Okay, so I’m supposed to be studying for boards… Like really… I need to be spending my evenings re-reading EVERYTHING I know… and don’t know.. about physical therapy.. But I can’t.. In fact.. I really suck at it. I have about 2 million things on my mind but none of them stay there for more than a few seconds.. and reading about de Quervain’s tenosynovitis (what I put my book down on) just isn’t really doin it for me..
Tonight I had a google hangout with the team I went to Haiti with, and it hit me that I haven’t really let myself think about Haiti very much.. Even when I am talking with people about it, people who went even, I can’t really focus. My heart can’t really deal with all of it… But I asked a lot of you to pray for me, to support me, and I owe it to you, my team, around the world to revisit it for a minute…
Haiti was good-so good- in so many ways, and it was so hard-in a very different way than I had anticipated it being hard.
I have seen poverty before, I have seen people in need, and although my heart breaks, I don’t think it shocks me, because I know it exists, it’s an unfortunate, but very real in our broken world, so that didn’t make it really hard. Of course it’s hard, but not unlike any other mission trip I have been on..
I have experienced the reality of spiritual darkness and spiritual warfare. In Alaska it was all around but in a more subtle way, a way that made people more quiet, reserved, and isolated…
What I experienced in Haiti, that I think was so unnerving to me, was the most stark contrast between dark and light I have ever experienced. There was gospel influence all over, painted on vehicles and buildings, vibrant churches, but at night I feel like a different power ruled. Not that It was more powerful, NO! We know who victory is with, but I felt the realness of the battle for souls there. The sounds of Voo Doo chants, the sounds in the air that were unlike anything the physical world can explain away, the restlessness that only prayers bring rest from and even then it’s not rest, it’s relief.. Haiti is different.
I rarely spoke to a person in the day time who was not a Christ follower, but the sounds right outside where we stayed said there were those who did not hold that hope, very near to us.
So, Pray for Haiti. The Lord is at work there. But the enemy is, as well. Pray for victories for the light. Pray that the believers there will engage in the battle, pray that they will be strengthened with truth, and moved with compassion for there own people. We already see evidence of some of these movements beginning. Pray that believers’ dreams for their people would unfold. That the Lord would provide for their passions to serve their homeland.
I think a very real war was happening in my own soul as well. I think the Lord was breaking down my attachments to this world. Breaking away everything that was not of Him. One night in particular, I went to bed feeling pretty selfish. I was missing Ben a lot, I was wishing I was in Florida with him, I was feeling very insecure as a therapist, doubting why I even thought I could be a therapist, and as I was trying to go to sleep the sounds of the city rang in my ears. I could NOT rest. There were terrible sounds everywhere. Sounds I can’t really revisit in this moment because they are still unsettling to think about.. And in that moment I first began to question if I was safe, I thought, “I might not make it through this night, and I don’t even think I have done anything of value for this team!” And the battle began. I prayed all night, I mean, until early morning hours when peace came. I battled my fear of losing my own life-being reminding by the Spirit that this life is not the best life nor is there a more worthy cause than laying this one down for the sake of the Gospel. I was then reminded that the enemy has no power over the souls of those in the Lord’s grip and I began to pray protection over my team and the work they were doing that I knew then was being attacked. I prayed that the forces of darkness would be pushed back and that the true light would shine, and I begged that the Lord’s good plan for the team and his people in Haiti would march on.
The next day I did not feel victorious. I felt unsettled, and still scared, and ashamed that I felt afraid.
But in the following days, the Lord spoke to me in ways he had not in a long time. I was given peace about dreams shared with us from a full time missionary in Haiti and felt stirred to encourage her to chase hard after it because the Lord was working in it, and then I left. I thought that was it-that was what I was supposed to do, and then after I left the team was connected with, what will possibly be the way we will have a sustainable physical therapy based ministry in Haiti, something I wasn’t even aware prayers were being lifted for.
I know now that I was there to battle for my team in prayer.. and if that was my only purpose in going, I am okay with it. Actually, I have incredible peace in that. The Lord is going to continue the work in that beautiful place and I know the prayers of the Saints made all the difference.
But what stinks.. is I was reminded that prayer is our most powerful weapon against the forces of darkness, but I still struggle to do it at home. I fail almost daily to engage in the battle and it is evident in my life. But the Lord works in funny ways. He knew that I would get to join in on a study on the armor of God a week after I got home that hit hard on that very topic first thing.
Fleshing this out at home is not easy, but I am in process.
To those of you who supported me, know that personalized updates are on the way, and I am so thankful for your love and support. This truly would not have been possible without you. I am so blessed by the incredible support system in my life.
And I am really enjoying life in Topeka (minus being far from Ben) thanks to some incredible new friends, but I will introduce them to y’all in another post.
I hope these jumbled words meant something to you. Thanks for making it this far.