Anxiety is hard, friend.
We long for unshakeable faith in the struggles of life, don’t we? But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety and depression, unshakeable faith might seem like a pipe dream. Caris Snider joins Kristi on the show for an honest look at anxiety, depression, motherhood & figuring out how to trust Christ in all of it. Caris shares her personal struggles with anxiety & depression, how she came to understand that mental health wasn’t something she could “faith” or “pray” her way out of – and speaks candidly about getting help from professionals.
The grip of anxiety and depression is very real, and today’s episode is a fresh reminder of how important it is to take care of our mental health.
In this episode:
- Delve into the complex emotions associated anxiety and depression, especially as it relates to faith, Christianity and motherhood.
- Unearth the importance of seeking help and tapping into support networks during mental health challenges.
- Appreciate the significance of vulnerability in revealing and dealing with personal challenges.
- Explore avenues where you can find hope and maintain your faith during moments of despair and unease.
- Discern how to confront the societal stigma associated with mental health issues and therapy.
It took me a long time to ask for help, but when I finally did, I realized that seeking support was not a sign of weakness, but a strength. It was the first step towards finding healing and hope. – Caris Snider
Resources mentioned in this episode:
– Car Line Mom Devotional: 100 Days of Encouragement for the Mama Who Gets Everybody Everywhere
– Anxiety Elephants: A 31-Day Devotional To Help Stomp Out Your Anxiety
– Anxiety Elephants for Tween Girls: A 90 Day Devotional
– Anxiety Elephants for Tween Boys: A 90 Day Devotional
– There’s An Elephant on My Chest
*The Even If Podcast Participates in Affiliate Links – a portion of purchases from these links may go to support the podcast.
The Even If Podcast (the “Podcast”) as part of Even If Media, LLC is intended for informational purposes only. The Podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or therapy services. The content provided should not be considered as a replacement for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The host is not a licensed counselor, therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. If you are in crisis or need immediate assistance, please contact a crisis hotline, a licensed mental health professional, or seek emergency medical help. Your mental health is of utmost importance, and it is essential to reach out to professionals who can provide the appropriate care and support you may need.
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Getting Honest About Anxiety with Caris Snider
[00:00:06] Hey, friends, and welcome to the Even If Podcast. I’m your host, Kristi Lowe, and I am so glad you’re back again with us today. If you were with us last week, you know we started a new series called An Even If Kind of Faith, which is examining what it’s like to live out a faith that trusts God no matter what.
[00:00:25] I trust that Jesus is who he says he is. That he can do what he says he can do and that he is alive and he is active within us, y’all. And so last week we started that.
[00:00:37] Today we are beginning a conversation that is probably going to hit home for a lot of us.
[00:00:43] We’re talking today about anxiety and depression, and if that has been a struggle for you you know how hard it is to keep our eyes focused on Jesus whenever everything inside of us is in turmoil or there’s a real dark cloud above us.
[00:00:58] . I’m about to drop you into a conversation I had with author and podcaster Caris Snyder and Caris comes to us with a world of experience. She has written four books on anxiety and then her fifth book, which is newly released and it’s called car line mom. It’s a devotional for all those busy moms out there that are literally in car lines all the time picking up kids.
[00:01:23] But Caris is here today to talk about her struggles with anxiety and depression and what we can do. To fight it, and how we can stand firm in our faith whenever that begins to rear its ugly head.
[00:01:37] Caris words today were a powerful reminder if you’re struggling with anxiety, that there is really hope and there is help.
[00:01:45] Two things before I drop you into our conversation.
[00:01:48] If you haven’t already gotten your Even If Spotify playlist, go over to my website, evenifpodcast. com. On the homepage, scroll down about halfway and you’re going to see a box where you can fill out your name and email address, and it will send you a link to the official Even If podcast.
[00:02:05] Musical playlist and it is full of music that I listen to here in my office. It’s the music that fills our house most days so go over there, get that playlist. Okay. The second thing, when you go over to evenifpodcast. com, you might notice that it looks a little different than it used to, and that is because Steph O’Keefe, over at Southern Creative Co.
