Though it seems like an odd testament to the existence of God, I can always testify to His existence and realness when I experience a palpable darkness trying to creep in. I can feel Light and Darkness. So, just what am I talking about?
I’m not sure if Kevin or I noticed this first but EACH time I blogged about how well we were doing during my pregnancy with Olive, how jubilant I am about this bonus baby, or how our marriage has been resuscitated after years of struggle, I would face some strange tribulation the next day.
Kevin wisely suggested that we almost anticipate it and pray specifically against it.
This was not limited to when I would blog about happy thangs instead of writing about persistent struggle and angst. It would also occur when Kevin and I were doing exceptionally well and creating new, healthy habits. Like a couple nights ago, Kevin and I finally had our New Year’s talk, using Pastor Rich’s Rule of Life steps (which I hope to write about, too).
We were pleased with ourselves for not automatically reaching for the remote control once the kids went to bed. Instead, we wrote down what gives us life and what impacts our spirit negatively, in order to give ourselves some direction and motivation this new year. We prayed for these plans and desires to take flight. And we even had time left over to watch my new favorite show, “The Chi.”
The very next day, our family’s sacred MLK Jr. Day, another meaningful day in our household – one son named after MLK Jr. and another conceived on MLK Jr. Day 2012, I had such an emotional setback that I couldn’t believe it. As with many setbacks, the trigger shoulda coulda woulda been manageable, but it set me off so disproportionately that I am still processing. Details are too boring and gratuitous to use up my word count here.
So yeah, when we are doing very well, or I share about doing very well, I can feel darkness trying to deposit thoughts like, “Really though? You guys good? Have you really progressed? Maybe not? How about I throw you some shit and see if you really overcame? You think people wanna hear about how good you doing, Pollyanna?” and other more unsavory words of doubt and darkness.
I even said, “Dang, Kevin, maybe I shouldn’t share praises then!?” Seems like an easy solution? But no. I will not be silenced by fear. I refuse to dim the light in order to accommodate darkness. I will keep sharing how He is working in my life even through my failures that DO make me wonder if I have progressed at all.
One blessing I dare to share about today is my middle son. The boy has a way with words and sometimes utters things that literally take my breath away. Last night, after my emotional setback that still got me like, “Huh!?”, the whole family listened to Dr. MLK Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Ellis prayed, “Oh Lode, please make Martin Luther King Jr. alive again today.” Yes, Lord, may his spirit live on during these dark times. We need it.
And on 1/1/2018, the first day of the New Year, another day that is sacred not just to our family but to all who love a fresh new start of a new calendar page, I had another emotional snafu. (Hmmm, I had probably shared some praises again or felt especially grateful for the last week of 2017). After we made some dumplings from scratch, a New Year’s Day tradition we want to keep up when we are at home for New Year’s, I burnt the first batch because I got distracted.
Should be no big deal but I got real down on myself like, “Dang, girl, what the hell is wrong with you?” and spiraled a bit when I thought I was getting better with this self-flagellation problem. I told Ellis, “Mommy’s not doing too well. I know it’s not a big deal that I wasted those dumplings but sometimes, Mommy talks mean to herself and she gets stuck.”
He stared at me with those eyes that look right into my soul and said:
You are my heart. (“You ah my haw-wut.”)
You are loved. (“You ah loved.”)
When I gave him my typical big reaction, gushing and embracing him, he somberly said, “I’m not done. I love you. And you are beautiful.”
It really felt like God sent me a little messenger when I needed words of affirmation to drive out my thoughts of condemnation. I asked him to repeat himself. He said it again to a tearful Mommy and blessed me over and over again.
Please feel free to receive those words of blessing for yourself.
**The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. – John 1:5**