Lately I've felt a little like a marathon runner.
Looking back at my return in January, I feel so far from where I began, and yet the finish line is still so distant on the horizon. Over the past 2 years in Haiti, this second stretch was broken up by some kind of 'pull out' period. A time to gobble up fresh Caesar salad and sip a Java chip, which in combination with some sweet company is the best refuel anyone could ask for. I know many who have come before and after me have gone much longer, but for me to put my best forward, this week 'pause' has been the key.
Last week was March break and yesterday morning I waved goodbye to mom and dad who came for my break to experience Haiti with me. It was more than I ever dreamed it could be. We got to experience so many faces and places, and each day outdid the one before. Trekking through the mountains, lurching by pickup through downtown Port-au-Prince, soaking up beachside sunshine, and tasting the goodness of fresh market fruit is just the tip of the iceberg. Having them in 'my world' was such a dream come true, and I wouldn't have traded it for anything.
And yet as I look ahead to the summer, the road ahead seems long and intimidating. 3 months flips between a threat and a breeze. Even as the days fly by faster than I can grasp, June feels dauntingly faraway, and there's so much to do before I can get there.
Hanging above my desk in the classroom there is a banner that flashes the word 'Persevere' in bright yellow lettering. It's a topic I emphasize to my kids frequently - a theme that I want them to understand and grab hold of not just in their schoolwork, but in their faith and the way that they live it out day by day.
It's in these past few days that I've realized that it's not just something that I have to teach, but to practice. Unfortunately, the latter isn't as easy, hence the blog and plea for prayer. The long road ahead isn't something that I should dwell on, but I do. It's like a funk of complacency and I don't like it one bit. My feet drag and excuses come easier.
Tonight I took a walk with the wind, and as I breathed in the island air, I whispered prayers of peace and perseverance in the days to come. That just as I urge my kids, instead of slowing my pace, that I could sprint and seize every moment for what it's made for. I want to believe that these coming weeks are the best ones. That the road ahead is full of goodness and my roots will grow deeper than ever before. That I will look back and testify the Lord's strength that enabled and sustained me.
Thank you for praying along with me that despite the tiredness in my heart, I would be inwardly renewed and find fresh joy in the daily grind. A daily grind that includes 7 children who challenge and fill my days with purpose, friends that bring laughter and love into my life, and a landscape out my window that brings me wonder and perspective. May I be fixed on these blessings in the days ahead, and may I persevere knowing that I'm not alone.