[00:02:29] has been busy overhauling this entire site. This is not a paid advertisement at all.
[00:02:34] She’s just really good at what she does and I loved, I loved working with her.
[00:02:38] On the new website is a tab at the top called Books. It is a list of curated books and resources
[00:02:45] , so if you’ve ever wondered how you can support the Even If podcast, you can use those links and a small portion of the proceeds will go back to the Even If podcast.
[00:02:54] so get a new book and support the podcast. I think it’s a win win situation, right? . Okay, I think that that’s enough of the announcements today. Let’s dive in. Enjoy today’s conversation with Caris Snyder.
[00:03:07] I just wanna welcome you, Caris.
[00:03:09] I’m so glad you’re here today.
[00:03:11] Caris: Uh, thanks Kristi for letting me come in and, and be part of your listener family today. I’m really excited. I.
[00:03:17] Kristi: Thank you. I’m, I’m, I’m so glad you’re here. Before we started recording, I told Caris that, you know, anxiety has been a lifelong struggle for me. Um, and I’m real outgoing. So, you know, people think, oh, if she’s outgoing, she must not struggle with anxiety. But, uh, yeah, it’s been a lifelong thing and so I.
[00:03:36] Personally, I’m so excited for us to have this conversation because I think it’s something we just don’t talk enough about. But before we dive into that, I would love to hear more about you and your faith and like when you started walking with Jesus.
[00:03:52] Caris: Yeah. So, you know, I was fortunate to grow up in a home with, with a mom and a dad who. Loved me and my brothers. I have an older brother and I actually have a twin brother as well. And, uh, I am one minute older than him.
[00:04:05] I don’t always say that now that we are older adults, but you better believe I did when we were kids. Um, but they, they loved us so much and they made sure that we were, we were always in church. You know, my mom was the prayer warrior of the church, you know what I mean? Like, I, it was a, a small little Baptist church, and if people needed something or a prayer chain started, they called my mom.
[00:04:28] And, uh, she did that. And so they were always pouring in, you know, the love of God into us. We, we always did hear about how Jesus loved us and died on the cross for us. And, and I’ll never forget, uh, that moment of, of salvation, of, of me coming into my own faith. We grew up going to vacation Bible school.
[00:04:46] Was that, I don’t know if that was a part of, of your life. Uh, still to this day I love vacation Bible School and we got home. I was in third grade and we got home that night and my mom took me and my brother and, and knelt beside my bed, and she pulled out this, this paper document that she had saved and it had.
[00:05:05] The, I’ll never forget these little precious moments, figurines on it. And it had, uh, it just had the plan of salvation on there. And she began to read this to us with the words, you know, for children to understand about what Jesus did for us on the cross and how we can receive that salvation and forgiveness.
[00:05:22] And, and, and she led us through that prayer of salvation. And I even, I got just chills, even just remembering it. I remember just the power of the Holy Spirit coming in the room. My brother and I were crying. We were so excited. Just we felt peace. Like it was just a peaceful moment. I mean, we even hugged each other man, and we were like, man, I, we love you.
[00:05:43] We love you. And, and it was so powerful and such a, a moving moment. My mom called, Our pastor, and I remember, , going down later and, and getting baptized, but Jesus has been in my life ever since I was. Young ever since I was a child. And, and I’m grateful for that foundation because I know that it was so important for me to have, as I did begin, to, as I went through difficult struggles with anxiety as an adult, you know, and depression, having that foundation of faith, even though there were times, Kristi, I’ll be honest.
[00:06:19] When I was going through that struggle, I didn’t always believe it or believe that it could still be true for me. It was still that foundation that was there that was not moving, that was unshakeable and, uh, it, it was lifesaving. It was lifesaving.
[00:06:34] Kristi: Hmm. When did anxiety really start? When did it come into your life that you remember the first time? And like, how did you cope with that?
[00:06:43] Caris: yeah, so. Knowing Now, looking back, anxiety began for me as a child, as a young child. I was born with a mild form of cerebral palsy in my left side. Uh, it affected my arm and my leg. And I’ll never forget, a little boy who played baseball with my brother, went to church with me, grabbed my, gathered my classroom around me, and he said, Caris, why don’t you do that?
