Two and a half years ago when our daughter was born, it was like my world collapsed. I assumed the extreme highs and lows were just part of being a new mother, and I had no idea that I was suffering from postpartum depression.
When my husband and I found out we were expecting a little boy this year, we sat down together and made a list of things we could approach differently. Here’s what we came up with:
Our goal was peace of mind. We didn’t want to fall back into the trap of thinking everything was urgent and then suffer through parent guilt when it didn’t get done. We agreed to focus on the important things while still enjoying time with our children.
Our goal was financial security. With our daughter, we had no idea what to expect in terms of hospital bills, diapers and wipes, clothes, formula, and other expenses. We kept drowning in bills, which added to the overall stress of being new parents. We were constantly frustrated with each other and with our financial situation, so this time we decided to start saving and budgeting earlier.
Our goal was to protect our marriage. Having been through multiple seasons of marriage, we both acknowledged that honest communication was what pulled us out of “winter”. Two years ago, we had buried each other under misplaced expectations and then struggled to verbalize the problem. We promised to be more open—and more graceful—as we navigated this new life change.
As we looked over our list, we agreed that preparing and planning ahead would help alleviate some of the stress we had felt when our daughter was born.
We are now three weeks away from our son’s arrival and I want to share what has happened in the past month:
- We discovered someone had broken into our home.
The attack was on our peace of mind. Our space had been violated and a place that had always felt safe no longer felt that way. While what they took was small, the impact was large.
- We were told our foundation was sinking.
The attack was on our financial security. All of the money we had been dutifully saving to help cover initial hospital bills and baby needs had to be poured into home repair instead.
- We started arguing.
The attack was on our marriage. The loss of peace and security brought up old doubts, fears, and insecurities we both had. Instead of standing side by side, we started to turn away from each other.
All of the things we had been intentional about still crumbled under the weight of stress and fear.
That’s the power of the enemy.
Satan can and will attack the things we do in our own power, but he cannot touch the things done in Jesus’ power. While prioritizing, budgeting, and communicating are all good, they are nowhere near as important as knowing the Word of God and the promises He has made to us.
So we made a new list:
- Remember that we have the peace of Christ. – John 14:27
- Remember that our provision is promised. – Matthew 6:31-33
- Remember that Christ is the rock of our marriage. – Mark 10:9
The enemy can’t break the promises that Jesus secured.
That’s the power of our Savior.
If you are nearing a season of stress, difficulty, or anxiety, you should do what you can to prepare yourself. But when the enemy attacks (and he will), don’t forget to pick up your greatest weapon. When your game plan falls apart, don’t forget that you have something secure to hold onto. When you find yourself losing the daily battle, don’t forget that the war has already been won.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 15:57