I can hear You say, “Be not afraid.
It will be okay; I own every wave.”
I will not leave you an orphan—
I will meet you right here on the shoreline.”
Oh, it’s less like a coming disaster
And more like a dance with my daughter.
- From “Shorelines” on the upcoming album, Brave is One More Step in the Dark
When my first two children were small, my husband and I took a trip to Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin. That trip is burned into my memory as one of the places where my postpartum anxiety reared its ugly head most powerfully, and all I can remember is the feeling of dread and terror as I pictured the many ways my beautiful babies could die there… in the water, on the rocks… Overwhelming fear instead of fun on what was supposed to be just a family getaway. Then, a few years later, after my third came along, and I was battling both depression and anxiety in even deeper ways, we took a similar trip to the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan. This time, however, the fear felt different, coming in waves over my feet instead of pushing me under completely. In other words, I was still soaking wet, but I wasn’t drowning, and I was somehow stronger. I looked over at my daughter, Zoe, then only two… in a princess dress on the shoreline. Fear and hope, dancing together. And this song came to me – the voice of my Heavenly Father, telling me not to be afraid. That I would be okay. And that He would not leave me there alone on the shoreline of my mind. Sometimes the rescue doesn’t come in the way we want it to – immediately, with a snap of the fingers. Sometimes instead it comes in waves, one brave step at a time in the dark… as the dawn comes alive inside of us first. I wrote this whole album, Brave is One More Step in the Dark, as a message of hope and light in postpartum depression and anxiety, even as I still battle my own mind and body every day. And I pray that it brings every woman who hears it enough light to help her take her own next brave step too. You are not alone – you are seen and known and loved, no matter the size of your waves.
Jen is a wife and mother of 3 who has struggled with PPD & PPA (postpartum depression & anxiety) over the years. She has chosen to use her music as a way to reach other women who find themselves struggling with similar issues. Find out more about her new album set to release on June 21st! Her album is live on Spotify, click here to check it out!