This morning as I awoke, fears began to rise. I breathed a familiar, much-repeater prayer, “God this is in your hands, go before”.
Oh, the times I have felt helpless. Holding with open hands the path I desire to take. This is not the wait I would have chosen. It is not the hard path I would have set foot on.
July I went back to Haiti, after a season of training in the Philippines. Airport lockdowns from COVID finally lifted, but because of safety concerns, I spent only 2 1⁄2 weeks there. I needed to feel it out.
This time was different than all others. I stayed in a Haitian household for the first time! A beautiful cousin of my fiancé hosted me. I got to experience life as a Haitian. Drawing well water, hot powerless nights, and swarms of mosquitoes included. I loved it!
We had thought I would move to Haiti this winter, have a sweet and simple wedding that my family would fly down for. Then one day, years from now, we would travel to America together for frequent visits with my family.
Well, plans are great… but in Haiti, plans don’t count for much, they are subject to change, and do nearly every time.
I had envisioned a few more months single. Yet nothing is simple right now. Financially, we are not ready. $100-$200 a month is not enough for 2 people to live on, even simply. No matter what angle you look at it. Finances are a hindrance.
And it’s more than finances… Haiti is dangerous. Things are more unstable than I’ve seen in my time living there. Murders are becoming common. While I was there 3 people were murdered within 3 miles of where I was staying, one a pregnant woman. My fiancé has received many warnings from those around him to be careful. He has become a target because of his connection to an American. Every time we left the house together and returned alive we thanked God. My phone was stolen but I couldn’t even be upset because my life was spared. The atmosphere feels strangely dark. Darker than I’ve ever felt before.
Though we want to marry now and feel ready, we have to wait. Though I love visitors I cannot put anyone at risk, I cannot ask anyone to travel.
This time, unlike the times before, a level 4 travel advisory (right up there with North Korea and Somalia!) seems needful.
After coming to this conclusion my heart hurt. My natural self doesn’t want to wait, again. I don’t want to have to think about all the things that could happen. Tempted to question God and his timing. Amid the disappointment, I said, “This is not what I would have chosen!”
And that is why I am not God. This is the path I was meant to walk.
We all go through trials that bring us to our knees. We all go through seasons that we don’t feel equipped to handle. Seasons of never-ending days and clouded vision, when we can’t see our next steps. Times when our emotions are overbearing and we don’t feel ready. But it is here we develop endurance. Endurance develops strength of character.
My path is different than yours. Maybe you don’t walk on the edge of eternity, knowing any moment you could be the next victim. But Jesus has given us power over the Enemy. Power against any of his attacks– whether mental or physical. He’s given me the power to choose joy when everything is discouraging. And the power to press on when the darkness gets thick. Power to look up and still trust when it’s painful.
The Lord ordained everything to work together for our good. It may not be what I would have chosen, but this is His good path. Arm in arm with my King I will press on with new eyes, new hope, and a stronger love for my Maker amid opposition.
There is not one circumstance of our lives that has not passed through the sieve of his sovereign love for us.Abigail Dodds