As I sit here writing this I can hear gunfire on the main roads about a quarter mile from my house. This country we have come to call our home has been protesting since last Thursday. Things are heated and tense out there. We drove home through many smouldering roadblocks and rock throwing yesterday after church.
To be honest, my anxiety is high. You can tangibly feel the heaviness in the air. But God keeps speaking to me, "It's gonna be worth it". I lean in to him to feel his presence and breathe in his peace, what does that even mean... worth it?
Rewinding a bit (about a month ago)- before this chaos began on the streets we were in a boat the first time I had this message. I was watching the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. Rising strong over the mountains while I looked backward from our boat on such blue Caribbean waters. Clouds speckled across the bright blue sky. And I began to cry over the desperate things of this beautiful nation and over the desperate things from my own heart. But as I gazed back at that sunrise over a land full of hope I felt God's reminder then for the first time. "It's gonna be worth it."
Loving this land of mountains is hard. It's not a task for the faint of heart. Loving deeply and sincerely opens you up to so much heartache. To truly feel for the physical lack and need daily is exhausting. Heartstrings are pulled beyond what you can imagine and stretched out beyond bouncing back. To love is to be vulnerable but more than that it is to be daily allowing yourself to have whatever coping mechanisms you've made stitches (for the brokenness) to be reopened. To love this nation is to be willing to die to comfort and fear of attachments.
You cannot help but attach to the loving people here, you cannot avoid loving them with tenderness and admiration at their resilience. You cannot circumvent the desire for the wealth of joy they hold and always freely give. Your heart cannot build walls high enough or strong enough to withstand crumbling at the smile of a child or a sweet momma. You cannot prevent melting when greeted by a fiercely loving older woman.You cannot protect your heart from the vulnerability of loving here. You are face to face with strength and passion like nothing this world has to offer.
And then you see all the ones you hold dear to your heart face such atrocities- used for money, beatings by a father, abuse from a landlord because rent was late, hunger, and now severe economic instability at the hand of a government who does not appear to have Ayiti Cherie's best interest in mind.
"It's gonna be worth it".
I don't know exactly what God means by this, I think its more in the eternal sense. I find inexplicable comfort in this. I find peace that surpasses all understanding in His voice. I have a strong declaration for this nation and it might not even make sense for the 'right now' we are facing.
Psalm 9:18 tells us, "But the needy will not be ignored forever; the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed." All of Psalm nine is perfect for this time. Join me in deeply loving and fiercely believing for this country. Join me in praying for peace and God-sized solutions for the current circumstances. Join me in seeing the beauty of this nation while embracing the hardship. Join me in the vulnerability we know as love- and abide in it with me while we continue to bring this same love that abides in us to the people of Ayiti.
It's gonna be worth it.
Kristen & Alex Bradshaw