We recently heard a sermon that asked us to ask ourselves what good came out of a dark time, that if it weren’t for that struggle or storm, we would not have been able to receive the good or learned that lesson.
A few years ago, Kevin and I were fighting one night. Nothing new during that era. Lotta fighting after the kids would go to bed. Our church tries to equip us with marriage tools so that we don’t fight dirty but when I would get upset, the last thing I would think about were them tools.
Not that I forgot about them but I would scream, “F*CK those tools! How am I gonna talk like a robot and speak in the MF ‘I’ when I can tell that I am NOT being heard!?! And just so you know, we ain’t getting away with sh*t just cuz the kids are ‘sleep. They can absorb this toxicity even in their dreams. We hurting them but we keep doing this. I hate us.”
Kevin would try to fix things by resorting to logic, coming up with solutions and that would, of course, enrage me even more. Looking back, I think I just wanted him to say, “I hear you. You are hurt. I really hear you.” (He may have even said that but oof, my fury burns hot.)
One particular night, we escalated ’til our throats were hoarse and he had to take a walk. While walking, he prayed, “I just can’t do this. It’s too hard. It’s not getting better, Lord.”
He came home and seemed different.
He told me, “It makes absolutely no sense and you’re gonna laugh at me or get furious when I tell you this. While I was praying outside, God gave me a vision of you sitting in a hospital room with a newborn baby _________ in your arms, smiling. I saw the number 39 and the letters ___ and ___ and I sensed that God was telling me something, that it will get better and this vision of a new baby, even though there is just no way.”
“Lemme ask you something. Did I have a husband in that vision and if so, who was he?! Cuz right now, it SHO don’t seem like it’s gonna be you. We oil and water. That vision be MEAN and maybe something your mind spat out because you Christian and you don’t want to divorce? And how do people divorce anyways, especially in NYC? Pay for TWO homes!?”
Months later and years later: “Dang it, why you gotta tell me about that vision!? I am praying for peace about no more baby but that vision of yours keeps nagging at me! What if it’s supposed to play out and we blocking it?”
Kevin logically explained, “So maybe it wasn’t a vision-VISION but something God just gave me to encourage me in that moment because I just wanted to give up. Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it.”
Fast forward to my 40th birthday, when I got official word from peeing on my pregnancy test at my gym (more privacy than in our apartment), I did the calculation and realized that just like in Kevin’s vision with the prominent #39 that caught his eye, I had conceived our child during my last few weeks of being 39.
The dark years of fighting dirty and repeatedly hurting each other gifted us with not only Kevin’s vivid vision of hope but ways to fight better. No counselor, church, book, or friend could have gotten through to me about how I must stop fighting dirty; I had to experience the cost of fighting dirty and how it truly got me nowhere.
Without those dark years, I would have prematurely tried to fanagle one more baby because time was ticking, without learning how to communicate better. Had I been blessed with child a couple years ago, all three kids would have been so young, my hormones barely regulated and our marriage may have fallen apart.
I’m extra grateful with my hands to the heavens and hopeful as the June due date draws near, but I’m also being realistic about tiredness, lack of margins, and being much more worn out nearly five years after our last newborn. Prayers for us, please – to break the old cycle and create new cycles of hope and clear communication even with a new human to care for.