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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.
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.
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.