Thursday, April 2, 2009

One Year

“You’re the God of this city,
You’re the King of these people,
You’re the Lord of this nation,
You Are.
You’re the Light in this darkness,
You’re the Hope to the hopeless,
You’re the Peace to the restless,
You Are.”

Today it has been one year since my life was changed. Once year since I entered a country that will always feel like home. One year since I walked through the doors of a place that captured me. One year since I first looked into the deep chocolate eyes of a Haitian baby and lost my heart to them forever. Today I sat and read the first entry that I wrote from GLA…One year ago. It’s amazing to me how much has changed. The dreams that I felt on that day are barely a memory. At that time in my life my greatest fear was being called to Haiti long term…today, my greatest fear is being called away. I came here, honestly thinking that after one month I would have satisfied this call on my life and be able to continue on with the plans that I had made. How silly that seems now. I remember sitting in my bedroom and crying because I knew there was no way I could walk away from here and not look back. There was no way for me to stay away. And now, just a year later, all those things I was holding on to mean nothing to me. The dreams I had and the plans that I made are so different from that day in April, so long ago. When I think back on my first day in Haiti I remember being overwhelmed. I remember thinking that I had made a huge mistake. A month seemed like a lifetime and I knew that they days would just crawl by. I actually remember praying that time would go quickly so that I could go home. It took only a few short hours for those feelings to change entirely. Today everything in my life has turned completely around. Today I know that how precious moments here are. I know that the days go by faster than I can blink and to think that I would have actually prayed that they would speed up makes me feel sick. These days it seems that all my prayers are begging God to just slow the seconds down. To give me more time, one more day. How could I have ever prayed away hours with these precious ones?

These days, after finally giving up my frantic grasp on my life and my plans for it I am stunned. I spent years of my life holding on, thinking that I was going to make it work out so that I would be happy with the results, and in doing so, I delayed the tremendous peace that God was trying to give me. When I let go, everything I never thought I wanted came to me. Everything that I never knew I needed, but that God had in store started coming about. My dreams in life haven’t changed, they have just been fulfilled in a way that I never could have imagined. So much sooner that I ever would have though possible. Could you have told me a year ago I would have the babies that I have always prayed for? It couldn’t have happened, at least not they way I always though it would. But it is true, I have the love of a child everywhere I turn. When my arms ache for a baby to hold there is always one available. To have a bad day here is almost impossible, a bad moment perhaps, but to have a child smile at you the way these little ones do, erases everything discouraging. To hold them and to have them hold me, there is no greater joy. In my past jobs I have had to force myself to get out of bed some mornings. Never here! When I am sick and have to stay home I hate it. I can’t stand to be away from my babies for even one day! I am content because this is the work I was created for! Knowing that God had this in store for me long before I accepted the call is such a peaceful feeling. It was always so frightening for me to give control to someone else and now that I have I am even more convinced of His pure love for me. He created each us to be the people He needed, but He did not create us to be slaves of Him. He called me to a place that matched with the love and passions He gave me. I have loved children for as long as I can remember and I was given that love for a very specific purpose. One that I could have missed out on. One that I could have been experiencing my whole life, had I surrendered earlier. But it is also one that I could still be missing, if I hadn’t accepted the call when I did. I could still be wandering aimlessly, looking for a purpose that was right in front of me. How thankful I am that when God chose me He chose me forever! He picked me for a purpose and He will continue in that purpose until the day of completion. How grateful I am that, as the Haitian prayer says I do not hold Him but He holds me.

Since I came to Haiti and found my love for this country and Her people, I have paid a lot more attention to what is going on in the world outside of Fergus Falls Minnesota. Having put faces to the stories of poverty, AIDS and death I can no longer ignore the existence of these ailments. I can’t hear a story on the news about a disaster in a 3rd world country and not see the people who I have come to love in the report. Thought at times I am away from Haiti, I am never not here. How much has changed from a year ago when it was nothing for me to be content in my little bubble, giving no thought to the lives being lost around me. And now I am convinced that I will never let myself be that way again. I pray that God will always keep my eyes and my heart opened to His people. I have been called to help and I cannot turn my back on that call. I know what a struggle it might be. I have been through it even here. I have been in a place where the call surrounds me and I still lose heart. Satan has fought me every step of the way but I know with certainty that I belong to a God who is bigger than the enemy and not I, but He in me will win the battle He is fighting. God is claiming the country of Haiti for Him. He has a plan for His people here and even though I have no idea how He will bring it about, I am honored to be a part of that plan. He is the God of Haiti and He is the Lord of her people, as much as He is the God of The United States and the Lord of Her people. I stand here, amazed by the fact that He chose me to be His light in this land. So many of you have told me what I great things I am doing here and I don’t want to disrespect you, but I have to disagree. The work I am doing here is great, the person doing it is not. I am not a good person for being in Haiti. I am not selfless in giving up my life to come here. The only good you see in me is the Christ that manages to shine through the muck that I hold. I have gained more from Haiti than I could ever possibly give her. So thank you, for the encouragements that you share but the praise belongs to someone else, the good you see is the power of Jesus in me. He is the good I do.

I know there is nothing that will ever touch me the way that the children of God’s Littlest Angels and the people of the beautiful country of Ayiti have touched me. I’m forever changed because of the things I have seen and the stories I have heard. The weight of one of these babies in my arms or the sight of a family member walking away, after leaving a child in our care, are things that will never leave me. I don’t know what the future hold, but thankfully I know Who holds the futures. And in that assurance I go on in the calling set before me, for another 2 months or another year. He knows and that is enough.


April 2008

April 2009

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