Monday, January 18, 2010

Changing me

You know, I sit back and I think about blogging.  Blogging from the heart is actually a difficult thing for me to do sometimes.  I think, "Well, this story is already all over the web, I won't be saying anything new."  Or, in this instance, I think, "People can only handle so much grief.  Can anyone read anything more about Haiti?"

I am determined, however, to do my best to be as real as I can, to blog from the heart whether in joy or in sorrow.

And I want to tell you that my heart is just desperately broken over Haiti.  Why now?  Why this tragedy?  Why not Sudan, or Myanmar, or a thousand previous tragedies?

I don't know.  I have been heartbroken in the past, for sure.  I think more than anything God has been working in my heart over the past few years, warming it until it is waking up and becoming fully functional.

I think that coming home to live near my parents has, in some ways, required that I deal with many things that have to do with how I was raised.  Be strong, be firm, be logical, not emotional.  Those are the easy things to deal with.  There are many things that I won't talk about now, that fed into a harsh and judgemental way of looking at the world. 

I am dealing with those things, and I must say that I have changed a lot.  God has crumbled a few of my very favorite idols, idols that I equated with my faith. Among these idols were politics, politicians, patriotism, right behavior, and in some cases, religion or theology.  I did not let them go easily - they gave me a strong sense of identity, of security.  There is a lot of security in being sure that you are right.  I enjoyed my idols, a lot.

I am not saying that politics, politicians, patriotism, right behavior, religion or theology are always idols.  I don't think that they are, so please don't feel that I am pointing fingers at anyone.  I am telling my story, and that is all.  I only know how God has dealt with me.  If you really know me in real life, you will recognize that this has been a huge change.  Sometimes when you have been taught to be tough, it is very hard to be tender, but I am trying.

As those idols have been swept aside, I feel as if God has slowly been waking me up.  I am awakening to see mistaken priorities, along with lost time and resources, and I grieve this. 

I have changed; the Lord is continuing to change me.  There was a time I would not watch the difficult coverage online or on television.  It was overwhelming to see such pain and know that I couldn't do anything, or at least not very much to change the situation.  I would turn the channel, sad, but unwilling to "go there."

Not any more.  I will "go there."  I will watch, I will pray, I will find more ways to give to people in need.  It really doesn't feel very good to eat richly when people are actually starving.  I will "go there" emotionally, holding their hands via prayer as they suffer.  If we are called to share each other's burdens - and we are - then this is something I must gladly do.  I think this willingness to share  - to pray for another's provision and blessing and healing - I think this is what God wants from us.  I think He wants to change us all. 

Here is an article and a video that I want to share with you:

Perspective - from my friend April.  She tells how God is changing her and her family through this tragedy.

And below, a video from Danita's Children, with a haunting and beautiful song called "This is an Emergency."


  1. Wow. I just watched that video. I need Kleenex and a Bible to process. Love to you...

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  3. (try again!)

    Thanks for this post, Holly. Did you see my latest on FB? I have been so grieved for the people of Haiti...for the children...for all of them. The article I linked to on FB is a story I cannot shake. Emily and I have been brainstorming ideas for something tangible that we can do beside sending money...which we have done, as well. The Catholic church in S. Fla. is working with the gov't to have children flown up here. Gov. Crist has also been discussing the possibility of 10's of thousands of Haitians coming into S. Fla. I read that most people are not getting out of Haiti with more than a backpack, if that. These people/children coming in will need clothes and basic necessities. It is very possible that a call for these items will be made in the very near future and that is something we feel like we can help to coordinate from here.

  4. Thanks for writing this, Holly.


  5. Patricia, I had not caught that. I will go check out your link. Thanks so much.

    This crisis is so huge. So huge. And too, praying and thankful that the body of Christ has an opportunity to respond with love and true tangibility.

  6. Patricia - back now. I had not seen your particular link - but I did read about that case in another news agency. That is part of the hurt going on in my heart...oh, my.

    I am wondering - if several news agencies have reported this, why has not someone brought them some MRO's? I know that they are distributing them, right there. I am sure that they are working on taking care of the ones they think have a good chance of survival, and the elderly...well...

