ADHD Mama: How God kept me sane . . . most of the time
“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)
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)
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)
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.
At MomQ we believe that motherhood is a calling from God. While it is both a privilege and an honor, it is by no means easy! Moms have a lot of questions/concerns and need caring support along their journey. Whether you are a brand new mom or a little more seasoned, MomQ is here to help you fulfill your God given role. Don’t see a group in your area? Contact us today about starting one in your community!
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