Nothing is wasted.

If you had told me 10 years ago when I was sitting in an eating disorder recovery center that I would one day be a recovered mother of two, I would have laughed in your face. I was so far from God and from myself that I was a shell of a person. I remember not being able to finish sentences without losing my thoughts. I was addicted to the control my eating disorder gave me. I was angry. I was depressed and lying to every person in my life about my real struggle.

But God. He moved my parents to do the bravest and scariest thing by sending me to Remuda Ranch for treatment. Their courage changed the path I was on, saved my life, and showed me how RELENTLESS and steadfast Christ is for me. I will never forget their decision and I will use that same decision making for my own children. I will fight for them the way my parents fought for me at this time in my life.

You never really see what your struggle’s purpose is when you’re in the midst of it. I know I didn’t. And I’m not here to tell you that every single bad thing has some specific future purpose to it. Although God is a God of purpose-making, a God who wastes NOTHING.

So the fact that I now parent a daughter who is tube-fed and struggles with swallowing/eating is no coincidence to me. And baby Owen is in that same category as he struggles with the same swallowing disorder Quinn has. I know that I am their mama for many reasons! But this is one big reason that I just know I was chosen for them and them for me.

We may not understand they “whys” but we can always understand the “who.” And that’s Jesus Christ the savior of all the world. The Savior who parents ME with love. We may never understand the “reasons” behind things. But we don’t need REASON when we have REDEMPTION.

Y’all. Contact me. Tell me your story.

Never give up.

Scriptures to Fight Postpartum Depression

In addition to the Warning Signs and Resources, I wanted to share this.

There is nothing as powerful as God’s truth over your life and over your struggles. Especially one like PPD/PPA and Postpartum Psychosis, that are so heavily grounded in the mind and thought-world. I’ve put together this list of Bible verses for anyone who wants it.

When I was in the depths of my anxiety or depression, admittedly it was hard to pick up my Bible, to care about memorizing scripture, or even to pray. There are still days (5 months later) that I have a hard time doing those things sometimes.

Satan loves nothing more than to make us detach from the Lord and fall deeper into the pit. Satan loves nothing more than attacking when we are already weak, exhausted, and dealing with big life changes….so it’s no wonder to me that new mothers are so often a target.

I’m STILL 5 months later having to choose daily to say positive things out loud, to speak truth instead of getting overwhelmed by my circumstances, and to read what God says about me. It’s truly a battlefield! And I’m not trying to preach what I don’t do myself, so I felt like I needed to admit all of that up front.

But my goal now that I am on the other side of the pit is to NEVER let myself slip back into it, to intentionally fight my way to the light every day, and to bring my children and husband along with me.

One of the most important things we can do as women who deal with PPD or anxiety is to pick up our sword and take our territory back.

So even when I don’t feel it, I will say it. Even when I feel numb, I will declare with passion the word of God until it changes my heart and mind!

These are some of the verses I have kept on hand and will be trying to memorize this year. (Another special thank you to Ann Snyder who shared some of these with me!)

You can write them on notecards. Carry them around. Tape them to mirrors and cabinets. Hang them wherever you’ll see them all the time and be reminded.

And when those thoughts and feelings start to creep in, use these.

If you’re like me, sometimes you don’t even have the right words or know what to say. But that’s one reason why God gave us his word! So that we would know.

So here is a graphic with all the verses you can save to your phone/computer, share, or screenshot. Look them up and keep them handy.

Mamas, you are strong. God calls you “overcomer!”

xo. Ansley

Postpartum Depression: Best Resources & Tools

There were TONS of people who asked for some of my favorite resources on PPD/PPA, so I decided to make it a public post so that it could be shared and saved by anyone who needs it.

This amazing hooded top is from my favorite online shop. You can shop the Women’s section here.

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Postpartum Depression: Warning Signs

I finally shared a lot of my journey with Postpartum Depression, anxiety, and psychosis during an Instagram Live discussion this week. After the chat was over, I got flooded with messages from other moms who wanted access to my list of resources, my list of warning signs to watch for, and my list of Scriptures to use for prayer and for fighting lies with truth. So I figured I would actually post all of that on the blog as well so anyone could download it and save it.

So here is a graphic I whipped up for the warning signs that you or someone you love may be dealing with PPD or PPA.

Keep in mind, these are only some of the main things to look for, there are MANY different ways PPD and anxiety can present, and every woman is different. These are just the things I personally felt like were my main warning signs. 

I used Postpartum Support International as a source. When making this graphic, I used Canva.