You moved to Haiti…

I was going to write this as kinda an open letter to whoever would read this, like a general blog post – but then realized this is for you and Alex, Kristen. I’ve been struggling to put into words what I’ve been feeling over the past week and at the end of all of this, any words are for you. To affirm, encourage, build up, and just share my unbridled awe and praise of what God has done and now continues to do.

IMG_9821I’ll be completely honest. When I first heard through the grapevine that you and Alex were moving to Haiti, I was like, “What?” Like a – wait, that sounds random, out of the blue, are you sure – sort of What? At that time I hadn’t ever talked to you about the heart you guys had for missions and about your journey with infertility. It turned into an awe. It grew into a ‘Wow, they’re courageous and faithful!”

And man did these last few months fly by! I honestly had no idea how this would impact me. It’s so funny because back about the same time I had put in my application for the Haiti Mission trip with the TFC church team going in September but Nick and I just felt something off. There wasn’t this full open door to Haiti like last year. I felt like this time God was letting me choose but Nick just wasn’t feeling like I was supposed to go with the team. I remember him saying, “Babe, I’m not sure what it is, but I don’t think you’re supposed to go. I think God has something else for us.”

IMG_9900I can say firmly now that I believe that something else was YOU. You allowed Nick and I to see your life and be a part of this process at such a crucial time in your lives. You literally sold EVERYTHING. You literally left EVERYTHING and EVERYONE you love to go be obedient to the dreams God has laid on your heart. You trusted the Lord as he faithfully took your hand through all of the ups and downs, discouragements and fears. You powered through an unbelievable list of To-Do’s and miscellaneous craziness to be able to leave at 4am this past Monday morning and board a plane for Haiti. You are going to live in Haiti for two years! And love on these beautiful and amazing kids!

I just didn’t expect that this would all impact me so much. Seems kinda ridiculous in hindsight to not see it coming but I was just so focused on everything that had to get done. When the Harmers threw you the Haiti Shower, stuff started to change and get a bit more real. I wasn’t just helping you track a to-do list anymore, I found myself part of something bigger as our ‘family’ and community prepared to send you.

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It’s hard now to imagine you there. I see the pictures you’ve been posting but my mind still wants to put you back in Fenton. I’ve seen you talk about these kids now for months and yet somehow it surprises me that I see you in pictures with them and now the reality of 2 years is hitting. All of their pictures are still hung across that old window in my sunroom. I told Susan I’m going to laminate them so that I can hang it above the door without them whiting out in the sunlight.

I hope we sent you off well. I hope there’s nothing you regret. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for allowing us the ability to walk along with you through this part. I’m so humbled by it. It’s difficult to realize I can’t just run over and help you with anything. It’s emotional for me to imagine you guys alone in a new place without any of us physically there. But greater is he that is inside of you and the Spirit that goes before you, than any human presence. I pray that the Lord protects and guides your hearts and minds in his truth as you begin to settle into your new life and ministry and family there. I pray that the Lord fulfills all of the plans he has for each of the kids abundantly. I pray for every perfect gift, every provision, every blessing and every encouragement you need to be at the exact right time and bring glory to the Father.

I just peeked at flights. They’re only about $425 one way depending on the day. I could do that. I’m gonna talk a couple of friends into it too. Maybe we could just so happen take a long weekend out of town! I’m praying God opens that door and sends me. I want to see your new place so bad and meet all of your kids.

Truly, I hope you know how loved you are by so many. How much you and Alex are ‘God’s favorite kids.’ Keep posting updates. Please keep sharing your lives with us. It’s hard feeling like it’s all done and I have nothing left to help with. It just went really fast. We’ll see you soon one way or another. You’re stuck with us still. I’m sure your kids are gonna keep you busy…

Love you guys.
Ashley

Isaiah Chapter 6;
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

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