I knew Haiti would be life-changing. I knew it would pull at the heart strings of my husband. I knew brokenness would abound. I wanted him to have an experience like this. I desired for him to go on a mission trip. I desired for him to step out of these four walls that we call home. I wanted him to experience Haiti and knew he needed to do it without me. I wanted it to be something he could call his own. An opportunity for God to move in him, to move in his life…without me hovering.
As he left, I prayed.
I prayed hard.
I prayed for brokenness.
I questioned if all of the things I desired for him could be accomplished in a 5 day trip to one of the poorest countries in the world. I held strong to the conviction of my heart that said “let it be and watch God move.”
I saw the journey form from the beginning. I saw God moving early-on, but I desired for Joey to see it on his own and in his time. God blessed us with the opportunity to work together the weeks leading up to his trip. We worked together to get donations, clothing, soccer balls, shoes, toys…But as I dropped my husband off at the airport an overwhelming sense of emptiness came over me. My journey stopped. The journey I had along side of him was over. I felt my heart sink into my chest because the one thing I had been desiring for in my husband would not be seen by me. I would not be there to witness the transformation. I would not get to experience the smiles on the kid’s faces when they opened a bag of clothing. I would not get to see the beds that were built and donated…the children and families that would be forever touched, forever changed.
I’ve seen God’s faithfulness and so I knew he’d come through faithful to change us through this experience. I relied on the knowledge that four unbelievably godly men would be covering him in prayer every day he was gone.
5 long days went by before I would see a transformed life before me. It was greater than I had ever expected. God did great things in him and through him. My husband went to Haiti to bless and in return was blessed far greater by the people there.
Isn’t that what usually happens?
Isn’t that what blessing others is all about?
Are we not all blessed to bless?
From the fullness of God’s grace we have all received one blessing after another. –John 1:16
It took a good 48 hours before he could get through the stories that gripped his heart…
that held him close to tears every time he thought about or remembered the children;
the people that touched his life forever.
After several days of being back home it became very apparent to me that he left his heart in Haiti. I knew he was back home with us physically, but knew he was still in Haiti emotionally. I saw the struggle within him to live the “day to day” routine that we have come so accustomed to. I saw him scrolling through pictures, journaling, praying, and reaching out to gain support for these children that forever impacted him.
It was hard.
It was difficult to see a heart change that was separate from me.
It was an experience I desired to live and to walk the journey along side him.
But, it was not for me to walk this walk.
I couldn’t relate.
I didn’t have the same passion for these children who were now a part of his heart forever. They were just a name to me. I knew I wouldn’t have the same passion as he did when he left for the trip, but it was much harder than I ever thought it would be. Just as he doesn’t and can’t relate to my heart for the people of Russia, I can’t fully relate to his heart for Haiti. It’s true that “you just can’t understand, you just don’t get it until you’ve been there.”
When a people of a nation touch your heart forever it’s God’s love pouring into you.
An experience all your own…between you and the one true creator.
I will experience Haiti one day if God willing, but until then this is his journey.
His heart for Haiti.
And may God bless his heart over and over again because of this 5 day journey to a nation that has nothing, but gives everything.