Hush…

It’s amazing how many times peace is right in front of my face and I still look everywhere else for it…

I’ve been overwhelmed with stormy thoughts lately. The fear and sorrow of the last 3 years–from dealing with the dark hole that was PPD to suffering through the absolute heartbreak of two miscarriages–have finally reached their peak. Throughout this pregnancy I’ve faced those demons and lies in small doses–from worrying about missing my ever important supplements just once to having to struggle to even get out baby clothes, a crib, and the other essentials for little man. There have been times where it’s felt completely terrifying to actually believe that I am still pregnant with him.

Surely by now something had to have gone wrong…  Don’t get out the clothes, he probably won’t make it anyway…   Even if you make it to a healthy birth, you’ll probably lose your mind again…  You aren’t even close to being able to handle another child…  Fear after fear wells up in my heart and overtakes my mind. Each night I lie awake for two to three hours wanting nothing more than to turn off my mind and just feel peace. Instead more often than not, I feel helpless, paralyzed in fear, and exhausted from the battle in my heart.

I wasn’t even aware of what was truly at the core of this never-ceasing fear until last night. It finally clicked. Every struggle and heartache from the past 3 years came crashing over me. I went into a full blown panic attack. I fear losing my baby boy or ending up with crushing PPD again. When I reach down deep, those are the lies I find buried in my heart. Satan is a wicked one for certain. He knows just where to hit me…he knows my weakest point.

But…there is Peace. There is Truth. There is Hope.

Tonight during our Bible story time with L, we read about Jesus calming the storm. There it is. Right in front of me–Jesus. I don’t know if it’s how this particular children’s Bible writer wrote the story, but I was holding back tears. The big storms, the ones that overwhelm and overtake. The ones that keep me awake at night. The sadness. The fear. They are too much for even the seasoned sufferer to bear alone.

But there He is with His strength and peace. He simply says, “Hush.” With one word He can not only calm my daily fears but has secured a place of ever-lasting, unimaginable peace. With one word He points me toward Himself. He intimately knows what plagues my heart. He knows the weak points and there in those times, He shows His incomprehensible strength. He knows how I try to find peace here. How I struggle to keep it all in my control. And He simply says, “Hush.”

My absolute favorite verse in all of scripture is John 16:33 where Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Through the rest of this pregnancy and after we meet our son, I am sure I will struggle to keep my heart focused on Jesus and the eternal peace He won for me . But I am even more sure that I have His grace covers each of those wavering steps.

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Grief then Happiness and Eventually Clarity

“Grief. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That’s the deal.”–C.S. Lewis

I know a bit about grief. I know a lot about happiness. In my mere 30 years I’ve experienced quite a bit…much more than most people will ever know. I’ve been so sad that I literally couldn’t pick myself up off of the floor. I’ve been immobilized with fear. I’ve been in the depths. I’m an emotional person. I always have been just didn’t always think it was okay to show it. I’ve watched as my dad’s heart monitor count down from 22 to 8 to 0. I’ve shook and been unable to speak when postpartum depression grasped so tightly on my mind and heart that my ever so strong husband was afraid to leave me alone. I’ve been through some things…some big things…some major grief causing things. 

There were so many times when my sinful mind would doubt that God knew what I was going through. When I would ask how He could let these things happen. I have actually cried aloud much as I picture King David did when writing some of the Psalms. I’ve been there. In total agony and unsure that God cared enough about me to bring me out of the depths.

But just as surely as I was in the depths, He lifted me up. He renewed me. He took me from being unable to see & think clearly and gave me clarity & strength. He healed my heart and mind. I still can’t describe how He did it. I am amazed every day that I can actually be wholeheartedly happy. I am sure He used certain people in my life, certain medical interventions, certain therapists, and especially certain family members. But there is still that part of me that knows there was more on my side than I will ever be able to comprehend. I kind of love that. I love that He is so much greater and in so much more control than I can imagine.

I believe that God brought me through those things so strongly so that I can give Him glory and help others struggling with what I have been through. I’ve talked with many friends who have had parents die young. I’ve been able to cry with them & comfort them because I’ve been there and now I’m past there

I have somewhat taken up “a cause” though I despise that cliche. When I was struggling to breastfeed my sweet LL, I felt alone and like a failure. Everything you hear from pediatricians & read online about infant feeding alludes to formula feeding as second rate. I won’t waste time rehashing the truly mortifying & horrendous things people said and shared while I was struggling. There’s no use here….I’m healed. I’m out of the depths. But my cause is this: I believe that by sharing stories and information about the benefits & amazing blessing that formula can be, I am helping others who are secretly tormented & suffering because of the often self-imposed guilt that can come from the need or choice to formula feed. I know firsthand what the “breast is best” mantra can do to a wavering faith and struggling soul. I’ve made it my self-appointed mission to try to reach & comfort any woman who might be in the same place I was 8 months ago. I can do this confidently because I’ve been brought out of the depths. I’ve been made whole again by God’s sheer grace & mercy. I can’t imagine a more UNChristian thing to do than sit idly by while someone I know is struggling with these same feelings. 

