At the beginning of this week the team went around and talked about a goal for this week, and all of ours related around the idea of focusing and finding God in every situation. This has been a good challenge because seeking God results in finding peace and joy as well. Too often I let distractions get in the way of opportunities because of the question of what is next, or simply fear and insecurity. This morning specifically, a few of us wanted to see the sunrise and Sara and I were running late. She and I had to rush out the door and run so that we wouldn't miss it. As we did, we slipped in mud. Fortunately, we made it and we were able to engage in God’s pure beauty and consistent promises. It was a reminder that in the same way, I should be running towards God all the time even though I may slip sometimes. No, not only when I have the desire to or when I am feeling confident but every moment, embracing His love and trust, knowing that God has already overcome all and His love will guide me through.
Today, we had a moment to reflect over what God has been doing in our hearts so far this week. This overall overwhelmed me with emotion from hearing everyone else share their story along with thinking about what God has been doing in my own. My mind went straight to the growth that has been happening from learning how to find God in every moment. I used to have the mindset that the presence of God showed up only when I would read the Word or be listening to worship music and praying, but He has completely wrecked that idea. Throughout this week, He would whisper in random places... recognize me. The one that challenged me the most was when the whole team was worn out from doing manual labor, and we had to continue the work. I was shoveling sand when He whispered, “recognize me.” I was confused but began to search. Of course, it was having the opportunity to work right next to one of the kids at the House of Blessings, Matthew. He works with so much intention to do it just right that I found God. His joy was vibrant all because he was able to shovel sand and in that moment was when I found peace and joy to be able to be working by his side.
The next thing my mind went to was the growth in sacrificing emotions to serve and glorify God wholeheartedly. Thinking about school and home, I realized I missed opportunities because I wouldn't feel like loving or serving. Being around people and kids that need your love provides numerous opportunities to grow in sacrificing emotions. Louden and Matthew love to climb all over me and get in my space; and even though I may be tired by the end of the night, God continues to remind me to engage and love more than I ever would. This is where the bonds have been created and the joy has been exchanged. Their laughs are my favorite because they try and hide it but, when they laugh, it is so genuine and pure, warming every heart in the room.
The most overwhelming thought was the fact that I am even here in Haiti with the team and these kids. Being obedient to what God is calling me to do is something I have struggled with from the beginning of my relationship with God. However, I have always desired the natural, bold and adventurous spirit. A goal I have always had is to walk off the shore line and out of my comfort zone in confidence and trust. This made me weep because if I was only given one opportunity to be here, I would have missed it. But because it was moved several times, and because God continuously called me like he called Joseph after 40 years, I finally obeyed and pursued Haiti. This has made me fall in love with Jesus more as I understand his grace a little more. This makes me walk in confidence because I know that God looks at the way I serve, not how good I am at everything. It is always humbling that God still calls and pursues me even when I chase insecurity rather than his love.
Throughout this week there has been so much love and encouragement in every room that is walked into. The house moms here are the ones that love the most on everyone. Marie has been someone that I have looked up to while being here. She does everything with a smile and a heart of love; Jesus is so present in her at all times. She has been an example of the way to serve because she doesn't only work hard but she encourages and loves on everyone around her. Every time she sees me, she makes sure to call me beautiful and tell me she loves me most, and although it is so simple, it has such a large effect on me and those around me. She inspires me to serve wholeheartedly all the time. Haiti and the people in Haiti have been stealing my heart.