||Living in Tension||

Anger is not an emotion I feel very often. Actually, it’s very, VERY rare that I feel anger.

But this morning? I feel angry.

It’s not a “mad” kind of anger. It’s a “broken” kind of anger. It’s a “frustrated” kind of anger. An “I don’t get this” kind of anger.

We’ve lived in Haiti for almost two years. Our hearts are captured by this place. By these people. By all that the Lord is doing here. And it’s good. It’s also hard. Our daily life here isn’t what’s hard, it may be frustrating at times, but its not hard. It’s the reality and knowledge of the brokenness of this country. The hurt of these people. The truth that the Lord isn’t finished with Haiti yet.

I’m so glad He’s not finished here. There’s so much hope. But this morning has been one of those mornings where I get so upset & “angry” that He isn’t finished here and He hasn’t fully redeemed this country yet. I get upset & “angry” by all the hurt and mess in the hearts and lives of those surrounding us.

Y’all. It’s hard.

We go to church, excited for a sweet morning of worship and hearing truth. And we leave frustrated, heartbroken, and “angry”. I keep putting the word angry in quotation marks because I’m not really sure if that’s the best word for this emotion. Maybe there’s not a word for this emotion and I guess thats okay.

We’re standing & singing about how desperate we are without the Lord & the truth and reality of that hits hard.

It hits hard when the man in front of us recognizes Matt & knows what Matt’s job is and reminds Matt that they’ve met and that he needs a house and has lots of problems and needs help. You can see him looking at Matt with desperation. Then comes the sinking feeling of knowing that he is in need and at this moment there is nothing we can do or say to help. We can only pray.

It hits hard when the woman sitting next to us is holding her baby and tears are streaming down her face. She wears her pain & exhaustion so vividly. I know just a small part of her story. And what I know of it breaks my heart. She has multiple children, but she’s given at least one of them up because of her desperation. I see her looking at her baby & can only imagine the thoughts running through her mind. My heart breaks yet again & I know that in this moment all I can do is pray.

It hits hard when a young boy who I know and has a soft spot in my heart comes up behind me and whispers, “Mwen grangou.” (I’m hungry). I know he is. I know his home life. I absolutely hate what I know of his home life. I’ve sat with him and listened to him tell me about his family that is oh so broken. I’ve hugged him and cried tears of brokenness over him. I’ve watched him tell blan after blan (white people) that he’s hungry. He’s desperate. Every once in a while there’s an opportunity for me to love him well & bless him, but most of the time I’m in a position where I can only pray.

My heart is broken and I’m “angry.”

I’m angry that this is reality for so many people here in Haiti. Not only here, but all over the world. I’m angry over the injustices that are running rampant all over this world. Stories I’ve read of what it’s like to be a nine year old girl living in the middle of areas taken over by ISIS. I’m sickened.

And I begin to question. I begin to question the Lord and ask Him why He allows this. Why I’m not living this reality and they are. Why.

A knot wells up in my throat and I’m stuck.

This cycle of emotions isn’t new to me. It’s a cycle I’ve become very familiar with here in Haiti. It’s a cycle of anger. A cycle of sadness. A cycle of hurt. A cycle of questioning. And a cycle of peace.

Peace?

Ugh. I confuse myself so much. My emotions contradict themselves.

We are always living in tension.

I’m feeling angry and heartbroken and tears are streaming one second, and the next second my heart is overcome with peace & a confidence in the Lord I can’t understand.

I know my God is a God of justice. I know He is sovereign. I know He cares for the brokenhearted. I know this.

Now starts the journey of trusting this. Putting this “knowledge” into practice. Applying this truth to life & situations like these that we’re faced with here is hard. But it fills my heart with peace.

It’s the tension again.

The tension of knowing the broken situations. Seeing the broken faces. Yet knowing that the Lord is sovereign. He sees the broken situations. He knows the broken faces. He heals the broken hearts.

The tension of feeling sadness and anger yet feeling peace because I know who my God is.

The tension of wanting so desperately to fix the problems and see redemption happen in my own time, yet knowing that’s the Lord’s job and I may have to wait on His timing to see redemption come. Sometimes I so desperately want to fix. But I am not a savior, I am a sister. HE is the Savior & as a sister, I can only pray & trust in my Savior who will establish justice.

“He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law.” Isaiah 42:4

I remember writing a blog post not long after we moved to Haiti. I’ve prayed from the beginning that I would never become numb to life here. That I’d never become numb to the pain. That I’d never become numb to the hope. That my passion for this country to come to Christ would never die out. That my heart for these people to live in true communion with the Lord would never fade. And this is one of the ways the Lord keeps me from being numb.

He gently reminds me. Reminds me of the pain. Reminds me of the hope. Reminds me of the passion and heart that He has placed inside of me.

And as frustrating as it is sometimes to not be able to hold back the tears after living here and seeing this for two years, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for a God who is sovereign. For a God who is constantly refining me. For a God who IS redeeming this country for HIS GLORY.

All I can say or do is to sing. To sing the words alongside the people filled with hurt surrounding me. To cry out in desperation for the Lord. I cry out on behalf of them & their physical and spiritual needs. I cry out on behalf of my heart. May I always live in desperation for my God.

So here I am.

Desperate for the Lord.

And it’s exactly where I want to be.

 

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