[00:07:06] Why don’t you, why don’t you look like that? Why don’t you hold your arm up like that? And he hopped around me like a bunny rabbit and said that that’s what. I looked like, and that happened when I was in first grade. I still remember that moment. And I was crushed. I, that was the first time, you know, that I felt rejection, that I realized I was different.
[00:07:25] ’cause my parents didn’t, they didn’t treat me any differently for my brothers. My, my dad was like, listen, your disability does not define your ability in this life. Like that was never gonna happen. And then when that happened, that day, I did what many of us do when we face a struggle or, or a hard thing.
[00:07:43] I hid it and I pushed it down and I felt like I couldn’t tell my teachers. I couldn’t tell my parents. I was afraid of. What the outcome would be. Uh, what if they don’t believe me? What if it makes it worse? What if others, join in? And so I pushed it down and I hid it. And I remember crying in my room, feeling nervous and anxious about going to school the next few days.
[00:08:07] and not knowing what that was inside. ’cause you know, we didn’t talk about it back then. That was just not something that we really talked about. And, and then I just began to teach myself, you know, when those anxious moments would come. And that they were scary to just push ’em down and hide it. And then to only do things that I really thought I could do well, uh, that I thought maybe that I could be perfect at.
[00:08:30] Let me just say, put it that way. I put that expectation of perfection on myself. Does that make sense?
[00:08:36] Kristi: Oh yeah, absolutely. Oh yeah. Oh sister.
[00:08:41] Caris: yeah, and I think a lot of us who struggle with anxiety, we do that. We want to be perfect. We wanna excel. We’ll only do things that we feel like we can control the outcome of, or we know what the outcome is going to be and, and that.
[00:08:55] Kristi: I was like, Caris is over here reading my mail and on my toes, but yeah. Yes, absolutely. Yes.
[00:09:02] Caris: I, because with anxiety, you feel out of control.
[00:09:05] You, you feel, you know, it feels unstable. So we grab for what can we control? What, what can I excel at? Where, where will I not feel rejection again? Um, so that began for me early on as a child. Now, my hard struggle with anxiety and depression was about 12 years ago as an adult. Um, and I, it almost took my life.
[00:09:25] I was a worship leader at the time with my husband. I was running a business. It all appeared great. I was a master of the mask, but it almost took my life.
[00:09:34] Kristi: Okay. Yeah. You found yourself at the bottom of the pit, I’m assuming.
[00:09:38] Caris: Yes. Yeah.
[00:09:39] Kristi: Had something precipitated it or was it just you just, I mean, Louis Giglio talks about his depression. I don’t know if you’ve ever Yeah. Okay. Are you And he talk, he was one of the first people when he started talking about what he had gone through, it was like he was shining a light for those of us who had been through it to go.
[00:09:58] I can’t explain what happened. Like I couldn’t explain why I had this cloud over me. Like I couldn’t, I couldn’t figure out what was going on, but I knew that I was not okay.
[00:10:08] , but like, when did you know, like this was not just normal worry or normal concern.
[00:10:14] What, what happened there?
[00:10:17] Caris: Man, I, you know, I can just remember, I just always, uh, I was always on edge. I was al I just felt wound tight like a rubber band and that was the anxiety for me. It made me feel very froggy. And then the depression on top of it made me feel like I was. Foggy, like I was walking around in a fog, so I was jumpy all the time and I felt like I was in a fog all the time.
[00:10:41] I couldn’t see where I was going. I mean, I would be driving down the road and all of a sudden my heart would begin racing. My breath would just leave me. Um, my, I would grip the steering wheel tight ’cause these panic attacks would just come outta nowhere. And, and I would feel like, you know, something bad was gonna happen.
[00:10:59] I would run these, what if, you know, worst case scenarios through my mind of. Of what if something bad happens to my husband? What if something bad happens to my, my daughter? I only had one daughter at the time. Um, and, and these thoughts, they felt like these movies playing through my head. It felt very real, very realistic, and nothing had happened, but yet my brain triggered me into this.
