The following article addresses the topic of postpartum depression. While we believe the gospel provides hope to women suffering from PPD (and other postpartum issues), we recognize the sensitivity and nuance required in discussing these topics. This article is not meant to replace professional medical help. We encourage anyone who is experiencing or has experienced symptoms of PPD to seek counsel from a local pastor, an older woman in your church body, a licensed counselor, or a medical doctor.
My beautiful daughter was born almost a year ago. I remember holding her in my arms for the first time and studying every wrinkle, light brown hair, and detail about my baby girl. She still has the brightest, deepest blue eyes I’ve ever seen, and she still snuggles up close to me when she’s scared or sleepy. When I look at her, I feel the immense joy that comes from parenting a little one so dependent on me, a reminder of my dependence on Jesus alone for salvation, redemption, and care. However, my joy in parenting did not come quickly or easily.
Within a few days of my daughter’s birth, I knew something was very, very wrong with me. I couldn’t sleep, no matter how hard I tried. Food held no interest for me. I wanted to smile, but a veil settled over my heart. I felt far away from everyone around me, even the baby I nursed and rocked gently in my arms. Postpartum depression, anxiety, and panic attacks struck me hard and fast. I felt lost in a lonely world without warmth or joy.
As I recovered, I wondered about my body and my mind, and why God chose to guide me through this suffering. During a Bible study on the book of Romans, a friend of mine reminded me that sin affects every area of our lives. Romans 5:12-14 says:
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.”
A Broken World
I’m certainly not implying that a specific sin caused my postpartum depression. Rather, because of the fall, sin wholly and completely affects the world in which we live, which includes our broken bodies. My brain went haywire not because of personal weakness, but because we’re fallen people living in a fallen world in desperate need of a Savior.
God faithfully reminded me the world we live in can’t and won’t be perfect. When Adam ate the fruit of the tree, the world plummeted into darkness and chaos. Sin spread from generation to generation, and the world turned from a place of beauty and rest into a place of sorrow and sadness. We still catch glimpses of the peace and joy of a perfect world when we gather as the church or gaze at a garden filled with beautiful spring flowers. God makes his presence known in the darkest places because he is the God of light, and his salvation through Jesus shines brighter than any dark place our bodies and minds bring us.
An Eternal Hope
God faithfully reminded me we must look at our lives now through the lens of eternity. We serve a great God who sees time from the very beginning to the very end. God makes everything beautiful in its time and exercises complete control over all creation. Even the most hidden thoughts of my heart—those scary, terrifying, anxious thoughts—are under God’s mighty and compassionate care. God laid the cornerstone of the earth and determined its measurements; he can certainly still the racing thoughts of our hearts, and heal every recess of our broken minds. We can bring him glory by trusting in him when all of the world seems to be falling apart inside us and around us. We know at the end of time, Jesus will return and establish his kingdom over all the earth, and the world—including us, our bodies and minds—will be beautiful, whole, and perfect forever.
Romans 5 continues the story of redemption in verses 15 through 17:
“But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”
Dear mommas, my point is this: in times of suffering, we must remind ourselves that we live in a world burdened with sin and sorrow, but filled with hope because of the abundant grace and free gift of life we find in Jesus. No matter how motherhood challenges you, Jesus will shine light into your darkness and pull you out of the pit in which you are faltering—with strength, power, and the tender care of a mom holding her baby in her arms for the first time. Jesus desires to gather his people to him as a mother hen gathers her chicks. Let’s run to him in our times of need, because he waits for us with open arms.
 Eccl. 3
 Job 38
 Matt. 23:27
Hannah Abrahamson lives with her husband, two children (a boy and a girl), and a few chickens in the bluffs of southern Wisconsin. When she’s not taking care of her little ones, teaches Sunday school at church, and pursues an eclectic and long list of hobbies, including writing, singing, and crocheting. Their favorite family activity is spending time outside, and they enjoy God's lovely creation as they hike, bike, and canoe. Hannah strives in all she does to find her hope and joy in Christ, and prays that you do, too!