Moving Forward

Perseverance, endurance, joy in suffering – these are all things that our Father has already been teaching me.

But today as I deal with ailments and pains, problems with this temporary body in a harsh land, Israel Houghton’s song cane on and (even though I can only faintly hear it with an ear infection that has taken away most of my hearing today), I am reminded –

“You make all things new!
Yes, You make all things new!”

What a beautiful truth. This is not the end, this is not the story itself but only a piece of it….today is just one of the thousands that make up this temporary life where I am in a process of being made new.

This, too, is making me new.

I love God’s economy, and how it is with my weak, broken body that He makes something new. It doesn’t make sense, but neither does rejoicing in weakness – which happens naturally with a perspective fixed with our eyes on Him.

You make all things new, Lord.
And I will follow you forward!

Stopping to Sing

My prayer update that just went out was named “Stopping to Sing”, something we’re CREATED to do! Our Father is so good to us, like a great tune on the radio, sometimes you just can’t help yourself – you’ve just got to stop and sing!

Let’s make this a thing here on the blog. I’ve posted these pictures before on social media, but as I clear my phone for space I am just amazed again at what God has done and is doing for Jessica & Hope. Feel free to go to some of my first blogs, see a glimpse of what my heart has been through as I’ve watched them go from non-respondent, detached, anxious, sad……to non-stop giggles, adorably high pitched voices, songs, reports of high marks in the schools they love, and lots of playing!

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When you’re called to more than being a good friend

A tough conversation and it’s uncomfortable consequences has me realizing…I’ve avoided tough conversations to stay comfortable. I’m choosing this comfort over standing boldly for Christ – or really, over standing for anything.

We’ve all heard the quote, right? “Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”

Well I’ve fallen in the habit of being everyone’s friend while forsaking talking about hard truths.

I want to love my friend who works with us with team meals so I don’t challenge her on how she makes fun of people.

I am trying to reach a teenage mom for Christ which has somehow translated into me putting up with the way she lies & fights with people as I silently sit back without challenging her that there’s a better way.

I’ve heard people over and over talk about church traditions, or I’ve seen them, without challenging “why?” – instead it’s easier to be nice, quietly wait it out, and not go home pouring over my Bible looking for answers for all of the questions of how to respond.

Today I stood up in a relationship I love, with a mom connected to a family – aunts, nieces, their children, neighbors – that may turn away from me and cut me off relationally because of my stand against tradition to question, “Does this cultural ritual, this tradition we don’t even think about, honor God? Is it okay that I say yes to this before thinking of factoring God in?”

This tradition is one that a Haitian would say is not even really about the church – but about the ritual of what you do with a new baby!

But, friends, God is in everything.

Why do I have to bring God into it?
Why would I make a stand when everyone else accepts it’s a part of the culture?

Other Haitian Christians I’ve asked have voiced that two and two don’t add up in this tradition that is said to honor God but is instead about self and ritual…to me privately. Not publicly. I’m not even a part of this culture, why do I have to bring up what is going unsaid?

And why did I let it go this long? Passive friend once again, I just smiled as she brought it up the past few months. Not saying yes…but not letting a ‘no’ escape either.

These are the things I feel coming at me as the mother says, “if there’s another reason you can’t do it, I agree and it’s fine. If the reason is the church, I’m not okay and we aren’t fine.”

And it’s so uncomfortable. I’m scared of the consequences. I’m anxious about a meeting tomorrow where Pastor Moïse has graciously offered to be a part of the conversation for better understanding. I’m worried of the long term of what will happen. I’m thinking of the potentially cut off relationship between me and the entire family network.

And all of this has me wondering…why have I not felt this before after hard conversations? Why is this such a big deal? Why is this so hard?

It’s because I haven’t done it before. I’m choosing easy over bold, being nice over Christ.

Now, Christ IS the goal of my relationships. But what am I building if I am simply just….a good neighbor and nothing more? If I don’t mention the things I stand for, if I am passive in the attitudes and actions that go directly against what I say is my faith?

I am learning.
And today I learned shame on me for this comfort I have clung to.
Lord, Holy Spirit, I ask you to help me moving forward and to gently bring a bold, grace filled but bold, stance for You into my day to day relationships.

What is the good relationship with this mother if her very soul is forfeited?