[00:11:21] Fight or flight mode, if you will. And I didn’t need it. I, I didn’t need it. And then it just kind of put me into that scary panic mode. And then when it was over, I would feel embarrassed and I would feel ashamed and, and I would think I, I can’t tell anyone that that just happened. I’m a worship leader.
[00:11:38] I’m a leader. And the church, you know, I, I. I’m a successful businesswoman. I I’m a mom, like I can’t tell anybody that. And so I put that mask on of you have to be perfect. You have to have it all together for God to be able, you know, to use you. And man, I hid it. I even hid it for my husband just because I didn’t know what the response was gonna be.
[00:11:59] And I think I, I, I will say, I really wish I could say it was easy for me to admit that I was dealing with anxiety and depression, but in the that season of my life, I did not think anxiety or depression was real. Unfortunately, I was one of those that was a part of the church who would say, if you or to come to me struggling with anxiety or depression, my advice to you would go something like this.
[00:12:24] Maybe you all have heard this. Well, you just need to read your Bible more. Um, you need to trust. Trust God more, pray harder, do more. And if I knew you really well, Kristi, I would just say, Hey, suck it up buttercup, and move on.
[00:12:40] Kristi: Yep. Yep. a lie of the enemy.
[00:12:45] Caris: is a lie of the enemy. Jesus never said any of those words, and you cannot find that in any translation. That is not of him. And I just wanna pause and just say, I’m so sorry to anyone who has heard that. I truly am so sorry. I just wanna stand in that place and just say that to you.
[00:13:05] Just let you know. They have no idea what they were saying. I had no idea what I was saying, how I was dismissing what so many were struggling with because I did begin to realize, hey, this is very real. And I was praying harder and I was reading my Bible, but there was just more going on that I needed help with.
[00:13:25] And. I think the bottom of the bottom for me, everybody has their different ones, you know, that different moment. You know, I just really felt purposeless, useless, hopeless, and in the midst of all that, I think I might’ve weighed a hundred pounds because I was starving myself. Trying to numb that pain of anxiety and depression because it was so painful and so hard.
[00:13:47] And, uh, in the midst of that, we found out that I was pregnant and we were shocked. And my doctor was just like, Caris, for the sake of the baby, I need you to eat. I don’t care if you eat donuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but for the sake of the baby eat. And two things happened for me in that moment that, that mama bear instinct kicked in, that I believe every woman has, you know, we will, we will fight.
[00:14:11] For others, right? We will fight for the hurting, for the weak, for our children, for our children’s friends, right? We’re gonna stand in the gap for you, do for you what we would never do for ourselves, but also, I mean, if a doctor says, eat donuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You eat the donuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until still to this day.
[00:14:30] Donuts are my favorite dessert because I ate a lot of donuts. But in that, in that timeframe of about eight weeks, I gained about six pounds, which was a miracle. But I lost the baby. I had a miscarriage. And in that moment, yeah, um, the enemy came and was like, look what you did. Look what you did to that little life.
[00:14:51] You, it’s your fault. You are a burden to, to your husband and your and your daughter. You are a burden to your family and friends. God can’t use you in church. You just need to go. You just need to leave. Leave the earth. And when I hit that moment and when I felt like I had nothing to offer, no purpose, to just leave this earth, that scared me.
[00:15:11] It, it really did scare me. And I knew I had two options. I could look up or I could give up, and I thank God every day that he whispered, look up. And when I looked up, I was not alone. There were helpers there. Those lies that the enemy was feeding me, that I was gonna be rejected, that no one understood what I was going through, that I was literally the only one struggling with what I was struggling with, and nobody would understand.
[00:15:37] It was all proven to be lies. There was helpers there, a counselor, my doctor, my my husband, my family and friends. My, my pastor looking at me telling me, God is not mad at you. He’s not mad at you and you haven’t, you know, let him down and he has a great purpose still for your life. And so that over that process, that took me about seven or eight months.
