Aubree has been a part of our youth group for four years now and we are sad to see her go. We are also excited to see her grow and pursue God's plan for her life. She brings peace wherever she goes with her calm but determined spirit. She loves south Georgia cotton, fields, dirt roads, forestry, music, and family.
I am sharing my story with the hope that it will be a help to other women who struggle with uncontrollable depression or anxiety.
It all started my junior year of college. I was sitting in a wonderful Bible class on Hebrews (that I loved!), when it hit me...sheer terror. I started sweating, feeling trapped, etc. but I stuck it out through class. When I went to work after class, I was shaking. I ate a protein bar and chalked it up to a bad episode of hypoglycemia (I've had low blood sugar since second grade)...and tried to forget it.
But then it kept happening. I would get scared in church services, class, on stage, in the car, and among groups of people. These random moments of panic kept making themselves known. I started avoiding many things to keep this anxiety from happening. Now, as a music performance major, this was very difficult because I had to perform all the time. I had loved singing and performing and now I began to dread it. I started to think it was spiritual warfare. I prayed and cried and trusted in the Lord. It was truly by God's grace that I made it through my senior voice recital and graduated, although I prayed and shed many tears in that last year and half.
My sweet husband married me anyway, even though he knew that sometimes I got a little wacko. He has been so steady and supportive. He helped me eliminate stress in my life that made living life easier.
Fast forward about five years, I had been living with chronic anxiety and had learned to cope. Jesus gave me strength so often when I had none. Someone told me it was my thyroid...had it checked...nope. Someone told me I say "yes" to too many things...started saying "no"...didn't help. Someone said I needed more sleep...slept 8-9 hours every night...didn't work. I remember putting on my prayer list, "To be healthy again." I spent many years praying for God to give me an answer. His mercies were new every morning and I had resigned myself to just living this way for the rest of my life.
Then I had a baby boy...a sweet one that I love so much. And I made it through postpartum (whew, that was crazy!). Six months later, I still had anxiety issues...and they were getting worse. I mentioned to my midwife that I was having anxiety, and after asking me a few questions, she said, "I think you have a hormone imbalance...probably low progesterone." Y'all, this hit me like a ton of bricks! Hormonal imbalance actually runs in my family and we never thought of this! I was so excited to maybe get an answer!
My midwife had me do saliva testing to find out my hormone levels. And guess what, my hormones were completely out-of-whack! She put me on a good multi-vitamin and some progesterone cream. After three months, I was a new woman! I could not believe the healing I had received.
After five years of praying for God to set me free from this bondage of anxiety, He sent someone to give me an answer. I am so thankful for His goodness in my life. My life has changed. Now, that doesn't mean I don't still have fear, worry, and struggles, but my chronic anxiety is no longer out of control and I have found peace.
Having a child causes us to stop and marvel. Every new thing he learns to do or say is a reminder of a Magnificent Creator Who designed Ronan (and every child) to be unique and made in His image.
Ronan is now 18 months old. He...
Chasing around a toddler and trying to get a picture is challenging. I didn't get many smiley shots, but you can see Ronan's thoughtful and focused expression that he often gets when outside.
Ronan is now an actively, walking toddler. He is busy, busy, busy! He...
In October, Ashley (my sis-in-law) and I took Ronan to Raisin' Cane in Valdosta, Georgia. We enjoyed a hayride, Little-ville, farm animals, and a cute produce shop. It was a little warm so it didn't exactly feel like fall but we made the most of it.
Bethany McDonnell is a stay-at-home mama and music teacher who loves spending time with family and friends, and especially her little boy. She loves the smells of hay and sometimes hopes to live in the country with a few farm animals. Oh, and also hire a maid. :)
It is so hard to believe that Ronan is one year old! It seems like just yesterday we welcomed our 10 lb. 7 oz. chubby baby into the world. He has changed our lives!
At one year, Ronan...
Because his name means "little seal," we decided to do a vintage circus theme for his birthday and incorporate a few seals. So thankful for a great sister-in-law who is creative and added some great decorations which gave this the final adorable look!
We spent Easter by being with our church family in the morning and with our family in the afternoon. Here are a few pictures from the day.
This past month just flew by for us! And here we are again posting some updates on our little chubby Ronan. He is five months old today!
At five months, Ronan...
Ronan is now four month old! What joy and craziness he has added to our life. We are so thankful for him.
At four months, Ronan...
Today, we have been married for four years! Time seems to go by so fast. We are so glad we get to spend each day together. We were meant to be.