I’m not a fan of stuffed animals. I don’t really have a good reason other than that they seem to always be in the way. I’ve even been known to pass them off to other kids when my own children weren’t looking (don’t judge, I know you have done it too.) So you can imagine everyone’s surprise when I brought home a giant teddy bear. You know, the kind you see in movies, that is as big as a person. What would posses me to go against this uncalled for dislike of stuffed animals? My child needed it. And like any mom, we will do anything to help our children. When Isabella came to our home 4 and half years ago she rarely cried. If she was scared, hurt or upset, she would retreat into a little shell of a person showing no emotion and not moving for hours on end. I longed for the day that she would cry and tell us what was wrong. Months and months later, when those tears and anger came, I would wish for the silence again because boy can she cry… for hours. And then the anger began less frequent but more extreme. Little scratches on her face, pinching her legs, banging her head. It was hard to watch. And so, the giant bear was introduced and given the original name of “Feelings Bear.” He was placed on a mat in her room where she was free to express her anger. He is great at taking the beating. Isabella would sit in his lap and rage until she was ready to do her deep breathing exercises. Sometimes after hearing crying for two consistent hours, I wondered if this “phase” would ever end or if we would hear fits for the rest of her life. But yesterday, she asked if she could give Feelings Bear away. The time has come that she doesn’t rage as often, although we still see tears a little more frequently than most 7 year olds. She no longer needs to hit something to get her anger out, or pull the bear’s fur. Isabella always expresses her emotions loudly. She laughs big, she hugs hard, she cries with her bottom lip sticking out and she wants everyone to know when she is angry. This may never change. I am not sure we want it to. It’s part of who she is. But just as God continues to mold me, as her mother, He is molding her into his character. He is using us to teach her appropriate times for anger and good ways to express this. Correction is never an easy process and we never seem to learn quickly but progress is so sweet when the journey has seemed long.
Archives for February 2018
It’s been a couple of weeks since I have been back to Honduras. I was glad to get to go home and spend time with family and friends for a while. I already miss them, but know there are several things to prepare for in the next couple of weeks. I’m ready to take on whatever comes!
Now it’s back to finishing what the Lord has started, and I’m pretty expectant to see what happens. It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update. For many reasons I have struggled with what to say. Because if I’m honest, it hasn’t been easy. It’s gotten more difficult as time as gone on. The newness of it all has worn off for the most part, but I’m sensing a new season beginning here. There have been many changes, some that I’m a bit apprehensive to adjust to. I feel completely out of my element. Even more so than I did when I first arrived ironically. The first two months were really an adjustment and just trying to get comfortable anywhere. Now I am full of questions concerning the future. The questions could go on and on. Really, it’s been just me challenging Him a lot. Questioning His motives, making sure He knows that I’m, well, me and am too structured to be here. Or too narrow-minded, or too weak. Oh and I want things! Yeah, I want things and have desires so I like to remind Him of that too. Like He doesn’t already know. It got more confusing as I went home, seeing other options open up, and realizing how much I am missing in regards to spending time with my family. It’s only been hard because I am a person who likes to plan and know the next step. For anybody that walks closely to the Lord, you will realize that He will ask you to drop your plans sometimes. He will ask you to drop everything and trust Him. It can be scary, but also relieving once you just give everything over and let Him do it. He kind of knows what to do right?
So all of this in regards to ministry and trying to figure out what I’m really fully called to do has been difficult. It’s been a mental war that I’ve been fighting for weeks. You could probably gather just from those questions how much this has caused me to fear. It has made me fearful to invest, fearful to get too close, and always looking for the greener grass somewhere else. I have had to be reminded of the fact that He clearly called me here over a year ago. God has been so gracious to me here too. I have never felt so close to Him in my life, because I depend on Him in a different way now. I have seen Him give me the grace to get through each day over and over again. It hasn’t been easy, and I ask for your prayers because I’m battling. And in the midst of my personal battles, there has been so much change here for the past couple of weeks. Before I left to return to the states, the political climate here was pretty heated. Riots were breaking out, causing panic and chaos in many of the bigger cities. We were under a nationwide curfew for a couple of days, which limited our opportunities to work with others here. I am glad to say that everything has calmed down for the most part and we can start meeting with villages again. We will begin preparing for several teams to come down here and serve within the next couple of months. I also am excited about the possibility of a young woman, Aaliyah, coming here to serve with us in March! Please keep all of the teams and Aaliyah in your prayers. I know that these next few months will definitely fly by as we prep and stay busy. Along with all of this, I am looking forward to the opportunities of teaching. My need for the Word has increased since I’ve come back, and I am glad to be able to join others in studying the Bible. The Lord has been showing me how much I really need to depend on Him to do anything. This is not an easy process, but I am falling more in love with studying His Word because of the struggle. I can’t be more thankful for the ways that He is equipping me as more opportunities to serve here are opening up. I have begun meeting with a student here too and can’t wait to see how God works through our study together. I don’t doubt that the Lord will use that time for each of us to learn more about Him and to share Him with others. I’m also looking forward to teaching a class at the bilingual school soon! I will be temporarily teaching a Psychology class while Kristi has surgery in the states. Keep her in your prayers for the next 6 weeks!
***Please also keep the village of Cenicera in your prayers as they are mourning the loss of a young boy, Raul. He joined us for children’s church almost every Sunday. I can’t imagine the grief his family must be feeling, as well as Melyssa and Frank who have known him for the past three years.***
I am grasping more than any other lesson that I have ever learned is that nothing is profitable or fulfilling without the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life. He really makes it easy to trust. He’ll give you the grace and faith to do whatever He asks you to do. Truly. If there’s something that you’re fighting, struggling with, striving for, or hurting over, give it to Him. He wants your full trust and does the rest. I just want to encourage anybody and everybody to trust in a faithful God in a fragile world. Trust Him over the fragile state of your heart. He knows best. I’ve been coming to a point where I crave nothing more than to be near Him, no matter where He takes me. I am hopeful that this will only lead others to desire Him as well, in whatever way He wishes to accomplish that. Thank you all who have been praying for me and this ministry. I am grateful to you all. 2018 will be a great year!
My scripture for 2018:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6