Monday, September 16, 2013


I thought having an infant was tough.  And then I went back to grad school and realized what "tough" really is.  I knew it was going to be hard, but I had no idea exactly how hard.  Kind of like labor...

Anyway, I spent the first 3 weeks of class in a state which I can only describe as depressed.  And I don't use that term lightly.  Having a baby and dealing with the hormonal changes was hard enough.  But then less than two weeks after Scarlett's birth, I lost my Grandma.  My emotions have been crazy from all of that, but going back to school is what kind of pushed me over the edge.  It is so hard being away from my baby so much.  But even harder than that is the fact that when I am with her, I have so much homework and lesson planning to do.  And in those rare moments that I get to spend totally devoted to her, I end up feeling guilty, depressed, and mostly STRESSED OUT about school stuff.  I was really having a hard time turning the stress off.  I kept praying and praying, but wasn't feeling God's presence.  It was a tough few weeks.

Then sometime toward the end of last week, I was in the grad room working on some homework.  I caught a glimpse of myself in my iPad screen wearing scrubs after clinicals that morning and sipping on my iced caramel machiatto (Oh caffeine, you are my best friend these days!)  

In that moment, I was able to see myself as an outsider looking in.  I pictured the 2-years-ago me, and wondered what it would be like if I could have looked into the future and taken a peek at today-me.  In that moment I realized I now have everything I used to wish and pray for.  I got into grad school, and am less than 1 year from graduating.  And I also have the thing I've always wanted:  a daughter.  

If I could have seen back then that I was just 2 years away from having everything I was dreaming
about, I would have been ecstatic!

And no, I didn't bargain on getting it all at once.  That has certainly complicated things a bit.  But who am I to be depressed about so many blessings, all at once?!

Taking a step back and changing my perspective has also changed my attitude.  Do I still have my moments?  OH YES.  My poor husband has had to put up with some really crappy attitudes and moods from my lately.  But the main thing is, something changed this weekend.  I gave up all my stress to the Lord, which has changed everything.  And I no longer feel hopeless and depressed.  

This verse has been on my mind a lot lately: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

Fear is the main problem with my life right now: fear that I won't do well in school, that I'm permanently messing up my daughter by being gone so much, and especially that I'm wasting all my time that I'm not at school being depressed and stressed.

God convinced me that I am SO BLESSED! And that I need to trade my fear for the power, love, and self-discipline he is offering me.

I cannot tell you how much this realization has changed EVERYTHING. Is it going to stop being hard? No, but the most difficult times often yield the greatest blessings!

Case in point?  This beautiful little girl:


  1. I'm sure it would be so hard to be away from Scarlett so much, Jessica, but you aren't messing her up! It's so nice that she gets to be with family (if I'm remembering right?), and you are blessed! Many of my classmates had babies in hygiene school (which is pretty intense), but they made it out to the other side and you will too! Love this perspective!


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