Friday, August 10, 2012

Up On The Mountain

This spring my dog ran away. She came all the way from Minnesota with me last fall and as much as I don't like to admit it, I really loved her. She was consistent. She was a bit of home. She was a pain in my butt, but for some reason, I loved her.

And then she ran away. She was gone, and it sucked but that's life and crap happens.

Just a few weeks after Sota ran away it was obvious that God was leading me away from the place that I thought I would be for a long time. Away from my very first grow up, all on my own home in Haiti. I didn't understand it but I knew it was happening. God told me to trust Him and I said I did, but truly, I didn't. Instead I stuck my nose and my plans in where they had no business. I worked with every little bit of my weak and untrusting heart to make sure that I took care of ME. I made MY plans, put in MY opinion and took care to try and control MY life. I said I trusted Him but when it came down to it I didn't.

If there is a lesson that I have learned over and over again it is that HIS plans are not MY plans and HIS plans are always, 100% entirely more than I could have ever dreamed or imagined. They are always good. But then I have to get in there and make sure that I am involved. That I dig around in the dirt trying frantically to make something beautiful out of the mud that I find myself in.

Trusting, wholeheartedly in God, it is scary. Not trusting Him is even scarier. It is painful and full of disappointment. It is a path of broken dreams and crazy, crooked gravel roads that dig into your bare feet and tender heart. It is a path that leads in pointless circles. It is a place that I don't ever want to be again.

Because I chose to make my own plans, instead of waiting on God, the last few months have been rough! I am thankful for the lessons I learned and I know that God created some beautiful bits of my spirit in the place I took myself to, but I do not believe that this spring is what He intended for me. Do I believe that He left me there to live in my mistakes? Not at all! I know that He used my time for good but I also believe that, had I listened to HIS peace, had I waited in patience I would have missed a load of pain and heartache.

In mid May I left the organization I had partnered with just 2 months earlier. Living and volunteering in a ministry, you see the inner workings of the place. The things I saw while a part of that mission were, unfortunately, not the things that I want to tie my heart to in this land. They were not what I felt like God had prepared me for and they were not what I felt like I could put 100% of myself into.

So I rushed myself into a place that God was not calling me to and I made a mess and found myself, once again in a position of fear and anxiety vs trust. But God, who proves himself faithful over and over again, pulled me out of myself and blessed me with His plans. In a huge surprise to me those plans brought me back to the very place where this crazy Haiti journey started.

On May 15th Annabel and I moved into room 5 at God's Littlest Angels. Back to the mountain. Back to the place where I first fell in love with this country. Back to the very land where I stood when I was broken to the lesson of trust that He is still teaching me every single day. I could never have imagined that I would find myself in the place again, I still don't really have any idea why. I do know that I am here. That I am being blessed with amazing friends, beautiful weather and a bit of a "break" from the strain of the last 2 years. I am finding passion for work that I never even blinked at before. I am remembering why I fell in love with Haiti and I am being blessed with the time to get back to "that place".

Annabel has a great nanny who takes care of her while I am working in the office during the day. My job has been to oversee the applications for the school sponsorship program, preparing for the next school year. I love it. We are cozy in our little room. We are having fun with some of the best friends I could have asked for. We are getting to know precious little babies and falling in love with them. We are happy, healthy and comfortable. Not things necessary for life, I've learned that lesson a million times over, but they sure do make for a wonderful season.

In the past 2 years I have been alone, more alone than I knew was possible. There were days and even weeks at a time when I didn't have anyone on this earth to turn to. No one but God. It wasn't comfortable, it wasn't easy but oh, it was beautiful! There were hours of darkness, with no electricity being turned on for the 8th day in a row where I thought that I would lose it. Hours with nothing to do but huddle next to the kerosene lamp and search The Word for promises that I knew He had made me. It wasn't comfortable, it wasn't easy but oh, it was beautiful! That life was lonely and dark and it was HARD but it was beautiful. Now that it's over I find myself longing for it again. In those years, in the middle of the road I was on, I couldn't even begin to imagine I would one day be in a place where I would long for those things. Somedays now I do. The loneliness that brought me to my Saviors side. The darkness that forced me to crawl in his light, all of it changed my heart in ways I never knew existed. Those are the things that brought me closer to Him than ever before, when I had nothing but Him I learned that I really didn't need anything else.

God brings me seasons and in this one, filled with physical comfort and surrounded by an amazing group of fellow followers, He is no farther from me than He was on those days when I cried alone in my small, empty house. In this season it would be easy for me to forget where I was when He was closest to my heart. How easy it is to turn to our own ways when we don't physically need His presence in our lives. I pray with all of my might that I remember the darkness from which I have come and the faithfulness I experienced during those long, difficult months. I pray in thanksgiving that my God holds me always, in the pits of my disobedience or high on the mountain of faithful trust, I was never once anywhere but in His hands.

