I feel like I'm always the one to see the first lightening bug of the summer.
I claim it every year, for what it's worth.
I remember when I was a kid at my grandmother's house,
running around in the dark, barefooted
in the sticky summer evenings .
You hold your jar, with the lid barely twisted on - holes jabbed for air
waiting for the tiny bright light to shine.
Then suddenly - you see it!
You take off running in that direction
hoping to get to it in time for the next flash
so you can capture the tiny light and save it in your jar.
I'm in that type of dark night right now.
thinking I'm going to step on something slimy,
and desperately searching for a little flicker of light.
That darkness closes in with hateful comments
or absences of friends
and I find myself forgetting how to breathe.
"How did I get here??" I wonder...
Isn't there a magic pill or something?
Then today I saw some fireflies.
Kids being kids,
making me laugh - and just for a moment -
feeling almost normal.
A few emails from strangers who know where I am,
who have been here before,
and who offer support.
A call from a friend,
who didn't know what to say,
but gave me permission to ask for the moon
if it would help me heal.
Taking my daughter to meet her hero, Katie from Uganda,
getting her autograph inside her new book,
and hearing my baby girl say to Katie,
"My friend Abby and I want to be missionaries and live in Africa someday!"
And finally, the selfless love of my Mom and Papa.
The kind of love that makes you forget all your words.
(and I ALWAYS have words.)
The kind that makes you confused and disoriented,
and just so blown away by generosity and love and just...
the faith that they have in YOU and who you are,
not sure if you deserve it, but it's THERE.
And it just makes your heart melt into a puddle
and cry tears of gratitude to the God who put this man in your life -
one you didn't think you wanted,
who you didn't think wanted you,
but who demonstrates his fierce love in such a rough-around-the-edges
but smooshy-like-a-puppy-snout kind of way...
how could you be anything but
completely humbled by that kind of love??
Weary and still confused, I can now look down at the end of this day...
muddy, messy, smelling like outside-in-the-summer and completely worn out,
to see that my little jar of "lightening bugs" is glowing and I can see my dirty toes.
I think I might be able to see my way back home after all.