Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Next


- From Aaron

Honestly, with as bizarre as our lives have been over the years, you'd think nothing would surprise us any more.  

But you would be wrong.

A few days before Christmas we had some hard conversations with the leadership of Heartline and came to the conclusion that the needs and dynamics of our family were not going to allow us to invest the time that Heartline needed from us.  We realized that while we love Heartline and the ministry that they do in Haiti, we were not going to be a long-term fit in the roles they needed us to play.

So, with four children and twelve 50lb bags in tow we tearfully relocated back to Texas.  We are currently staying with family while I look for a job and we find a place to live.

This transition was fast and hard and full of emotions.  However, we can say already that we can see the Lord's hand graciously guiding and providing for our family during this time.  Our intention was to be in Haiti for at least another 18 months, but we're trusting that the Lord's plans are greater than ours.

We have been welcomed back to Texas by a loving family and supportive friends.  Those funding our lives in Haiti have been understanding and encouraging as we filled them in on more details of what has happened in the last couple of weeks.  We've sought out wise counsel here in the states to help us make these decisions and figure out how to move forward.

Although this was unexpected by us, we trust that God is in control.  Everything feels up in the air. Not much feels very stable right now.  We feel like we should be completely overwhelmed.  Yet what we feel is peace.  This equally perplexes and comforts us.

Right now we covet your prayers as we try to make a lot of very big decisions very quickly.  I am looking for jobs which will determine where we live.  Today I put on fancy clothes and handed in a job application.  Heather mocked me, then wished me luck.  We will need to find a new house, get our kids in school, and begin to settle back into the routine of life in this country.  God's words about the poor, the least of these, and specifically our time in Haiti have changed us forever.  We are eager to pour our lives out for the weak, the hurt, and the forgotten even if our address has changed.  We're asking God what that looks like from here.

Heather's words from the blog the other day most accurately express where we find ourselves at this point.  

We find ourselves filled with hope when we consider all the new this year will hold for us and so many of the people we know and love.  We trust all the new to a God who is bent on giving good even to people who rarely deserve it, who says there's really nothing new under the sun, and who wrote the pages of this coming year long before the world began.  We sit here staring at the very first page of the chapter titled "2012" eager to read what God has lovingly penned for each of us.

Coming home we found that many of the people we love are in a season of transition, facing many unknowns this year.  We were met by friends and family members who are asking God for faith of their own, seeking wisdom, and fighting to trust God as they navigate through the unknown.  While our circumstances selfishly seem the most pressing to us, we are reminded that this same story of unexpected events, pain, peace, struggle, the realization that we could have done things differently in retrospect, pushing on, trying to learn from mistakes, extending grace, forgiving, crying, healing, and finding God in all of it - this is the story that belongs to each of us.  This is life, and we're all in this thing together learning how to live it.

We hope you know how thankful we are for each of you who sit here with us year after year.  Heather and I have grieved this decision, are now at peace, and are ready to move on, and embrace this unpredictable life.  

48 comments:

Carly said...

OHHHH WOW! I sit here shocked and a little sad to not be able to hear of your haitian adventures anymore, yet I have a prayer in my heart and on my lips that God is guiding you along on your journey. Prayers for your family as you make this sudden transition....

beth lehman said...

It's ironic that we think we are so in control, isn't it? I'll be anxious to hear about what happens next for you all - and I'll be praying for you too. You have challenged so many of us to think beyond our own little worlds to a much bigger one with a bigger plan.

diplofam said...

Wow! that was a shock to read! Blessings on your family and all of the transitions that need to be made in such a short time--I can't imagine packing up and moving so quickly....but happy to read that you have found peace with the decision.

Small Town Joy: said...

I look forward to seeing what God has next for you!

mbs said...

This explains so much of why I have felt caught up in prayer for you lately. God's Spirit is so amazing. While I am sitting here shocked and saddened (Heather's posts about the women in Heartline's programs were the best!) I am so happy that God has given you peace. I now know what more specifics I can pray for you all. I'm reading Keller right at this moment (King's Cross) and just read some great stuff about sitting in God's will. Aaron, being the Keller groupie you are, I'll let you look up the Elisabeth Elliot quote on Page 54 :)
Wow. God bless you on your journey.

Anonymous said...

I am Mrs. Nobody to you, I'm sure, although I've read your blog since you went to Haiti. I've loved your blog and your journey for you honesty about the .hard. good that comes of engaging with poverty/third world/broken-ness/etc.

