I am not going to lie and tell you that these last 8 weeks have been easy. They have been filled with challenges and difficulties, tears, and lots of moments of surrendering to God. But maybe that is what our entire walk with Christ is supposed to come to. Surrender. I also can’t lie and say that the first weeks I spent here, I didn't spend distracted and caught up in what was happening within my old life back in North America. It’s not easy being away from your friends, your family, your boyfriend, and having to sit out the outside and watch their lives go on without you while all you can do is wish to be apart of whats happening. But you can’t. Not more then a couple messages exchanged every couple of days or a skype call once every few weeks. I thought that’s how I was sharing in the lives of the people around me, but that’s not true. I spent so much of my time longing to be apart of lives of those back home; the community bible studies, the young adults group, the worship nights, the sunday morning church services filled with new faces in a new community that I had such desire to experience-that I was completely looking right past all of those things that were happening right where I was.
It was a big slap in the face when I realized this, and when I realized that if God wanted those things, in that place for me right now, He wouldn’t have sent me here And there is no doubt in my mind that me being back in Haiti was ordained by the Lord. The way things fell back into place so perfectly; I knew I was coming home, in His timing. It is so unfortunate that it took me the first 4 weeks to realize this.
Now that I have realized that, my heart longs to stay here. To flood into the lives of these students, to laugh with them, to cry with them, to celebrate the work of Jesus with them. To be back here in January standing at the front of the class welcoming them with hugs and laughter, tears of joy and the promise that I am not going anywhere, that I can continue to provide these things for them and partner with them in success that they may never have experienced before. But God said no to me. Now, what I didn't understand, was why God would say no to that. How could he say no to something that was in the center of his heart, and where His will was actively being worked out? But He said thats what I’ve wanted for you these last 9 week, you know my plan for January. It is also no consciedence the way that life fell together for me to be back at school in January. My date of acceptance, my living arrangements, the way money has been provided, it was clear to me that yes, that was where I was supposed to be. But why now, is that not where I want to be? Why couldn’t these feelings have been reveresed? Why couldn’t I have been longing for Haiti, for these students, my heart, my ministry the first month? and why now.. can’t I be looking forward to what Jesus has prepared for me these coming months? Why is is so so hard to just allow Him to do the work and for me to just follow? Why do I always need to lead? When I think about leaving here, I feel sick to my stomache. A feeling I have never had quite like this before. I feel like I am abandoning my students right when they need me. Abandonding Undeino as I just begin life with him. A feeling I had towards my family as I packed up my life and flew across the ocean two months ago.
The difference though, is that when I left them back in October, I also left them with a promise that I would be back, that life would go on without me and that they would be fine. Can I make that same promise to the people I love here? Can I promise them that money will be provided so that they can go to school next month? That I am sure someone else can find their son a new pair of shoes or a backpack for school? Can I promise that I will be back visiting their homes and loving them like I have never loved before? The answer is no, I can’t make those promises. But I can surrender them to the Lord and trust that His promises are far superior to mine.
Although I am beyond hesitant to go home and leave my students in the hands of new teachers, missionaries, and visitors who don’t know their stories, their hearts, or the hurt they have lived through, I am confident that I am leaving them in the hands of the Almighty God, who knows far more then I could ever comprehend or understand, for these are His children, and He loves them with a love so great that I long to be humbled so that I may to experience His love and mercy in the same kind of gratefulness that they have. So who am I to fear their future when their lives lay in the hands of the High Priest, the Author and Perfector of our faith. Being chosen to share in life in Haiti hasn't taught me how to love more deeply, it's taught me how to hurt like Christ did, to join right in with the people Jesus loves and suffer with them. To long for the hope of Christ to be revealed in this place. Through that hurt, love pours out more freely, deeply and unconditionally then ever before. This is my heart.
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:12-13