My job here at GLA will be reevaluated in the next few weeks (I was brought here in a temporary position) I don't know what will happen. I know that He is faithful. I know that whatever it is, He is the only thing I can count on as constant as I struggle to live this life of full surrender.

Will you pray that I would trust? It's not easy, I want to take it into my own hands and yet, I've seen how that works for me. I need to give it up and while  today I sit here and remember how necessary it is, tomorrow my human mind will fight it and I will need to boss my heart into submission to His will. I have to do it every day. Too many times my humanness wins... I am praying that I will have the wisdom to hear His voice and follow His call for our family, will you pray for us too?


Liz said...

Love you so much, Rhyan! You have a beautiful heart. Praying for you.

katiemacgregor said...

Rhyan!!! Does that hoodie have a bleach stain on the front!? If so, I am so glad you have my hoodie! I want you to keep it, it's an order. I mean, it's only a stupid hoodie, but I said to God when I realised I'd left it behind, 'You know what, God? You make sure someone finds it & keeps it. I know You'll find the right person.'

Ah God is funny. & amazing & merciful & faithful & gracious & forgiving & capable & in control.

Sending love & hugs to you & Miss Annabel,
Katie xxx

Lauren Elise Bond said...

Thankful for this post and for knowing exactly where you are, as He faithfully leads you and guides you into His perfect, Mighty, Powerful will. You are loved sweet Rhyan, more then you know. And so is that precious Annabel. Love you so much and can't wait to see you again my precious friend. Praying without ceasing.

JJ said...

oh my god, you must be a coldhearted person to bring a dog all the way from Minnesota and not care for it to keep it safe. Now the poor thing is probably starving or has been killed by some crazy haitian person for food. and then you up and move away so that dog can never find you again?? what is your problem?? you shouldnt be allowed to work with children let alone have another dog ever again! People like you disgust me. No caring and no heart for sweet innocent animals. How cruel you are and not even worried about that poor defenseless animal in Haiti all alone. you should have left her with someone who would have loved her and cared for her in Minnesota. God sees all and knows your cold heart now.

Anonymous said...

Dear JJ

Your mom goes to college ...

Dawn said...

I am amazed that someone would say such hateful things on your blog such as what I read above from JJ. Clearly THAT person thinks that dogs are more important than people. I also am struck by her bigotry in reference to "some crazy haitan person." I'm sorry your dog ran away. Sometimes that happens to the most well-meaning pet owners in every country in the world. But more than that? THANK YOU, Rhyan. Thank you for the selfless giving that you do day in and day out for the sweet, innocent children of Haiti. God DOES see, and He alone can see hearts. I pray blessings upon you and yours in abundance as you follow His leading.

Your Baby Sister said...

JJ, Let me tell you a little something about this "cold hearted" woman you are attacking. I know her FAR better than anyone in this world. She is educated, she is talented and beautiful. When she was growing up she took way to long in the bathroom, over packed for every trip we went on, and had a sweet tooth for reese's peanutbutter cups. When she was only 22 she packed (not in her normal fashion)and moved to a 3rd world country. She gave up hot showers, shopping malls and her favorite comfort foods. Now 5 years later she lives in that country and has devoted her entire life to its people. She has endured hardships I can't even fathom. She has held children in her arms as they grasp for their final breath. She was there in 2008 when 4 hurricanes tried to break the spirit of her beloved country. She was there in 2010 and watched and earthquake again bring the people that she loved to their knees. She has given goodnight hugs and kisses to children who will NEVER know what it is like to have a Mom or Dad. She has not seen her own family in 13 months. I'm glad that you understand that our God sees and knows all, because that would mean he has been with her on the nights she second guessed herself, in the early morning hours when she prepared a casket for a child whose life never truly began. And he is with her now as she reads your hurtful words. I'm sorry to inform you your painful stabs are falling on deaf ears. This woman you attack is far to stubborn to allow your words to pierce her heart and question her ethics. She along with myself will choose rather to pray that the very same God that sees all and knows all has a way of showing you the truth and softening your heart so that you might see something in this world bigger than yourself. Love you Rhyan, GOD IS IN CONTROL!

Joyce said...


It is only a guess but I am assuming you are sitting in your OVERSIZED american comfort while being overly concerned about the ants crawling on your wall while some people have given up all comforts, followed the call of God and cared for orphans as HIS words call us to do. So as Rhyan holds a lonely orphaned child tonight while you flip on honey boo boo child and eat your ruffles remember... God sees all and knows your cold heart now.

Holli said...

JJ, God sees and knows what an ignorant idiot you are. Are you seriously putting the value of an animal's life above those of human beings? Clearly you should only work with animals then, as you are not fit to communicate with intelligent, expressive logical beings. You know nothing outside of your comfortable North American existence. When you witness children die because they never been sufficiently fed, when you try and heal physical, mental emotional wounds of orphans, your lost dog is kind of low on your list of concerns and priorities. You sicken me.