ADHD Mama: How God kept me sane . . . most of the time

by | Nov 20, 2023

“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about  anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be  made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your  hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,  whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any  excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (ESV) 

Philippians 4:5-8 

I am not in the middle of the battle of raising children in a sinful, fallen world anymore. I’m an  empty nester and, even better, a grandmother (a.k.a. Nana). The battle was a hard one, though,  and not easily forgotten. With little thanks to me, all four of my children survived and have  proved to be responsible, decent, and loving adults. Thank You, Lord! Three of the four profess  Jesus Christ as Lord and have married believers. Prayers wanted for the fourth. 

This year, a neuropsychologist diagnosed me with ADHD. At 54. After my kids were grown and  flown. 

God Provides the Help We Need

Still, God had mercy on me during those hectic years. Despite everything, we have some  wonderful memories to share. My husband helped me slow down and keep my priorities straight.  He made sure we gathered together each morning before anything else, read the Bible, and  prayed together as a family. 

I treasure those memories. And that time in God’s Word and prayer and my quiet times alone  with the Lord kept me sane. I would have crumbled under the pressure if the Lord had not  reminded me of His love. His unconditional love. Daily. Because of Jesus and His work on the  cross. Not because of me. Even on my best days, I cannot earn His love. He gave it and gives it  freely. Thank You, Lord. 

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and  so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we  are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He  appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.” (ESV) 

1 John 3:1-2 

The Lord helped me through those overwhelming years. Each day was filled to the brim and  overflowing with stuff like diapers, baths, meals, school, homework, AWANA, Youth, camps,  church, appointments, sports, laundry, dishes, clutter . . . way too many things for my  neurodivergent brain to process and put in any sort of sensible order.

Around 2019, My husband directed me to some channels on YouTube about cleaning and  organizing. I wonder why . . . Anyway, this started my journey to getting my life under control.  Not that I hadn’t tried before, but now I had people who knew what they were doing showing me  the way. 

I am still on that journey. The messes have lessened, but my brain is the same. Although my kids  had a Mama whose ability to order our lives was sadly lacking, their and their children’s  experiences these days at Nana’s house are much better. I’ve learned about keeping a clean, calm  home and hope to pass on some of this newfound knowledge to them while they are living their  own battles. 

God Designed Us For a Purpose.

Neurodivergent people are known for being creative people. I’m a Christian fiction writer, which  would not be possible without an extra dose of creativity. Since I was a child, I’ve written stories.  Daydreamed stories. Play-acted stories. Really, it’s a continuous dialogue going on in my head.  After my diagnosis, and learning more about my brain, I understand the reason God made me the  way He did. To be glorified through my weakness. 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest  upon me.” 

2 Corinthians 12:9 

Perhaps the stories in my head didn’t leave space for practical matters, like to-do lists or finding  misplaced papers, but the Lord gives me these stories to tell people about His love and  forgiveness. About Him. And He is glorified. Whether my life is picture perfect, clean, and  organized, or not, if He will use this broken vessel to point people to Jesus Christ, then I am  happy and my life is not in vain. 

No matter how God made you, He did it for a purpose. Seek the Lord. Ask Him why He made  you the way you are. I can be the Queen of Random, but God is not that way. He has a reason for  everything He does. 

When my kids were young, I didn’t understand why other women seemed to handle motherhood,  and wifehood with seeming ease, while I struggled. This was not a laziness issue. I worked long,  hard hours from early morning until late at night with little progress to show for it. I was  mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted.  

Whenever we visited others’ homes, I felt like a failure. Many times, the Lord picked me up out  of despair, dusted me off, and reminded me He did not save me, to leave me where He found me.  He is saying the same thing to you. 

“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the  day of Jesus Christ.” (ESV) 

Philippians 1:6

God’s Timing Is Perfect

Fast forward to early 2023: While watching yet another video on how to get my life in order, I  came across a video describing ADHD. Almost every symptom resonated with me. Thus, my  research began, and my whole life from the time I was a child until then made more sense.  

Testing confirmed that I did indeed have ADHD.  

I have opted out of medication and instead use resources such as books, videos, and podcasts to  enhance my understanding of myself and my brain. 

Why the Lord did not reveal this to me earlier in life? I don’t know. 

Maybe because someone reading my abbreviated story here is living a life of chaos, too. And  you’ve never understood why. The issue may not be ADHD. There are plenty of reasons life  seems harder for some of us than others. 

However, girls are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than boys. Boys are more often  uncontrollably hyper than we are. Thus, they gain more attention than the quiet girl daydreaming  in the back of the class. 

If you are like me, a Mama trying to gain control of an out-of-control life, maybe it’s time to  seek help. 

“I cried aloud to the LORD, and He answered me from His holy hill. Selah” (ESV)

Psalms 3:4 

Happiness is something we all desire, but is it really something we can attain? Annie Mendrala, a MomQ leader, teaches what the answer is from the Bible, and how when we pursue true, lasting happiness, we can have joy despite the circumstances around us.

The Spotify podcast, “How Can I Be Happy?”, is found here.

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