(written December 25th)
As I laid on my back on the cool tile of my house… Music playing. ..Hands in the air. Sweating, Angry, Exhausted, Sick, Frustrated.
Face towards Jesus. Hands reaching up towards Him. Reaching hard.
My mind raced.
I suddenly had this picture of what surrender looks like.
Surrendering to the Lords will. Surrendering my whole life, my ideas of how things should go, my plans.
It might seem like because I live in Haiti and Respire Haiti is growing like crazy that I “already” have surrendered.
I did, Once. The day “I” made the decision to quit my job. Then, again. The day “I” decided to move to Haiti. Then again when Respire Haiti Christian School started.
But to be honest my life, as is probably everyones, is a continuous daily, hourly, minute-by-minute CHOICE to surrender.
Sometimes it looks like losing.
Sometimes it looks like giving up.
Today it looked like taking a really deep breath, thanking God my girls weren’t hurt. Praising HIM for getting us home in one piece.
Today, Jesus’s birthday of all days, was a day where I failed, and I mean FAILED to surrender.
The morning started rough as we drove about 5 miles outside of Gressier and there was a dead body, uncovered for all to see in the middle of the road (from a motorcycle accident). As I tried to quickly distract the girls in the backseat of our car so they didn’t see- I just got angry. Angry that this was the 3rd body in one week I’ve seen and had to cover my girl’s eyes. Angry that once again these motorcyclists don’t wear helmets- angry at how sometimes life is just taken for granted here- angry that everyone was just walking past him like he was a pile of rubble.
As we tried to calm down and lighten up the mood we drove about another 30 minutes and all of a sudden there was a huge BOOM! As I looked up a truck had veered quickly into us, smashed into our back passengers side and sent our car skidding.
As we assessed if Jess and Micha were okay (thankfully they were fine) we then got out of the car. I grabbed my camera to take a picture of the car that tried to drive away but then it hit another car behind us. I took a few pictures then walked over to see what the heck happened. Just as I walked up a drunk group of men got out of the car- they immediately came over and started yelling.
As I could both smell the alcohol and see them stumbling about- I knew they had been partying all night long. Here, Haitians party all night long on Christmas Eve to “celebrate” Christmas.
As I turned around, the drunk driver pushed me and yelled obscenities. I couldn’t believe it and I just kept walking to the car.
We were near a police station so we headed there… as I saw two police officers, I then tried to explain what had happened. As the police looked utterly confused as to why I was even asking them to come, they finally came to the wreck site.
They looked at the truck, which was slammed into another car and a lady was crying because her car was totaled.
Unbelievably, the drunk driver returns and starts yelling at me AGAIN. He gets closer and closer and the PNH (Haitian Police Force) officer has to push him away from me. As I look at the PNH dude and asked what’s going to happen- he looks at me pretty apathetic and says,“What do you want me to do?” As if I was supposed to tell him how to do his own job.
As I go on to question- “Can you tell he’s drunk? He hit my car and another car?” The PNH officer then looks up and says, “I can’t arrest him, you’re not bleeding.”
Somehow, some divine way- I turned around and just got back in the car.
I can’t even describe my anger with this situation. Consequences for driving drunk in Haiti? None. Consequences for wrecking TWO cars in Haiti? None. Consequences for harassment and assault? None.
Frustration. Disappointment. And ultimately surrender.
By the grace of God- we made it to church (on time too!) and after church we went to bring toys to the orphanage where the Son of God girls were placed. While we were at the girls home we happened to see someone who was working on their car and asked if they could check ours, they then saw a pretty important piece of our car was broken. The guy immediately called his friend and said they could fix it before the day was over.
As I lay here tonight on the cold tile floor in the dark because our generator is broken and we have no electricity, I’m sweating (it’s the Caribbean)- my heart is still beating crazily, tears are flowing as the anger still bubbles up and the complete frustration surfaces again.
Graffitti in Carrefour, Haiti (The outline of the country of Haiti with a face inside the country and tears streaming)
Apathy. Corruption. Unfairness.
I’m reminded of how I felt with SOG orphanage– a feeling of complete and utter exhaustion. Hands in the air, BEGGING Him to do something. Shouting from the rooftops…screaming, crying and yelling about this injustice. TO ANYONE that would listen.
And then God meets me there.
Injustice. Corruption. Indifference. Greed.
It’s all here- It’s everywhere in the world but here in Haiti it is SO evident. It’s out of hand.
But God. God is bigger than corruption. God is BIGGER than injustice.
With OUR surrender- He does HUGE things. SOG orphanage closing is a beautiful example. People said it was impossible. But God said ENOUGH! And he did it.
Surrender looks like not trying to FIX every problem or CHANGE every person’s mentality here. It looks like doing what God has put directly in front of me. Teaching, Loving, Helping that ONE child.
Sometimes it’s like treading water in the ocean but the undercurrent is SO strong you don’t go anywhere, you stay in the same place. I feel that way sometimes but carrying hundreds of children with me. And occasionally getting stung by jellyfish (haha).
Injustice. Corruption. Unfairness. Greed. Apathy.
Surrendering to HIS will, HIS timing, HIS plan is the HARDEST thing ever!
So as I calm down from the day by writing this- I choose to surrender everything. Again.
And thank HIM for safety. For the Beauty of HIS children. For His sons birth. And For my Girls Beautiful Christmas- even if we did eat Peanut Butter and Jelly for Christmas dinner because of our crazy day 🙂
Sunset in Haiti