I have typed and hit the delete button more during the start of this post than anything I have ever written before. Where do I start? I will start with the details. As some of you may (or may not) know I spent the last 3 months serving with i'mME in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I am now back in North Carolina, my 'home'. Back here for much longer than I had originally anticipated. I originally planned to be here for a month and head back to Haiti towards the end of January. After a lot of prayer, guidance and really looking at where I was, I decided that i'mME is not where the Lord wanted me right now. Have you ever been in a place of confusion and exhaustion? A place where you feel like you have tried it all and God is literally the only constant to cling to? I am confident in the fact that the Lord has a plan for everything and that there was purpose in me going to Haiti even for this short time. I am also confident that although my time serving with i'mME and my time of living in Haiti has come to an end I know that God is sovereign and He knows what is next for my life. When we are confused and exhausted, questioning God or when we are confident and clinging to His truth, God is the same. So I encourage anyone, whether you are stuck in phase one of being lost and confused like me, or if you are clinging to the Truth of Christ and knowing that God is faithful, God is there and ever present in our lives. We can trust in that. Trust in Him and cling to Him.
So, that is where I am now...Back in North Carolina...Transitioning once again...
Everyone keeps telling me how happy they are that I am back and I really (really) appreciate it, I find myself unsure of how to respond yet. I love each and every person that has said that and that will say that to me over the next few months but I am not sure how "happy" I am to be back. So when I say, "Me too!" I don't think I actually mean it. I am however happy to see my family, friends and amazing church family. Their support was huge when I was in Haiti and is even more prevalent now that I am back in North Carolina. I honestly just feel a little lost and confused.
The loss is a little harder to explain...you see, I was only gone for 3 months. So most people think, "hey, that's not really that long" and in the grand scheme of things they are right. It's not that long. But in that 3 months I left my family, my friends, my comforts, my American life, people speaking English, stores, straight lines, coffee shops on every corner and my church family. I moved into a house with 3 amazing friends that became my family. I woke up every morning to my Haitian co-workers talking and laughing outside the kitchen door. I went to bed most nights in the dark waiting for the power to come on. I lost other North Americans that worked in Haiti for other organizations that encouraged, loved, and checked in on me constantly (shout out to the Babe Cave). I lost 13 kids that made me laugh, cry and every emotion in between on a daily basis. I lost my 'job' and my daily routine. So you see, although it was only 3 months. The loss is great. Essentially, I lost it all when I got on the airplane to come 'home'.
Just to try to give a better understanding and explanation to the loss that I feel. This was not a rash decision. The idea of losing everything that had become my normal for 3 months weighed heavy on me. Not only the thought of losing everything, but the idea of going 'home' after I had told everyone that I didn't have an end date for my time in Haiti. I bounced back and forth on the decision almost daily. (Sorry to my roommates and best friend how who to deal with the chaos swarming in my head.) Just thinking of the loss right now makes me almost sick to my stomach.
It hurts and is painful.
I am also confused. Confused and searching for what comes next. I spent 89 days serving in Haiti 24/7. My normal has been serving 24/7. I keep asking myself after I spent so much (little) time in Haiti, how do I move forward in North Carolina? What job is going to fit with my heart and desires? What time frame should I be trying to stick to? How do I recreate the same heart to serve 24/7 as I had in Haiti? I am trying to decide and work through all of these questions while all at the same time all of America is giving their own opinions and advice on what I should do next and what my life should look like here at 'home'.
In addition to loss and confusion I have felt a mixture of disappointment, uncertainty, relief, guilt, excitement, exhaustion, purposelessness and even pressure. Again, I am sure of my decision to come back 'home' to North Carolina, the decision just came with a great cost. That is what makes it difficult. It came with a great cost for me, but Jesus, see He paid the ultimate cost for me. So I will remember and cling to the fact that...God is faithful. God is in control. God is patient. God is loving. God is all knowing. God is merciful. God is understanding. God is with me and with you.
"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:8-9