Sunday, April 1, 2012


"If you could sum up life in one word, Mawmaw, what would it be?"
Mawmaw and I were on another late drive home from the hospital. The past two months of life were building up in my throat. I felt as though the lump was going to choke me. Either that or I would start crying and never be able to stop.
"Well, Laura... let's see..."
-a good three minute pause-
In those three minutes I could hear my thoughts loudly. They were begging her to say something. Something that would brighten this dreary being. Renew the joy that I knew was inside of me somewhere. Tell me SOMETHING that will let me breathe! Give me one word that will give hope to this 24 year old now mother of one who is confused by two cultures- the one I live in (Haiti) and the one I have been in the past two weeks (USA)- and living in such a cursed world. Come on, Mawmaw! Something!
My thoughts were full of terror. I was so scared of her saying something that would only prove my opinion on life here and now. If she were to ask me the same question given to her, I would have said a word closely related to the following:
My explanation? Life is so burdensome. What we thought it would be, what we think it should be or even could be... just isn't what it is. People disappoint. Expectations are never met, as much as I try to tell myself I don't have expectations. Friendships come and go- even the friends you thought you'd never lose. Death is always having its way in any and every way it so desires. Sickness is rampant. Poverty has taken its toll. Wealth has distracted. Love is... conditional. And the more I communicate with people and see how they act and react to situations and other people, I now thoroughly understand that ALL people are hurt, wounded, scarred, insecure, imperfect individuals trying to make something of themselves. Trying to prove themselves and their self worth to someone or something.
Trying to fill voids that we were never meant to have with:
the next best fashion/style
the next best mission trip
the next best baby
the next best relationship/marriage
the next best iPad/laptop/camera
the next best job/position
the next best body/tan/skin
the next best educated child/ren
the next best house/car
the next best education/degree
the next best vacation
the next best church
the next best meal
the next best hobby
the next best church function
the next best Facebook status
the next best blog post
the next best __________
the next best __________
the next best __________
We know all of this about each other, but we wouldn't dare show any signs of weakness or vulnerability because of the straight up insecurities this fallen world has put on us. It makes me wonder- who is the person responsible for setting these unreachable bars? I know Satan rules over this chaotic world, but who does he use to put such stupid ideas in our heads? It's not right. None of this is right.
I know this world is fallen. I know this world is cursed. Look at how we age... it is the weirdest thing ever. The fact that a body can come into this world so new and fresh, and then literally waste away until this earthly life is no more. A baby turns into my Pawpaw. "We are cursed," responded Michael in the waiting room a few days ago as we were waiting to hear back from the doctors who, at the time, were operating on my Pawpaw. We were talking about how crazy aging is... and his response could not have been more accurate. The world is fallen and the curse has won and will continue to win until God says otherwise.
So come on, Mawmaw. My pessimistic mind is loaded. Give me something.
Mawmaw- "You know? I think I would have to say blessed."
Excuse me?
Mawmaw- "Blessed. Life is what it is and sure we've had many sicknesses and hard times, but God has always seen us through them. God has been good to us."
I don't know if I was happier to know she is so satisfied with life that she could sum the whole shabang up with "blessed," or if I was more relieved to hear such honest words coming from the mouth of a 74 year old who has been through much of what life dishes out.
What is wrong with me? I have been in such a tizzy the past two months trying to make it/keep my head above water/survive "life" no matter what it brings. Friendships or no friendships. Children or no children. Health or no health. Organization or no organization. Rest or no rest. Schedule or no schedule. Honesty from others or no honesty. Comments/opinions/judgments from others or none of that. Support/encouragement or no support/encouragement. I get thanking God in all circumstances, right?
Why couldn't I have thought of the word blessed?
I don't know if Mawmaw realizes it or not, but her take on life this evening gave me a huge shove into HIS world once again. Not this one that I've been looking at. God has been good to us. No matter what anyone else says, doesn't say, does, or doesn't do... No matter if tomorrow brings a complete downpour of rain... No matter if God uses us to change the world or not... God is still God.
Despite how distracted I believe we are and how much we make of ourselves, I know that His children are to make much of God! Instead of zeroing inward at how all of these events and people are effecting ME and seeing mostly the negative and clinging to the "good ole days" when I was younger and so completely nieve to the hurt around me and wishing life was different and missing out on the true joy the LORD is within me, my chin is once again lifted. My eyes are once again on Him.

No matter what, Lord. I will not give up. Though I grow weary, your love sustains. Though I fail, you succeed. Though I lose, you win. Whatever it takes. I will follow. You are good.

And when I again lose sight of God and His perfect purity and hope, I pray the Lord uses another small conversation like the one I had tonight with my Mawmaw to bring my gaze back to His.
Thank you, Mawmaw. I love you more than I could ever explain to you.


  1. Hi Laura, i met you in January when Emma and i came to hang out with Rhyan for 3 weeks...
    I found your blog and have been reading through it. I am not sure if I am correct in thinking that you had to give your little daughter back to her birth mom... it is not clear from your blog. Also I see you are/were back in the US so perhaps you are still there... Whatever the situation I am thinking and praying for you to see God's hand in all that is happening and to praise Him for all the blessings He pours out on us everyday... in spite of our situation we can worship Him because He is worthy. I would love to hear from you if ever you feel like dropping me a note... I haven't heard much from Rhyan lately and when I last tried calling her cell a Haitian lady answered! I am sure I will hear from her sooner or later LOL!
    Take care of yourself, and God bless you in the difficult times you face
    Melanie email:

  2. Hey Laura,
    I have to say I hadn't read your blog in a couple months. Yet for some reason I decided to check in today to see how things were going in Haiti. I just read your latest entry and after the first few words my heart was broken over your thoughts. I cannot imagine the mental and spiritual strain one goes through when trying to reconcile the contrast between here in the US and serving there in Haiti. I can only begin to empathize having felt throughout this year despair and similar disappointment over the constant struggle to keep my head above water amidst work, school, living amidst a lost community. I had reached a point of almost not caring, until surprisingly (though it shouldn't surprise since God always catches us when it feels like we are about to hit rock bottom) God brought affirmation into my life through the testimony of a couple individuals who let me know I was making a difference. I love the way you ended on the note of blessed. Truly the world does disappoint at times, or more honestly almost all the time, but God never disappoints. Even amidst the darkest hours or hardest struggles when I found myself at the end of hope, I am reminded of the blessing this life can be when we continue to pursue God even when the war is taking its toll. I pray you continue to find that you can always find joy in Christ and living to serve Him, even when it brings pain. In each moment rejoice for the richness of God's love for you and the little ones you serve each day, and do not lose sight of the cross. I am reminded of how the greatest blessing required the greatest sacrifice. It occurs to me that Jesus never questioned if the suffering was worth the reward. Christ always knew the hope of restored relationship with you and me and others was well worth all the pain and disappointment He endured. I continue to pray for your continued influence there in Haiti as well as your impact on close friends, family, or even strangers who are touched by you and your obedience to God's call. May you continue to find yourself blessed and content no matter what you face knowing that the cost is always worthwhile. Remain steadfast as you continue to work in the harvest fields knowing that you are making a difference.

    Your friend,

  3. Dear sweet friend,

    I just wanted to let you know that even though we haven't talked in forever, I think of you often and constantly have you in my prayers. I love you and cherish all of the wonderful times we have shared. Let me know if you need anything, Roomie. I miss you dreadfully!

    Love, Em

  4. I thought about you the other day and voiced a prayer for you. May you continue to do the Lord's work and stay true to His calling in your life.