Monday, January 30, 2012

Grace and Flan


Many of you have emailed us recently to ask how things are going.  Your prayers and words of encouragement have been the sweetest of gifts in this odd spot where we find ourselves reaching for what is next.

I have been trying to be quiet, to listen, to invest in real-life relationships around me that are in need of repair.  I have walked that rocky road the past few weeks of opening up my heart, being honest with the Lord in an attempt to personally learn and grow...while also not wanting to wallow around in fruitless despair. Fact:  Soul searching is healthy and helpful.  Another Fact:  Soul searching removed from the truths of the gospel is dangerous and can be destructive and counter-productive. Seeing my failures and the failings of others through heaven's grace completely changes the landscape.  In each situation that needs addressing, I'm slowly learning to pull out an extra chair and invite grace to sit with me as I think and respond.  Her contributions to each conversation are consistently jaw-dropping.

I'm aware every morning that this time to sit and think...to process...to learn from mistakes...to stop and heal, accept forgiveness and extend it are privileges enjoyed by very few in our world.  Our time in Haiti has brought a lot of sobriety to our definition of suffering, a "hard time," or a "bad day."  While there are many lessons to learn during this time, ultimately we know...we are fine.  We will be fine.

{{KIDS}}

The kids are adjusting.  Hudson had the hardest time processing the sudden move. Thankfully he is doing much better.  Each of the older kids have had multiple melt-downs and times of intense sadness about leaving their friends in Haiti.  We hold them and cry along with them.  The tears are coming less and less.  They are enrolled in a local Classical Conversations campus with many of their old friends.  Not much about our life back here resembles our life in Haiti.  As parents, we're grateful for this one element of "sameness."  School feels normal.  Living across the driveway from their four, favorite, female cousins has helped tremendously.

Aaron recently returned to Haiti to sell most of our belongings.  He returned to Texas without Artemis.  We were unable to bring her back.  Unfortunately there are a lot of restrictions about flying with a dog that size.  She went to a great family in Haiti.  Yet another reason to sit in a pile as a family and cry with our boys.  And promise them a new dog.  This is the part I hate the most.  We're tired of our kids crying, and we're really tired of being the reason for those tears.

{{JOBS}}

Aaron has had two very promising job interviews.  He also has several job applications sitting in various stages of the hiring process within the Texas A&M system.  It's likely we'll find out this week whether or not he has a job.  We continue to pray.  Every morning I wake up and think, "We could be days away from a life that is our normal level of weird."  My heart skips a beat.

Mostly we are moving forward.  There are some days when I wish I could stay in bed until all this dissonance  morphs into a lovely melody and we have a life that makes sense again.  Instead, I make myself get up and watch the sun rise, tell all the ugly truth to Jesus, and read of His insane love for people like us who rarely seem to have it together.  Grace gently nudges me to find the beauty that is near...to seek out the pictures of redemption in my day...and to live out the good works God created for me to do during this block of 24 hours.

I'm tempted to think that nothing real or worth anything can happen until the chaos is quieted.  Until all is still again.  How strange to feel God whispering to my soul that He's here in all that is spinning.   Even this chaos is a gift?  Perhaps "chaotic" and "confusing" are not the words God would use to describe this past month.  Maybe "ordered" and "planned."  Could it really be true...that long ago He planned good works for me to do today.  He has life and beauty waiting for us today.  While I'd prefer to shoo this day away...to grit my teeth...close my eyes...simply sit here in the silence and wait for a better day to surface...grace is teaching my soul to focus in the midst of what feels like a free fall. I'm struggling to trust that there are concrete lessons to learn even when life feels as unstable and unidentifiable as a plate of flan.

Thanks for praying for us...and checking in.

21 comments:

Emily Minich said...

Hi Heather, what are your preferences for linking to your blog? May I repost only the link, or may I repost what you wrote, or neither?

Emily
Godsmercydisplayed.com

Hendrick Family said...

Emily,

It doesn't matter to me how you link it. Either way. Thanks for asking though.

Heather

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather, I've never commented before but I've always enjoyed your blog. Just wondering about your sudden departure from Haiti. It seems like the reason you gave (your skills and time not meeting the ministry's needs) don't quite match the somber tone of your posts since then. I could be mistaken but it seems like more than that, especially judging by the last post where you talk about forgiveness given and received. I know it's not my business (or any of ours), I was just wondering. May the Lord bless you with His peace that reigns in your heart today. :)

Hendrick Family said...

Anonymous,

We have shared all the details we feel comfortable sharing in a public space. The reasons we gave were the reasons why we left Haiti. Obviously since we returned home unexpectedly and quickly there were some hurtful aspects involved.

I wasn't even really thinking about Haiti when I was writing about forgiveness and repairing relationships. One thing we're learning from being away is that coming back (even under the best of circumstances) means repairing relationships that are here at home. Leaving to do mission work is hard on relationships, even if the people you love are supportive of what you're doing.

The truth is, we've missed a lot. Not being able to really talk to friends and family members face to face (or even hardly on the phone in Haiti) leaves a lot of room for the enemy to lie and sneak in.

Heather

Kim said...

Continuing to be in prayer for your family. This life, it can be difficult. We're walking in a bit of a valley now, but it's such comfort to know that we are never alone. Never.

