Hello friends! I finally have an afternoon where I have both the free time and the cooperating internet to get a blog posted. Thank you Lord for Sundays and random chunks of 3G! I have guilt over not blogging more, and then when it is finally time to blog I have no idea where to begin. So... I am just beginning. There are lots of gaps and things I could share about the school and my life in Haiti, but instead, a little vulnerability on the less glamorous side of foreign missions is what is coming out.
The end of 2016 meant a nice long break at home in Georgia. While sad to leave my students in Haiti, especially not knowing if they would be healthy and fed over the Christmas break, I was looking forward to family time, American comforts, and getting to step away from the day to day of my life here to really have space to take in all that has happened over the past few months. My family can attest to the fact that my break was anything but restful! I foolishly stretched myself wayyy too thin in my desire to see everyone and give all of my friends and family 1-on-1 time. This resulted in a stressed out version of myself that felt bad disappointing others and got extremely overwhelmed as the days of break began flying by. During my last week at home I had a breakdown and with that, a breakthrough realization that trying to please everyone was not working. I had to learn to say NO (which I hate doing), set some boundaries for myself, and protect this transition time. I was overwhelmed enough trying to process my feelings as I adjusted to life back home. I felt like a new Meagan that has been formed during the previous 3 months in Haiti was trying to fit into this old Meagan mold and the result was not good. Communicating these feelings with others, even my family, was difficult for me. I was going through some waves of cultural shock, and struggling between being both homesick for Haiti but also preparing to be homesick for my family and life in America when I left them. My heart was in two places and it was challenging for me to enjoy and be present to where I physically was. Basically, by my last week of break I was discouraged, exhausted, and felt like I had completely failed at my first visit home.
I thought when I came back to Haiti after break I would have completed my 3 page long to-do list that had been growing over the past few months, have quality catch up time with everyone I know, and have the time and space to pray through the goals and dreams for Reveye for this upcoming year. Silly Meagan :) My trip home allowed me to grow a lot in humility and come face to face with some impossible expectations I had set for myself. Something that my roomie in Haiti and I have been talking about is limitations. We only have 24 hours in the day, and we need to eat and sleep for a good chunk of those. There is no way we can do everything we desire to both on mission here in Haiti, and back home in America…. and that is OKAY. The Lord gave us human limits for a reason.
“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.” - A W Tozer
Living in another country is not easy and there are lots of daily sacrifices, small sufferings, and crosses. However, I was not expecting that one of my challenges would be my first visit home. I really hope and pray that the next time I go home I can set more realistic expectations for myself and through that be able to love those around me a whole lot better. Despite some of the struggles of my visit home, there were MANY good things too. I had several much needed coffee dates to catch up with friends that hadn’t been possible over spotty internet the months prior, I was able to visit the school I used to teach at and visit some of my old students. They have been SO supportive of my mission and it warmed my heart. A friend hosted a Christmas fundraiser for Reveye and I had the opportunity to share some of the ways God has been moving through the mission. I went to the movies, took hot showers, ate cheeseburgers with my family, played board games with my cousins, and spent way more time then I care to admit just hugging my dogs.
To my sweet and understanding family, you all are the best. Thanks for loving me in all my mess and showing me mercy and love. To my best friends that surprised me at the airport and made me burst into tears as you enveloped me in a huge hug, y’all rock and love me so well. I know America isn’t bad. I know coming home isn’t bad. I just gotta get better at it. Please pray for me!