it’s been two weeks since i went to haiti and it might as well be two years.
i miss it.
i miss the closeness i felt with God. i miss waking up everyday knowing i would have no regrets when my head hit the pillow, because every fiber of my being was focused on seeking God’s will. i miss the people of haiti and feeling a part of God’s bigger picture.
boy, do i miss it.
i can’t remember any other experience in my life that has stripped me so completely in such a short amount of time. every day i was there God showed up in amazing ways. He taught me a lot about myself and how He has made me– uniquely flawed. i feel like a kaleidoscope– clear and able to take in God’s light, but my faults somehow shatter it. the great thing is, God still makes rainbows out of my messiness.
before going to haiti i was lost.
motherhood had become an overwhelming task i couldn’t seem to get my hands around. i was operating out of fear, instead of celebrating the opportunity to love these two great boys. there was a day when i cried out to the Lord. it was raw and desperate.
i couldn’t stand my own voice and behavior– so critical, so condescending. i was so afraid i was “breaking” them. i even started going to therapy again. i was hoping this would help me understand the boys’ personalities– if i could just understand them, i would be better. ha!
i was quickly told i needed to search my heart and re-evaluate myself, before putting any of the pressure on my boys. ouch. that’s sounds about right.
i had to admit i was uncomfortable showing love to my guys. i was totally able to fill their basic needs, but i was really limited when it came to filling their hearts. i was so focused on correction, i was losing the joy in being a mom– their mom.
then, God sent me to haiti.
the first full day we were there we went to church, and then we went to the school area we’d be serving all week. there were children around, and we had a chance to start building relationships.
i was uncomfortable.
so. i prayed.
Lord, where should i start? what do i have to offer? what is my purpose here?
i’m usually very outgoing and feel comfortable around new people. but this was different.
i couldn’t use my natural ability to make connection– talking.
surprise. i like to talk.
but, the language barrier took me out of my comfort zone.
i felt limited.
so, i looked for ways to fit in.
the first thing i spotted was a pick up game of soccer– uhmmmmmmmm yeah. that would have just been wrong. (me + any type of sporting equipment = tears)
then one of the guys pulled out marbles and jacks for the kids to play with– the kids grabbed the marbles, as fast as they could, and stuffed them in their pockets, as fast as they could.
they have nothing, and they’re not willing to share. the need they live in every day has taught them to grab first and fast. so, playing a game of jacks or marbles wasn’t going to happen.
i felt limited.
how can i help or make a difference when all they know is survival?
i felt God saying– love like ME. seek MY will. respond like ME.
but, i didn’t know how to love like Christ.
i’m the one struggling to show love, remember Lord!!?? what can i do?
then the girls started playing patty-cake games– wow. there was contact! to watch a simple thing like patty-cake break down barriers is amazing. simple acts make a big impact. watching our girls playing with the children showed me the heart is seen very clearly when you let your guard down, look into someone’s eyes, and purposefully spend time with them.
again, i felt uncomfortable.
i felt my physical limitations– because of my cerebral palsy, i have limited use of my right hand.
i can’t play patty-cake.
i felt limited.
could God use me at all? was i even needed on this trip?
i didn’t know, so i pulled back and watched.
and i felt God saying,
“you don’t have to be in the action to be changed by me. it’s okay to be on the sidelines and be taught how to love. that’s your purpose here– learn how to love better. watch. really see how a simple touch can make a huge difference. look at the joy in the eyes of a child when you really spend time looking at them. learn from those with you, that love easily and well. you are mine and i want you to see.”
and, just like that, homeskillets– God’s light poured into me, and i knew His love COULD be reflected through my flaws. i just had to be willing to be teachable. to be changed.
the ahhhhh-mazing teenagers on this trip opened my eyes. they were my teachers. they lived out love. and, i thank them for that.
i also thank the LORD.