Thursday, November 15, 2012

help our hearts to hear Your sound

Song: Slow Me Down
By Robbie Seay

 Slow us down Lord, slow us down. 
 Help our hearts to hear your sound.
Speak into our lives - Lord speak now.
Slow us down oh Lord, slow us down.
Clear our minds. Bring us peace that we cannot find.
Take our worried thoughts, break our pride.
Clear our minds, oh Lord, clear our minds.
Wake our souls oh Lord, wake our souls...

Thursday (as you likely know) is Prenatal day at 
Heartline Ministries.  

On a typical Thursday we all gather to pray before we begin. We pray about personal stuff and for the ladies. We pray that our interactions with each person will be loving and respectful. 45 women come each week. Today there seemed to be extra sad things going on in their lives. Crying is often times seen as weakness here. It is not uncommon for people to scold one another for tears. (As opposed to some of us expats that cry a time or two every day and see it as cheaper than Visine and therapy.) This Thursday both Haitians and Americans were teary. It was a heavy day. 

  • Met with new gal in the program  - 13 years old. (turns 14 at Christmas) She is brave and strong. She has no toes and only a few fingers, she was born without them. She was raped a few months ago and is going to have a baby in early April. She has decided to travel a very far distance to come to the program.
  • Did the intake tests and physical exam on a 20(?) year old with significant cognitive disabilities. Emotionally she responds at a level similar to that of six year old. She is able to answer a few questions, but not most. She says when her mom is not home, a man forces her.  She is due in May.
  • Prenatal visit with a 16 year old (was written about here) that is clearly so abused she has trouble engaging well. She had preterm labor last week (but is much better now thanks to treatment) due to multiple infections that are likely caused by the abuse we think is probably still happening to her. She is due in December.
  • Talked with a 42 year old woman pregnant with her 8th child. We grieved with her as she explained that her husband has left them and was treating her terribly. The whole family lives in one of the remaining "tent cities". She has children ranging in age from 5 to 20. She has a complicated medical history. She has very high blood pressure but only took the medicine for a time and stopped when the blood pressure got better. :(  Her pregnancy and delivery are high risk. She'll need to deliver at a hospital. 
  • Mom of six week old baby came to talk to us. She hid her face behind her baby while she cried and said she needs a job and a way to make money. She doesn't know how to keep going the way it is now. 
That's 5 complicated lives out of 45 complicated lives.  When listening to story after story it sometimes causes a feeling of despair. I confess that I perceive a distant God after a few of these stories in a row. The desperation feels suffocating. 

The need to grasp tightly to hope is apparent. 
The ability to grasp tightly to hope varies. 

It also occurs to me that I am depressed by all of this and I am not the one daily living that horror.  I cannot imagine how it would feel to be the one being raped, being left by my husband, and desperately needing work.

Last week I shared (on FaceBook) at a vulnerable moment that everything feels heavy right now and that we're struggling in a few different areas of our lives and we are feeling it in our home and relationships. As soon as I posted it I felt my pride telling me to take it down and not to put that information out there.

This space has always been the place we honestly process Haiti stuff and life as a large family in a second culture ... And the ups and downs of almost everything. I don't know why we're in a slump, we just are. I don't know why our coping mechanisms are not in their best form, they just aren't. 

My friend reminded me that this song was our supposed anthem for 2012; seems like we kinda forgot about it.  And so we pray together ...  Slow us down, Lord. Help our hearts to hear your sound.


Dizneluver said...


I know that it is tough to deal with all that you do day in and day out...but just the thought of knowing that you guys are down there on the front lines being God's hands and feet to the wonderful people of Haiti ..makes me smile and gives me much HOPE!!!

I am praying that God will show you great manifestations of His Hope and that you will feel greatly encouraged!!

Loving God, Loving Haiti, Loving the LIVESAYS!!!

Kelly D

Sara said...

Every single day, you have the opportunity to be a blessing...(we ALL do)...and you are choosing to be a blessing to such an incredible bunch of ladies. I get teary myself reading your blog speak the challenge the things in life that are difficult. You face crazy ass obstacles with an open mind and a fearless spirit. Please know that I pray for you and your fam and the rest of the Heartline community regularly. I believe that each conversation IS making a are Shining the Light in all that you do. Although we barely know each other (except that you DID carry me out of church one day when I was a little TOO dehydrated) I feel a kindred bond with the work that you do. Stay strong sister! Thanks for loving and thanks for shining your light!!!!

Sally Marsolais said...

You listen...acknowledge...bring dignity...give tenderness...sustain life. For most, you are the one and only. Thank you.

Anonymous said...


elizabethre said...

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalm 126:5.

I keep thinking that maybe it is time for your whole family to take a long break from serving in Haiti. That you all need to be lifted out of there for a while. I know, who will stand in the gap? I pray the Lord will make the way and provide the replacements so that you can travel to the US (or anywhere else you'd get your rest) for times of refreshing.

God bless and keep you as you seek HIs way through this time.

Kit said...

Tara, just to say that I will increase prayers for you. Thank you for always being honest and letting us in to the real life you are living. And into the real, incredibly complicated lives of those you live amongst. Love to you all from Texas (via Boston).

Terri said...

As they come to you, lift them up to God. Place them in His arms. HE is so much stronger!

Lori H. from Minnesota said...

Oh yes, I am with elizabethre on this. You definitely need a family vacation. It's not an option. EVERYONE needs to refuel from time to time. It's not a weakness. Second thought, as Heartline moves towards a bigger building (meaning MORE moms?) you guys might need some additional support/training for yourselves. It can give you more tools to help yourselves help them.

Just Another Note said...

Your ministry humbles me - I pray for God to give you very real encouragement as you serve him so faithfully.

Kelly said...

Prayers for your perseverance and strength and for the real stories living through these unthinkable circumstances. I continue to be blessed and thankful for the important work Heartline is doing. Praying that your vulnerability and love will shine in a new and powerful way that these women will take notice.

Sherly said...



yellowgirl said...

there are no easy years, months, weeks or days on the mission field. it's all hard, especially dealing with what you do. be encouraged- hard, and slump, and fatigue, does not diminish God's joy in your spent lives. pouring out for him brings a joy that sometimes takes awhile to recognize. may His Word fill up the empty poured-out places.

Avey said...

From a stranger far away in Canada -
Your heart breaks with the things that break the heart of God. It's wonderful and of course so hard.
I love your blog. I love what you do. You are storing up for yourselves big treasures in heaven.
I'll be praying for you guys tonight.

Anonymous said...

After reading your post I so wish we could trade places for a while to give you and your family a much needed break. I don’t do the missionary work but would love to experience it at sometime. I have to say burned out is burned out in whatever you do. I pray the lord gives us both the strength to carry on with what he would like us to do and show us the way.

Austin Wedding Photographer said...

I feel like so down today, but hearing this song gave me peace of mind. Great thanks for dropping by in your blog.