by Terra-Lee Wilson
Growing up I had many different ideas of what I wanted to do with my life, but one thing that stayed the same was my desire to be a mom. My journey into motherhood was my dream come true……..and my revelation about how desperately I need God. When I look back, I see how God used everything to point me to Himself.
In the beginning of motherhood as a brand new mom, I experienced so much joy and awe in watching this tiny human I had carried now grow and develop. At the same time, I also entered a seemingly endless state of overwhelm and exhaustion with weird emotional tidal waves that would hit unexpectedly sending me into crying episodes or unexplainable angry outbursts. In those first few years, while I knew personal devotions with God were a really good thing, I regularly put God near the bottom of my to do list and would spend time with Him in the Word if I was in a low or needed something from Him. Granted, that did happen fairly often, but I wasn’t intentionally building my relationship with Him on a daily basis, which showed in my inability to handle my kids shenanigans and life in general. I would hit overwhelm very quickly, and my kids learned very early on to avoid me if they saw me in overwhelm, and that broke my heart to see fear, hurt, and rejection on their faces.
I became much more aware of my need for God when our second child was 2 years old and I entered a deep depression that had me having terrible thoughts of harm towards myself and my beautiful girls. I was scared to be alone with them because of that. It was then that I realized that I couldn’t do it on my own. The negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness and despair weren’t going away. It was not something I could ‘fix’ by myself. I needed help. My doctor put me on antidepressants, which helped, but only a limited amount. Shortly after starting meds, my husband Trevor and I began meeting with an incredible Christian marriage counselor and his wife. (My relationship with Trev also had been suffering, due to me pouring my whole self into parenting, and then also struggling with depression. He and God sat on the back burner) In our counseling I experienced listening prayer for the first time, and was blown away by the things God led me, and us, to and through. Not to mention God revealing the bondages and lies that had a grip on me, and were broken during our sessions. We spent many hours in prayer at our sessions and I began more intentionally pursuing God in my devotions. After many months of intensive work in my heart and mind, I came to a place where I no longer needed to be on medication, and we talked about adding to our family again. Almost immediately our third was on her way, and I experienced prenatal depression for the first trimester and a bit, which was something I had never heard about before, but has since become more commonly known about. This time around, I was better able to walk through it because of tools which our counselors had taught us about, as well as spending more intentional time in the Word.
Another major turning point in my relationship and dependency on God happened after our fourth child was born. Almost immediately I noticed his development was behind, which I found very overwhelming and uncertain. Our lives became full of therapists, specialists, and tests, and we had just moved to town and were still adjusting to Trevor working long hours at his new job. During this crazy and uncertain time, I had less overwhelm and panic because I was leaning on and trusting Him. One of my highlights was attending church regularly, which we hadn’t been able to do before due to living at Red Rock Bible Camp; far from any church. Also, in joining a cell, I found strength and hope because of the support and encouragement of the women I connected with there. God spoke to me through these women, and I was beginning to become more familiar with listening to God on my own. Into me He poured hope and peace about our son’s development, and while we still don’t have medical answers for his delays, I see how God has used all of these challenges to grow my faith and character; God uses everything for His purpose and our good. I remember a time in particular when I was angry with God for how Troy was, and asking Him to fix him. At that moment, God powerfully met me and clearly told me that “I made him exactly how I want him to be”. I felt so loved, free of guilt that my body had done something to cause this, and such relief that God knows and is in complete control.
When I look back at my relationship with God, I see a cycle of spending time with God when things were tough, then doing it on my own when things were going well, which brought me back to needing Him again. I am keenly aware of my need for Him daily. He has proven Himself to be good and trustworthy.
Currently, my growth with God is coming from reading through the Bible in a year, which I have done for several years. Every year my understanding grows, and new things are revealed. As well, at the beginning of each year I pray and ask God for a word regarding something He wants to change in me, and then I read Bible verses and other books about it. When I have not spent time in the Word and prayer with Him, life quickly becomes difficult.
God is my strength, wisdom, and hope. Without Him, I can do nothing.