I knew when we decided to move our family of 10 to Haiti that there would be a cost.
What I didn't account for was the exchange rate. The price gouge. The inflation.
I knew that I would miss my people. I knew that my kids would have to sacrifice football games and dances, sleepovers and late night talks with their friends. I knew that it would cost us, and cost them.
What I didn't account for was that friends would forget about us and about them, relationships would fragment and break away, and that there would be loss that cuts so deep you can hardly breathe.
I knew that I would hold starving children and weep over the injustice of it all. I knew that I would look into the eyes and souls of broken mothers and helpless fathers. I knew that I would hear gunshots in the distance from the comfort of my bed and that I would see streets riddled with trash to levels I can't describe with words.
What I didn't account for was that I would hold a 27 year old woman in my arms just like I hold my 6 year old son, and that she would wail in my embrace and call out for her own mother... and that she would tell me over and over again that she loved me. A stranger, and yet, in those moments her closest confidant. She would cry about how her kids couldn't go to school and that she was dying. She would cry out ache that I have never known. She was frail and she was losing life. She laid in the middle of the floor and as I lifted her with the other women in a similar state and carried her to her bed, I couldn't help but wonder where God's people were. How it could be that I was alone there.
I knew that Joe and I would see the enemy attack.
What I didn't account for was the never ending onslaught of illness, agony and ache. I didn't know that a place we love so much could cause so much devastation to our hearts and lives.
I knew that we would find out who our real people were.
What I didn't account for was that there would be so few of them.
I knew that we would wonder how we could go on another day.
What I didn't account for was that our children would pile up together on my bed and weep over the brokenness of one of their own. That we would lay hands and pray over the ache and that even our dogs would know that now was the time to come together. Now was the time to lay it all at the feet of Jesus.
I knew that Joe would need to go back to the States while we lived here.
What I didn't account for was that while he was away I would have Zika (or chikungunya, or some other stupid crazy thing) and that my body would feel pain it hasn't felt before. That my toes to my head would be in a vice grip and that it would feel like satan himself was trying to squeeze the life out of me.
What I didn't account for was that the loss that one of my children would go through would hurt more than any aching joint would ever begin to hurt, and that I would have to brave the loss with my best friend thousands of miles away. I didn't account for how much I would need Joe near. I didn't account for how many tears I had inside of me.
I knew that I would have my heart broken time and time again in this place. I knew that God would know it in advance and that HE would make a way for the pain to turn to peace. That HE would make a way for the mourning to be counted as pure joy. That HE would take the things that have ruined my life, our lives, in the most heart-wrenching and beautiful ways and turn them into our good and His glory.
What I don't know is what the future holds for us in this place. What I don't know is what ache we will face tomorrow, what loss is on the horizon, what pain will overtake our hearts and send us further into the arms of Jesus...
What I am accounting for is that God will show Himself good, that He will show Himself strong, that He will show Himself mighty to save and victorious in ALL things we will face.
What I am accounting for is...