Thursday, April 26, 2012

I wish I could tell you...

I wish I could tell you right now that I am happy to be in Haiti. That my life is complete and that I have found my calling. That being a mommy is the best and that I don't get tired of my child who I sometimes feel requires too much of me. That I didn't spend 30 minutes in the shower this evening crying my eyes out frustrated at God for calling me to be here (the water wasn't running the whole time...btw). That I didn't spend another ten minutes after that crying in Creole to two of our Madams here. That the people I live and work with feel like family and this place feels like home. That I am a great teacher and I know exactly what I am doing. That I don't want to pack up and head back to the states for the last time, get a real teaching job and be in driving distance to anything and anyone I love and enjoy. That I am a great missionary full of complete compassion for the people group I am serving. That I have the patience and grace of Mother Teresa and the endurance and dedication of Katie Davis. That when my Mom tells me to "just come home" I don't think twice about it. That keeping up with and organizing Americans' trips to OLTCH doesn't stress me out a little bit. That I don't look at my son, Elijah, and become scared thinking I may be a single mother raising him for the rest of his life. That when someone asks me if he is really mine I don't want to grab their throat (for emphasis of course) and ask them do they feel like their child/ren is really theirs? That my room is not covered in wet laundry because it is rainy season and my clean clothes won't dry anywhere else. That I like living with moths, ants, roaches, flies and some other strange bug that has suddenly made its appearance in the past few days. That I am not tired of living in dirt and mud. That I don't get sick of showering in cold water. That I can keep my razor and shower stuff in the shower because no one else in the orphanage will use it. That I enjoy getting stomach bugs every other month. That I am not selfish and full of insecurities. That I can travel to the states again in June and actually bring my child with me. That my attempt at even doing this by applying for his passport and visa is encouraged and smiled upon instead of laughed at like God could never make that happen. That my daughter, Sandra, is home with me instead of wherever her birth mom has her on this rainy night. That I am not terrified of the thought of having two small children again on my own if Sophonie ever does honestly decide to bring Sandra back to me. That I don't think quite often what it would be like to just sit and talk to my family anytime I or they want. That I don't compare myself to other missionaries. That I always see God's hand in all that is happening here. That I even always look for His hand in all that is happening here. That I don't wish a therapist or counselor would move to the same compound as me and give me free sessions (I will most definitely take up any offers of that, however). That I enjoy typing all of these personal thoughts here on my blog for all to read.
I wish I could say all of these things, but I can't. I wish more than anything that I could type this blog post and have it be filled with encouraging words and some wonderful event that has happened in Haiti for every reader whose eyes meet this.
What I am perfectly content with, however, is being real. And here... what you read is what you get. I could say all of the perfect words and use the perfect scripture to draw tears and smiles to encourage. But I won't. Not in this post. Because, friend... I need the encouragement right now. And I won't pretend or type like I don't.

Remind me of Your holiness.
Remind me why I'm here.
Remind me of Your tenderness.
Remind me to never fear.
Remind me of the bigger picture.
Remind me of those You love.
Remind me of Your thoughts and Your view from above.
Let me lie at Your feet, naked and unashamed.
Let me bathe in Your presence, and cry at the sound of Your name.
Keep me where You are, I never want to stray.
Keep me in Your arms until my dying day.
May I then walk in Your presence, perfect and complete
Singing Your praises forever.
Face to face- that I seek.

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.