It has been a week since I have returned back home. I was told there would be a lot of different things to process through while transitioning back home, but I was unaware of the extent to which this was true. Over the past few weeks I have felt convicted to share an important piece of my summer with you. So, I figured there wasn’t a better time than right now as I continue to process through my walk with The Lord and what He is teaching me.
Many of you know that I have felt a calling to pursue in Haiti since my first visit in 2012. The Lord continued to place this desire on my heart years following in 2013, 2015, and 2016 when I had returned with my mom to volunteer in VBS. Finally, through God’s grace, this summer I was given the opportunity to live in Haiti for 10 weeks as the VBS intern. When I would visit Haiti in the past, I remember feeling The Lord near me in ways I had never felt in America. I remember hearing His still and small voice in the most desperate times and always being confident in the fact that He was walking with me in every situation. As a result of this, whenever I would find myself in a messy situation in America, I would look at Haiti as an escape from it all and convince myself, “If only I were in Haiti, none of this would be happening and I would really feel God there.” Dang, naïve right?
I am going to be honest and tell you the truth about what God is carrying me through after this summer. It is my sincere intention and hope that my vulnerability will meet you in a way where you find encouragement.
Just a few days into my internship, I was convinced that God dropped me off at the airport with my parents. I have never felt so alone, confused, or unsure of myself. I remember praying prayers like, “Lord, you supposedly lead me to this foreign land for the past 5 years to serve you for the summer and now you have chosen to leave me once I was obedient to your call? You really picked to give me a dry season during the time I need you the absolute most?” I was on my knees in prayer begging to hear anything from Him—nothing. I felt so betrayed.
I remember sitting in our weekly small group time and listening to other interns explain how fruitful The Lord had been during various encounters with Haitians in the village, with their team members that week, etc. This resulted in me falling deep into the pit of comparison. Satan would tell me lies after lies; He must care more about them… Do you see how much He is teaching them through this? He clearly doesn’t love you as much as you thought He did. That sucked. It wasn’t until one of the last days of VBS when an intern told me something I really needed to be reminded of. These weary seasons are what grow us the most in our faith. They also increase our awareness for dependence on Him when we have nowhere else to run. And most importantly, God promises us that we will be blessed for our faithfulness during these seasons.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
One of the biggest lessons God is teaching me right now is how big of a difference there is between feeling and knowing. For example, this summer I would constantly feel like God wasn’t around, but I knew He was. During one of the last weeks of VBS, I had a team member eagerly pull me aside at lunch. She explained how The Lord revealed a specific phrase to her that she needed to tell me before traveling back home that day.
The teacher is always silent during the test.
When we take a test, we may not feel the teacher in the room with us, but we always know our teacher is there. We have confidence that our teacher is watching us concentrate and believes that we understand the content directly in front of us, even if we don’t have confidence in our own ability.
As each day passes I have already found myself in desperate need of forgiveness, as I tend to pick up what I already laid at His feet. As a result of this, I have become increasingly aware of how desperate I am for The Lord’s grace. I have grown to understand that a season of waiting is a blessing from God. He may not be walking next to me through trials like He has in the past, but I have confidence that He will carry me through.
So, what do you do when God seems distant? He tells us to serve Him. This is where we will find Him again.
I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’