A Glimpse of Mi Vida...

It started with a missions trip to Camden, where my life and perspective were changed and where this blog began. Life has been a roller coaster filled with its ups and downs and I'm excited for the adventure and discovering what God has in store, even though I really dislike roller coasters... I am a Lady in Waiting...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Love Does: Humbleness

Love Does: Humbleness

The Morning Sunrise
I recently finished reading Bob Goff’s book, Love Does. I highly recommend it, if you haven’t heard of it.
As I was preparing for leading our teams in devotional for Monday morning- I decided to share and excerpt from the book.

At the beginning of each chapter- Bob gives a lesson that is laid out within the text. One that really struck me is as follows:
“I used to think the words spoken about us describe who we are, but now I know they shape of who we are.”

I think that in Haiti we easily love on the alien, orphan and the widow. We truly feel like the hands and feet of Christ as we are pouring out love onto strangers and children. We can pour affirmations into these people who are seen a condemned or rejected, we are given the opportunities every day to offer grace, love and mercy to those we encounter.

I know personally my love abounds to deeper levels in Haiti. I prefer my life in Haiti during the short term because I’m away from the distractions and sins of my life. But how do I model that same outpouring of love in my own life, back home?

I often think that we fail to see our lives as mission field. We only see places like Haiti as a mission field. The truth is where we are is where we are living out God’s purpose. If that is in Haiti, here and now for a week then that’s where it is. But it is also in our lifestyles, in our homes, and especially in our workplaces- even more I think it is in our own lives. Do we even speak love and truth to ourselves?

I know it is easy to think that I am not enough. Those words can instantly fill our heads: I’m not… pretty, smart, educated, skinny, fast… enough. I’ve heard that positive affirmations are great to do on yourself by looking in the mirror day after day and encourage yourself with the words that uplift you.
I think of the movie The Help: “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.”

Before I moved a few months ago the mirror in my bathroom read encouraging words and phrases: "Jennifer, you are beautiful. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are loved and special. You are the daughter of the King, His Princess.” Something to that extent is what I had written on the mirror above my sink. I looked at it every morning, starting each day feeling encouraged and loved.

Our mission field is wherever we are, loving each other and even ourselves.
If we look at God’s Word- He speaks the affirmation to us in the same way. His Word speaks something meaningful and significant into our lives- it allows us to be filled and to change the world regardless of our shortcomings.

God’s name for us is His Beloved.

1 John 3: 1-2- “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God”.

He hopes that we’ll start to see ourselves as His Beloved rather than all the reasons we think that we aren’t something.

I challenged the group to speak truth and love to each other by not only their words, but even more so by their actions.

My life verse is: “Let us love not in word or speech, but in truth and action” -1 John 3:18.

Hanging on the Beach with my Gilbie
Little did I know that I would be humbled by what I said, as I learned throughout the day how to love through my actions and to allow love to do what is does. Love allows us to love and serve in ways that we would not expect. Our love for God allows us to pour out limitless love unto others- pouring out more love than we ever thought that we could give.

Example One: I went to the beach with one of the teams. Each person was to be paired with a kid so that I could focus on taking photos with the children of the Miriam Center. The kids had not been to the beach in at least three years so it was a joyful time to capture. Somehow I got paired with Gilbert- which is fine by me.

Love Does Crazy Things: It allows you to carry Gilbert, a backpack and an expense camera down a hill. It allows you to follow Gilbert around because he wants his photo taken, as you carefully trek in the ocean water with your now broken flip flops and a small cut on your toe- navigating on slippery and painful rocks. It allows you to help push a kid your height up the side of the hill with strength you didn’t know you had, barefoot.
DenDen and Gilbert LOVED the beach.

Example Two: I went down to the Gran Moun to help paint nails of some of the elderly. Love allows you to paint not only their nails but their toenails. Feet gross me out, especially Haitian elderly feet that have not been cleaned or manicures in a very long time. As we left the gran moun, Presius showed me his toe nail and it had to be at least an inch and a half long.  

Love Does Crazy Things: It doesn’t allow me to ignore a need. My intention was to go give him nail clippers. Instead I sat there one the ground covered in ants clipping his not just one toe nail, but all of them. Love allows you to do things you never expected or desired to do.
I have been in awe that after sharing the devotional that God allowed me to love His people in ways I didn’t plan for. That God gives me peace as I trust in Him and serve. I am continually astonished at my capacity for love and service.

As I was thinking of those thoughts and praying over them and just thankful for the ways that God humbled me, He gave me a final example for my day.

Example Three: A sick a dehydrated roommate. My roommate went to bed not feeling well. Midnight I was awakened by her not feeling well. I wanted to just go back to bed, but something within me knew she needed help. At first she refused it, but I knew I couldn’t allow that. We woke up and journeyed with Caitlin and Miss Maureen down to the infirmary. I knew she was dehydrated and needed an IV.

Love Does Crazy Things: It allows you to get less than four hours of sleep caring for your friend as you are awakened almost every hour with her pains and groans and checking the IV bag. It allows you to stand outside of the bathroom stall several times early in the morning holding her IV bag in the air. It allows you to watch over her as you are having gut-wrenching stomach pains and diarrhea. It allows you to serve and still love on children even though you are tired. Love allows you to finish the day on little energy and sleep but with the best feeling you’ve ever felt in your heart.

Love also allows for you to get the best night of sleep you’ve ever had in Haiti after the two days you had serving and being humbled as God continues to show His sovereignty.

Love Does… Love Allows you to do things you never thought you could do.  


Chris said...

Love it!... and I love how God is using you in Haiti. You are such a blessing!

Priscilla Chauser said...

So awesome to read how you've been growing through this! Such profound words to be remembered, especially when coming home! So proud of you Jennly! But also so excited to see how God will use you in the home mission field ;) xoxo.