Monday, February 23, 2015

Look What God Did!


I feel like God might be really sick of me. I know it doesn’t work that way but if I was Him, I’d be really sick of me!

I am constantly in this battle of trust vs self and it’s wearing me down. I don’t want to move to Belle Anse, this self in me doesn’t want to leave my home that I have built for me and my babies. I fight and I cry and I argue and in response He slips in these almost constant confirmations that indeed, this is His plan, in spite of weather it matches up with mine or not.

I went on this last trip to Belle Anse to see a house that I was planning to sign a lease on. I. Was. Terrified. I had seen photos and even though I knew that God would provide and I would eventually be able to turn it into a home, it was far beyond how I even wanted to attempt to live. I went, praying over and over that God would give me a good attitude and a vision for this place that He was asking me to call home.

This is a photo that was sent to me the week before I left to sign my lease. 

You guys, I tried, I promise, I TRIED to be excited but mostly I just cried, a lot. I believe that God is calling me to Belle Anse and I know that I will be stretched and changed through my time there. I know that it is going to be different than here. (where I live in the cool mountains with my internet and tv and ability to have 5 different kinds of food delivered to my front door) I know this, but I felt like He was asking too much. This was just too much.

When I arrived in Belle Anse I went to see the house and again, I tried to be positive. I looked for ways that I could fix it up and make it feel like home, mostly I just felt overwhelmed. I walked away knowing that I had a place to live, something that I had needed to establish for a long time, but I walked away discouraged and questioning God if He really, truly knew what He was doing. Again, even though He’s proven Himself over and over, I began to doubt.

So there I was, walking down the street, sweating my ass of, acting like a brat and pissed at God, it was not my finest moment folks! I figured I had been looking for a house for so long that there couldn’t possibly be any places that I didn’t know about but I decided that just in case, I would grab a local moto taxi and ask him if he knew of any houses for rent. He said he did so we took off. The first place he stopped at was a total no go, I didn’t get any further than the front yard and told him that wasn’t what I was looking for. A few more places and my heart began to lift, just a little. I was seeing houses I could actually picture myself living in. I still wasn’t excited but I was getting a little less crabby. A few hours later I needed to get back to town so I thanked him and asked him to please let me know if he heard of any other rentals available and I would be in touch about the places we had seen. I went to the local bar to grab some lunch for Annabel and a cold beer for myself because I swear, it was at least 100 degrees and I just wanted to go hide in the dark. So while I was busy being stubborn, tucked away in a corner bar, God decided for some reason I still can’t wrap my head around, He wanted to bless my ugly, rotten heart...

The beauty [and curse] of a small town is that everyone knows everyone’s business. Add in the fact that I was one of a total of 5 white people in the entire city, it didn’t take the taxi driver long to track me down. He excitedly told me that he had just spoken to someone who had a “very beautiful” house that he would be willing to rent to me. I learned a long time ago that my idea of very beautiful and a Haitian’s idea can sometimes be vastly different but I had described to him pretty clearly what I was looking for and so I hopped on the moto, filled with only a tiny bit of apprehension and off we went.

You guys, I can’t even! This place was IT. It had every single thing that I had wanted! I can’t even describe how I felt as I walked from room to room and into the perfectly shaded back yard. Yes, the only working “bathroom” was the outhouse in the corner but the amount of potential was incredible. The absolute kicker for me what the fact that the house had a separate 2 room building in the back that will be perfect for the teacher/nanny that is coming down to help me with my kids. Seriously, what are the odds that a place would have that super specific thing that I was hoping for? Nil, nothing! I am telling you there were absolutely no odds involved, this was all God!

I knew that I had one more hurdle to pass and that was negotiating on the rent. It was clear to me that this was by far the nicest house I had seen and one of the nicest in town. The owner was surely going to try to rip me off and even though I knew that God had handpicked this place for me, I had absolutely no energy or desire to start negotiating down from an outrageous price I just *knew* the landlord was going to quote me. Prices on everything seem to triple the second my white face shows up so I was sure I was in for several tense hours of trying to reach a fair agreement. I said a little prayer barely more than a breath, that if this was the house God wanted for me He would just let me have it without the roller coaster of emotions that come with negotiating in Haiti.

Before setting out for Belle Anse I had figured that I could afford $5000usd for rent for a year. I knew that after the first year, when a lot of work would need to be done to get the house ready for me, the rent would go down a little. I was hoping to sign a 5 year lease, paying a max of $5000 a year for the first year and $4000 a year after that. I left, waiting for the landlord to send via the moto driver turned real estate agent, his initial price. Trying not to be nervous and tense I thought that a walk down to the beach would help pass the time. Before I could even make it a block the moto driver appeared to show me a number he had typed out on his phone and I almost fell over right there on the side of that dirt road. His first price, fully expecting me to counter offer, was $5600! I was expecting it to be significantly higher than that! I was thrilled but tried to play it cool, you know, like you are supposed to when negotiating. I came back at an even $5000 and off went Mr. Moto on my behalf. Just a few blocks later, as the beach came into view he was back again. He told me that the landlord has agreed to $5100, his final offer. Done. Done and done! Only $100 above what I had hoped to pay and for a house far beyond what I could have dreamed to find. The entire negotiation took less than 20 minuets.