[00:16:02] To get to that moment, to realize that when I looked up, I wasn’t hopeless. I was hopeful. I wasn’t useless, I was useful, and I was still purposeful. God was not done with me. And so it, it took me that long of a season to really get to that point where I, I asked for help ’cause I desperately needed it.
[00:16:24] Kristi: When you ask for help, who did you ask for? Who did you go to first?
[00:16:30] Caris: So, you know, it’s really crazy because in the midst of all of this, we led, uh, worship at a women’s conference that we had booked a year prior. My husband and I, we had already booked it a year prior, and the, uh, keynote speaker of that conference just happened to be a counselor, a restoration counselor, and uh, they put us into small groups.
[00:16:50] After we had got done leading worship and after she had spoke, and I just, again, just happened, you know, just happened. It was a total God thing. Of course, I was in her small group and they wanted us to go around and share our struggles, share our troubles. And when it got to me, I just remember weeping saying what I was dealing with, and all these women just hugged me and loved me.
[00:17:11] And, uh, that lady, Sherry Brown. She pulled me to the side and she said, I’m a restoration counselor and I can help you. I can help you now. I did not take her help that then it took about two more months when I did hit that rock bottom moment. But she was the first person that I went to to get help and to set an appointment with her, and then my doctor, uh, realizing that there was just a lot going on, some imbalances going on in my body, some unhealthy things.
[00:17:37] She was that second person that came in and said, You know, we, let’s get this fixed. Let’s get you out of this fog that you’re in. And she said, she’s like, Caris, listen, there are women four and five rows down from you at church, that’s on medication that is taking medication. If this was heart disease for you, if, if you were struggling with high blood pressure cancer, if your child had asthma and I gave you an inhaler, you would not fight me on it.
[00:18:05] Not for one second. And I told her, I was like, you’re right. I, I wouldn’t. And she said, okay, so you’re gonna have to trust me on this. And I did. I had to trust her on it. And, and she was right.
[00:18:17] Kristi: Yeah. And well, and we’ve, there was such a, there has been until recently, such a stigma around mental health and talking about mental health has finally getting, we’re we’re almost to the point where it’s normalized. But that stigma, I think it keeps people quiet. and you know, anytime you see, someone feeling like they can’t talk, That they need to hide something that is, that is always a tool of the enemy.
[00:18:45] The enemy wants us to be quiet. He wants us to hide things. He wants us to keep things in the shadows. That’s where he operates. So whenever you finally said, I’m not okay, I am not okay, you took away the power of the enemy. And I’m first, I’m so glad you did that.
[00:19:05] And you’ve also been very, you’ve been very candid about anxiety. Have you found the freedom? Have you seen the freedom in being able to just be open about.
[00:19:17] The challenges that you have faced.
[00:19:21] Caris: You, you know, I, I like that, that question. Uh, it has been freeing, but it has been hard at the same time because there’s still that, you know, even in within me, and this has been 12 years now, there’s still that hesitancy of, if I say this, What’s gonna happen? Um, you know, will they judge me? Will they think differently of me?
[00:19:40] But the freeing part is I know that there’s freedom and put shining the light on it and, and speaking, you know, this is where I was, but thank God I’m not there anymore and this is what he did for me and this is what he can do for you. And so to walk in that freedom to know that it. Yes, I may have those moments of struggle, you know, with those anxious thoughts or, anxious feelings or a hard day that it no longer,
[00:20:05] controls me, if you will, because I, I was controlled by it. I really was. and I know that. Now, of course, when you’re in the middle of it, you don’t, realize that. You don’t know that. so it is freeing to know that, that I can talk about it, that, that God does not hold it against me, you know, for so long in, in my faith log.
[00:20:26] I hid from him. I, I was just filled with shame, man. I just thought I have just totally blown it with God. No way is he gonna use me. There’s nothing that, that I have to offer. I don’t know if anyone else is there in that moment, but I was, I just was eat up with so much shame and guilt.
[00:20:46] Kristi: Oh, I mean in the enemy, like shame, I swear. Shame is the tool besides hiding things. He has used shame to try to get me to, he has tried to convince me for years that what we’ve done is we’re too far gone. We’re too, you know, like what? Whatever it is our struggle with has somehow made us defunct or unusable by God, and it’s this quiet, pervasive.
