A view from a roof in Port au Prince


Beginnings and endings

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else. I’ve felt that many times. My hope for all of us is that the miles we go before we sleep will come from deep caring- delight, sadness, joy, wisdom- and that in all the endings of our life, we will be able to see new beginnings.” Mr. Rogers

I don’t know what he was thinking at the time, or what life events were rocking his world when Mr. Rogers was given the wisdom to write these words. As I sit here on the verge of graduation I’m wondering what things in my life are coming to an end and what things will bloom in this new season. The thing that’s even weirder, harder, more awkward, is not understanding what things I want as a beginning and what things I’m ready to end. Is leaving school a blessing, or is my thirst for adventure now going to be strangled by the responsibilities of being an adult? Are weddings the beginning of a new type of friendship, and ending of something treasured, both, neither, or something all together unique and unpredictable? At this turning point in my life, who do I hold on to and who do I release into new directions, new careers, new paths, new adventures? It’s a little selfish, but I want everything to change and nothing to change at the same time. I wish I could pack up all my favorites and walk through life with them forever- dragging them through all the adventures, mistakes, and joys of life.

There’s something so special about the way we cling to the Lord in times of fear or uncertainty. It’s a closeness and a dependence that I crave to have more of. At times like these I feel like my very life depends on my prayers; that unless I call upon the Lord, I might not make it through the next day or that I might drift in a direction outside of the Lord’s will and perhaps ruin my life ( dramatic, I know, but that’s how this mind works). I recall hearing the term, “fair-weathered Christians,” the ones who only praise God through the good times, and I’m starting to think I’m a “crappy-weathered” Christian; the type that only relies on God when my own body feels paralyzed. Maybe this is part of why I feel so alive in Haiti. Maybe because it’s here that I rely on God the most as each day is a challenge with language, culture, heat, spiritual warfare, loss of American “basic needs”, etc.

Right now I feel so far- removed from Haiti. As I near the 2-month mark, my heart aches to see the babies in the orphanage growing up and getting smarter, quicker, and full of personality. I feel the distance between me and my Haitian nursing friends and feel like I’m not supporting them enough. My greatest gift to people is my time I spend with them and often times the conversations we have during this time together. With the communication issues of bad connections and bad timing, I’m failing to meet this need I have to give my time to them, and their need to receive this time.

Lately, I’ve felt that the very things that are beautiful about my personality are the same things that hurt me the most. I’m a little tired of being an emotional woman. I wish life could happen and I could be a little more stable, care a little less; watch a little more. But instead, my whole body, mind and spirit thoroughly feel and search every experience, every encounter and every conversation. Everything is deep and loaded, nothing is simple. I don’t want to wear people down with who I am. I don’t want to be hard to get along with, moody, etc. Sometimes I try to imagine why I have this personality. And then I think, maybe I’m meant to fight. Maybe I was designed to argue, care, get emotional, petition, and do whatever it takes… and maybe my purpose is to “fight” for the poor, the hungry, the orphans, the sick, the dying. I look at Jasmine, “mamma Greg” at the orphanage, and see that those kids would never have the life they have if Jas wasn’t such a fighter.

The stress of school is coming to an end. I feel physically and mentally exhausted from being me and in my specific situation. Maybe this is a temporary rest for something God has up ahead. For now I rest. Boxing gloves aside, fighting spears stored away for another time.