The trip accomplish exactly what it needed to, I now have a place to live and have once again been totally reassured by God that this is 100% no doubt exactly where He wants me to be.

So, you wanna see?? I bet you do and I’m super excited to show you. Look at the house God gave me in Belle Anse!

*Isn’t it the cutest Caribbean house ever? I can’t wait to paint and get it all fixed up and turn it into a home for our little family!

I realize that most of my posts about moving to Belle Anse sound like it is this horrible place filled with all sorts of awful things. That is not the case, at all. Belle Anse is gorgeous, it is filled with amazing people and some of the most incredible rugged beauty of nature I have ever seen. It’s not Belle Anse that scares me, it’s the unknown and the complete giving up of the control that I’ve convinced myself I have. It’s the newness and not being able to hide in anonymity of a neighborhood that is so used to foreigners that they barely even blink when I pass by. It’s the idea of being far away from the security of a pediatrician who I trust with my children’s lives. It’s fear that all boils down to the fact that I don’t want things to change. I like the way things are and I am desperate to hold onto this little life that I have created. Letting go of that idea of control screams and fights against everything that is natural to me but it’s such an obvious work that God is doing. I still fight, that won’t change overnight but I am going to move to Belle Anse in full confidence that one day soon I will be really glad that I did.

So, here I go again, asking you all to come alongside me and to believe with me that God has called me to be in Belle Anse, Haiti. I’m not even nervous at this point. There is not a single, tiny little bit of doubt in my mind that God is going to provide everything that we need to rent this house that He has given me and He is going to use you all to do it. The amount of faith I have in His provisions and in the incredible generosity of my amazing supporters leaves no room for anything but pure anticipation of how, not if, this will work out.

I need to raise $5100 as soon as possible to pay rent and allow the landlord to start doing the work that needs to be done in order for my family to move to Belle Anse on April 1st (i.e. putting in a toilet!). It can happen, I just know it! I am leaving to return to Belle Anse next Sunday, March 1st. I need to have at least $2,600 in my hands to give to the landlord so that he can start working, I will need to pay the remaining $2500 before the 1st of April. Nothing is impossible, I believe that God will use even this fundraising plea to blow me away and remind me yet again, how undeniable this call is.

If you are able to donate to this need you can use this paypal button. All donations are tax deductible and will go directly towards paying rent for 2015. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this journey that continues to blow me away.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

This Is Not A Choice

People tell me they could never… They could never move to Haiti. They could never go through a 10 year adoption process. They could never live without water or electricity or ice blended lattes… The thing about people saying those things is that it implies that the life I am living is a choice. It’s not. Once your purpose grabs ahold of your heart, the idea of choice kind of flies out the window. I have no choice over living in Haiti because I was created to be alive when I am here, I was created to be alive in the place where my purpose lies. Yes, I could probably try to run away from the things that God asks me to do that are hard but I wouldn’t get far and I wouldn’t last long. I’ve tasted the sweetness that mixes with the tears that stream down my cheeks as I hold the slowly cooling body of a child that I loved… I’ve tasted the sweetness mingled with the sweat of trying to fall asleep in the stifling heat, under a mosquito net. I’ve tasted the sweetness of living fully in His passion and His calling. I’ve tasted the sweetness that comes with the hard and painful and it’s something that I would never know or crave if I didn’t experience the raw,  realness of disappointment, passion and sacrifice.

In less than 60 days I will take one of the scariest steps of my life in Haiti, when I move to a village I know almost nothing about. A place I begged and pleaded with God over, a place I never WANTED to be called to. Belle Anse scares the crap out of me because I know that it is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done. I am taking huge, into the dark and unknown, steps. I am going to a place where I will have to relearn everything I thought I knew about Haiti. A place where the culture, food and even the language are vastly different that what I have spent the past [almost] 7 years learning. I am going to a place where “magic” isn’t a cute word that is thrown around but a very powerful force that I struggle to understand.

In 56 days I will move my babies into a house that I am forcing myself to be excited about, when what I really want to do is cry over the idea of calling those rough brick walls “home”. If I had a choice I would stay right here, in this little bubble I have created in the cool mountain air of Petionville. But like I said, there is no choice. He called, so I am going and I am stuck in this place of hating the idea and craving it with all of my being. My friends are sick of me whining and complaining and I am sick of crying myself to sleep only to be met with dreams of a beautiful peace that comes in the presence of His promises. There is a part of me that wants to slow down time, to make the last moments in this home last forever. While an even bigger part of me is fighting just to make it through one more day and be that much closer to my new reality.

You might think you couldn’t do this, the truth is I can’t either. But I am. Somehow I am because I need to. Deep down in my soul, I NEED to do this thing that I am scared of. Even when I am terrified and selfish and I want to run away I am drawn to it. Like a drug, I crave those hard, terrible, heartbreaking moments because that is when my God is closest. Things that I think are important, things I am dreading giving up, pale in comparison to the relief and sweetness of being in His will. That is something that I cannot live without.