Comforts of Home
“I’m glad you are home.”
I never knew how sick these five words could make me feel. I never thought for one second coming “home” from a place I visited for 6 days would make such an impact. I never thought taking a shower would cause so much guilt. Or brushing my teeth with a running faucet would bring tears to my eyes. You hear everyone say how much you will change, how your life will be impacted while being on a mission trip, but I don’t think you could ever truly be prepared or ready for what happens when you come back home because as soon as I stepped foot out of Haiti, it felt like leaving home.
Being in Haiti was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The smells, the heat, the traffic, the food, the people, the stares, and all things I will have forever burned into my memory. I can still smell the heat and trash as we walked to and from the orphanages. I can see the people stare as a group of sixteen people walked down the streets just as they did every day. I can feel the dirt on my skin. I can feel the tiny hands holding my own. I can feel the way they touched my arms begging for human contact. I can hear the sounds of music blasting and the sound of horns honking; all these things that became of part of my daily routine.
As someone who is so planner heavy, write it down, get it done, and check it off my list kind of girl, being on “Haiti time” and not having a daily scheduled routine shocked me, but in all honestly it was all a part of a process of humbling me.
God is slowly but surely revealing how much bigger He is than me.
On this trip, God showed me his plans are bigger. How what I have, what I get to experience, my gifts, my talents, everything that comes into my possession, isn’t really mine to begin with. Everything that I hold so near and dear can be taken away from me at any moment.
“The earth and everything in it exists for the LORD— the world and those who live in it.” ~Psalm 24:1
With discovering this, and coming home in what I have heard some call the “Haiti funk”, this past week has been a week full of discovery and self-awareness. I am someone who can quickly become depressed, or sad, or anxious when it comes to coming off a high in life. Haiti was a beautiful experience that broke me, humbled me, and made me fall in love with something again. Seeing how people had nothing, but still praised God. Being able to attend a church service in creole and still feel the Holy Spirit, though not understanding a word. Seeing the faces of the children and how their eyes twinkled as we were able to bless them with backpacks for school. How do you come back from that and not be sad?
The answer is hard to swallow but easy to find: Jesus.
God did not call me to Haiti to come back sad. God did not send me out of my comfort zone only to come back broken hearted. God doesn’t want this for my life. God never intended for me to come home, and not want to be home. He has called me to so much more than that.
Our pastor said something in a sermon a few weeks ago, challenging our prayer life, that some of our team brought up throughout the week, he shared the following:
“God break my heart for the things that break your heart and give me the wisdom and the courage to do something about it”
God definitely broke my heart (be careful what y’all pray for!!!!) but now it’s time to do something about it. He changed the way I see the world in just a small amount of time. He showed me that He really is everywhere. He showed me that no matter where I go, all I have to do is call out to him and He is there. He fixed my eyes back onto him as I did not even realize how far away I actually was, and He showed me his infinite grace and love as He does time and time again.
As we walked down the streets of Haiti, carrying a heavy load of rice and beans in a backpack so we could give food to families in the community, I have never felt more broken in my life. These people carry this weight, day in and day out and never miss a beat. For probably the first time in my life ever (I hate to admit), I prayed consistently for almost a mile in (which was about how long it took to get to our destination). I remember hearing one of our security guards say:
“Erin, you walk so fast”.
I had never heard those words put together in a sentence referencing me in my life. I’m not an athlete y’all. But through a consistent and constant prayer time with God, he made it the easiest mile walk of the week despite the extra weight on my back, and the relentless heat beating down on my skin.
What is breaking your heart today? What is God calling you to do?
I’m not sure if I can fully answer those questions even for my own life in this season of reinvention, but He is definitely revealing so many beautiful and wonderful things to me.
I’ll leave you with this challenging you (& myself) to live outside of our comfort zone, whether that be the comfort of your stuff, your daily routine, the way you’ve always done it, the distractions of life, the fear of failing, whatever it may be that is keeping you from the calling in which God has for you. Spend time with him in your prayer life, in your quiet time, and remember that God loves you right where you are, but he doesn’t want you to stay there.