After today I have 3 full days left in Haiti before I leave on Saturday morning! Time is moving way too fast, and I’d love for it to slow down just a little!
Up until this morning I had experienced little pockets of emotions, just little reminders that I was leaving soon. I haven’t really cried much though, which for me, is shocking. I mean, I’ve cried, but just tearing up here and there. I had anticipated being much more emotional, much earlier in the process of leaving and I just haven’t been.
It hit me this morning. I like to call it spontaneous outbursts of the ugly cry. It could hit me at any moment. I was organizing my earrings, figuring out what I was bringing home with me and what I’m going to let the girls take. We were sitting there and out of nowhere I just started bawling. The girls didn’t really know how to react, but then they started to tear up too. They said “why are you crying, you’re going to make us cry too!” I just told them I love them so much. It’s the day to day. The knocks on my door, the visits just because they want to spend time with me. Those are the things I’m going to miss.
When I left there I ran a few errands on campus and then I went to our depot. While I was down there, one of the manmies came to talk to me. She thanked me for helping her that one time she was sick and i paid for the hospital visit and sent our orphanage staff to stay with her since she had no-one to go be with her. She reminded me that she would have died if she hadn’t been able to go to the hospital. Insert ugly cry #2 of the day. She kept saying, “I don’t want to make you cry.” Too late 🙂 I explained that I’m crying because I just have so much love for everyone in my heart and Im going to miss her and everyone else so much!
Later on I was sitting in my office and another manmie came to the office. She had bought me the most beautiful pairs of earrings that I’ll take home and cherish. She hugged me and thanked me and I cried some more.
I’ve realized a few things these last few days. There were a lot of seasons here that I just felt really unloved. That’s parenting though, right? You pour out so much and wonder if any of it’s sticking, if they actually love you back a fraction of how much you love them. I’ve never felt so loved in my entire life as I have since I told the kids I was leaving. At times it’s been shocking, but it affirmed what I’ve always known deep down. They really do love me.
I’ve also realized that I have made an impact. I don’t say that pridefully in any way, but can I be real? I feel like I’m just like everyone else. I am, actually. But I’ve always just done what I knew I was supposed to do. The words of the kids and my peers have been nothing but humbling, honoring and I’ve never felt so affirmed in my life.
I’ve realized I want to be the kind of person that intentionally affirms people, calls out their gifting and tell them how loved they are on a regular basis.
I’ve realized I’m becoming increasingly terrified to leave Haiti and move back to America. I’m scared. I’m really scared. I’m leaving a place that has become uncomfortably comfortable. I’m going to a place that will be so drastically different. I’m going to a place that should be comfortable, that should feel natural, and should be all of these things that it’s just not going to be because I’m different and that place is different. America has changed drastically in the last 4.5 years and there’s no question I have to. Fears creep in sometimes, will I fit in? Is everyone gonna think I’m crazy?
I’m not sharing this to seek attention or affirmation. This isn’t one of those “does this dress make me look fat” statements looking for a “oh no! You look so great!” responses. This is me being real. When I moved to Haiti I always said I want people to be part of my journey…the good the bad and the ugly and the beautiful. I rejoice because I know truth. My flesh let’s these thoughts and uncertainties creep in, but God is sovereign in my life and always brings me back to the truth. This is all of Him and from Him. He will not call me out of something great to leave me to figure it out on my own.
Moving home is going to be hard. Like way harder than I anticipated….and I haven’t even left yet. But it’s made me realize how comfortable I’ve gotten in Haiti. Yea, you read that right. I’m comfortable sitting in my blazing hot office, dripping in sweat, with kids fighting in the other room and a desk covered in a checklist I need to do. I’m comfortable living a simple life. I’m comfortable riding my 4-wheeler around and not having my car (ok, sometimes I miss my car… but most days it’s fine). I’m comfortable. God is about to move me to a place that is not so comfortable to me anymore.
My prayer moving to Haiti was taken from the Bridge in the song “Hosanna” (see blog from earlier this week!). It’s my prayer in going home too. I want to be changed. I want God to grow me and change me and make me better. I want to serve Him more, I want Him to use me in ways like never before. I want to make His Kingdom bigger. I want people I cross paths with to know that God has created them for a purpose and that their lives are significant. I want them to know that God has a plan for them and they matter. I want to be a light in a dark place.
So here I am, once again, laying down my fears, laying down my comfort, laying down my flesh and saying, “here I am, God! Send me. Use me. I will go.”
I know it’s going to be hard. I know there’s going to be good days and bad days. But I know that God’s got me and it’s going to be ok. I know on the days my heart is longing for my Haiti family He will love me through it. I know on the days I feel lost in America He will love me through it and show me the way. I know this is just one more chapter in the beautiful plan He has for my life.
I know that when I go to Tuesday night worship tonight, my last one, I’m going to cry. And I know that’s ok, because it hurts to say goodbye. But I know that God is good, and that He’s carrying me through, and knowing that is enough.