Haiti sneaks up on me in the most unexpected of moments in what has become our now everyday life.
The distinct smell of Fabulos in its familiar purple bottle, sitting next to the cleaning spray I take off the store shelf.
Tiny remnants of water balloons, peppering the ground in shades of neon.
The Step 1-2-3 readers on the shelves of the library, next to the board back books my toddler loves.
Meeting women named Hannah.
The next door neighbor, burning his fall leaves.
Three years later, unexpected thoughts and memories still cross my mind. They come entangled with a range of emotions— laced with longing, guilt, relief, a certain sense of nostalgia and this taste of bittersweet.
We have walked a long road with our Liam. And as I flip the pages on my calendar, I cannot help but think back to a year ago. In the thick of Liam’s sleep disordered breathing, with more questions than answers, sleep deprived like none other, and a fussy baby to boot.
I recall quite vividly nights spent watching the rise and fall of my baby’s chest, fear holding sleep at bay.
Stephen’s words angered me more often than not, “Don’t you think you can trust God with this?”
At a loss, I couldn’t find the words to admit that.. no, I could not. And as I wrestled through dark nights with my thoughts and my fears and my baby’s breathing, I felt very much alone.
Months dragged on. Full of therapy sessions, appointments, and survival.
I often thought of her, in the quiet moments. The girl who traveled across oceans, who fell asleep to the sound of voodoo drums, who prayed unceasingly for a special needs home for Mikey.. all with the confidence that God was sovereign, God was able, and there was no reason to fear.
Where did that girl go?
I keep thinking I’ll reach a point where I have Haiti and all of her experiences fully processed. But long after I have left, Haiti still has this way of impacting and changing and teaching me.
It has taken 3 years out of Haiti to finally see what I couldn’t before. My trust was not in Him who is good and able and sovereign. My trust was bound to the borders of my location and the work my hands could accomplish.
God will protect.. because I’m in Haiti.
God will provide.. because I have sacrificed comfort and security.
God will not leave me.. because I am spending my life in a country of starved children and witch doctors and so much lost-ness.
While I mistakenly didn’t see it then, I see it now. Three years ago, we left Haiti, stepping into a future of unknowns. But we did not leave Him, and He most certainly did not leave us.
Now I find myself stateside, learning to trust, for what may be the first time in a long time.. in a God whose love is greater than I can fathom. This God, who is not bound by borders or countries or languages or people groups. This God, who begs me to know Him here like I knew Him there, if not deeper still. This God, who relentlessly pursues me no matter what side of the ocean I am on.