Thursday, September 20, 2012

my most beautiful mark

It’s been a difficult few weeks. Some of the difficulties have been due to circumstances and some due to mental blocks that I can’t seem to get through. I’m the type of person that can’t write about it until I have worked through it. Once I have worked through it, I write it. Once I write it, it usually means I have made peace.

I have been wrestling with the Lord about heavy things…Poverty, war, motherhood, death, life, loneliness, sin, passion, and fear of the unknown (just to name a few for you). The kind of wrestling that keeps you up at night, decreases your appetite, and makes you ask A LOT of questions.

Living in Haiti in and of itself raises questions everyday that I will probably never know the answers to. The poverty, injustice, and difficulties that the Haitian people endure every day with such grace, beauty, and tenacity amazes me.  I came to Haiti full time to be a part of the solution and to work towards improving the medical and midwifery crisis. There are some great organizations (both national and international) that are actively addressing the health care crisis, and as a nurse and student midwife, I long to jump in and “get my hands dirty”. As I have received offer after offer to jump in with both feet to help, God has shut each door. Each time an offer comes up I get so excited at the thought of actually being able to work here in Haiti… my heart beats a little faster… and then I hear a still small voice coming from the other side of the room… “Mommy”.

On February 24, 2012, I made a decision that changed my life forever. I became her mommy. It has been the hardest and the most beautiful thing I have ever done. She is my first priority… and she should be.

As nurses we are taught that it is our duty to sacrifice so that others can be cared for in their time and need. Our families sacrifice, too. There is definitely some truth to my profession and I take pride in being able to sacrifice my personal wants so that others can be cared for in their time of need. But since Haiti is in the business of stripping me of all of my pride, I am learning that she cannot sacrifice me right now. She needs this time with me (I have no way of knowing how long this time frame will be that I am in Haiti with her until her adoption is complete). Especially since it’s just her and I.

I am continually wrestling with God about the freedom I have to work as a nurse and serve the people of Haiti in a way that brings me so much joy. It hurts because I cannot nurse right now. And I need His continual affirmation that I am doing the right thing… that I am indeed following Him by giving myself to my daughter for His glory. Wrestling with the fact that each hug, each bath, each story, each moment of gentle correction, each song, each prayer is just as important as the life saving work that I was giving my life to before she came into my world.

God gently whispered to my heart in another way yesterday. I was reading Ann Voskamp’s blog and these words were like balm to my spirit:
It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for … the masses.” Christ left the ninety-nine for the one.

My Heavenly Father is constantly reminding me that His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways. I thought I was coming to Haiti to be a missionary (whatever the heck that even means) and I am now a mother. I thought I would be in Haiti longer term and God seems to be leading back to “home” after the adoption is complete.

I thought my mark on the world was going to be made through caring for the sick and helping women bring their children into the world safely. But what if that’s not my greatest mark? What if my greatest mark is raising this little girl and teaching her the ways of Jesus? What if she is the one who comes back to her country and is a part of transforming Haiti’s health system? I have no idea. But I have to believe that “every tremor of kindness might erupt in a miracle on the other side of the world.”(Ann Voskamp)

So even though I thought my most beautiful mark would be through health care and midwifery, maybe it isn’t. Maybe it is through this beautiful little soul that God has entrusted to me while she is on earth. Or maybe it is both? I pray that God gives me the grace to pour and invest my life into what He has set before me.

I am trusting that He will not let me leave this world until I leave my most beautiful mark – to show Him.

Phoebe Kate (3.25 yrs)


  1. You heart blesses me everyday. I am honored to be your friend and sister in Christ. Thank-you for letting Jesus's light shine through you in a dark place. I'm so thankful for the "balm for your soul". Take comfort and rest in his lifegiving breath. Let him fill you up and pour into you beautiful heart!!! AND Then..pour right back into that sweet little angel! So in awe of you...everyday I love you more and more!!! Continuing to pray for you and your journey in Haiti.

    Always and forever,

  2. It's all a journey...step by step. What He's calling you to in this moment seems pretty clear -- a precious soul with pretty clear brown eyes and deep, deep needs. You don't have to fully know what He may be calling you to later this year...or this week! Your obedience and faithfulness daily is such an inspiration! I love you so!

  3. Jessica,
    We are so glad to hear about your journey. God has a bright future planned for your and this child. We will continue to pray for God's guidance and to give you a clear path. I know you must feel overwhelmed right now.
    John, Kristi, Grant and Garrett