Thursday, June 7, 2012

Emotional Manifesto

I have been asked by several people to blog more about the emotional side of preparing to move to Haiti.  This is really something I have been thinking about, but I just don't want to do.  Okay.  That sounds aloof.  The fact is, it is hard to write about the emotional side to this whole thing.  It looks different for me, than it does for Gary, or for each of the three Crazies.  It looks different for each person from day to day.  Sometimes hour to hour.  There are highs.  There are lows.  I'm quite afraid that we haven't even hit a low as low as what we have to look forward to.  And on the flip side, higher highs are yet to come as well too, I know.  After the children have gone to bed, and I'm exhausted, the last thing I want to do is dig down deep into my psyche and analyze my feelings.  I'd rather stuff them, because that's what I do.  Avoidance and procrastination are my bff's.

I have great faith in our decision, and our God.  I also have doubts.  My doubts don't change our decision.  Gary's doubts don't change our decision.  But they come in and out, and they like to overturn tables and generally make our days pretty messy.  Sometimes I feel like I can't share my doubts, or others might doubt too, or might doubt my faith in God.

The days are filled with the usual stuff.  Caring for children, feeding children, cleaning up after children, breaking up arguments between children, snuggling children.  But added to our recent days are the discomforts of a temporary home.  One that is as comfortable as it can possibly be, and yet still does not feel like home.  We are living out of boxes, quite literally. We are shuffling laundry back and forth from my parents' washer and dryer back to our house on a daily basis.  We are running errands and fundraising for our time in Haiti.  We are trying to maintain and make new connections in Haiti.  We are trying to grow spiritually.  We are trying to maintain our marriage and family life.  We are trying to nurture friendships, near and far.  We are trying to be good extended family members to our parents and siblings.  We are failing.

It feels like we are being stretched and pressed and tested.  There are times where it feels like physical discomfort, like the air becomes less oxygen rich, or sounds are muffled. Satan uses our insecurities against us.  We have to fight daily not to believe those lies.  We feel scared.  We feel like we just don't know what the heck we're doing.

There is also joy.  Lots of joy.  And excitement.  Why did God choose us for this?  I don't know why, but I'm honored.  I want nothing more than for God to become known, like really really known, to people through this journey.  I pray for lives to be changed because of what God is going to do, what he is doing now.  We are not walking into this thinking we are going to change Haiti.  We know that God can change Haiti, when and how ever He wants to.  We pray for lives in Haiti to change, for people to come close to God and know His love, and be set apart, and to spend eternity in a place too perfect for us to even comprehend right now.  We also pray for lives of those who are watching this story unfold, either by passive witness or active participant.  We have friends and family who do not know God and pray that this journey will somehow be a part of bringing them back to Jesus.  I also know my human-ness gets in the way of this all the time.  I screw up.  I don't represent the true nature of Jesus.  I hurt people.  Lord God please use me anyway!  Help me love people more, better, all the time.


Erin said...

Oh Michaela, I am certain you are not failing. I don't know much, but I know you're not failing even if it feels like that right now. Growing pains, that is what it is. They hurt because growth can be jarring, but really you are just becoming the you that God has intended and while there is discomfort (you feeling as if you are failing) truly you are on your way to what you were meant for. You've always had a way of making people feel special. Even from afar you have touched my heart and I know that you are doing amazing things and will continue to do so. Don't be so hard on yourself. This journey is an amazing process to watch and your willingness to be a participant/leader amazes me.

I'm praying you have more highs than lows but that the lows are times for reflection on the sacrifices you've made and that while it gets tough, you are doing the work of a loving God who will not leave you, no matter how low you feel.


peaceliving said...

I think this is a great summary of what it's like to step out in faith to radically follow God. I'm enjoying reading about your journey, especially knowing that you are a dear friend of a dear friend...I feel like I am getting to know you. I feel all of the same things you do in regards to us being foster parents...wondering why God chooses to use people like us who so easily screw up and hurt people and do the wrong thing or forget to glorify God when the opportunity arises in a conversation. The highs are high, the lows are low, and you never know which direction the roller coaster is headed. But you know that God wants you on that coaster through that particular stretch of track, no matter how out of control things seem. Living a life of total trust in God is crazy, vulnerable, rewarding, and a great target for Satan's attacks. God is good. His plan is good. Can't wait to read about how it unfolds for you guys.

Tifanni said...

You penned it so wonderfully. We also feel that way, often with emotions swingling like a pendulum. What a great post :)

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