Thursday, September 6, 2012

I hardly ever advocate for a specific "cause" on here.  I don't have any ads and I don't want people to ever get the impression that I use this site (right or wrong) for any sort of kick-back or particular gain.  I'm just me, airing out my thoughts, emotions, and any words that seem to flow from God through the tips of my fingers.
In time-out.

But, when something personal strikes me to my core and I'm stunned by the fact that maybe hardly anyone else out there might know about it - I can't not share it.

Perhaps you remember way way back a couple years ago when my husband took a trip to Haiti after the earthquake in 2010.  You can read about it here, here, and here.  I urge you to.

Since then, my friend Kelly has been in the process of adopting a sweet girl named Lovencia who is currently still residing at the orphanage in Port Au Prince.  She is doing well and we are all praying her home to Chattanooga to be with Kelly as quickly as possible.

 Kelly is in Haiti right now.  THIS VERY MOMENT!  It is always crazy to me when I think of her there, hot and tired and loving on hot and tired people...all sweaty with their crazy language bouncing around trying to communicate with each other their fears and their gratitude and their emotions of all kinds.  She amazes me and I am so blessed to call her one of my dearest friends.

I'll cut to the chase.

Today sucked.  For me, I mean.  It was one of those awful, horrible, no good, very bad days that just started out all wrong from the get-go.  Josh lost his debit card, I couldn't find the remote, the baby woke up early, I spilled coffee, etc.

And it only escalated from there.  A toy in the potty, poop out of the potty, a disastrous nap time that led to the baby screaming inconsolably and a toddler who only slept for twenty minutes.  It seemed that everything I did led to someone throwing a fit or yelling at me.  I was really losing my cool and surviving on a spoonful of cookie dough and a caffeine high to keep me going.  This was not my finest moment.

Then I check Facebook.  I need a glimmer of escape, so I pull up Facebook on my phone to see if I can vicariously live through someone else's day - maybe dream about grabbing frozen yogurt or perhaps someone Instagrammed a photo from the beach?  That's when I saw the following post from Kelly.  Her latest update from Haiti.  Mind you, you won't know all the people she mentions...but read it anyway.  You'll understand all you need to know:

It's an old pic, but I love it.
Kelly's spirit shining through.
Today, a beautiful and caring and grieving woman came to give her child to the orphanage. She was so tender and so full of grief. Within the past year she has lost her parents and her husband and today, her child.

I hid in the office for a couple of hours and told Angie I just couldn't bring myself to engage her relationally just to see her have to leave. Angie didn't try to fix me, she just qu

ietly let me put my head on her shoulder as my soul wrestled and she said, "I know...."

I needed her to just be quiet and let me wrestle. She loved me well and her empathy toward me reminded me of the truth.

I bit into a lie that made me feel powerless. A lie that said risking my heart to love her was not worth it because I knew my limited time with her could solve nothing. I knew she would leave at some point today and I'd never see her again. When I realized how I was guarding my own heart and how I was believing that a small act of kindness was worthless in the face of her plight, I got up.

Jahreece did too and we went out front to ask her if we could go buy her an ice cold soda. As we walked we wondered out loud how much love has been withheld from her in her journey, or in the lives of any hurting person, because of the lie that the simplicity of love does not count in the face of grief.

We returned a few minutes later and gave it to her. We sat beside her and tried to make conversation. She laughed at my terrible Creole as Fifi forced me to say everything in Creole and Fifi taught me new things. And then we took the glass 7up bottle and blew into it to makes sounds and we all laughed together.

That didn't solve anything. And the truth is, we are not asked to solve people like a math problem. (thank God cause I suck at math anyway).

Rather, we are asked to sit with them, hold their hand, laugh with them, to give them our love and to receive their love. Simply, to be there WITH them. Not to condescendingly put on our capes and be there FOR them in order that we make ourselves feel better and nervously let that definitive outcome defend the goodness of God to our broken hearts.

Love hopes all things. And my love for her hopes for dramatic rescue in her life. But today, rescue may have been finding a way to laugh on such a horrible day.

Today, she rescued me from believing the lie that small acts filled with love and that the simplicity of presence are worthless. She reminded me that choosing to love is always better than protecting myself from grief.

Love always wins and I truly believe God is good even when I can't see the outcomes.

My eyes welled up with shame and sadness and utter love for my girls.  Lord have mercy, Christ forgive me for my selfish thoughts.  God, change my heart and give me patience to be able to see all I have right now, the whole beautiful mess of it.  My girls are screaming their brains out - but, they are MY GIRLS...here, with me, healthy and safe.  

I took my girls in my arms right then.  I told them I loved them and kissed them hard.  I thanked God for His compassion and prayed for that mother and that baby and Kelly and all the children in Haiti.  It wasn't enough - but, my God is enough and that was just the reminder I needed right in that very moment.  What a rescue, indeed.

Please pray for Kelly and all of the nannies and babies at the orphanage in Haiti.  Please stop what you are doing and pray for your own babies and thank God for them.  Please join me in letting out a collective sigh when you come to the realization that we have nothing to complain about.  It's a lot to swallow, but it is the truth.  

Getting slapped in the face with a Facebook update like that (no pun intended) didn't make my day any easier.  I mean, it didn't shut my babies' mouths or make them obey me any more or calm their spirits or lessen the volume of chaos in any way.  But, it shook me to my soul.  I had to stop in my tracks and ask forgiveness.  I had been dishing up time-outs all day long to my toddler, and here I was in total need of one myself.  

Take a time-out if you need one.  Take a deep breath.  Take a moment to be humbled.

And, if you can, I urge you to consider giving to this amazing organization.  I know these people.  Not only are they amazing and legit and love God...but they will use every single penny to pass on to the people who need it and change lives (we're talking about things like eye surgeries, new roofs, seriously tangible miracles here).  

Skip the latte today and send $5 to The Oak Project and select the OASIS FUND...or any of the ministries they have listed on the donation page.  

You might not change the course of your day...but, you just might change someone else's life.

1 comment:

  1. That was really humbling and such a good reminder. Thank you. Kelly is a friend and she speaks such truth so often. But you used it in such an honest way to take it a step further. As a mom of 4, I get frustrated a.lot! It's good to gain perspective and remember to be grateful for what we've been given - not always easy, not always (or often!) pretty, not always what we thought it would be - but a gift none the less. And I am thankful that I have my 4 children under my roof and that I don't have to drop them off with strangers because I don't have the means to care for them. It truly is a slap in the face - but much needed.
    Thank you.


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