Some may say that I need to get over it…I am–others are not. Some may say I am still hurting…I am not–others still are. Some may be annoyed… eh, I’m sure there are many things I do on a daily basis that are annoying. Some may say I need to get my priorities straight & leave this behind me (yup, I’ve heard that one straight away). I can’t. Not in good conscience. Not while others are still grieving. Yes, grieving. Brings it back to the beginning. For me, not being able to breastfeed my daughter turned in PPD which caused grief. I grieved the loss of being able to do something that is supposed to be natural & biological. I grieved the loss of a supposed unspeakably close relationship with my child (yeah, that one’s a myth, too.). I grieved the loss of control over the most basic of mothering skills…feeding a child.

Grief gives way to happiness. I can say that for certain because I have lived it. In my life I have seen how the greater the grief, the greater the happiness when the grief is lifted. So after a long & hard half of a year, I can say I’ve had my vision. I know what I can do to help. I see a purpose for what I’ve been through…to praise God for His strength & mercy, forgiveness & grace…and to help others. I get the amazing privilege of being an advocate, a shoulder to cry on, and a source of strength for the struggling. My hope & prayer is that people close to me can understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. My hope & prayer is that they see past me and see how God has rejuvenated and restored me. My hope & prayer is that I can always see the goodness & blessings that come from struggles & trials.


“‘Yes,’ she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, ‘I have had my vision.'”–Virginia Woolf–To the Lighthouse

“Stay the course, daughter. And show yourself some kindness along the way.”–Loving Frank



Things change…a lot!

If you would have asked me two years ago what my life would look like as a mommy, I’d tell you that I would be a working mom and completely confident in that fact. I’d tell you that I’d be a breastfeeding mom. I’d tell you that I would be managing all of it beautifully. 


Well, things change.

After Laura was born I couldn’t breastfeed. I tried…to the point of losing my mind, literally. A month after Laura was born I was diagnosed with severe Postpartum Depression. We even had to fly my mom, Grandma Debbers, back down because I could not get out of bed, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t stop the irrational anxiety-ridden thoughts. Never in my life had I felt so helpless and crazy. I’ve had issues I’ve dealt with in counseling but never to the point where I needed medication. This was an entirely different ballgame…things change. Going back to work was a necessity for me, not for financial reasons, but for my mental health. Some may never understand that but I firmly believe it had to happen. I needed to have something familiar and tangible that engaged the part of my brain that was solid, my academic side. I’m so eternally grateful for my part time job as a preschool teacher. It was one of the things that brought me out of the depths and I believe God put that job there for that reason.

Fast forward eight months. I am weaning off my meds and feel phenomenal. Back to my grounded, confident, non-anxiety-ridden self! Things change. I have told my wonderful preschool that I won’t be returning next school year. The very thought that used to make me sweat, unable to move or speak, has now become the only thing I want to do…stay at home with my sweet Laura-love. I, Katie Visaggio, will be a stay at home mom starting in June. Things change. I cannot wait for days at home playing, going on walks and to the park, battling my stubborn Mini-Me LL on the daily things I am sure we will “disagree” on, and cooking dinners, yes, even cooking dinners! THINGS CHANGE! 😉 

I have changed. I become the gentler, softer person I’ve always prayed to be. (Ok, I still have my snarky, quick-mouthed, stubborn side but at least it’s taken a back seat! Baby steps, people, baby steps!) My goals have shifted. Yes I still want to teach elementary school and finish my Masters degree but the priority is being there for my daughter, spending time with her, and watching her grow in God’s grace.

I can grow and change and shift without fear or caution as I have this year because of my never-changing, ever-constant God & Savior. He carried me. He put my amazing support system in place. He gave me the earthly tools possible to climb out of the depths and become the stronger, gentler, more confident Katie I am today. He never leaves or forsakes. He plans and directs things for my prosperity to His glory. I want to be a good stay at home mom out of thanks for the fact that He saved me eternally & blessed me with this incredible responsibility of motherhood. 

Things change. Jesus remains. Goodness…all goodness.