[00:21:12] Questioning in our minds that if somebody asked you to try to put it to words, it would almost, well, it would sound crazy to the other person ’cause they would probably look at you and go, are you nuts? You are such a blessing. You’re such a gift. And yet in our minds, I mean the shame, I’m struggling to even put words around it because.
[00:21:40] Shame has, it’s like anxiety has always been here and shame has always been right there with
[00:21:46] Caris: Right.
[00:21:47] Kristi: And man,
[00:21:49] Caris: go together sometimes. Yeah.
[00:21:51] Kristi: absolutely, they do. Well, and , , what is it, almost half of all moms are, are seeking therapy now
[00:21:59] Caris: Yes, absolutely. I mean, it’s mental health is the top struggle for moms.
[00:22:05] Kristi: finally, we are talking to, we’re finally getting help and I think that everybody needs a counselor. Needs, they need, you need, you may not need to go to therapy every week. You may not need to go to therapy every month after a time, but like, You need to have a relationship just like you have a relationship with your doctor, for all of your other things.
[00:22:28] You need a relationship with someone who can hold a mirror up or hold a shine a light, and is a trustworthy professional to say, yeah, this is normal, or No, this is not.
[00:22:41] Caris: Right.
[00:22:42] Kristi: I’m a, I’m a huge fan. My daughter is a, about to be a sophomore in college and she’s studying mental health and so I’m like, alright, we’re gonna have a counselor in the family.
[00:22:53] Caris: It’s great.
[00:22:55] Kristi: So we are huge. We, we’ve lost, friends to suicide. we know the effects that, a deteriorated mental condition. Can we know what that does? In a person and it’s, it is crushing. It is, it crushes not only you, but it crushes everyone else around you. but going back to talking about mamas, and then finally we’ve got moms that are finally seeking therapy and talking about some of these struggles, which I think is a wonderful segue because you have now written a book about, it’s called Carline Mom Devotional.
[00:23:31] Okay. And first of all, I love that because, Although both of my kids can drive now, and I’m not in that exact season. I think I spent half of my life in a car when my babes were little because I drove them everywhere to from, waited for them, had to go get ’em, pick ’em up, take ’em back, and then sometimes we’d have to turn around and go back because we bag, we left our shoes.
[00:23:59] We’ve got, you know, I mean like, Oh my gosh, I so remember those days. And so I guess your kids are probably, you’re probably still in that phase of living in your car and it’s just hard. So what can somebody expect from if, they read the book?
[00:24:15] Caris: Yeah, so I, I’m very excited about this book, you know, and kind of, God laid this on my heart to write. It was at, it was a, a brand new thing. It wasn’t just focused on anxiety. It was focused on this, this world of being a mom. And, and one thing that I, I. Learn how the Lord in my life, when he allows me to write things, it’s through experiences that I’m going through or or seasons or are part of where I’m at because it allows me to be, to be a part of a community with others where, where I get to experience it and walk that journey together.
[00:24:44] So Carline mom, it came. I mean, I like you said, from toddler to teenager, we live our life as mamas in a car with our kids, with their friends, all the places, you know, and, and so I was just driving in the car line one day and, and all these ideas of just different things that have happened in the car line, lessons that, that God has taught me while I’ve been in the car line, or just moments that have happened as a mom.
[00:25:09] It was just like, you know, we, we live here, we are, we’re here all the time. And, and many moms are just overwhelmed. You know, they’re over worried. They’re overstressed. And honestly, I guess I just got to a point where I was just kind of over it. Like I’m just like, no more, you know, we, this is not what God meant for us to experience as moms and I, I knew for me, I was tired of feeling like I was failing all the time, like I was failing God, failing my kids.
[00:25:38] Um, I was tired of feeling like I had to do all the things, fill all my schedule, you know, never have a moment of margin, never need help, to be able to do all the, the Pinterest worthy. dinners or, or the decorating or the social media, filtered life when in reality my kitchen table was filled with dirty clothes and my sink was filled with dirty dishes.
