Most of you know that I took my first trip to Haiti this summer. When we returned home, pretty much everyone I ran into asked me one simple question: “Did you have fun?” I had NO idea how to answer that question. We laughed a lot and enjoyed one another’s company. The landscape was breathtaking and God’s hand was evident at every turn.
But, fun? That’s a bit of a stretch.
While I was blown away by the clear blue – actually, almost green – water and majestic mountains, I have no words to describe the poverty. Actually, yes I do.
I mean that in a literal sense. I cried every single day for two weeks after we got back. Anything and everything seemed to trigger the emotional flood.
- The boys complained of being bored – I cried.
- JP asked for a soda instead of water – I cried.
- An NFL player was talking on the TV – I cried.
- A song (any song) came on the radio – I cried.
Get the point? I wish I was exaggerating. On more than one occasion I overheard JP whispering to Preston, “Shhh, you don’t want to make my mom cry.”
So yeah. I was pretty much a wreck.
Like with anything else, those feeling subsided after about a month. Although I’m ashamed to admit that. Don’t get me wrong, I still pray for my Haitian friends daily. I was frantic when Hurricane Irma blew their way and checked Facebook every 30 minutes to make sure they were okay. But the heavy burden and buckets of tears gradually disappeared.
So if I had to name ONE thing I brought back from Haiti this summer, it would be gratitude.
In America we are blessed. I get to wake up every single morning and eat breakfast. I have plenty of water to drink throughout the day and a soft, warm bed to crawl into at night. I do not NEED anything. When it rains, I don’t get wet because I have a sturdy roof over my head. When it’s cold outside I have heat and when it’s hot, I have air conditioning.
Yesterday a co-worker of mine asked me, “So, how’s life?” I didn’t even hesitate. “It’s really good,” I said.
And I meant it.
My trip to Haiti changed me forever. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to go.
Our life is SO good. May we never take it for granted.