Have you ever seen something so beautiful you wanted to photograph it, but no matter how hard you tried you couldn't do it justice? My happy place, the island, comes to mind. Sunsets and sunrises are that way. I have some beautiful pictures of both, but none of them do the actual moment justice.
We have lived in Illinois for nearly five years. That doesn't even seem possible to me. I have seen some beautiful sites in this state. It's one of the reasons I stayed. The beauty of the fresh fallen snow in the winter, the gorgeous fall leaves changing colors, and the amazing green turning into an indescribable golden color of the corn in the fields are all beautiful to me.
Yet, I'll never forget the first time I saw the unexpected lights. We lived in Macomb and it was our first summer here. We had such a wonderful and hard year all rolled into one. We had lost Colin and gained Anthony in less than a year. One night I was marveling at all God had brought us through in those few short months and a flash of light caught my eye out of my back window. I looked out over the huge backyard we had and saw them! Not one or two flashes of light, but hundreds of small, moving, twinkling lights! They were breath taking! I vaguely remembered seeing fireflies as a little girl in Texas, but it had been years! They've disappeared from my home state. I had never seen them like this though! They were so beautiful and it was like God was giving me my own special fireworks show, right in my backyard! I called Patrick and the boys and we went outside and stood in awe of these little bugs. Later that week my family visited from Texas and I will never forget the joy and excitement as my boys and their cousin, CJ, raced through our backyard catching fireflies. I tried to take pictures of it, but every picture was just a big blur. It was a moment that could only be recorded in our memories.
Every summer I watch expectantly for them. As we drive down the road at night I scan the sides of the roads and the fields, looking for their return. I can't even describe how excited I get when I see them for the first time every summer. Tonight, I'm holding Abby, she's asleep on my lap. She turned 17 months old today, that doesn't even seem possible. I don't want to move, not because I'm afraid of waking her, I'm ready to put her in her bed for the night, but because I don't want to miss the show out of my sliding glass door. Hundreds of them, twinkling, glowing, flying back and forth, spreading that light.
Within the span of several days I have had more than one person comment on this "surprise baby" we are having and mention some solutions for preventing that from happening again. A few months ago I would have whole heartedly agreed with them. But, today, I felt sorry for those people, the people that just don't understand.
From the very beginning God has told me over and over, "Angie, I will bring beauty from ashes through this child." I have seen that. Just as God used Abby to heal my heart, He is using this little boy to continue to heal places I didn't even realize were broken. Nearly five years ago I watched an ultrasound and the tech said, "well, God must think you are an excellent Mother to boys, because you are having another one." That was Colin. When he died those words haunted me. Satan would whisper in my ear, "excellent Mother to boys? God doesn't think so. Your body killed that little boy." There was still a part of me that deep down felt like Abby beat MFI and IUGR, the things that killed Colin, because she was a girl. Satan's lies were still ricocheting off of my head, even if I didn't realize it. We are not out of the woods, our issues start at 28 weeks, but this little one is coming home, and I strongly feel like he'll not have any issues. I've known from the moment I found out we were expecting that this was a boy. Our ultrasound recently confirmed that. It also confirmed what my heart knew, what God had been whispering in my ear. He is thriving!
As I watched this child on the ultrasound a few weeks ago I fell more and more head over heels in love. We've named him Andon Josiah. Andon is a Japanese word that means light. Andon was unexpected in My plan. Six months ago I was "unexpectedly expecting" and terrified. I was not prepared for another child, another extremely difficult pregnancy, and the possibility of another loss. Yet, God had his own special light show planned for me just like that night in Macomb. He knew this little boy, who is kicking me right now, would bring amazing light and joy. That night I saw the fireflies for the first time, God already knew Andon. God's plan was so much better than anything I could dream up. Just like the first time I saw those fireflies, I am in awe of this child. I find myself searching the calendar, like I do the fields in the summer, waiting for my first glimpse at him. The first half of the pregnancy flew by, but now it seems to be dragging. I am so grateful for God's unexpected light shows! I am so ready to meet this little lightening bug of mine!
You, LORD, are my lamp;
the LORD turns my darkness into light.
2 Samuel 22:29