Hurting and healing and being loved and loving - is a messy thing. When it comes to healing, we'd like for it to be linear and we'd like for it to always go from bad to good - in a straight line. Healing does not look much like that. It resembles zig-zags and dot-to-dot puzzles much more than it resembles a straight line. And so we ride the waves of crushing grief and brilliant hope up and down and up and down. The last couple of days have been filled with much hope. It's been good.
I am finding that people get really uncomfortable when they read that I admit to questioning God or that I am struggling with Him and working out the nitty-gritty pieces of my faith as a result of the earthquake. I have received the emails worrying that I am too far down the path of questioning or that I don't view God's sovereignty in the correct light. I truly appreciate that you want to tell me how you view God and how you deal with struggle ... I know it is meant from a heart of love. Here is the thing though ... this is between me and God. My faith journey is my faith journey alone. Like Sara Groves says in a song, "When I stand before the Lord I'll be standing alone. This journey is my own." I'm working it out with Him and growing and not growing and growing again at my own pace, in my own way. I cannot be where you want me to be and I don't need to be. I know God is so big and so loving and so EVERYTHING that HE alone can handle me and a billion more just like me and then some. He is not stressed out by me.
Because I blog openly about where I am in the struggle, I think people feel the need to correct me or fix me or tell me how to get to where they are faster ... but I just need you to know, I trust God to work this through with me. ALL the way through. I believe He will. I am waiting and while I am waiting I might be hurting - I might be angry- I might make you uncomfortable - but I am growing. I am on this journey and He's holding me and that is all I need. One last thing - if I ever think I have arrived - PLEASE - come smack me on the back of the head.
Yesterday we were able to share at a church in College Station (hey Aggies!) and even though I was not fully on board when I learned that Troy had agreed to it, I came away with an absolute sense of the love of Christ for me. We landed in Texas for this time of waiting and even though we're not truly Texans -- the people of Texas have treated us as such and have absolutely shown us A Jesus-variety-love. The people we met and spoke with last night were encouraging, understanding and loving. I just got the sense that they accepted us right where we are. For a first speaking gig post-earthquake I thought Troy held it together beautifully. Two teary break downs was about 32 less than what I expected. Thanks for having us Com. Church.
A local Baptist church is allowing us to use a house they own. The most beautiful thing about it is that there were no questionnaires or qualifying ... no one asked us to fill out forms and prove we were worthy. There was no concern about how we matched up with their views on theology or approach. That is so refreshing to me. They will know us by our love. This church just loved us, no questions asked.
Our kids are doing okay. From our perspective Phoebe and Lydia are insecure and freaky acting - and seem really unsettled; while Noah and Isaac and Hope are doing really well. Paige is with Troy and I just feeling things deeply. Fifteen is so stinking hard anyway ... she is carrying a lot and we're staying tight and checking on each other frequently each day. I can safely say that the uncertainty of the next few weeks and months is the hardest thing for us. We miss our regular life and are anxious to have it back. If there was some map laid out in front of us that said, "After you go here, you go here and then after that you will go back" -- that would be so much easier. The uncertainty is challenging. We like concrete plans - and right now we've got very few of those. Okay, none of those. So -- for Lent, we're all giving up our right to know what the future holds. (wink wink - that counts, doesn't it?)
Jen tells us that there is a strong possibility that Collette is coming off of the Comfort Ship and back to Heartline Hospital. Read Collette's story here (part 1) and here (part 2). She is not 100% sure of it yet, but it sounds very likely. We were SO pumped to hear that. There have been a couple others from that original group of 11 that have returned and it has been a huge blessing to Jen (and others) to see them come full circle. Jen and I talked last night about how awesome it is to be able to not just dump them on the next place and walk away ... there is something so beautiful about sticking with them through the recovery and getting to be a part of their lives as they heal.
Tonight Troy and Paige and Britt are off listening to Aaron Ivey and his talented band sing at a Baylor function. We had a really good day hanging with the Iveys. We first met them in early 2008 when they brought a team to the mission we were managing at that time. We've enjoyed mocking Aaron ever since. Paige gave their daughter Story a new/fun hair-do. The world needs more Paige. She's got skills.
Many of our friends in Haiti are telling us that beautiful things are happening right now. They are reporting a sweet, sweet spirit of praise and healing among the people. We wish we were there to see that for ourselves. It sounds amazing. There is a strong possibility that I will make a trip home late next week - hoping to get to see some of this joy and healing for myself.
A Twin Cities station did a few stories on the Heartline Hospital and the Minnesotans involved in the effort. They are linked here and here. Keep in mind that the leaders of this ministry have 20 years in Haiti and are from Boston and many volunteers from all over the U.S. and Canada have helped make the effort what it is, these stories take the local angle so lots of amazing volunteers and leaders are not shown or mentioned in the stories. The story below is more recent ... the Twin Cities FOX affiliate ran it a night or two ago. And this BBC story was interesting and compared other major earthquakes to the January 12 disaster.
Believing my Father will mend this,