A Haines Home Companion: Motherhood and Anti-Depression


Titus has nearly ruined me. Seth and I look at each other with that connecting eye, saying do you see that? how precious he is? He loves music and is always dancing and playing piano and banging a drum. He carries a guitar and leans back bending his knees like he’s shredding it.

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He makes my heart ache with love, like all our children do, and the ache I know comes from the deep desire that no harm ever come to them.

Lately I’ve had many mother friends confess to me that their darkest fears have crept to the front of their minds and have grown monster heads. These thoughts are worse postpartum. When they get in cars, they worry what will happen on the drive. When they imagine life, they can’t help but imagine what if their sons marry whores and cancer eats and drugs win. One of my friends once was terrified after having a baby that she would do something like leave the baby in her carseat on top of the car. Our minds accidentally whirl into a vortex of fear. That’s how deeply vulnerable we are with our babies.

When Titus was so sick, something clicked in us. If God wants to take him, then he’ll take him. We really wrestled with it and landed in peace. One night after making it home from the hospital, Titus’ feeding-tube pump kept messing up. His food had drained into the bed instead of into his tummy. I had held it together so well, but as I shut the door behind me after getting him fixed up again, I walked into the hall in the dark. I stood there and cried.

Then God met me, dark and silence. I held my hands to the ceiling like cups. I told Him to do what He will. Peace settled in me, and as I walked down the hall, the fingers of fear peeled off.

When Jacob wrestled with God and left with that limp, he left blessed because he had seen the face of God. I had forgotten the part of the story where later again, Jacob sees God face to face on a long journey, and because he had seen God, he took his precious oil and wine, and he poured it out to God.

I imagine being on a journey, how much you depend on your goods, how the oil would seem to be what sustained you. Yet after seeing God, Jacob poured it out, and he poured it in faith.

I have to pour it out to Him again and again, my precious things, and every time I do, it’s the peace I’ve been missing that sweeps over. It’s the peace that send our children into the future. Peace is anti-depression.*

This Monday will be my last #ConcreteWords for a while, and our topic is The Path. Will you join me? If you would like to host #ConcreteWords while I’m on a break from it, send me an email.

*If you need antidepressants, take them. Maybe try Peace, too.  The end.


About me


Communion with Depression
February 17, 2017
What I Knew In My Dying Day: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Tara Owens
August 19, 2015
Condemnation on the Molehill
June 08, 2015
Tools for the Highly Sensitive Mother: An Introduction
April 27, 2015
The Uncouth: The Hormonal
May 12, 2014
You Have Not Come to Darkness
April 30, 2014
What Mothers Me
April 01, 2014
Learning How to Eat (and a giveaway of Mom in the Mirror)
May 20, 2013
When I Don’t Feel God
March 11, 2013


Reply February 8, 2013

Beautiful and true. My worst fears were realized when I took my little boy out for a mother/son date and forgot to bring his epi-pen. When his throat swelled shut a stranger with an epi-pen stepped to my side. I discovered that the worst thing can happen. But God will be there. I've known fear since that day, but it's like a beast that's been tamed. Still there. Yes. But not so fierce after all.

Reply February 8, 2013

I love your heart, Amber-friend. You should read Amanda Williams' post for A Deeper Family today: http://deeperstory.com/finding-god-in-a-little-white-pill/

Lori Harris
Reply February 8, 2013

"If God wants to take him, then he’ll take him. We really wrestled with it and landed in peace." Oh, my heart pounds just a little harder as I read this-fear swallows me too. But when I open my hands and say yes to whatever He wants to give, then I do see Him.
Thank you for blessing me and reminding me of truth.

the Blah Blah Blahger
Reply February 8, 2013

Balls...that moved me. I hope that when faced with adversity, I have your same powerful faith!!!

Reply February 8, 2013

oh this morning on the way to work i imagined my two boys, riding together to school and ending is a heap of twisted metal. and i got too far and started crying....and i knew they made it safe when my younger, the 8th grader, walked into my room with his grin. but i can't.do.that.every.day. giving it over is peace. love.

Amy Corley
Reply February 8, 2013

Amber, that place you came to, there in the hall, is a place no one wants to be, yet we all truly need to get there. Having buried one of my children, walked down the long valley, I have stood face to face with the stark reality we all desperately fear, and I had a choice whether to do as you did, to open my hands to Him or to ball them into fists. My His grace, my hands opened, and the Peace came...He came.

Brandee Shafer
Reply February 8, 2013

That boy's eyelashes are incredible. Also, I think you are very strong. I've been trying to do it for years: open my hands, let go. Some seasons are better than others. I have not grieved in a straight line; there has been much looping back and through the stages.

Reply February 9, 2013

Why does the facing of the deepest fears somehow reveal the unchanging, surpassing love of God? I have pondered this paradox after facing cancer in my son this year. I have experienced the same freedom you have described and wonder at it. Thank you for mirroring my feelings. So hard to catch and describe and express. It makes no sense and yet it is - true and real. The warm voice of E. Elliot always comes to me in these thoughts, "And underneath are the Everlasting Arms." Always underneath.

Reply February 9, 2013

Oy. Yes. Not long ago I finally found some triumph. I kept saying....
And then?
And then?
And then?
And EVERY scenario ended in the arms of Jesus and that was the ending I was after. No matter what happens, the ending is the same.
Somehow, it altered EVERYTHING for me.
Love this piece Amber.

Reply February 9, 2013

This goes right straight to my heart Amber.

(I've messaged you!)

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