Highs & Lows #3

If you’ve been following “Highs & Lows” this past week, you’ve read as we cover pieces from all over the five weeks spent in Haiti last month.

We’re moving past “glimpses of June” that attempt to scratch the surface of this past month and going way deeper into my heart with this post. This isn’t written lightly & leaves me talking to you from the vantage point of a daughter simply clinging to the Savior who sent me in the first place. Instead of grasping for answers or reasons why, I’m resting in the One who knew this would happen long before I heard. I have been placed in it for a reason, and I can rest securely because He knows the reason – it’s for Him, anyway.

Low: This is what I’m still “feeling” the most emotionally right now. As I channel feelings into prayer, He carries them for me, but it’s still heavy. Westhalineda’s aunt Christella (TiKris), the half-sister of Nadine, is a day younger than my brother – 15 years old with a birthday in September. She loved this coincidence when she first heard about it. She’s beyond beautiful, bubbly, has the best laugh, and she’s definitely 15 in the way she can act at times, but I love her. Her dad is in Brazil & has been out of her life for the majority of it. Her dear mother Juslaine moved to South America last August to look for work to send money to TiKris and her brother. Her mother was torn up about this and would talk to me about it, and I told her “I’ll check on the kids while you’re gone!”….as the past year has had highs and lows, I’ve both seen TiKris and gone through periods of not seeing her. I’ve helped her as she prepares for school and also asked her why she’s skipped for a week. I’ve seen her cute and bubbly around the house being responsible and I’ve also watched her walking around with guys that don’t value her as much as she should be treasured. I’ve stopped by as she eats with family & opened the gate to have her stopping by saying she hasn’t eaten all day.

You mat have seen this picture before - I love this picture from September that captures TiKris' personality!

You might have seen this picture before – I love this picture from September that captures TiKris’ personality!

I found out the day before I came back that she is pregnant, three months. It explains vomiting and sickness that I was trying to help her with in June and also why she was so quiet.

It both breaks my heart and frustrates me as I see her potential and know the opportunities that she has passed up for ‘the moment’, where she would act her age instead of choosing better decisions for the long term.

And within that, she is just that – her age. 15, without parents to hold her right now, with a huge event in her life. She lives near an aunt that she didn’t tell until the news came up another way, and her busy aunt looked at me with sorrow in her eyes as she cleaned to prepare to sell for the day and try to make money, “She didn’t tell me.” Her aunt is sad about not being told as I look at the situation and see a lost, scared, turning-inward-as-she-isn’t-sure-where-to-turn little girl. A little girl with some big girl things in front of her.

I know that she doesn’t want the baby, to the point that she may go to a life-threatening procedure – and now I’m heartbroken a second time.

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& now I get this information right before getting on an airplane back to America, at a loss for words or even thoughts as I just look at pictures of her gorgeous smile from the past year and reflect on where to even start praying for her.

But then, there’s the high.

High: The one I got the news from is Nadine, who I look at as my mind slowly works through what she just told me. I met her as a 16-year-old mom who packed a punch of attitude as she joked about throwing her own child in a latrine a year ago, last June. As she told me about TiKris, she kept getting tugged by her little Wes – who she would look down at with adoring eyes. She kissed, held, loved on, and bragged on her little daughter. She cheered little Wes on as she attempted to walk – despite the fact that Wes needs leg braces and isn’t developing like her peers. This now-17 year old mother is head over heels for her daughter.

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I love this picture that I captured as Westhalineda was swept up by her mom for a cuddle after taking steps, Wes looks like “whatever” but her mother’s face has this expression that wasn’t there for the camera – it’s her face lighting up when she picks up her daughter.

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Her mother grabbed me and had me follow her to the one patch of grass she could find, asking me to take pictures of Westhalineda to send to my mother and sister (she loves to update them on Wes as she grows, and loves to show off pretty pictures such as those with grass & flowers)

Her mother grabbed me and had me follow her to the one patch of grass she could find, asking me to take pictures of Westhalineda to send to my mother and sister (she loves to update them on Wes as she grows, and loves to show off pretty pictures such as those with grass & flowers)

 

And in that, God comforted me with the promise that every prayer he knew I was going to send up as I have absolutely no clue what to do about TiKris, would be heard. And He is bigger. He’s the one, in fact, stitching the little one together in TiKris. And as hard as that is to rest on – because I’m human and hurt and looking for answers and trying to grab my thoughts as they fly around – He is bigger. I want to be with TiKris in Bercy, to know what decisions she’s making, to somehow help (see: control).

But He knew way before I did this was going to happen and He knows what will happen next.

And that is TOUGH for me when I get the news, but I am so, SO thankful for when the truth clicks (when I let it click) I can rest in Him.

TiKris loving on her little niece last fall. (Bonus: look at Wes' little chunky baby cheeks!)

TiKris loving on her little niece last fall. (Bonus: look at Wes’ little chunky baby cheeks!)

 

{I am so thankful for encouraging words you send my way as you follow Jeziseespwa. I am finishing a three-part-series to talk about the past month in Haiti called “Highs & Lows”, tackling a lot of immediate highs and lows from the five weeks just spent there leading teams. I am back in Columbus, Ohio looking for prayer and financial partners to send me for five more years. If you have been following the movement in Haiti this past year and it tugs at your heart, I want to challenge you to be a part of the movement. Either ask yourself if there is room for sacrifice in your budget or share this blog and information to others. I have 50% of my support left to raise for year one and am in need of people to send me. I love to talk! My e-mail is steph@cpr-3.com}

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