Thursday, May 19, 2011
Grace Upon Grace
Packing. Did it feel like someone just hit you in the stomach? Well. That's what that word does to me. Most of the time I was packing this house I was frustrated and overwhelmed with how to actually pull off boxing up a house for six people while still coming up with something to feed my family for dinner every night (fast food is practically non-existent here) while also trying to keep Hudson from eating sunscreen and prescription meds. No fun. I know God orders trials for our sanctification, but sheesh. I would be very thankful if "moving in a third world country" or moving anywhere were never on the menu again.
Mostly I was grumpy and there was even one day when I had to find my kids during their snack time at school, ease up next to them, and whisper in their ear that I was sorry I was such a beast that morning. "I'm stressed and I'm not handling all of this well at all." I begged for forgiveness, which is never necessary with kids. Simply asking is enough.
As frustrating and seemingly impossible as it was to get this house packed up, I was equally aware as I put things in boxes of how faithful God has been to our family this year. I was well aware as I stacked our possessions in plastic storage containers that we are not the same people who moved here 9 months ago. God has done a lot of work. That's always good, even if the work He is busy doing is hard and painful at times.
Sometimes I was overwhelmed by the simple things...like that it did not even look like we'd used any medications this year. I brought what I thought would be enough for a regular year in the United States. Plenty of children's tylenol, benadryl, and motrin. Plenty of medicine for all the diarrhea I was sure we'd get. Malaria meds. Plenty of triple antibiotic creams. You name a sickness. I brought the meds. We barely used any medicines out of our giant tote this year .
I'm not one to think that just because we're here in Haiti that God is obligated to keep my kids sickness free. I don't believe that just because we're here, God would never let one of my kids get sick or hurt or (I don't even want to think about it) die. Sickness and even death could be ordained for us at any time, whether here in Haiti or in the States. I don't believe our family is "extra" protected because we're doing something "extra" big. We know we're sinful people saved by grace. We know we are a giant mess a lot of the time, and that we also happen to live in Haiti. Yet God is in control. The end.
Packing away all those medications I simply marveled at God's grace towards us that our kids were far less sick here in Haiti this year than they have ever been in one year in the United States. Besides Hudson's seizure (that was terrifying but ended up being nothing to worry about) and us all being sick during Christmas break while were in the United States...we have not been sick this year. I think one of the kids missed one day of school. Grace.
Sometimes as I was packing I was overwhelmed by the giant things. While I was stuffing things in totes Tara and I texted each other about 9,000 times. I'm exaggerating a little. Like by a hundred or so. Beth kept texting me updates on births and things going on at the maternity center. Heidi and Ben were here every night, helping with dinner and the kids.
One of our greatest fears when we came here (we had lots of greatest fears) was that we would not have a solid community here in Haiti like we had back home. How could we ever be so "lucky" to find that again? It was scary leaving our friends (who were more like family) behind to come to a place where we didn't know anyone. And yet God provided all we needed. Above and beyond. Looking back I was probably prideful to think that it was something about us...something about me...something we did to create the community we had back home. Now I know how silly I was. That's God's territory. Community...family....deep friendships...He created those things and He is still creating them today.
We spent time last night telling the Livesays good-bye. I really wanted to get through the evening without crying because this thing with them is so good I was afraid if the tears started they would not stop. Aaron and I have great friends in Tara and Troy....and our kids...well...they are having a hard time imagining that life can be good if they are not with the Livesay kids for the entire summer. So much for not crying because these precious people wrote us a song. A real song. A whole song. With arm motions. For us!
Grace. Sweet grace. Who wouldn't want to hurry back to be with these people? Isaac Livesay....we're coming back. Okay? We're coming back.
Thus starts this weird few months of fund raising, learning how to farm, intense midwifery study, and getting school for the kids lined out for next year as we wait in Texas for our home in Haiti to be completed. Please pray with us that the funds we need for our family to be here next year are raised and that our house is finished on time (that would be a miracle of epic proportion in Haiti!)