[00:26:01] And, there was moments that, that it wasn’t a, a happy go lucky life. It was a struggle, but we needed God. I needed God in those moments. I needed that time with him. And so it began kind of out of that way, how can we find these moments? To spend time with God to know that he’s with us in the mundane, he’s with us in the coming and the going, and there is joy in this season of life as a mom and we, can be free from this thought that we have to be perfect when in, in reality, all God ask is for us to be surrendered, to be willing.
[00:26:34] And so that’s kind of where it came about and all these little stories came up. So when you read it, it is a hundred days of encouragement for the mama. Who’s getting everybody everywhere they need to go. And, it just kind of takes you into a little bit of stories for my life. If it’s from the car line, if it’s from conversations my daughters and I have had, there’s even a story where my husband is, is riding with me in the car line because he thinks we’re going the wrong way and we’re gonna die.
[00:26:57] And I’m like, dude, listen, you are just gonna have to trust me. And I, you know, it was just in this moment of God needs us to just trust him. It may look like we don’t know, you know? He’s not going the right way and he is doing it wrong, but he knows what he’s doing. And so you’re gonna read it every day.
[00:27:12] There’s gonna be a scripture for you to focus on. Then there’s gonna be that text to just kind of help you dive just a little bit deeper in how you can apply that to your life. And then there’s a action step. You know, when God pulled me through anxiety and depression and healed and restored me. Taking small action steps was a huge part of that every day.
[00:27:31] And sometimes you don’t know what little action to take. And so that’s been very important to me to have that in everything that I’ve written. So it’s in Carline Mom two. This one little action, just one tiny one to focus on and take for that day. And then there’s a prayer there that you can pray and there’s some white space if you want to.
[00:27:50] Write down what God has taught you. Maybe there’s a, a prayer request that you wanna write there. Maybe you are a doodler and you like to draw and you wanna draw there maybe some things that God has revealed to you. And so just one little page every day. It is small enough you can keep it in your car, keep it in your purse, and when you’re parked somewhere, Waiting on your kids or maybe before you walk into your house.
[00:28:11] Sometimes I’ll wait a little bit longer in my car before I walk in. You can pull that book out, you can read that encouragement. And so I, I’m just grateful that God has just allowed this, this beautiful book of encouragement to, to be there for us as moms because so many times we speak just negative things over ourselves and, and that’s not what he wants for us.
[00:28:33] He sees us. He loves us. He hears our prayers, he hears our cries, and he, he wants to meet us in those moments.
[00:28:41] Kristi: Hmm. You know, as you’re talking, the thing I’m seeing that I think people, who are struggling with anything, you know, wherever the person who is listening right now is, if they’re struggling with something. I see that what you went through didn’t define you. And yet the Lord is using it in such a beautiful way from the other side of it and going through these difficult things in life.
[00:29:09] Like what everything you have been through with anxiety. And I’m gonna bet that anxiety is not just something that you can say you had I, I. Knowing what I know about my own walk with anxiety, it is sometimes a daily laying down in a daily surrender to say, Lord, I trust you, even though I am extremely anxious to go.
[00:29:32] Mine is usually situational or social. Mm-hmm. But I see you. I see you on the other side of it, and I see you getting to minister to moms now, and I bet that if you could tell Caris from 12 years ago when she was down in the lowest pit of this, that she would someday have written.
[00:29:54] Five books and be ministering and meeting people right where they are. You know, I, I bet she probably would’ve gone uhhuh, right? Sure. You know, I mean, not that you didn’t have faith, but sometimes you just, you can’t imagine that you’re ever gonna see the other side of it it’s so beautiful to see what God is doing through you. You know, the mental load of parenthood, that is a heavy load to carry. And before we wrap up, I would love to hear if you could tell a mom or a parent right now who’s just carrying a really heavy burden that feels heavier than they can bear, what would you tell them right now?
[00:30:36] Caris: Oh man. if I could tell them anything, if I could just look them eye to eye, you know, face to face, I think I would say to them, first of all, this is a heavy load. Uh, this is a heavy load. It’s not anything that you’ve done or haven’t done. It is just heavy, and I would want to give them permission to let someone help them carry the load.
