I have a thing for nail colours... The cherished bottle of lime green I purchased in grade 5 was only the beginning of my polish fetish. You name the colour and I've probably got it in a few different shades. Sunshine yellow, ocean turquoise, metallic purple, prism glitter, french manicure pinks, even the nail decals to complete the package. Yes, I will hook you up.
And coming to Haiti surprisingly did not hinder my collection... Thanks to girls night pedicuring, every time I go home I have an excuse to gratify my thrill of new and exciting trends in the manicuring world. In my last trip to Florida, I hit gold when I found a set of blues in 'click-pen' format... Teagan was thrilled!
What does this have to do with anything, Diana? You may be asking.
Well, today I'm going to tell you a nail polish story...
A few years ago, my dear friend Amber was in a very serious car collision. She had numerous bone fractures and breaks and was held at Hamilton General Hospital for one very long month.
During my visits to her hospital bed, I toted along my nail polish bag and appointed myself as her toe fashion artist... The gowns they give you in hospitals aren't the most trendy, but I was deliberate about compensating for that with some bold toes. We experimented with stripes, rainbow patterns and confetti designs, but the favourite for both of us was definitely black with white polka dots... A pattern that has lingered to this day!
Anyways, throughout my time at the hospital, the Lord planted a little seed in me. It was such a joy for me to share this passion of mine with Amber to give her a boost during her hard days, and I thought about the what it would mean to other bed-ridden patients in the other rooms of the hospital. I sometimes shared my idea to go and paint toenails with people around me, but due to my strict university schedule and other commitments on weekends and evenings, my dream was never more than that... Just another dream on the 'bucket list'.
This week in Haiti, the clinic has been non-stop. Numerous medical teams and surgeons have landed on the ground, performing surgery's in the OR (one of the only sterile operating rooms in the country), setting up a prosthetic lab for amputees, and treating many patients that have been sent to us from Port-au-Prince's larger hospitals. In addition to the earthquake victims, there have been additional emergency needs, including one of our own Haitian staff ladies. On Monday morning, Nalize was in a very serious motorcycle accident, while on her way to the mission, which left her with 2 broken bones in her leg and a broken wrist. We are grateful that her life was spared, and although she is in a lot of pain right now, the doctors say that she should be back on her 'feet' again in 3-6 months.
All of this to say that on Tuesday afternoon, I ventured down to the patient dome (where about 20 other post-op patients receive care) to see her. It had been the first time I had seen the inside of the new 'dome' since it had been set up and I was amazed at how much it resembled a real hospital ward. Beds lined the sides of the tent and doctors and nurses passed from patient to patient assessing their needs and progress. As I sat close by Nalize's bedside and talked with her mom, I echoed their gratefulness that there is a place that these patients can be cared for so wonderfully, and be able to heal with professional care.
And then another thought struck me. Actually, it was the Lord taking the cover off of my eyes. As I looked around at the other beds I saw women - young ladies, little girls, elderly women - all with warmth in their eyes that lit up when I smiled at them. Here was my chance to 'live the dream'.
Before I left on Tuesday, I chatted with another girl who was recovering form an operation. She looked to be about my age and her leg was in a large metal brace that had been applied through surgery in order to avoid amputation. Her name was Emanuella, and when I proposed my idea to come back the next day and paint her nails, she broke out a beautiful smile.
I don't think my feet touched the ground on the trek back to the guesthouse. By the time I reached my house, I was a sticky, sweaty mess of dust but the shower was not my priority. I flung open the Rumford's door where my junior girls sat chatting on the couches and told them of my plan. They were equally as excited to join me the next day!
Wednesday afternoon could not come soon enough. After school in the morning, I gathered up my nail polish and called Nicole, my friend from the Hope House, to refresh me in how to say 'paint nails' in Creole.
That's where today's title comes in... It's Creole for, can we paint your nails?
Despite a few minor hiccups along the way (some ladies thought we were giving the nail polish as gifts and didn't want to give the colours back... my collection may be slightly limited as a result!), it was a wonderful experience, and even better that all of the girls could join in with me. The smiles and bright eyes that emerged as we passed from bed to bed was such a blessing to my heart.
I say all of this to say that I am in complete amazement about how the Lord took my dream from many years ago and allowed it to surface here in Haiti. As time has passed, it kind of got suppressed in my mind, and I don't think I would have ever made a serious effort to do anything with it during my time here had it not been for my visit down to the patient dome to see Nalize after her accident. As usual, God was at work far before I was aware of it!
This blog is not intended to glorify myself or the girls that joined me on Wednesday afternoon. It is to give glory to the Lord for planting seeds and weaving circumstances and whispering truth into our hearts. We have been blessed so abundantly here, and what a privilege it is to share this joy and blessing and in this case, pampering with other sisters in Christ. He gets all of the praise for the way He has brought us to this place and strengthened us to be vessels of His love and joy.
I want to end by saying that there may be dreams in your own heart that you think could never happen... Like me, there might be seeds that were planted long ago that have never bloomed, and I want to testify through this simple experience that the Lord is so faithful. As it says in the book of Psalms - Commit your way to the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Keep believing and holding on to His timing for the little things that you may have a tendency to lose faith in. He will not let you down.
Thank you Lord for planting the seeds and for making them grow.
Thank you for the blessings that you bring across our path every day.
And thank you for nail polish.