June 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm, my life would forever change. We welcomed our beautiful baby boy William “Liam” Maddox Clem into the world. It was a moment I’ll never forget. The doctor, nurses, Tyler all encouraging me…push, push, push. Liam’s heart rate was dropping, and he HAD to come out. Finally, I saw his sweet little face. All scrunchy and covered in who knows what (gross but still surprisingly cute). They took him to a bed to suck out fluids from his nose, ears, and mouth. Tyler and I just looked at each other…running on pure adrenaline, both with tears in our eyes. I finally got to hold him, and the whole world stopped. This was my baby. The one we’d been waiting on for almost 9 months…and really for me, about 20 years. He was our bundle of joy. JOY. Pure, sweet, innocent joy.
I expected nothing but joy and happiness once he came. The weeks that followed were emotional, sleepless, and hard. But when everyone left, and the three of us were on our own, that’s when the darkness really hit. That’s when everything came to a head for me. All of us mommies go through “baby blues.” Then some of us experience the postpartum depression. I was one of the “lucky” ones (sarcasm). “I am supposed to be joyful and thankful,” I kept telling myself. But inside I was a wreck. I picture the hatch in the TV series LOST or a very deep well. This deep, dark, hole that you just fall down; unaware of what’s waiting for you at the bottom. A deep pit you claw the sides of to get out, but you can’t quite gain any footing.
I kept asking the Lord, “How long is this going to last? Why am I experiencing this? This is supposed to be GOOD. Why can’t I be back to my normal self?” On July 27th, I mustered the strength to read Scripture, and the Lord brought me Psalm 13 (emphasis added on the parts I underlined in my Bible):
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have
sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
BUT I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt
bountifully with me.”
This Psalm spoke my very heart before Jesus, when I had no words. Verses 5 and 6 were my rescue rope, all I had to cling to. “BUT I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” Jesus…my very rescue rope. He pulls me out of the darkness, out of the pit. Without Him, I’m stuck. Without Him, there’s no hope. BUT there’s the rope. He’s there, beckoning us, “Come here. Cling to me.”
I hope none of you have experienced anything like this, but if you have, I want to encourage you to grab onto Jesus. Read this Psalm. Ponder it in your heart. We may experience times when we feel hopeless, abandoned, and alone, but do everything you can to rest in the Lord’s steadfast love and salvation. He has dealt bountifully with each of us. The joy is coming!