BeeSwanky said...

Long Time Reader ... First time commenter ... the best post you have ever written on just the day I needed to hear these words most.

Marla Taviano said...

Praying for you, friend. God brings you to mind really often. I'm feeling so many of the same things you described, and I'm afraid I'm just not dealing with the chaos well. This is hard.

Small Town Joy: said...

OK, so I had this crazy dream last night that we were called on to the mission field in Utah and when we got there you all showed up too. We got the same call! HOw fun was that?

OK, maybe a tad bit creepy, but still.... it would ahve been so fun!

God could still work that out.

Totally.

Don't fret... He's got this.

xxoo

Singing Pilgrim said...

Heather- about whether this is not chaos but order?

Yes! God showed me this before. So many think "God is a God of order" (a Truth) and therefore can't see Him in the chaos. But really, our eyes are just too small to see the order in His Will. He is a God of order. He is also your God, and our sovereign God. So even when we can't see it, His order is always in our "chaotic" lives. His Ways are higher than ours, so the order you experience when all seems chaotic to human wisdom is a higher order than when we can see it! Love to you. Serious, honest love for you and your family!!

kaiti n' haiti said...

Heather, You should write a book. Your insights are amazing.

Anonymous said...

I'm a newbie in the comment department as well, but I enjoy your blog immensely- it always makes me laugh or think.. or both!

I wish the best for you and your family during this time. Transitions can be painful, and this is a huge transition to heal from. I hope it passes quickly and a new, comfortable normal begins soon.

April

M said...

Just love your blog...Ah...love how you open up and process and your real and beautiful relationship with Jesus. I started following you through some Haiti blogs I read, and being a Texan myself (transplanted to the UK for 12+ years now) I love it when you enthuse about TexMex!
Loved your post today - really spoke to me x

Anonymous said...

Heather I have never commented before but I am curious to know what happened with the couple that moved to Haiti to teach your kids?

Hendrick Family said...

The couple that was hired to teach our kids is still in Haiti teaching the Livesay's kids. Becky will have her baby very soon in Haiti. If you think of her, please pray everything goes smoothly.

Heather

Anonymous said...

Heather,

I have followed you for some time now. You have a gift. Your writing is deep, personal, soul-felt. I love your honesty, your vulnerability and your sense of humor. I'd like to think that in "real life", we'd be friends. But as believers in Jesus Christ, we are sisters and even though I don't "know" you, I pray for you often.

The life I'm living today is not at all how I planned my life out. I've experienced deep hurts, disappointments and extreme frustration from people I never thought would hurt me. BUT I am where am I am today, by the grace of God...a better person. I'm experiencing peace, joy and happiness that I didn't know could be available for me.

I guess all that to say, there is a plan, there is a purpose, there is a hope. It's all in Jesus. He has this figured out and when we walk one day at a time with him, the confusion and chaos will become clear and one day it will all make sense.

M

SOS867 said...

Heather,
I have read your blog for a while now. I relate to so much of what you write and giggle like a little kid at so much of your humor. Thank you for that. I can relate too to this chaos place that you are in now. So often I stand in the midst of crazy, but sometimes - thankfully more and more often - Jesus holds me to Him while the chaos rages around. It's like standing in the eye of the storm or maybe more like standing in the boat after He wakes. (Matt 8:24-26)
Praying for you and yours
~Christina

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

"Yet I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13

That's where you are, in the land of the living. And He's bringing his goodness straight to you.

xo

rossana9041 said...

Your calmness is helping our family as we weather a storm about a move, a job, and uncertainty.

missing africa said...

hey so i commented when you left haiti that it brought back a bunch of emotions as my family had to up and leave the mission field when i was 12. we too had to leave behind our beloved dog and it makes my heart hurt for your kiddos to have to do the same. they are in my prayers!

Anonymous said...

Heather,
I have been reading your blog for many years with smiles and prayers and admiration for the choices that you and Aaron have made for your family. I don't know you, except through your words, but I wanted to let you know that I am praying for you and your family. Blessings to all of you! Jenny F.

Jamie S said...

Thank you for sharing. This is a refreshing read. It sounds like you are doing a good job at keeping a positive outlook, though it's surely not easy. We recently went through a yucky phase of chaos that is just starting to ease up, but still likes to flare back up every once in a while. I have a couple observations. First what the Singing Pilgrim said about God's ways being higher than ours, and not being able to see like him, sounds an awful lot like your post about kid vision. :) I have often said lately, I just don't understand why, God!! Wish He'd give us His vision just for a moment! AND You said "I'm tempted to think that nothing real or worth anything can happen until the chaos is quieted." Unfortunately, I sometimes think during times like this is the PRIMARY (maybe only) time the REAL stuff happens and the most WORTHY growth and ultimately beauty in our lives can come from. Sucks to say it, but in hindsight I have always been surprised by what I've seen come out of the changes of yucky times. : ( Sorry you're going through such a rough patch. I'm sure it breaks your heart to see your kids sad. You already know this but I'll say it anyway, they'll be ok, and you'll all make it through in time. (I hate it when people tell me, 'it just takes time', but it is true.) Prayers coming your way. Praying you have an AMAZING day!!!