Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Little Discouraged

I have learned it is so easy to become discouraged. I don’t want to be discouraged and I am learning every day to put positive happy thoughts in my head. I am learning that discouragement is a gift from the devil. God gives hope and the devil puts thoughts in our heads and hearts that try and sway us from His truth.

As much as I love Haiti and hope for a better tomorrow every day for the people of Haiti, I have become discouraged. When I signed up for Haiti, when God placed this in my life (at such an incredible moment when I needed it) I didn’t do this for me. I felt 100% called by Christ to Haiti. To benefit Him and His people. Not to benefit me. Did His call benefit me? Absolutely! It has made me into a better person, a more loving and charitable person. I try and follow Him more and pray more and realize how blessed I am. Going to Haiti has changed me, my heart is no longer the same. I am not longer the same. I feel like Haiti, this mission God placed in my care, has turned a light on under my skin. I am happy to do anything for it and happy to talk about it. I really have been changed. I mean, I am still me. But just a better version of me.

That is how you have to approach Haiti. Haiti will always be Haiti. But if you can make it a better version then you are doing something good. I like to use a metaphor for how I think people need to mentally and spiritually approach a mission. Whether it be in Haiti, Africa, or here in the States, you need to remember who you are doing this for. If Christ is in each of us, ever present in every person, then we are going on missions to serve Him. To make a better place for Him, for His people to forge on a little better off then they were before. But the metaphor (please insert whatever your passion is when I use Haiti):

To me this Haiti mission has brought new life to me. It makes me think of carrying a child. This passion for Haiti and as you meet the people, the Haitian people are like a new life growing inside of you. To nourish and protect and grow this passion and these people you research and visit and minister and encourage and help much like a prenatal vitamin helps a mother with a child in the womb. You take it to nourish a new life. When you do things for your Haiti Ministry it is like a viatamin. You do it for the good of others, not yourself. Remember Christ came into this world to die for us expecting nothing but love and obedience from us. As side effects from a prenatal your hair grows stronger, shinier and faster as do your nails. As a side effect from doing good work for others your heart changes and your outlook changes and your perspective. Christ is working in you and because of that you change. But you don’t go on missions to be changed just the same you don’t get pregnant to take vitamins to make you hair and nails grow.

The changes come as a result from letting Christ in your heart and seeing things from His angle. You don’t expect changes but they happen. But the changes that do happen are not the reason to take on such a serious and life altering (for people on both sides) task. You don’t do it to try and get into heaven. In my opinion, if you are consciously trying to get into heaven by participating in a mission then you have selfish motives. Will it help you get into heaven? Possibly! Is it the right thing to do? For some, yes! But do it to help Christ, who lives in everyone. Not to benefit yourself.

I have been so discouraged because I feel so strongly. My calling was an emotional call and a strong call. I will not let God down by abandoning my call. But when I see people with selfish motives leading this mission it breaks my heart even more.

The person leading makes a great case that we go on missions to be changed and be more Christ-like and to make it to heaven and we gain so much more then the Haitians. But I don’t and can’t buy it. Especially when this person is ‘reeling’ (doing the motions) the Haitians in and telling others that we shouldn’t tell them that this benefits us more then them. But others nodded and seemed to agree, I can only hope they were nodding politely. I felt physically ill after that speech. How can someone lead, what should be, a selfless act in such a selfish way and sway people that way? Maybe I am the crazy one. Maybe I am seeing this the wrong way. But I can’t think of Christ dying for me on a cross for me to be selfish instead of following his selfless ways. I can’t imagine jumping from person to person, from friend to friend, to whomever you think will follow you and play a part in your plan. Abandoning people who have helped because they have differing views or ideas. Because they don’t fit in your master plan. What we all need to remember is that it isn’t our master plan we need to have in mind, it is the Lord’s. Lord, help me remember this.

This is why I am discouraged. This is why I am lost for the moment. I trust in the Lord and I know He will lead me to the answers I seek when He knows I am ready. Being in the storm before He calms the waters is not an easy place to be. Lord, help me hear your Words and see the path You are wanting me to go. I am not sure if I can stay in this ministry when it is led by such selfishness. I am not a selfless person, but when it comes to Haiti, I want to be. Diluting myself and my ideals would not then be God’s true work.

So I am left with two choices, stay or go. Stay and try and sway this ministry to where I feel God wants it or to go. Go find a new ministry for Haiti that serves His people they way He would. And depending on the answer to that I need to decide whether I feel more called to the rural areas or to Port au Prince or the orphanages. Please, calm the waters in the raging storm of my dilemma. Steer me, Lord, where I belong and give me peace and patience while I wait and serve You. Open my eyes, ears and heart to ‘hear’ you in every way you speak to me. Let me breathe you in so deep that it is You doing these works and not me, for I seek no benefit but to see Your Light shine in others through their faithfulness, joy, love and smiles. Be with me Lord as I need You. Help me, Lord. Help me recognize the good in all people I meet and help us all do Your works for You without expecting anything in return. For Christ died for us and opened the gate to You already, all we have to do is walk with Him, on His path, to eternal life. For anything that benefits us personally does not benefit You wholly. Let me understand more fully how to leave everything and follow You. Be with us all as we navigate the path in front of us and help each one of us to make that path Yours. I lay my troubles and burdens at your feet, Lord. Help me carry these so I may hear and see You as we walk together.

While I’m Waiting by John Waller is the perfect song to fit my mood, or where I need to find myself. I will wait Lord and when I am ready You will show me. But I will serve and worship you obediently while I’m waiting. And Lay ‘em Down by NeedToBreathe

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