I guess I'm not there yet, because I didn't have a great attitude about today.
We go home in three days. It's been a wild six weeks. We're tired, Sofie and Lily are emotional, Nora is burning up with a fever, and Ben is a happy handful.
This morning we had church, this evening the girls are going with Grammy and Pop-Pop to a play, and this afternoon Grammy and PopPop invited a few Haitian-American friends and co-workers and their families to lunch.
I wasn't sure that was what I needed, our last three days with family, our family so tired, about to return to Haiti for 11 months, lunch at the house with complete strangers.
In fact, I may have mentioned to the Lord several times that this thoughtful arrangement of Grammy and Pop-Pop's was not what we needed.
Cause I still think I know.
I'm so thankful that sometimes He gracefully ignores my bad attitude and meets me anyway.
Not only did we meet just some of the most lovely people, not only were we humbled and encouraged by some of the most powerful testimonies and sweet spirits and genuine brothers and sisters in Christ, but as one fellow-mama was sharing her story of coming from Haiti to America--as a 12-year-old who hadn't seen her parents for 10 years, having only finished second grade, speaking not a word of English, largely having raised herself and suffering all kinds of trauma and lonliness--the Lord simply b-r-o-k-e my heart for Haiti all over again, gave me, SOMEHOW, after all these years, a renewed and fresh burden.
I don't know why, but the Lord has put a burden and a love in my heart and life for the Haitian people. It was there long ago, it's still there. It's new there.
The transparency of the people we were with today, their stories of overcoming, of loving nonetheless, of parenting, of forgiveness, of marriage, of ministry through work and life, of finding the Lord in the middle of all of it...how blessed we all six were today.
Sunday we were American-Haitians with Haitian-Americans.
And their children didn't understand when Lily prayed in Creole. We didn't understand as they described their childhoods. But we love Haiti. And we love America. And we've lived both places. And we love the Lord, and want to see Him high and lifted up in both our countries, in each of us.
What a gift.
After a few wonderful hours together and after the last visitor left, I quickly friended one new sister on Facebook, and found this quote on her recent feed that summed it all up for me.
If someone helps you
when they're struggling, too,
that's not help.
As we got in the van on June 1st to head to America, Granny had waited. She brought US breakfast, held Ben, played with Nora while we finished packing, walked us out to the van, and insisted on praying for us before we went. It was such a sacred moment as she lifted her strong, faithful voice asking the Lord to surround us and go before us and meet us and to please bring us home again. We're in Haiti to love Granny well. But how well she loves us, too.
The reality of this life, over and over again, in any country, is that as we hold up those who are hurting, they are holding us up as well.
As we share Christ sacrificially, others are sharing Him sacrificially back.
As we help those who are struggling, often times we are struggling, too, and oftentimes, they are helping us, too. We're not doing ministry. We're doing relationship, just as we were privileged to do today around baked ziti and in the air conditioning.
We're not getting back on that plane this week with our littles because the need in Haiti is heavy, though it is. It's not for the sake of sacrifice nor for the hope of blessing. It's not to save or to help or to transform.
Only He can do that.
It's just for love.