Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So, I have a confession to make. 

I've been feeling pretty sorry for myself lately. I'll officially be divorced in 14 days, and just 18 days after that, I'll be celebrating the day my son both died and was born. If you had told me last March, when I was vacationing with what I thought was my intact family, that I would be divorced before his third birthday, I would have laughed. And probably head butted you. 

And yet. One short year, and my family is fundamentally changed. 

Plus little things are going wrong left and right. Our settlement was not ideal, the kids are acting out, I burnt my finger with hot grease. Everything I do around the house just leads to ten other things that need to be done, and I'm drowning in the sea of clothing that five people create. I'm tired. I'm not sleeping well, and my computer is broken. The mortgage company called John at work today about our house.

Does anyone have some cheese to go with my whine? Thanks, 'preciate it. 

The point is, I've been down in the dumps, and I've had a hard time praying about it. When will something good happen for me after all we've been through? When will my husband open his eyes? When will I have to pack up everything and leave the home John and I worked together to restore from the floor to the ceiling?

Yeah, a total pity party. Then, as God so likes to do, I tripped right over my own feet feeling sorry for myself and fell flat on my face, which was totally the position I needed to be in, on the ground, praying, finding God again. 

What did it for me? Well, it was simple, really. Because of a friend of mine (Hi Stephanie!) I was blessed to see these pictures.


My best friend's husband, and sometimes I feel weird calling him that, because we truly are friends ourselves after all these years and what we've been through together, is in Haiti right now (Along with Steohanie's husband, Tim). That's him, in the boots and bandanna, looking up at the camera. Tommy. He's our church's youth pastor. He spoke at Eli's memorial service. He made Seth's fundraising video. He risked losing John's friendship because he felt so strongly about speaking the truth to him. He is a devoted husband, a strong and funny father, a hilarious and loyal friend. I don't know where I or my family would be without him and his family.

He flew last week to Haiti with a few other members of our church, to meet up with a team from Missionary Ventures International. There was a need, and they went. For some members of the team (I can't speak for all of them), they are doing this trip on their own dime, just hoping that people will feel led to help them fund it later.


They're  doing construction near Port Au Prince. I'm not positive what they're building...communication has been fairly light as they've been incredibly busy working. There is a clinic set up, and just last night three babies were delivered, two of which survived. Today, six women were in labor.


Tonight, Tommy had the opportunity to preach, to share a message with them all. He got the chance to share our faith, to be God with skin on to these kids and their families.


Last night there was a tremor, and this morning there was an aftershock. Thankfully, no one was hurt. The workers at the construction site had a chance to have an awesome night with the local families, lifting their spirits as they construct a building for them.


These people have nothing. They live in one room shacks built out of cardboard, heading into the rainy season. And yet the kids, who have every reason to feel scared and confused, are friendly and welcoming.


I don't even have words for the way seeing these pictures make me feel. Insignificant, like I have been so stuck in my own head that I've been making myself out to be way more important than I am. Yes, I have problems, but I am blessed beyond measure, and beyond many other people out there.



The eyes on these kids...I've never seen eyes like theirs. They're not the sad eyes of the kids on the commercials asking for a dollar a day. They're knowing eyes, eyes that have seen more than most of us have every dreamed of seeing. And yet they're hopeful, even happy. They haven't given up.


If they haven't given up, how can I? How can you? A verse has been going through my head all day, a very familiar one to me. I have always said that Jeremiah 29:11 was Seth's scripture.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."


DECLARES the Lord. He declares that he has a plan to give us a hope, give us a future. How amazing is it that he has a plan to give each and every one of us hope, one of the hardest things to hold on to? What a gift.


It was the next verse, though, that has been echoing in my head all day. he entire passage says this:

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”


That's amazing to me. I feel so unheard so much of the time, like I talk and talk and have to reword everything forty times just to get my point across. And maybe there are people in my life who I need to do that with...but not God. Even when his plans aren't clear, even when living in a fallen world creates a terrible situation, God is still listening for our call. He is still planning to bring beauty from the ashes in a way only he understands. He plans to prosper us despite all our efforts to control our own lives, offers us hope and a future no matter how bleak things look in the present. He is offering us hope, and all we have to do is seek him out with our whole hearts.

God, that's hard to do.


But I want to. I want to feel hope like it looks like these gorgeous kids do. I want to feel the stirring in my soul every day that I feel tonight wondering what God did during Tommy's sermon, how many people he had the opportunity to share Christ with. I was to feel on fire again, like I'm overflowing with the word and have no room left to be negative or depressed. The devil isn't always overt...sometimes, just causing us to feel lackadaisical about our faith is enough  for him to feel like he's winning the war.


These people like Tommy and Tim and everyone else who not only speak the Word but act the Word in the most inconvenient, least comfortable way inspire me to be better. My beautiful cousin Jordan took off to do missionary work in Brazil for the second have of her junior year of high school. She left her family, her friends, all because she felt led to be there. When someone asked her why she was going, she said "Because it's not my life. It's His, and this is where He needs me right now."


When we get right down to it, this small stuff, even when it doesn't feel small, doesn't matter at all. All that matters is that we are furthering God's cause and helping to bring others into his kingdom.Whether we're doing that here in our every day lives or whether we're traveling to far away places to do it there doesn't matter as long as we're seeking His will in all we do.


If you guys would keep the entire team in your prayers, that would be amazing. They'll be traveling home at the end of this week.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...