Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Story of Our Hearts ~ The Breaking of Mine


Heart Rock in Path at Hinche, Haiti {My June 2012 Trip}

I sit here 24 hours before leaving on my second trip to Haiti. I am neither terrified nor jumping for joy. I am suddenly very solemn. Even though there will be familiar places and people on this trip. I go alone, once again, and there are butterflies in my stomach. There are many unknowns for me on this particular trip. Unknowns that once realized, feel now like they could change my life, my path, my course...

That makes me suddenly smile.

The first time I went to Haiti, I had only heard from others how it "wrecks" you. In returning tomorrow, I am fully aware of Haiti's power over me....my heart. I go knowing full well that I will not be the same when I return home five days later. Suddenly, that singular realization makes me pause. "Am I ready?" I wonder. I shake my head defiantly...NO.

....and there is the gift....

From God.

Hmmmm...

See....the end of 2013 really messed me up. I had two weeks there where emotionally I checked out. My past crashing down on me. Pressures. Mistakes. Guilt. Shame. Loss. Perceived judgement from others. Ugh.

I embraced a new year with nary a smidgen of optimism. I crawled across the calendar pages from December 31st to January 1st like a woman crawling across the desert in search of water...relief...renewal. January 1st found me at the banks of a mirage. Misled, mistaken, and confused. 

Somehow and somewhere some new strength emerged the next day. Day 2. Symbolic? Who knows. Unfortunately, a few walls also emerged...I see them now so clearly...Sigh.

So I am sitting here this morning on the eve of Haiti...in desperate need of being broken again. Reminded that I am not defined by my past, my mistakes, my shortcomings, all I have lost. Reminded that my purpose in life is not limited by the world's perception of me or my big (tiny) dreams...but by a God who adores me. Little, broken, screwed up me. Me.

Satan is good. I forget that. I forget how crafty he is. How he can destroy us with just a memory. Just. A. Memory. Let that sink in.

For a moment, I forgot who I was to God. 

Lies vs. Love

All those quotes and posters about "love always wins" really chap me when I am in the middle of a spiritual battle for my heart. They ring hollow and blatantly untrue. This is why we all need others who will fight with us. Know us. Battle for us. Love us. This is why community and connection are so important. We need life-givers in our tribe. For the world is full of life-takers....emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

Speaking of...(as I was typing this post and in search of words...THIS happens)...

Last night I came home to a gift at my door. My friend Elizabeth (a world traveler and life giver in her own right) had left me a surprise...a small notebook full of handwritten (by her) poems, quotes, etc. for my journey. Are. You. Kidding. Me.??? Speechless. I devoured that book last night over a cup of strong tea. Simply breathless. This morning as I awoke...24 hours from jumping on a plane to Haiti...a mini-meltdown in my heart overtaking me....I get a text from Sherri (C7)...

"1 Peter 1:8-9 ~ You never saw him, yet you love him. You still didn't see him, yet you trust him-with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you'll get what you're looking forward to: total salvation.

1 Peter 1:18 ~ Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.

Nevermind the details right now. Be light, be love, be present. "

....simultaneously an email from IV (who is already in Haiti) entitled "Haiti Awaits"....and just like that...the walls around my heart start crumbling...

See...unbeknownst to me (until this emotional epiphany)...when the waves crashed over me those last two weeks of December...I re-built some of those same old walls...Satan was crafty...very, very crafty. Some of what was happening, I knew....some I did not....Damn! I thought I was past a lot of this. Insert &^*$ here.

I mean...SERIOUSLY?!?!

*Ugh*

Deep breath.

"God is in the roses and the thorns." Those are the words I always hear....that beautiful line from Rosanne Cash's album Black Cadillac. They remind me...Of. My. Life.

My sweet tribe. Satan wins...the darkness wins (whatever you believe that to be)...wins....when we allow ourselves to be physically and emotionally isolated in the pain. I am violently shaking my head from side-to-side as I type. I allowed myself to forget this for a moment...okay a few weeks. I now have to pick myself up....AGAIN....dust myself off, and try again. Move forward...again.

How long would this emotional isolation have lasted if not for this trip to Haiti, C7, my tribe, my sweet friends and family who have been piercing my heart over these two weeks....and now all of them have finally broken through?!? How long?!?!

So...lets begin again.

People have hurt me. I have hurt myself. Pain exists because life exists. No amount of good in your life or by you in your life can prevent the pain from coming back...again and again. In waves. In moments. In a memory. In a call. In an action. In a text. &*$# Happens. Life Happens.

I make no bones about being a broken, sinning, child of a merciful God. That part I have down cold.

It is the beautiful, honorable, giving, and loving child of a grace and life-giving God part of who I am that I have trouble acknowledging....I have trouble believing I am a good person. The next stretch of my journey in this life is a quest to figure out why that is and fix it. There is something within me that says either I am not a good person....or is coupled with "others do not believe you are a good person." Those lies...that deficiency in my self-esteem is crippling me....and sabotaging the journey God is taking me on...it is ridiculous.

I am not interested in a blame game of others or myself. I simply want to be able to "own" the good in me as easily as I "own" the bad that also exists in me.

Does this even make sense???

Unfortunately I believe it does....

Growth SUCKS!

So...here I am...less than 24 hours from Haiti..already unraveling emotionally....my heart dislodged and in question (much as it was on the eve of my first trip to Haiti)...feeling like a screw-up on the island of misfit toys unfit for communion with others...being shown AGAIN by God and friends that my heart needs to be broken (possibly on a regular basis...dang it!...and that this living with your heart wide open and being vulnerable is extremely messy....BUT, but it is worth it. SO worth it...and Haiti is going to remind me of that in a BIG way...and that makes me nervous...and that is okay...

....and now all of my blog readers think I am five seconds from a straight jacket and the funny farm...and you are probably not to far off base....but the truth is this post (the writing of it) has helped me to work out what I have been unable to do on my own over the past two weeks....so thank you for reading, listening, and being my heart....my tribe of readers.

Bless your hearts. Seriously. :)))

...and mine.

#haitiINtwentyfourhours

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)