctor’s visits, medications and decisions that went with them. Emotionally, I alternated between high anxiety that wouldn’t allow me to sleep and heavy sadness with crying jags.
I hated not being able to take care of my own kids. I had always wanted to be a mom, and now I had these two adorable boys, but I was failing physically (with illness) and emotionally (with depression). I could barely get through a day with them by myself. I was a stay-at-home mom, and I couldn’t do my job. And it didn’t look like it was going to end any time soon.
A voice inside my head started saying, “You’re worthless. You can’t even take care of two little kids. What kind of a childhood are they going to have with you as their mother? Brett would have been better off if he’d married someone else…”
As I look back there is part of me that can’t believe I was thinking that way, but after months of illness and depression, that’s where I was.
Satan was using one of his favorite lies against me. “You are valuable because of your accomplishments. If you can’t contribute, you’re worthless.” We hear this lie all around us – in the workplace, in the media, and even in the church.
Sister, if your illness or weakness is making you feel worthless right now, here is the truth: God says, “You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.” (Isaiah 43:4)
Isaiah 43 begins “The Lord who created you says…” You are precious to God because He created you and you are His treasured child. Illness does not change that. Think about how you feel toward one of your children when they are sick. Are you angry with them? Are you annoyed that they can’t do their chores today? Do you forever think of them as weak and not valuable?
As God sees time, a decade is an instant. You may be ill for 10 years, but to our Father it’s like sitting up with a sick child through a night when she can’t sleep. He wants to tenderly care for you and help you through the pain.
He also knows this truth: The real value in what you give your children is not in what you DO for them, although we all love to do good things for our kids. Your value is in who you are and the heart you have for them.
The mother’s love that flows from your heart to theirs can never be replaced. Your perspective and understanding of them can never be duplicated. Your simple presence in their life is a gift beyond measure.
You are precious to me, and I love you.
1 John 3:1 says, “Look at how great a love the Father has given us, that we should be called God’s children. And we are!” The Father has given you a great love and adopted you into His family. His love for you does not diminish because you are ill or unproductive. His love endures forever (Psalm 136).
My feelings of worthlessness led me to despair and hopelessness. Once I started seeing a Christian counselor for depression, one of the first things she helped me do was uncover this lie and start to accept God’s love and my value in Him. She also helped me see my value to my children as their mom, even if all I could do in a day was sit on the couch with them for a few minutes and cuddle and talk.
“You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.”