I walked past her today. In my rush to care for sick babies, clean up, put up, and then begin my work for the day I almost didn’t notice her.

But the longing arms of a baby reached up, and held me close, so I looked up and saw her again. She wasn’t anything special. Her hair plain, her clothing ill-fitting, hiding the dimples and scars, her skin a little dull. Nothing about her called for attention, yet I couldn’t stop staring.

With a child held close, she looked at peace. The crown on her head a reminder of the sweet morning she had shared with her girls. Her robe and hair displays of her love of being home. Her countenance showed joy over exhaustion.

I kept looking on for she was me—calm, serene, at peace.

Postpartum depression tells the lie that you’ll never be the mom you long to be. In the midst of it you feel like a failure, trapped from any hope you have from moving forward. The vision you had of yourself as a mom seems impossible. You snap easily. Cry in a moment’s notice. You long to simply enjoy being a mom, yet you long to be alone. Away from the pressure. Free from the opinion of others. You feel at odds with yourself everyday.

But mama, don’t believe the lies. Don’t fall victim to their relentless attacks. For someday, in the midst of the demands of babies and home, you’ll look up and see yourself again. You won’t look like the woman you once were. You may not feel as beautiful. Your sharp mind may be jumbled by the mundane. And your hopes and dreams won’t make you a world-changer.

But you’ll rise up, a victorious warrior. An overcomer. A conqueror. You will look at your reflection with clarity and confidence, thankful the fog has lifted. And you’ll see yourself, different from the version you imagined, yet you will respect her. You will be thankful for her and the scars her body and heart have endured. And for the first time in a LONG time, you will value her. You will LOVE her. You will LOVE yourself.

So, fight on warrior. Do not believe the lies. Keep looking ahead—for soon enough, you’ll catch a glimpse of the amazing woman God created and you will rejoice in your sufferings. For that reflection will display a woman free from the bondage of guilt and shame, free to give all of herself to those she loves most, free to love herself again.

Originally published on the author’s page 

Arianna Freelen

Arianna is the wife of a rugged man and a mom of three little princesses. She is a photographer, professional furniture re-arranger, purger of all the things, Celine Dion karaoke queen, and Vanilla Dr. Pepper drinker. She loves to write about her Savior, her role as a wife and mother, and finds fulfillment with her arms full of those she loves most. You can learn more about her life at www.choosingfreelen.com and @choosingfreelen.