Testimony Tuesdays: My Awakening By Jayma DuChene
There are two parts to my testimony. The first part is pretty simple. The second part…. well, it’s anything but simple.
I was raised in a Christ-centered home, with prayer and church consistently in my life. On Christmas Eve, when I was six years old, I felt this longing for something that was not of this world. I was crying and my parents prayed for me, and I accepted Christ into my heart that night. You could say it was the best Christmas present I have ever received.
My testimony doesn’t end there. I do believe that every person who comes to Christ will have a separate “awakening” as a Christian and mine came to me in August of this year. On August 4th, 2012, I passed out for the very first time in my life on the hardwood floor of my kitchen.
Before I go on, I need to fill you in on what led me to the point of passing out.
Shortly before the birth of my second child, my mom told me that my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. I didn’t even have a relationship with my father at that point in time, so I technically wasn’t hit that hard emotionally with the news. I had already mentally and emotionally removed him from my life. Just writing those words breaks my heart, but that was truth. I was in fact upset, but I think I also had to, more or less bottle it up inside of me. I told myself that I needed to stay as positive as I could, especially for the health and well-being of my unborn daughter.
On April 3rd, God gave me and my husband our second gift of love. I was on cloud 9 hundred with all of the love I was embraced with after I had Natalie. I was also notably given a lot of information at the hospital and from some of my friends about Postpartum depression/anxiety/OCD. I was aware that Postpartum was a real thing, but I was in complete denial with myself and basically said in my head, I have God’s help and will be strong enough to never have to go through that. I also thought, that since I didn’t experience Postpartum with my son, that I would be just fine with this second pregnancy. Ha! Well, when you say things like that to yourself, God usually has to force an attitude adjustment… especially on people who aren’t humble and think they’ve got it all figured out.
2012 has been a year of a lot of huge change and adjustment for me. My family was hit with a wave of health issues all in a short amount of time. As my dad was starting chemo, my mom was diagnosed with melanoma…the worst kind of skin cancer you could have. And then a month later, the very first person in my immediate family died - my Papaul. I love him so much it hurts my heart every time I think about him. He had the warmest smile I’ve ever seen. His death hit me HARD, to say the least…..
So with all the health issues that hit our family, I do have to mention that I still never blamed God or got angry with Him because my faith in Him was slowly getting stronger throughout the whole experience.
Well, aside from the health issues, I was completely consumed with wanting to breast feed my daughter for a full 12 months. Because with my son, I was only able to nurse him for three months and when I went back to work, my milk dried up. To me, that personally made me feel like I was a failure. I have a type “A” personality and perfection is always something in the front of my mind… and to not give him the best nourishment was absolutely devastating to me.
I was 23 when I had my son and 27 when I had my daughter. In those four years between Jake and Natalie, I did do a lot of significant “growing up” spiritually and mentally…. I am still continuing to “grow up” - but I was definitely in a better mind set when I had my second child. I knew that as long as I showed my daughter God’s love, and raised her as the Word instructs, that that would be the best I could give her (and my son). But the devil kept on instilling in my brain that I had to nurse her for 12 months or else I wasn’t “the best mother I could be”. Breast feeding definitely plays with your emotions and hormone levels can be absolutely chaotic. I can say that I went through tiny bits of Postpartum cleaning OCD/anxiety near the end of every month after Natalie was first born (when I would normally have my period). It was as if everything in my house was dirty and I saw every imperfection. I had to clean every single nook and cranny. In my mind, I was failing my children if I didn’t have a constantly clean environment for them. Now that my friends, is POSTPARTUM. A form of it at least. *please note, there are several different kinds of postpartum disorders and the kind I suffered from was internal and basically enhanced my existing weaknesses: OCD cleaning/worrying/depression…. And I never wanted to hurt or was scared of my children. - I can’t even imagine what that kind of postpartum is like…
God talks to us, and if we choose not to listen, sometimes we have to learn the hard way. That’s where passing out on my kitchen floor comes into the picture. I was battling a head cold and had just nursed my daughter in the early morning. After I placed her back in the crib, I took some Tylenol, drank some water, then went back to bed…without eating. I was so tired and not feeling well and eating was the last thing on my mind. As I was shivering in my bed, my four year old son came in and asked for breakfast. It was the weekend and my husband was working the weekend shift at the time (he is in the USAF, so his shift changes every few months). So I walked downstairs with my son and got him a pop-tart and then I just felt so incredibly weird. I immediately tried to shove food - anything I could find that was closest to me - into my mouth. I sat down in my living room and just broke down. I started praying…. and then called my husband. I told him I wasn’t feeling well and that I needed him to come home to take care of the kids while I rested up in bed. He told me he couldn’t. At that moment, I never felt more scared and isolated in my entire life. I was afraid that something was going to happen to me and my kids would be without their mother’s care.
After the call with my husband ended, I stood up, walked into the kitchen again to get some more food from the pantry and as soon as I got to the pantry door, I slithered to the floor with a hard thud. At the same time as I was falling, I said “God help me.”
I don’t think I was out for very long, but I know that when I woke up, I was seeing nothing but white for what seemed like forever. I suddenly realized it was the ceiling, then I looked down and immediately felt a surging pain in my left leg. It was bent the wrong way when I fell. Thankfully I was able to pull myself up and my son wasn’t really aware of what happened. I held onto him and just told him I loved him so much. And he looked at my crying face and said “Mommy, it’ll be ok.” Then I called my dad and told him to pray for me. I then called my husband to come take me to the ER…. He was there in record timing. I had a CAT scan and full physical examination, along with blood work, and everything checked out fine…. I just needed to eat and drink more. Thank the Lord!! That was my first “wake-up call” from God. The wake-up call being…. I needed to take care of myself in order to take care of my family… and that meant no more nursing. After I had stopped nursing completely, my body still wasn’t functioning the way it should. My hormones were still crazy and a month after my fall, I went into a panic attack. I had extremely high anxiety about the world, the upcoming election, friendships, just basically everything would set me off. One night I couldn’t sleep and my whole body was shaking. (Throughout the month prior to this night, I was losing huge amounts of hair on my head, I had lost 20 pounds, and my appetite was basically non-existent) I didn’t know what else to do but tell my husband and pray. I called my doctor as soon as the office opened and got an appointment that day. I was diagnosed with Postpartum depression/anxiety/OCD and also was told that I had an adjustment disorder with all of the change that hit me in the past year. It made sense. I was sort of “out of it” you could say. I felt as if I could feel my skin crawling and I wanted to be out of my body so badly. But I knew that going on the medication my doctor prescribed would [hopefully] help me. Because God made man and helped man develop/discover medicine… so I put my trust in God, and my doctor.
What really got me through everything was having an amazing support system and not being introverted… my support system consisted of my parents - whom I had recently mended my relationship with, as well as my forever friend - my next door neighbor. My entire family, friends, pastor, doctor and psychiatrist were all such a blessing from God and really helped me get through my lowest of lows………. And now I feel as though I am the best version of myself. I am bolder in my faith, stronger as an individual, confident in my trust with God, and overall BLESSED.
My life verse still holds true to me….. Romans 8:28 ~ “For ALL things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”
I want to share my story, because I want to help other women who are going through scary moments in their life where they feel they have absolutely no control. THERE IS HOPE….. The hope you have to have to get through your struggle is complete trust and reliance upon God. It can be a scary thing, but it is possible because ALL things are possible with God - and once that trust is learned, you will never be the same. In my blog http://jaymastips.blogspot.com I talk more about what I learned from this experience and the blessings God has given me through the Holy Spirit.
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