Home Sweet Home
One year ago... November 15th...
One year ago today, I boarded a flight from Haiti and returned back to the States.
I had just finished living in Haiti as a missionary for almost three months.
It is so crazy to think back on how times flies, to think back on all that God has done in the past year.
I cannot believe that we are nearing the end of November and almost the year.
I don't want to jump into another year in review, like I did last year, just yet... I have about five weeks before I can review 2014.
However, I do want to recall the things I have learned in my relationship with God and the things I learned while living in Haiti and how they are still affecting me today.
I have learned the importance of processing my trip and the importance to continue serving, not just longing to be back in a place that was my home sweet home. I call it the holy suffering.
I think the greatest thing I have learned is home is where I am. And Jesus is within my heart, no matter where I am. When I went to Haiti the third time (for three months), I went into my move thinking that I was going to be transformed and grow deeper in my relationship with God because I was in Haiti. While I did grow deeper in my relationship with God, I grew because I had to intently seek relationship with Him. It didn't just fall into my lap because I was in a third-world country. I think in previous trips, we seek God out because that is what we are suppose to do. Our days are filled with serving because that is what it organized for us to experience the most of the trip and of the country. We do devotionals and pray every morning because we are seeking to serve God and we have full schedule of service activities planned. Living in Haiti as a missionary was different. It was life, it wasn't a mission trip entirely. I had to develop me own routine in Haiti and in my life/relationship with God. It wasn't done for me, but is was the perfect example and starting point for what I would need in my life returning home to the states.
Almost three times a week I went running with my roommates in Haiti and it was beautiful because not only was I trying to stay fit but it allowed me to clear my head each morning as I watched the sunrise. I was able to pray over the dilapidated homes, to listen to worship music, to pray for the kids that chased us down the street and to join in fellowship/community with my roomies. As we walked back up the hill to the mission from the street we ran, I would pray for the day but then I would grab some water, a cup of Haitian coffee and my journal and bible. I would put on a my worship play list and just pray over all the things God was doing in my life and in my heart during my time in Haiti. I met with Jesus almost every morning and it was so beautiful because I can look back and read through that journal and see all that God taught me. It also created an example to my roommates and to the Haitian staff and kids who saw me. I was simply meeting with my Father, my King, my sweet Prince, and my Savior.
When I left Haiti, one of my roommates left me an encouraging note. She thanked me for my friendship, for the example I set for her as a Proverbs 31 woman. It was so humbling. We often spent evenings, when we could manage to find an internet connection and would talk about weddings and watch proposal videos online. It was totally cheesy. We often joked about what it meant to be a Proverbs 31 woman and about what we desired for marriage and what life would be life once we were married. The conversation was often divided. I cannot wait to share my learning and life experiences with my husband. It was so humbling to be considered a P31 woman. I pray that I can continue to become a P31 woman and to be an example to other women in the way that I live my life.
Lastly, my time in Haiti allowed me to find some sort of closure. The first two times I went to Haiti, my heart ached to return to Haiti and to live the simple life. During my time of living life and being a missionary, it allowed me to be at peace with returning to the States. God had granted my one wish to be a short-term missionary for more than a month... but for three months. He had fulfilled a deep desire and longing for my life, but He also allowed me to see that I needed a lot of healing and processing at home to take place. As you can read in blogs from this year, you will see that God had done so much healing in the past year that I have been home. I have learned that home is wherever I am and God is with me wherever that is. My time in Haiti also gave me the opportunity to learn about love, to learn how God could stretch my heart and love more and more each day. It also created a great routine and foundation to my relationship with God and knowing how to live the simplistic life. I have currently been Facebook and Instagram free for the past two months as I am on a social media fast for God's direction and for healing. I have cut out tv during the week and have learned so much as I have dug deeper and deeper into God's word as I have been co-leading a new believer's bible study. Also God has even opened up my heart to the possibility of traveling on another mission trip that is not Haiti.
Please be praying for me as I continue to serve in my home sweet home.
Pray that I continue to delve into God's word and for direction, healing, and rejoicing in the simple pleasures of life. Pray for my heart to be in tune with God's will so I can continue to find rest in Him and hear His still small voice. Amen.