If you met me at Target, and I was all alone, you probably wouldn’t give me a second glance.
But, if you stood in line behind me at my local South Florida Aldi (best grocery store ever), you’d look at my overflowing cart, and hopefully fight back your irritation at getting caught behind the lady who’s going to make you late to your next appointment. Maybe you’d be a bit curious instead, and jokingly (since you’re so nice) ask if I’m feeding an army.
If I had Jaden, our family’s most enthusiastic shopper with me, contentedly pushing the cart (into my heels) and unloading my food onto the belt (plopping the canned goods onto my nice, soft bread), you’d wonder a little more. He and I aren’t the same color, after all, and even though he’s 15, due to his special needs, he says things like “Cereal pretty!”
If all five of my kids were along with me, you wouldn’t wonder why I was buying so much food. Maybe you’d just question my sanity.
I do that sometimes too.
The craziness began when Jarod and I left our Alma Mater — Moody Bible Institute — for Haiti.
We moved to Port-au-Prince and took in three-year-old twin boys on the same day. Two weeks later, nine-month-old Daphne came to live with us as well. A new language, culture, the lack of air-conditioning, three children, and Jaden’s special needs (think tornado) were just the beginning. In the course of a year, everything fell apart. Our ministry and our adoption process turned to dust.
And Jarod and I choked on the dust for the next seven years.
We moved to another Haitian city. We pressed on with a new ministry and a new adoption agency. It was a spiritual battle, as all ministry is. We birthed a few children’s homes and two babies of our own. And year after year, our adoptions went nowhere.
Nine years into the adoption process, a few years after our home was invaded by a gang, one year after Jarod had been shot at in our own yard, my adrenal system gave out on me. Panic, anxiety, exhaustion, and darkness suffocated me.
Then the 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquake rocked us from 100 miles away. And everything that had seemed so broken before was infinitely worse.
There just aren’t words for Haiti’s despair. Nor solutions… apart from God Almighty.
But our story, the one we thought would take place to our final breaths on that little island, took a turn I’d never imagined.
In the earthquake’s aftermath, our kids were issued humanitarian visas. In twenty-four hours, all five of our kids were on their way to the U.S.
Then the door to Haiti was closed.
So much has changed. But especially my level of faith. I’ve seen my God move mountains, heal my brokenness, and now place me in a new sphere of ministry.
Today, I love listening to others who have been through a lot. I love writing about the goodness of God — how He pursues us relentlessly with his mercy and grace.
There is so much hard in life, isn’t there? You know. You’ve been there. But even as we choke on the dust of life, Jesus stands ready with living water, ready to refresh our spirits and empower us to keep on.
If you find yourself in darkness today, I’d love to offer you a free copy of my book, Take Courage: Choosing faith on my journey of fear. Also, please let me know how I can pray for you!
And thanks for your patience behind me at Aldi…
This post is a part of our “Who We Are” Series. For all posts visit,