Monday, August 31, 2009
(don't forget to pause the blog music at the bottom of this page!)
This song is the prayer of my heart.
It feels strange to approach this topic. I almost feel like bringing attention to it disregards everything I am trying to say, but it's come up so often lately that I just need to share.
I am not a good person. I do not go to Haiti and do the work I do because I am so giving and kind and "christian". In fact the reasons for the work I do are 100% selfish. I work in Haiti because I love it. I love every single bit of it. I love the smells, the people, the food, the country as a whole. I love Haiti. That is why I work for her! I was given a passion and equipped to live it out. I didn't chose this path, but I can't deny it. I go to Haiti because I literally can not live without it! I do not go there because I want to do good things, I go there because I want to feel alive! I go there because that's the only time that my chest doesn't ache when I breath in and breath out. I go there because that is where the constant pain in my arms is soothed by the weight of a tiny child. I go there because it's the only thing I really truly love to do.
I know that God uses me in my time there. I know that the things that come about because of the work of His missionaries in Haiti are good. I know that lives are being saved and battles won for our God, but not because of my human body. No, the works I do are not good, but the God that I serve is.
I will never claim to be a good person and it makes me cringe when people think that I am. The truth of it is that not one of us really is a good person. Mother Theresa was not a good person. She was a person who gave fully to God, her sinful self and chose to let him lead. But that didn't take away any of the sins in her life. In the same way, though I am a changed soul, my mind and body still fail. Countless times a day I disgust myself with the things I let take over. The lying, envy and pride that creeps it's way into my heart. The anger and selfishness that overtake me. I want to be different, and in some ways I am, but mostly, I am still the same girl I was, waking up every day in desperate need of a savior. I will never make it on my own.
Does this mean that I think I am an awful person, not at all. Just to get out into the open that I am just like anyone else. Thankfully I have been called and forgiven by a gracious Savior. When He looks into my soul He sees the purity that He has given. But as long as I am in this world I will never be able to live completely in that purity. I can try my best but when it comes down to it, I am completely reliant on the Grace of my Father. How thankful I am for that grace! Because of it I don't have to spend my time focusing on the ways I fail, but can live every day striving to point to the One who has saved my life!
I have heard many times from people what a good thing I do by working in Haiti and of course, everyone needs to be encouraged. But I want to make sure that rather than see me in the work that is being done they can look past and see the One who called me, who prepared me, who created me, who gives me the strength to make sure that not my will, but His be done. The One who truly deserves the credit. I want to live every day to leave a legacy, not of my name but of His grace!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I had a beautiful day of just remembering B yesterday. I drove up to a reservoir and waterfall site where I released balloons and wrote Berlancia's name on the shore. I spent some amazing, quiet moments remembering a little girl who inspired my life. I took some photos that will probably make their way into Worldless Wednesday this week but for now I wanted to get this video up.
Never Forgotten, Always Missed
Thursday, August 27, 2009
September 30th 2006 - August 29th 2008
Saturday will bring the one year anniversary of Sweet Berlancia entering heaven. It seems like a lifetime ago but while driving today and thinking about her, it hit me, to B it has been just the blink of an eye. She has forever, with no end, in the presence of our Savior. Could I ever wish her anywhere else?
In honor of Berlancia's memory I want to encourage all of you to make donations to God's Littlest Angels this week. You can go to their website and make a donation or click on my paypal link at the right side of this page. For every $5.00 donated I will enter your name to win this shirt! From the (product) Red collection from Gap, created to help eliminate HIV and AIDS. Just leave me a comment and let me know if you donate between now and next Saturday (September 5th) and I will enter you to win!
Berlancia is in heaven today, and there is no other place I could want her to be, but there are hundreds of thousands of people in our world who are still living with this epidemic. Babies in the arms of their sick mothers, having inherited a disease that will kill them. Women who will die because of a husband who brings home a virus they did nothing to deserve. I can not forget and I can not be silent! Today I can do a little, not a lot, but a little. I don't have thousands of dollars to give to research or the ability to go and nurse these precious ones. But I can honor them. I can give them the respect they deserve. I can do what I can to work for them. So while today I can't do a lot, I will do what I can. I will give what I have and I will chose to remember.
