My bags are packed. The emotional rollercoaster continues. I’m suspended in the middle, my heart split between Haiti and the US, with no promise that all of my children will ever be with me at once. The honor of being called “Mom” by so many holds a weight I daily have to convince myself I’m able to carry. The enemy whispers lies about what a failure I am. It’s a moment-by-moment choice to tune him out and listen to the voice of The Father. The One who tells me that this was the plan all along, despite my many insecurities and mistakes. It’s only as I walk in His power that I am able to do anything about the pain and suffering in front of me. He reminds me of his words in Jeremiah 1…
“Before you were born, I set you apart.”
If you had asked me a few years ago whether I was set apart for anything, I would have laughed. It’s still hard for me to believe it today but I’ve learned that, much like in The Bible, He often appoints those we’d think of as misfits or outcasts to draw the world to Himself. So, here I am, readying myself for my 8th trip to the orphanage in Haiti… praying for the strength and courage I need to take down the walls around my heart and allow it to be broken all over again.
When the suffering of others meets your limitations, missions work has a way of exposing the sins you most struggle with. For example, pride. A tape playing in the back of my mind tells me that I can do this on my own- I don’t need God’s help. My plans and my strategies are enough…until they’re not. I can do it all in my own time…until it’s too late. Until I lose a child that I love and I cry out to Heaven, filled with regret. Even the things I thought were most humble about myself in the past, turned out to be self-centered…my life was never meant to be about me. My achievements, my possessions, even my family- they were never mine. Nothing I have, or have done, exists without His loving grace. My life is meant to be a reflection of God’s character and love; an outpouring of the time, resources, and abilities I’ve been given for the sake of The Kingdom. Learning this the hard way is painful.
Many think I should have a more intricate plan. To just go into the nations and love them the way Jesus has loved me…it doesn’t sound that world-changing. Yet, to those (like me) who have come to know the light and life that Jesus gives, and the impact of simply being known and accepted…when we “just” go and love…it changes everything.
My prayer for this trip is that I stay hand-in-hand with Jesus, every step of the way. No running ahead, no trying on my own. May I be present in every moment, with every person He puts on my path; my mind holding on to the truth of what His love saved me from. May I always be found going and loving. To Him be the glory.