When my boys were young, I dove into being a mom but unfortunately ignored my own creative gifts that God had given me.
I had a beautiful life! My husband had an amazing job and I had three awesome sons… yet sometimes I would sense anxiety inside me and I couldn’t identify the source. It all came to a head after not sleeping for three days in a row with insomnia. After that episode, I was at the park one day with my three boys wearing big sunglasses to hide the tears that were streaming down my face because I couldn’t locate what was wrong with me.
Out of the blue, a beautiful lady sat down next to me and we began to talk. She spoke over me and said I had lost who I was inside. Having not even known this woman, I knew that God had sent her to me. She asked me to think of two things that I really loved to do and to give her a call and tell her what those were. I honestly couldn’t think of anything at the time. When she got up to leave I finally thought to ask her name and she told me.
Her name was Mercy.
God’s mercy was so wonderful to me at that time in my life. I went home and realized that I loved painting. A few days later, I saw a piece of furniture on the side of the road. I threw it into my truck, went home, and did what I loved. I painted it and took it to a consignment store where someone actually wanted it and bought it!
That began my 15-year business where I began to re-do and sell furniture. By adding that element of passion into my life, I regained a joy that I had lost. And by acknowledging depression and anxiety and being willing to take medication for it, it enabled me to keep my head above the water. The chemicals in our body sometimes need adjustment and there’s no shame in that!
Sometimes we have the most beautiful life, and we feel guilt and shame because somewhere lurking inside is still a sadness that we think should not be there. I’m so thankful to the Lord for showing me the way out of this trap — it caused me to be a better mom. Sometimes, the Lord sends people across our path to help us out of situations. Then we are able to share our stories with others so that they are helped.
Jen is a wife and mother to three amazing boys. She and her husband John are the head pastors of a church they started in Ocala. She enjoys painting, gardening, spending time with her Frenchies, Millie and Olive, and her ponies, Frank and Evie. Follow along with her on instagram.