Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye, 2010

This time last year, I was chattering away about the year's reading and posting links to interesting articles. I was looking forward to the new year after a relaxing Christmas vacation. I had no idea how my life was about to change.

When the new year began, I continued to post trivia: new words I'd learned, pieces I'd read. And then came the post from January 14th. The title was "We are alive." I wrote:
This is my first time online after the earthquake - guess I just outed myself about where I am. Please, please pray. Things are worse than anyone can imagine. Our whole family is fine and our house and school are standing and apparently undamaged. 14 others at our house.

What a year it was. This is my 410th post this year. I think my blog was on the verge of dying a natural death; in 2009 I had only posted 94 times. But in 2010 I became a compulsive blogger. I couldn't stop writing. I couldn't stop weeping and wailing about Haiti and what had happened to it and to its people.

But weeping and wailing wasn't all I did in 2010. This year I experienced the most intense emotions of my life. The most intense fear, panic, grief, and pain, but also the most intense love, joy, and gratitude. I felt like a teenager again, careening between one extreme and the other. In September I called it "the roller coaster of grief and joy."

For the last couple of years, I have chosen One Little Word. In 2009 my word was "LOOK." In 2010 I hadn't chosen a word when the year began. I was thinking about the word "LOVED." There was no way I could have known how 2010 would be the year when I finally began to grasp how very much God loves me. I wrote more about that here. My evidence for God's love for me, by the way, is not the fact that my family and I survived the earthquake. He loved those who died just as much. But in the middle of my grief and pain, God met me. He showed me His love through the beautiful way He took care of me when my world fell down. He met my every need. So much so that I felt guilty. On January 18th I wrote about how overwhelmed I felt: overwhelmed with pain, with gratitude, and with guilt - why was I being cared for when people in Haiti were suffering so much?

I did my best to tell others about what was going on in Haiti, both on my blog and in the opportunities I got for public speaking. I felt there was nothing else I could do. Well, that and support my husband, who was working long days in Haiti coordinating relief work. That was hard to do, being so far away, and not getting to talk to him very often. I had to try to be where I was and let him do the same. And God gave me other people to talk to; He gave me my family and He gave me friends, new and old.

I wrote here about some of the lessons I learned during my time in the States in the first half of this year.

When I got back to Haiti, the challenges continued. I felt broken and of course, Haiti was broken too. Here's a post about a building I see often. We were tired of crisis, what with people living in tent cities everywhere, cholera, a hurricane, and election-related protests.

I was going to say, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," but Katie already used that line. Instead I'll say that this year was not at all what I was expecting. It was terrible and terrifying, but it was also joyful and I end it appreciating everything and everyone in my life more than ever before.

My One Little Word this year is "TRUST." God showed me in 2010 that I can trust Him, even when the worst happens. I can trust Him in loss and suffering. I can trust Him with those I love. I don't want to forget that in 2011. I hope it will be an easier year than 2010, but there's certainly no guarantee of that. But whatever happens, I know God will be with me. I will continue to pray fervently for Haiti and work as hard as I can helping to educate future leaders for this beautiful country. I will also leave Haiti in God's hands, trusting that even when I can't see it, He is working.


Janet said...

Wonderful words.

Jessica Stock said...

What a year. I am so glad for all of your posts.