The Lord said to Elijah, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
~ 1 Kings 19:11-12
I love this passage. It reminds me how God's word rarely comes in neon lights, but rather in the seemingly insignificant. I can look back and recount so many times throughout my life where the Lord has stirred my heart in the most wondrous of whispers. And so He has again...
He whispered it when the mountain families received their homes.
He whispered it on Micayel and Fania's first day of school.
He whispered it when Robenson received his driver's license.
He whispered it when Abigail Rose was born.
He whispered it when Rocky and Lily adopted Pierre.
I admit, at first I was ignorant to these clues. The thought of leaving Haiti was way too big for me to process. But nudge by nudge on His part, and denial after denial on my part, I became aware of a stunning realization:
That five years ago, as I sat at my small bedroom desk in Wainfleet, I faced these same whispers. Whispers that involved leaving a comfortable place. Whispers that meant change and newness and stepping into unknowns. Whispers bigger than I, that drove me to my knees praying that the only way they could come into fruition would be if He did it.
Eventually, I whispered back. Words of surrender and trust, and praises for peace beyond understanding which could only come from His hand.
And look what He has done! A journey which took me from a wide-open-spaces backyard view in a small town of loved ones to a foreign mountain village in Titanyen. A land where the most earnest desires of my heart and my greatest fears collided. A place where no one else could catch me but Him.
By His grace and provision, year by year, these strangers of a different race and tongue have become like my family. These 4 concrete walls crawling with lizards have become more than just a temporary shelter, but a home. Indeed, it's been a physical journey, but also a journey of the heart... And it's far from over.
Because, here I am again. Morning by morning waking to the same promises in His book, feeling my heart stir towards change that sends me spinning in a tension of dread and excitement. Little by little, I've whispered back words in my journal that resonate the peace I've found in letting His word be my lamp, even if it means I'll be led away from this beautiful place. And slowly but surely, my heart has rested in the decision that this will be my last year in Haiti.
Even though the road from here involves a painful letting go, and the future is still foggy, I find hope in my outward steps drawing me back to a familiar posture - surrendered with open hands, and eyes on the lookout for fresh glimpses of His presence and provision that can only be found by moving passed my comfort.
I thank you all, for standing by me, holding me close, and praying me through the past 5 years at Mission of Hope. Thank you for loving me so well and showing me glimpses of Jesus in the ups and downs. I am at a loss for words when I think about your generous sacrifices and encouraging words, not just in this season, but from the start.
I am beyond blessed to share the journey with you, and it's not over yet.