My Life Is Crazy Too is a series of reader submissions. Your life is a story. This is your opportunity to share about loving big in marriage, family, and faith to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face every day. If you would like to submit a story to this series, please connect with me. Today’s guest is, Rachel Rodgers.
Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it! I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I’ll never quit telling the STORY of your love.” Ps 89:1
As I walked out of the airport doors and into the hot thick air taking my first steps on Haitian soil, my first thoughts were, “I’m ACTUALLY in another country…a third-world country!” I remember being in absolute wonder and amazement by how God had even gotten me there.
How God molded me and prepared me all of those years before, as well as, strengthened my parents with just the right amount of peace and comfort to cover them while I was on my first of many adventures to come. God started breaking my heart into a million pieces for the orphan when my parents began the process of adoption of my now two adopted sisters, almost 7 years ago.
My parents saying yes to that very life altering request from God when 2/3 of their kids were already grown is what first stirred my heart.
After years of God patiently placing the desire to do mission work on my heart one stir of the heart at a time and years of me struggling to obey to go serve orphans and the least, I finally said yes. Haiti is where God took me and now my heart beautifully aches everyday for the people of that country. After my first day at an orphanage I wrote this, “We drove down a crumpled road that once was whole before the EARTHQUAKE.
Our driver honked his horn to let the orphanage know we had arrived. Slowly, the gates opened and a small, fairly run-down house appeared with a small little porch. As we pulled our tap-taps into the driveway a few half-naked and fully naked little ones cautiously walked out of the house. My heart skipped a few beats. I scanned the property of children. Big brown eyes stared back at me with a few shy smiles tucked in between. My team and I made our way into the small house/orphanage. The smell, I noticed first. Musky and dirty with the smallest hint of spices. The few pieces of furniture falling apart and dingy.
Crumbs and small rocks scattered about the floors. Rows of bunk beds in the back rooms. Piles of clothing dotted the bedrooms, unsure if they were clean or not.” When I entered that orphanage, I was simply and instantly in love! I was more in love with my Savior than ever before and I was in love with a life of serving and with sharing my Savior.
Because of that trip, a fire ignited in my soul to serve, love, protect, and advocate for the least and surprisingly my comfort zone left my small home town in Texas and landed in Jesus’s heart! He is my safety and my protector, He is my light and unfailing love, He is my comfort zone. The Lord calling me to serve in Haiti set that fire in my soul that is so unending and still welcoming, full of opportunities to love like Christ.
I crave to go love on sweet little ones, unsure teens, and eager yet, cautious hope seeking adults all over the world.
However, I am a sinner and I don’t always hear His commands so well. I stumble, I walk when I should run, I run when I should walk. I fall sometimes, but His patient. He is unwavering and purposeful. He is gracious. He is merciful. Jesus will not leave me to sort this beautiful knot of desires out on my own. I’ve seen His eyes staring back at me in the orphans of Haiti.
I have witnessed the hurt, pain, and beauty of His precious ones. Because of Haiti I see easier where others lack Jesus around me. I love the orphan, my heart breaks for them. Jesus poured into me infinite amounts of love to give away during my first trip and fortunately, in all of my weaknesses, flaws, and inadequacies Jesus was plenty. Jesus was enough. I was weak, He was strong. While He was perfect, gentle, and guiding, I was still a bit afraid, but a good kind of afraid.
A new adventurous, trusting with all of my being kind of afraid.
My most afraid moment during my entire trip was when a little 11 year old boy by the name of Seme, very obviously attached himself to me, stroking my hair, wiping dirt off of my clothes, clutching and hugging me and soaking up every last bit of love and belonging. For those two days at that orphanage I was his and he was mine. I knew without a sliver of doubt that God wanted me to show that innocent boy attention, love, hope, and truth.
Attention in the form of kindness and acceptance to warm his heart. Love to make certain he knew he is worthy. Hope to remind him to never give up. TRUTH to unveil to him that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and only through Him can he come to the King. We connected and he felt belonging. I was afraid and nervous and overwhelmed, but I loved him as much as I could in those two short days.
It was terrifying to let my guard down and let God’s love burst through. It was terrifying but, it was also the most glorious feeling I have ever felt. I wonder sometimes if I could have loved on him more or comforted him differently. I wonder sometimes if I could have spoken more truth to him or if I should have stayed silent and still more, but then I remember
God has him in His arms and He will never leave Him. I take those moments of “what if” as opportunities to trust God.
I prayed for years asking God to break my heart for what breaks His. And while I believe He partially broke my heart just to get me to that orphanage surrounded by tropical despair, I vividly remember making myself let my heart completely break while hugging sweet Seme. God ever so gently begged me to just let go and in that moment I did my best to do so. With His help I let my heart shatter to pieces for that boy and for Haiti. I was blissfully wrecked. I learned there is a certain spell-bound beauty in the midst of ashes. I will chase after that beauty the rest of life.
I will forever be seeking to love the least.
Taking that blind leap of faith, saying yes to a call from God that started only as a desire to become more educated about the orphan crisis gradually became molded into a passion of serving the orphan through writing, photography, advocating, mission trips, loving, thinking, and talking non-stop about orphans and orphan care. God has opened many doors for me to serve others which I give all of the glory and praise to Him.
With each opened door my hope is that someone’s desire to serve the least is awakened. For me doing it afraid for God by obeying His command on my life to love big in Haiti was the most difficult act of obedience I have ever done. However, I now wake up every morning excited to see how and where God wants me to serve His children. Why do I continue to do things afraid for God? Well, because it is the least I can do.
I will never be able to repay my Heavenly Father for the gift of His perfect only Son. So, I love others because He first loved me.
I’d love to hear what you are ‘doing it afraid’ in your life for God? Has it opened any new doors to love or serve big? Share in the comments.