I’m in trouble with this blog post before I even start writing it. I just watched an ABC news story reporting the increasing number of women who are taking Xanax, believing it helps them be a better mom. The anti-depressant was actually nicknamed “the mommy pill.” CNN ran a similar story under the title “Xanax helps me be a better mom.” Then I discovered a website called Moms for Xanax. I’ve never taken a Xanax – but if I look at one more of these stories I might need an anti-depressant! I have a disclaimer to give here. I am not a doctor, a nurse or a counselor. I know that clinical depression is a real and difficult disorder. But as I watched these videos and read these stories I heard these moms saying that the pill helped them handle difficulties like loss of sleep and the feelings of being overwhelmed with a new baby. After listening to many of their reasons for taking the Xanax I had this thought – I don’t think I’ve ever met a new mom that wouldn’t have said those same things. Is taking a pill the best answer to the stresses of motherhood?
I liked Dr. Allan Horwitz’s comment in the CNN article. He has written on the subject believing that Psychiatry has often labeled normal sadness a depressive disorder. He said, “we’re using meds to deal with the emotional roller coaster of parenthood.” There are definitely women who struggle with postpartum depression and need to seek medical help. But everyone struggles with sadness. There are big, life changing moments. What does God want you to know when those big moments create difficulty and cause sadness?
1. Joshua 1:9 is one of my favorite verses for the scary times. Joshua was leading almost 2 million people into the Promised Land. He had huge responsibilities and a lot of reason to fear his enemies. God told Joshua: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” That verse used to bother me, not help me, until I learned that the key to the verse is in the beginning. “Have I not commanded you?” Fear is a feeling, allowing the fear to control, is a choice. And God has “commanded” us to not fear. He tells us many times in Scripture to not allow fear to control. God wants us to trust “control” to him. Fears are bound to come – and God has promised to be with us. The next time you feel overwhelmed with worry, hear God command you to “fear not.” It is easier to walk away from the worry when you realize it goes against God’s will for your life!
2. Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is tempting to look for comfort in something like a pill because it provides immediate help – albeit temporary. Again, sometimes people need clinical help and I’m not speaking of that type of sadness. But consider striving for God’s help. God is the author of peace which cannot be “manufactured” anywhere else. God’s peace surpasses understanding because it is not of human making. Only God can give this peace, but God does give his peace. The next time you are sad or stressed – ask God for his peace, and keep asking until you receive it.
3. John 14:1-3: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” This is the best solution that I have ever found for sadness or worry. The truth. We naturally place a great deal of importance on the significant moments of our lives. It is normal to be concerned, normal to worry, normal to be sad and normal to feel desperate sometimes. We live human lives in a fallen world. Your life will have troubles – but your heart doesn’t have to. You weren’t created for this world, you were created for eternity. Life is a road trip with the occasional pothole and breakdown. But you are headed home – and what matters most is what will matter forever.
Next week our ministry will do an Awake 7:14 Conference in Midland, Texas. Pray for all involved. The single greatest thing moms, and everyone else, needs is a vibrant, working relationship with the Creator God. God isn’t a pill, that will make people feel better for a moment. He is the answer that transcends the moments of this life and promises perfection for all eternity. Crying babies and sleepless nights are part of this life, but not the next one.