    BUT - HOW could you report it and not come back bearing food? I am hoping that in this particular case (and really, in hundreds if different instances) some food is coming through somehow.

    I know that in the cases of some of the orphanages even - God's Littlest Angels comes to mind - the director has been on Larry King and interviewed by Wolf Blitzer - and they still are worrying that they are running out of water and food. I don't see how that could be happening? Surely the orphanages should be a priority?

    Let me know as you learn of ways to help, Patricia!

    I have been thinking that this IS one way God might test "even us," in the land of prosperity. How much can we love, and give from free hearts? How much are we willing to do in the face of blatant suffering?

    Rise up, O Church, and put aside petty divisions...Let's be God's hands and feet.

  7. I often think God puts different things on our hearts at different times. I think He divies up the work that way. :) I sometimes wonder if that's why different tragedies affect us in different ways, you know?

  8. Holly,

    Thank you for posting the article and video. My heart has been very heavy as well for much sadness, loss, despair. We have SO much and it really puts things in perspective. The Lord is really working in my heart too...changing my I focus on how I can give more, pray more, help more...for those that are in need. Seeing these children just makes me want to round up a bunch of them and feed them, hug them, take care of them.

    I have a dear friend and her husband who are trying to get visas for 2 children to get them out of Haiti. They adopted a little boy (Luke) from Haiti over a year ago. Now they are trying to get Luke's sister and best friend. They are at the embassy this morning trying to get visas....pray, pray, pray.

    Lord, please show us how You want us to be your hands and feet to these dearly loved ones in Haiti. Change our hearts so that we can live lives with open hands...not clinging to the things of this world, but freely giving what you have given to us. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

  9. Thank you Sheri, it is so nice to see you and hear from you. I love your heart.

    Vanessa - I think you are right - different things at different times. Yet, for me, I know that it is because I have let other things come first. Each of us can only know how God is working in our own hearts - I couldn't even begin to speak for others.

    Politics are important - I think so, anyway. I mean, if no one cares about the structure of government, you end up with dictatorships, which has been a true tragedy in Haiti over decades past. But for me - over the last year - God has shown me that I just put too much faith in "my side." My faith wasn't really in him. I trusted more in the power of talk radio than I did in the living God. That was wrong for me, and God showed me that. But good governance is still a huge blessing for the people of any country - and people need to do their part. I hope that I'm not being confusing or misunderstood. Anyone? :)

    Leanne, April - thanks. Just, thanks for being here, for being friends!

  10. p.s. I think I made a mistake in an earlier comment. What do they call those meals that the military gives out? Meals ready to eat? MREs? I need help, here. :)

    I think that MROs have to do with manufacturing - something about raw materials. My husband used to be in purchasing, and that sounds familiar...LOL.

  11. Have you read the posts at by Greta and her family? Must reads!

    Greta writes: "I'm ashamed to admit this, but at first, I hid myself from the tragedy. Initially, I heard about the earthquake from messages left on my answering machine. I didn't run to the TV. I avoided seeing the pictures. So much of my heart is still in Haiti. I didn't want to be overcome with grief. Then, God mercifully showed me that Jesus never hides from our pain, does He? He isn't afraid of it. He looks us full in the eyes and never even blinks. Let's run as fast as we can into His open arms. Let's pour out our hearts to Him about our own pain, and the pain of the Haitian people. He is seated on the throne. He pours down His mercy."


  12. MREs - meals ready to eat

    I was thinking just yesterday or maybe today - I don't know, the days seem so long lately - but I was thinking that there was a time when I could/would not look at suffering because I couldn't "handle it" but now I am beginning to realize that closing my eyes does not make it go away - it just makes me cold.

    I used to think that people who helped the truly hurting people must have some special ability but now I think that they just do it because it needs to be done. Is that true? Can anyone help?

    And I think too, that I've been afraid to look because I don't know that I can do anything that will make a difference to anyone - but I can fast and pray and give where I am able. What else can I do?

  13. Actually, Sara, that is EXACTLY what you can do....and you can love. I think that loving people enough to hurt with them does count for something - because it causes us to pray and fast and give. Allowing ourselves to hurt with others can be hard - at least for me.

    I like your insight.