My life has changed radically in the past 4 months.
This whole adventure started in a long car drive with Eric. We were heading back to Ladyville, Belize from San Ignacio, Belize (Further Reading Here) after dropping some staff off in that area last summer. I received an email from PPM's president about a possible need for workers in an orphanage. Immediately, I felt the tug of the Lord on my heart, unlike anything I've ever felt before. Eric and I talked about it for almost the whole ride.. and decided to begin bathing the decision to pursue it further, in prayer.
I remember being so scared at that moment. So uncertain of my future and where the Lord would lead. I remember being so focused and intent on figuring out what parts of my desire to come to Haiti were fleshly and what was really a calling from Christ.
Many people don't believe women can be called by Christ to a purpose. I was met with quite a bit of opposition when I decided to come. Many people do not share my values, passion and core beliefs and I understand that. But I guess, I've stayed silent for a long time and I feel like I need to speak my part.
I believe that no part of my own doing brought me to this country. Well, my two feet walked on and off of the plane, sure. But no amount of potential love, can in reality, out-weigh the separation from my husband, friends and family when you look at things in a physical, non-spiritual sense. I don't believe that Christ would have allowed me to do this if it was not His will. Mainly because I could not have made it through without His guidance and His hand in everything. I know for a fact that this time was indeed a call on my life. The Lord had a perfect plan for me here.. I still am unaware of all of the reasons why, but I know He knows.. and that is all that matters.
The past four months have been a roller-coaster of events. I have experienced pain more far reaching and intense than anything I have ever felt. I have seen things and been put in situations I never expected. I've missed my husband more than I ever have in my life and have cried more tears than I ever thought possible. But what can I take away? What are the lessons learned? After everything settles down, who will I be? How will I have changed?
I believe I will be me, only.. different. I've learned to stand up tall for what I believe in, for who I am. I've learned that its okay to disagree and argue with people... if it is in support of good and I feel at peace with God. I've learned to act when I hear His voice. I've learned that people and situations that used to worry me, contain no weight in the Everlasting. I've learned that I am a spiritual force to be reckoned with. I am a strong, powerful and beautiful servant of the most high God. I am comfortable with who God made me to be, all my many flaws included. I've learned to declare these facts to Christ daily as I take up my place in this world.
In Arkansas, I feel as if the "southern" lifestyle, although an integral part of who I am, often draws the line between strong and proud as very blurry. But these two are completely separate. Thankfully I've had many incredible examples in my life who showed me (and still do) how humility and strength go hand in hand. The primary example of this being my father. The humility of mind and strength of soul I've watched him portray in my life is what I yearn to mimic. Funny I married Eric, right? He's the exact same kind of man. I've always told Eric that he portrays the image of Christ better than anyone I know. Although he would be quick to disagree, I know "its just his way" as my boys here would say. Christ was humble but never wavered in His beliefs. His strength during His short time here on earth, screams volumes about His character. This is the character I've come to desire.
I've learned to be strong in who I am, in who God plans for me to become.
I've learned that my family is incredible. We have our flaws, our mistakes, our fights and our problems just like anyone else... but I know if the world turns against me, they will be there.
I've learned my friends love me, far more than I thought. I am so thankful for them.
I've learned that my husband is a rock and our marriage is just as solid as I thought it to be. This all due to Christ and His faithfulness, of course.
I've learned I have a lot of love in me. And a lot of love left to give.
I've learned that I love these 40 boys with my whole heart. It's a real love, it's not simple to leave.
I've learned I have a lot to learn still yet.
But above all, I've learned (more) that when I listen to Christ's calling on my life, no matter how scary or radical.. He will always deliver me "even unto glory.." He will make a way. He will uphold me. He will be my shelter, peace, sustenance and protector. Not just in the small things, but in the big things too! My faith is more physical now. I feel Him in the wind, I am more aware of His constant involvement in my life.
Thank You, Lord for allowing me this time in Haiti. Thank You for all the lessons You have taught and will continue to teach me. Help me make the changes to myself as You see fit. Let me be like You! I am in love with You. You are my Prophet, Priest and King. My Confidant, Peace and Father.
I am Yours.