Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Day 3, Trip 3 - Haiti Mission - Brick House
The eight short days I was able to spend with my husband ended 2 days ago as he got on a plane bound for Haiti yet again for the third leg, and what I had hoped was the last trip of what has now turned into a long term mission building a camp to house missionaries in the village of Chambrun, Haiti. Though the last 2 days of his stay were probably the most stiff and most fatigued days I have had in months, which....'tis the season.
After a conversation I had with Chris last night I found myself literally plummetted into a HUGE valley of depression and despair and it completely caught me off guard. I have had many conversations with many friends and acquaintances talking about how I knew that Chris was doing what God had called him to do and how supportive I am of that. So how, you ask, did I get to the point of sobbing and weeping that I was at today only 2 days after he had left? A combination of things really, I suppose. I really believe that as much as I long to see my husband and have him physically present here for a time, it really is a huge adjustment when he returns and again when he leaves. More so this time after 8 weeks than the first time after only 3. The big issue was that Chris told me last night that his return date of November 14 may not be a permanent return date....that he may have to go back.....again.
When I look back on the past 3 months and the things I have done, have not done, have endured, have surrendered....how can I NOT be encouraged? God has been so faithful both in my sickness and in my heartache. He has given me the ability to communicate with my husband in a foreign country every night....EVERY NIGHT!!! Even 5 years ago, that probably wouldn't have been a possibility, but God is faithful in reminding me of the ways he is keeping me connected to Chris even while he's far away. God blessed me with 8 days, most of which included what I heard a Christian author once describe as "red-hot monogamy". But more than that to kiss him every morning and cuddle up with him every night. Some people would say "it was only 8 days," but let me assure you, my friends, it was 8 of the best days of my life after having him gone for 8 weeks.
So, what was today all about?
I've said it once, I'll say it again.....fear. Fear of the "what if's" and the "could be's". I spoke with a couple of good friends today, one who reminded me that our mind is the hardest thing to battle and the other reminding me that battles of the flesh are much more common that spiritual ones, though I'm not discounting the possibility of the enemy attacking me in this area. I am quite aware that having a husband on the mission field and then stepping out in leadership in my own areas of ministry is more than an open door for attack, but almost an invitation for it. I have to laugh at myself because I think more than it actually being attack, it's the fear of being under attack that has me all in disarray. The "what if" Chris comes under spiritual attack? A battle of the mind.
Secondly, selfishness...a battle of the flesh. I just want him home. It's that simple. My heartaches for him. I love him and I'm ready to have my family back together. In the past week or so, I have heard a couple of people compare me to an army wife. My answer to that has been (I didn't say it today, but I thought it,) that I am an army wife, my husband is serving in God's army. When God says go, you go and God will let you know when your tour of duty is over.
Thirdly, my wonderful husband brought this all into perspective for me. I was telling him about the day as I want to make sure I'm communicating effectively and we discussed the differences between my emotional responses now compared to my emotional responses 4 years ago when he first started taking short term mission trips. He does see that they're different, but he said to me (and he is SO right on this,) "When you hear something that isn't really what you want or expect to hear, you let your head run away with it and it just runs rampant." And that, in a nutshell, was exactly what had happened today. I know it is, because it came on me so quickly and I couldn't shake it because I let it take over my thoughts.
So, what's with the corny title and The Commodores (seriously, I know you've been playing that video over and over just to listen to the song the entire time you're reading this, because I was listening to it over and over as I was writing)! Honestly, the song was just stuck in my head, but I started to think about it.
"She's a Brick....House...." "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." ~Proverbs 31:25
"She's mighty, mighty....." "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." ~Proverbs 31:17
So, that got me thinking....is God just continuing to strengthen me for something? Obviously. But for something greater? Maybe. Stick with me on this thoughtprocess.....I started thinking about the story of the Three Little Pigs.
Trip 1 - The first little pig - I built my house of straw, which the enemy could easily "huff and puff and blow my house down." The first trip was easy. Chris had been gone for 2 week trips in the past, so 3 weeks really didn't phase me that much, especially with baseball season and the pool being open.
Trip 2 - The second little pig - I had a house built of sticks. Somewhat strengthened by the first trip, but still with many holes and times when the enemy did indeed "huff and puff and blow my house down," but I continued to rebuild....the same house of sticks....until....
Trip 3 - The third little pig - The Lord is helping me to build a house of bricks.....a Brick....House....(I know you just sang that....) A house that the wolf cannot blow down and a house that will be a strong and carefully built temple of the Holy Spirit. There are no "coincidences" with God. Everything happens according to his will. It's no coincidence that trip 3 coincides with the start up of my Hopekeepers Jeremiah 33:6 small group for women dealing with chronic pain. Nor is it a coincidence that trip 3 coincides with the new therapy I'm undergoing for the treatment of my pain. NOR is it a coincidence that trip 3 is starting at the same time I'm eliminating gluten from my diet in order to make some life changes and control my inflammation. The Lord is not just building a spiritual and emotional brick house. The Lord could very well be building a physical brick house in me as well. A temple to withstand any wolf that dares to huff and puff outside my door. I can't think of anything better to welcome my husband home than to have a wife with the strength of a brick house. I'm on fire for the Lord to strengthen me.
Tonight, Chris told me that he has a team of 4 working with him starting next week. Not from his group, but the local ministry, Nehemiah Vision Ministries, will be working with him to help with the project and then October 10 there may be a team coming to help complete the project from Vineyard Mercy Response, the group that he is part of. After all, God is God, and if anybody is going to get the camp completed by the end of November it's going to be God, right? "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." ~Matthew 6:34 Perhaps I should worry about him going back again when we know for sure that he has to go back again.
So, with the emotional meltdown out of the way, I can get back to work....laying one brick at a time.
She's a Brick.....House.......