Thursday, January 12, 2012

2 Years Later....

A lot can happen in two years. Two years ago my life changed in so many unexpected ways. Here is a short list of a few of the things . . .

  • Two years ago, I got rid of my bikes, my pool table, my huge BBQ grill, and my patio furniture because my family and I were moving to be missionaries in Haiti.
  • Two years ago, a country we have loved, spent time in, prayed for, adopted from and were moving to was rocked by the second most deadly earthquake ever to be recorded.
  • Two years ago, over 300,000 people died because of something that lasted only a few seconds.
  • Two years ago, the mission organization my family and I were joining was trying to figure out how to deal with the losses in the country, but also in their organization.
  • Two years ago, a friend and I went to Haiti several days after the earthquake to try to “help”.
  • Two years ago, 2 young boys we were trying to adopt, who I thought we would never be able to legally adopt (me of little faith, I know), arrived at our home in Oklahoma City.

These are just a few of the changes in our life because of something that lasted a few seconds two years ago. Even though it was just a short amount of time many hundreds of thousands of peoples lives were changed forever, including mine.

I have seen and done some pretty crazy things in my life.  But if I was to be honest, that couple of weeks while I was in Haiti after the earthquake are not only the craziest, but they changed me in ways I think will stay with me forever.

When I returned home, I had PTSD from the aftershocks. For months, anytime our bed would move from Tiff rolling over, while I was sleeping, I would run out of the room because I thought there was another earthquake. For many, many months I cried (in secret) over what I had seen and heard. I became very ill after I came home with a weird and unusual virus; I lost 20 pounds and was hospitalized for a week. I found myself becoming bitter, almost hateful, because people forgot about Haiti so quickly. I found it easier to act like everything was okay, than to be frustrated; because I didn’t have the words to help those around me understand what it had been like, how I was feeling.

In the last two years, I find myself unable to complain (almost). I can’t throw food away at all, two weeks ago, one of my sons burnt his frozen pizza he was making for lunch and threw it way. I am not proud of it, but it is who I am now, in so many ways. Later that day, when I went to throw away some trash, I saw it and pulled it out and ate it. All of that is because of a change inside of me two years ago.

I don’t write this to make anyone feel sorry for me. I am blessed, warm, fed, and have a 50” HD TV. There is nothing in my life that is worth the energy to pity me. I guess I write this to help you as a reader (and me as the writer) to:  1. Take an honest account of our love for our neighbor. For me two years ago, I didn’t love my neighbor very much at all. However, those couple of weeks in Haiti changed my love for my neighbor more than I can even communicate. 2. Take some time and pray for those who have been affected by the earthquake two years ago. 3. Thank the Lord for all the good that has come from such a terrible tragedy.

I now think, in many ways, I am a better husband, person, steward and lover of my neighbor (not in a weird way) and follower of Christ because of my time in Haiti.

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