I thought I knew what I would write about for today’s post. And then, my 3.5 month old daughter entered into a phase of screaming every time we set her down and refusing to nap. And then, a white supremacist killed two African-American people in Kentucky. And then, a neo-Nazi slaughtered eleven Jews in Pittsburgh.
I know that there are things happening every day that could, should, and often do bring me to my knees. But for some reason, this combination of new-parent-exhaustion with the horrific news of the week is feeling almost unbearable. I’ve tried to be logical and tell myself things aren’t any different than they were a few weeks ago, but I know that my anxiety and depression don’t follow always follow logic, as much as I wish they did.
These are the times when I’ve found I need to double down on my self-care. So, I went for more walks with my dog yesterday, went to bed earlier last night, and allowed myself plenty of baby snuggles this morning. My husband knows I’m struggling a bit, and I’ve reached out to a few friends for support too.
And, while scripture isn’t always where I go for comfort, I’ve had words from Psalm 23 running through my head the past few days, including as I fell asleep last night. There are countless other passages that I could go to for reminders of God’s presence, no matter the state of the world or the screaming of my baby or my mental health status, but for now, Psalm 23 includes the ones on my mind and on the tip of my tongue “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid, for you are with me.”
Thanks be to God.
Hannah Campbell Gustafson
Hannah Campbell Gustafson and her family recently made a leap of faith and moved to Minneapolis, MN from rural Wisconsin. She is the outreach coordinator at Plymouth Congregational Church. Hannah is treasurer for the Mental Health Network, is trained as a social worker, has an MDiv, and is a Member in Discernment with the Southwest Association of the Wisconsin Conference of the UCC. She and her partner (an ELCA Lutheran pastor) share their lives with their young child Leona and their standard poodle puppy Óscar.