"Berlancia, nou pral sonje ou toujou."
"We will remember you always!"
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sabrina's service was beautiful. Every second of it was exactly what we all hoped for. From her sleeping face down to her tiny satin shoes, she looked more beautiful that I could have ever imagined. It was perfect, and it was horrible... I loved every second of it, and I hated it.
I prepared the things I wanted to say but standing up there, next to her and before everyone I lost them all. I had the words I wanted to share but I couldn't get them out. There were so many things I wish I could have remember at that very second. So many moments that are clear as day to me now, but for some reason I couldn't voice that day. There are hours of Sabrina's life and legacy that I just want to shout from the rooftops. The incredible impact a small baby made. Since I couldn't share them that day, I will share them all with you.
As you read here, Sabrina came into my life in a single second that I will look back on as a moment that changed me forever. A baby, sick...dying even, and I was chosen to hold her. Why, I don't know if I will ever understand. But I will forever be thankful! What an incredibly humbling call.
When I found out Sabrina had passed away I was shocked! I think a lot of us were... We were told we probably had years with her, but that was not to be. The pain in that day was overpowering. I cried, I prayed, I talked nonsense words to anyone who would listen and I cried again. But as the hours passed and the tears slowed, a new, almost foreign feeling came over me. A feeling of joy that to some may seem inappropriate. A joy that our sweet girl was now 100% whole and new. A feeling of HOPE in knowing that she was finally HOME. Not the home any of us thought would be, but the HOME that she was created for. On August 20th Sabrina was to move into the house of the Ingle family. She was to join her brothers and sisters. They waited, prayed and HOPED for her. But that was not to be. We know that as much as she was wanted and loved, Sabrina's true home was not in that house but in the arms of her everlasting Father. And now we know she is there.
Until the day before her service I did not know that the Ingles planned to give Sabrina a new name. When I heard I was brought to tears again. She was to be called HOPE. How perfect, how fitting, how GOD! Because we know that Sabrina lives in HOPE. The bible tells us not to grieve as those who have no HOPE. Because we know that the life we live here is not the life we are called and created for. Sabrina was not made to struggle through days of pain and hurt. She was not created to live here for years and years. Sabrina was created to teach us HOPE. She was called to show us that though the life we witnessed may not be what we thought it should, it was perfectly orchestrated by the Father.
As I prepared for Sabrina's memorial I came across a book specifically written for those facing the loss of a child. In it I found a song that touched my heart in a way that happens so very rarely. It is called With HOPE by Steven Curtis Chapman. I sat in stunned silence as I read the words. I knew this song was given to me for this time. The words were written to reach so many, but in my mind, was penned just for us. These are the words...
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Shock. Confusion. Numbness...those are the words I have. Not just for me, but for all of us who held and loved Sabrina in her time with us.
Honestly I don't know that I really have any other words right now. I spoke to Rebekah tonight and she told me that they are planning a memorial for sometime next week and she asked me if I would mind writing something. I didn't know if I could do it, but as usual the words were not my own. The following poem is about the women in Sabrina's life who held her. For a few hours, for a few days or for months. The ones God shared His sweet gift with.
and somehow the two paths crossed
He gave you breath, He gave us vision
And through it your story will never be lost
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
For any of you here in town I would love to have you join me at Hilltop Church in Fergus Falls (just off Highway 210, across from the Prarie Wetlands Learning Center) I will be hosting an evening of pictures, videos and stories from my year in Haiti. There will be a lot of time for question and answeres followed by coffee, cookies and juice.
I thought this would be the best way to be able to see and visit with everyone who supported me so much in the last year! I am so looking forward to seeing each of you!