On August 8th, 2018 my Nana died. She had been sick for a while with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Even though I knew this day would be coming, when someone is physically taken from you it feels like the wind is knocked out of you. Or someone cuts off your arm and you know you will never get it back. Grateful though that Nana now knows the joy of what true abundant life is, fully healed in the arms of our Father.
At the time of her death, I was in Ohio attending some trainings with Back2Back. This timing showed me just how known and loved I am by Jesus.
Since I was already in the states, going home for the funeral and spending time with the family was easier and more affordable. It’s also the only time I planned on being back in the States until Christmas. In my sadness, I was overwhelmed with peace, and amazed all at the same time on just how much He cares about the details of our lives. Down to the days, minutes and seconds. It can’t be denied, the timing was Jesus.
I have a front row seat in a world that is ramped with sin and pain. And God saw me.
He saw the hurt I would be facing. He loves me enough to make sure I could be with my family (including Charlie) in the mountains and Alisha in Charlotte when He took her home.
God’s power and glory is so high above the heavens and vast that there is absolutely no way we can experience it fully here on earth. What I have seen God do with that power, displaying that He is just and righteous over all, still blows my mind. Every. Single. Time.
There are countless promises in the word telling me God won’t let the orphan down and He won’t let me down. He continues to prove to me that He is into the details and His love will show up in ways we didn’t even know we needed. I really shouldn’t be surprised by just how gracious He is.
When those moments of doubt and uncertainty creep in, I remember what I have seen God do already. I remember how He shows up.
If I don’t, my feelings will lead me down a dangerous path of worry and confusion about things that are above my paygrade and out of my control. When the doubts begin to creep in, I remember my Creator’s faithfulness. I remember He has the power to move mountains and I am grateful He is the one in control.
This summer I saw God’s love by using people like you to help provide a way to take kids to get ice cream, so they can experience the goodness of the rocky road flavor for the first time.
Even though the children live on an island, most of their time is spent in the home which is also their school. Public beaches aren’t safe. Utilizing private beaches is $45 / person and transporting 20 children has its challenges. Despite all this, He provided donors to make a way for a trip to the beach so children can have the rare occasion to see the ocean. And every time I see it I’m still taken aback by its presence.
He built playgrounds so kids can have a place to play soccer. He built bathrooms so little girls can just be girls when getting ready for school. His love was shown in new school uniforms, backpacks, and clean water.
He loves by creating a family atmosphere in places where family doesn’t exist. He uses couples on staff that model a biblical marriage to show what it looks like to be a family that is passionate about drawing children closer to Jesus.
This summer, five children accepted Christ and were baptized at their church! I saw God’s love reflected through people that traveled to Haiti to just play cards with a child so they would feel known and loved. In small acts of love, I saw him restore what is being broken.
And when Nana was welcomed into eternity with Jesus, I saw His love when He made sure I was home with my family in a place with people that have walked through pain with me before. A place where I have wept, prayed, and known Jesus more.
He also, for a small fortune, provides Hillshire Farm’s deli turkey at the grocery store in Haiti because He knows how much I love turkey sandwiches.
God isn’t just good. He’s personal.
“When I observe your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place, what is a human being that you remember him, a son of man that you look after him?” ~Psalm 8:3-4
We bear the image of God so we are hardly insignificant to God, including the things that matter to us most. Even ice cream, the beach, and turkey sandwiches matter to God because it matters to us. We are His treasured possessions and he delights in us. All of us.
He is never far, but always near. Bumping up against the jagged edges of this planet. In the dark and difficult times He points us to His promises and hope in Jesus.
He doesn’t get frustrated with our lack of faith. He doesn’t abandon those who seek him. And He is a helper to the fatherless. He proved it on the cross and continues to prove it in every detail of our lives.
Haiti has gotten into my soul this summer and flipped the script on the way I view the small things in life. We are “living our best life” when we give out small acts of love. It’s not about where we live. It’s about how we love. It’s in the details.
Our worlds may look different but our hearts beat the same .. thank you for being a part of taking kingdom ground with hearts wide open with me.