Our seventh child was just four weeks old. We had moved a thousand miles from our home in the country where our kids had played happy and free. Now, we were living in a gated community in a big city.
My husband had been home with us the past year, but now his new job demanded more hours and more of his energy than our family was used to.
The lifestyle and cultural changes coupled with the disappointments that brought us here were palpable.
Settling in was just plain hard.
But heavier than that was my postpartum depression. It seemed to get worse with every baby and this time it was intense.
I felt like I was in a bubble and alone – even with all those kids surrounding me. I did the next thing outwardly but inside the depth of darkness threatened to overtake me.
One morning as I was making our bed, I heard in my spirit the words, “Look Up.” I stopped everything. I hadn’t just been praying or anything like that, I was just making the bed.
I reached for my Bible, which is what I do when I think the Lord has spoken to me, thumbed through my concordance and found it.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:28
In this particular passage, Luke is encouraging the faithful to look up when these troubles come. To look up in hope, faith, and prayer; and with confidence and cheerfulness. We can lift our heads with joy knowing that our redemption is near.
Knowing how much it can help with depression, my husband always encouraged me to go for walks. This new warmer climate helped too. Typically, the just-turned-three-year-old would push her own pink baby-doll stroller while I pushed the 1-1/2 year old and newborn in the double stroller.
This particular morning I looked up. It was cloudy that day, but after looking harder, I found it – the small patch of blue sky that reminded me that no matter how dark a day can seem, there is still light. There is still a blue sky above the clouds.
God is there. Whether we can see through the clouds and darkness or not does not change the Biblical truth that God is there.
That same day, my husband came home and told me that at lunch that day he had seen an elderly woman lead her husband to their seat in the restaurant. The poor man’s posture was permanently hunched over. It was impossible for him to look up to even see where he was going.
How awful that would be to lose the ability to look up.
Scripture tells us that “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 1 Corinthians 4:16b
We cannot guarantee that our bodies will not bend as we age, but we can know that we are being renewed inside every day. There is nothing that can stop us from looking up to the Lord. Some days we will need to strain to muster the faith to look up, but it will always be worth it. God will always be there for us.
I needed to remember this today. If you needed it too, remember that we can look up to him today with confidence, knowing that he loves us and cares for us.
Let’s lift our heads with joy, knowing that our redemption – salvation, freedom, recovery, deliverance, release – is drawing near.