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.


  1. Thank you, Laura, for being real. Praying for you daily.

  2. Laura, this is the first time I have read your blog. I've read many of your Facebook posts, and while I never had the pleasure of teaching you let me just say how extremely proud you make me. Actually, you are beyond inspirational! Whenever I read your Facebook posts I am inspired to be a better person. I am just so proud to say I even know you. Keep doing what you're doing. Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions, and knowing people like you is how I am rewarded.

  3. My friend you are only human. One day despite all the things you feel God will say well done my good and faithfull servant. I love you for the tremendous sacrifice you are making and for the courage it must take to do the task at hand at our age. Keep your head up and look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

  4. I have always loved your blogs, but this is by far my favorite. It shows your raw heart before the Lord and the unromanticized side of foreign missions that people NEED to hear. I love you. Know that the prize heavenward far outweighs this all and that you were so desperately prayed over just now. :)

  5. Laura, I know that you don't know me, but I feel like I know you from reading your blog and from Emily. I am currently in grad school (yet my heart is in another country), and I so many times read blogs of missionaries and feel like ... if only I were doing all the amazing things they are (living that perfect life of a missionary, right? ha!). This post touched my heart, and despite the fact that we've never met, I know without a doubt that God is using you for His kingdom and His glory. I will be praying for you. Your story inspires me, and this post like the others is the truth that so many avoid telling. Thank you for that!

  6. When I read this, I'm reminded of my time in Mauritius when I just couldn't for the life of me figure out why the Lord sent me there. I was miserable. I was tired. I was worn down. BUT...I was not destroyed. The LORD is at work & doing so much in that sweet heart of yours & those children. You are doing so much more good than your little eyes can see. HE is moving. HE is working. HE is good & does good...even when we are hurting or want to cry. I could give you some counseling over email if you'd like. I love you sweet woman. You are lifted up today & many to come.


  7. Laura,
    I wish I could encourage you with words of how amazing you are, how your devotion to your Lord and commitment to His call is inspiring. I wish you could know how much your family and friends love and support you in their prayers daily. But what's more I wish for you to know How much God thinks of you. How He loves you so much and thought so much of you to place this calling upon you not so that you feel the anguish of defeat but that as you bow under the strain and burden you realize His strength is bestowed on you to carry this cross and stand in victory when all is done. He has not placed you in Haiti to test you, but to refine you and exhibit the great faith, compassion, and strong spirit within you. More He cares so much for you He has blessed you with the gift of Elijah to be his mother and care for him. He thinks so much of you to entrust you with one of His children. Further still He treasures your heart and the way you have surrendered it to Him. Thus, He is never deaf to your cries nor is His sustaining hands far from your reach. Continue to cry out to Him and know He is there. My words may mean little, so I encourage to find strength in God's truth. Psalms 27-28 speak to the idea of crying out to God in helplessness, trusting your Savior to hear and deliver you, and the joyous spirit that comes when you feel His arms wrap around you in loving embrace and protection. Let Him be your strength and shield in these battles when you feel like your strength and will are fading. Hopefully you find encouragement and continue to run the race in such a way that you might win the prize, because I already know that Christ is pleased at the way you have been running thus far.

  8. I love you Laura Bell!!!! I pray for you, courage, strength, wellness, mentality, & for you to care for all the children that have been placed into your WONDERFUL arms. I pray for your heart & soul to overcome your feelings of frustration right now & I know that it will pass because your heart is so full of love for GOD & others. I know GOD will lead you in time. But until then know that we (your family) are extremely proud of you & we admire your courage for being there! I have told you I don't see how you do it, because I couldn't! But you are a much bigger person then I am & I am so glad that you are. You show me daily what it is like to serve others & that makes me so proud to call you my SISTER! I would love to tell you to pack up & come back home to us, but I know you are there for YOU & what you believe! Keep your head up! I love you & miss you so much!

  9. Laura, all I can say is I wish I could hug you right now. I'm just sitting here crying wishing that I could do something to comfort you. I love you so much and my heart hurts for you. Just know that you are SO LOVED and prayed for by so many. You are bringing GLORY to the LORD even in the midst of your struggles. I'm so encouraged by your faithfulness and endurance. And like I said... I LOVE YOU!!!

  10. I am praying for you Laura and am so thankful for your obedience to the Lord...You are storing up for yourself a great reward in heaven and not in this earth.

  11. Hi Laura! Nice to meet you! I am a friend of AnnMarie. I love your blog! I so understand the feelings of frustration that you don't want to admit sometimes as I've experienced them both being in ministry and in adoption. It's ok. It's healthy for you to have them and allow yourself to be human. I'm praying for you! Lisa

  12. Hi Laura, though we don't know each other (yet) :), I feel as though we have a connection.. my family and I are working towards a move to Camp Coq, Haiti in the next 8 months. While I am not there yet, my mind soars with the what-ifs and the when this & that's... preparing to leave a life of "secure knowns" to go to a seemingly life of unknowns is scary and some of the things you listed in your post have been some of my fears.. THANK YOU, THOUGH, FOR YOUR RAW HONESTY! I started a "Haiti Journal" (yes, before we ever get there) to have when I'm there and need reminding of the whys..I know the journey cannot be easy. I am praying for you...from one raw heart to another.. In the midst of the disarray and despite the constant irritations, I pray that joy will spring up in your heart again - pure and sweet. I pray that God in HIS complete admiration for you would redirect your attention from the discomforts to the loves of your heart there. It is no mistake that you are there... God is pleased with you and He loves that you are trying.. even if you make mistakes, keep trying. I pray that you will have HOPE restored! I pray that "out of HIS glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that He may dwell in your heart through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with the saints, to grasp HOW WIDE AND LONG AND HIGH AND DEEP is the love of Christ, and to know this love that SURPASSES knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the FULLness of GOD. And now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to HIS power that IS AT WORK within us, to HIM be glory...forever and ever! AMEN" Eph 3:16-21
    Be filled today with the present.. the present love HE is giving you through His own. I will continue praying for you!!! <><

  13. Laura- I pray that you feel the power of prayers being sent up for you. You are such an amazing young lady. His kingdom is glorified by your love and acts for others. I hope you find the peace and understanding you are looking for. I know you aren't the same young innocent minded lady as when you left here. I know you have encountered things that have wiped a lot of innocence from your sweet heart. This world is tough but with servants like you and with God's grace WE are a lot tougher. I know you have grown since you left McAlister's Deli many months ago. How do I know this? I know God has changed you and is using you in mighty ways because "you share your ice cream now!" Lots of LOVE........The Gunn's

  14. Laura, You don't know me from Adam, and I ended up on your site nothing short of the Lord's hand as I am preparing a message to give tomorrow night and was looking up scripture, and lo and behold, here I am, on another missionaries site, from Haiti nonetheless. I served there only for 4 months in 2010, as a teacher, straight out of finishing grad school. I get it; everything you are feeling brought tears to my eyes, because I have felt all of that before (minus the adopted daughter, but I'm sure one day I'll relate!). I want to encourage you to feel these feelings; and be honest and open with them. As you put them into the light, darkness can not exist in them. Read Psalm 143; it is David crying out honestly to God, a God he knows is faithful, yet seems so silent and absent. Be encouraged that you ARE making a difference, but more importantly, the Lord is making a difference in your heart. He is growing and stretching you in ways you never could have done on your own! Growing pains hurt! Building muscle hurts! That is the pain you are experiencing! But God values your honest cries to Him, SO much. KNow that He is faithful, and that means to complete the work HE has begun! :) Be blessed girl!