[00:30:59] They don’t have to carry it alone. That, you know, as Galatians six two tells us that we are to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. Help is not a four letter word. It’s not a bad word. It’s actually what, what God wants us to do. For each other, so, so, mom, dad, grandparent, maybe you have had to take over this role of parenthood.
[00:31:25] You’re not failing God. If you ask for help within your community, you’re not letting him down. If you acknowledge to him, Hey, this is overwhelming, and I don’t know if I can carry this, you know, if Jesus could acknowledge the overwhelm that he felt. In that Garden of Gethsemane, you can acknowledge the overwhelm that maybe you feel in your own garden right now.
[00:31:47] And just as God met Jesus in that moment and sustained him and gave him strength to move forward and what he called him to do, God will strengthen you to move forward in this Call of Parenthood and he has put people around you to help you. So let them lift the load, let them be your arm bearers so that you no longer walk this road alone.
[00:32:10] Kristi: That is beautiful. My friend. I, I, first of all, I could talk to you forever. Like
[00:32:15] Caris: I know. Is it over already? Can we do another one?
[00:32:19] Kristi: we can just keep going like we do. You just wanna like, solve all the world’s problems
[00:32:24] Caris: that. Yes,
[00:32:25] Kristi: for.
[00:32:25] Caris: for sure
[00:32:26] Kristi: You know, we’re I, we’re, we’re wrapping up and I don’t want to ’cause obvious like you are.
[00:32:33] Oh my goodness. Friends, y’all have got to you, you’ve got to connect with car. This is just, you are a precious, precious spirit. But what I would, I would love to hear 1, 1, 1 more thing. You know, we talk about even if a lot, I mean, it’s the name of the podcast and we talk about like, Even if, and one of my favorite, even if statements is, even if it all falls apart, I know God is still faithful.
[00:32:56] Even, even if I don’t know how it’s gonna turn out. I know he’s trustworthy. And in light of all of your life, and with anxiety and motherhood and all of the things that you have experienced, if you had, if you had an even if statement, what, what would yours be?
[00:33:13] Caris: Um, I think mine would be, even if anxiety or depression were to pull me back down in a dark pit, I know that God will not abandon me, that he will love me through it revealing another layer of his character and that I can lean on him.
[00:33:33] Kristi: I couldn’t put that any better myself. I’m beyond grateful that you’re not hiding. I’m really, really glad that as someone who totally relates to this and has put on the happy face and acted like I had it all together and when it was all crumbling around me and inside of me.
[00:33:54] Thank you for, for speaking into and shining a light in what is often a very dark and lonely place. And I’m just gonna encourage you, you have encouraged me and countless other people today, but I just wanna encourage you right back to say, please, please keep going. Please keep. Sharing this message.
[00:34:14] And, friends, we’re gonna link everything on the show notes for Caris Ways that you can, uh, get copies of her book. All of them. There’s, she, and, and I didn’t say this at the beginning, friends, but, she has, books for. Tweens and teens, boys and girls.
[00:34:31] and, and she talks about anxiety in a way that is approachable for people of all ages. So no matter what age you or someone you know is, she’s got a resource that can help you there. And I would highly encourage you guys to check those out because Yeah, she’s, she is, She’s where it’s at, y’all.
[00:34:50] I’m just telling ya.
[00:34:52] Do you have anything else you wanna add before we wrap up?
[00:34:56] Caris: I just, just thank you for, tackling this, subject. We never know what our listener families are struggling with, what they’re going through. So to know that, they can come to this podcast, they can hear real conversations and real struggles that others have had, but there’s real hope.
[00:35:11] On the other side and when they, they finish an episode to know that they’re leaving with hope. I just want to thank you for that, and thank you for just letting me be here with you today.
[00:35:21] Kristi: Thank you Caris. You are, you are welcome back on this podcast. Anytime my friend.
[00:35:26] Alright friends, thanks so much for being here with us today and you know, as we always say, good Lord willing, I will see you guys next week.