For the last month, as I read your blog, I'd always read, then sit there and think, hmm, wonder what's going on - even when the post was happy or completely 'normal' (whatever that is!). And today, this news.

I am grateful that we can trust God's heart, always, at all times, in the midst of any and all crazy. I am grateful He loves us all (you guys, me/mine, Heartline folks, everyone), and that in this, too, He is moving and working for your/their/all's good.

May you, though this, be drawn closely to God, and grow ever more certain of His goodness.

Johanna

You know, I think your post hits my heart as much as it does because we were living in India, and with no warning, a Sunday afternoon walk became a rock-climbing accident became broken bones became emergency medivac became leave India instantly forever. Culture shock and cultural transition is hard; sudden and unexpected transition, ever more-so. I'm so glad to hear your local Body is loving on you and caring for you.

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry that things didn't go the way you planned. I'll be praying for you as you seek out God's next steps for your life.

Courtney said...

wow! huge news! can't wait to see where He places you. i've been blessed by your journey thus far and will be praying your family through this transition!

salvant7 said...

I am really bummed to read this because we were just getting to know each other (yep, totally selfish). You all have been so heavy on my heart since you went home and I have been praying for you everyday. We will miss you here in Haiti. Thank you for serving here and being the hands and feet of Christ in one of the hardest places on earth. Big hugs and lots of continued prayer- April

Ephesians 3:14-21

Jeanne said...

Another word from another nobody here-- who found y'all through another Haiti blogger-- and who has been so enriched to read your posts, whatever the topic-- may God bless you. I don't know you, I can't really speak to anything in your lives, but I just want to say, bless you. I am excited to hear where your path leads. And if the "y'all" didn't give me away... I'm a Texan, so I just might run into a Hendrick sometime if they are living stateside. That's kinda cool. :)

keight dukes said...

was the creamy jalepeno picture the final straw? im such a stumbling block! jokes. this aint no stumble. so happy that you are feeling peace and joy and guidance in the midst of crazy change. i'll be along for the ride wherever your family's ministry takes yall. i hope youve already been to chuys. love.

Darin Lickfeldt said...

Thank you for your service to the people of Haiti. You are in my prayers.

Beth in Atlanta said...

Change is hard and unexpected change can kick the stuffing out of you. I'm sure y'all are being buffeted by all kinds of emotions. Lean in hard to our Father. I'll be praying for you guys.

Melissa said...

Wow! Thanks so much for blogging. Your words have encouraged me to think way outside my self and my own little world. My prayers are with you as you face this huge change.

Sandy said...

"the realization that we could have done things differently in retrospect, pushing on, trying to learn from mistakes, extending grace, forgiving, crying, healing, and finding God in all of it - this is the story that belongs to each of us". I love that. It is so very true.

Your lives proclaim that y'all are surrendered to Him. And that is where He wants us...totally surrendered to Him.
Praying for y'all. (I am from Texas also!)

Amy said...

I will be praying for your family and the transition. May you continue to feel His presence!

Your family and your heart for the poor have opened my eyes and started me on a journey in learning what it means to love them well. I'm forever grateful!

Blessings to you all! I hope to continue to hear your family's story!

Sandee said...

I love to hear how you are following God where ever He leads you...and walking in the unknown. Blessings to you...and what a blessing to walk in peace.

Anonymous said...

Today as I drove toward the church with Joseph, crying about Mark leaving on another trip, Joseph asked, "Isn't that Aaron's truck?" He was leaving the church apparently. I said, "I don't know..." Joseph said, "That's Aaron's truck. I know it is." My heart just leapt! I prayed it was true and that you were here for a visit, but then to read all this was just so stunning. I love you and am selfishly thrilled that I might be able to spend time with you again, while at the same time, I understand that your heart hurts from leaving people you love and walking into the unknown.

Please come sit on my couch soon or I can drive there!

Melodi

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry.

faithful reader

d.l.mayfield said...

wow. it would be great to be able to know how you process this whole situation, as this is a very common one. transparency (within reason) in these types of situations helps everyone!

Anonymous said...

incredibly thankful for your story and your willingness to get up and go. fear keeps me sitting here in comfort and i have the audacity to say really, they're back? and God says remember i'll never forsake you and i lose it in a puddle of tears because you had the audacity to go and love out of your very soul! nothing but gratitude fills my heart to get a glimpse of your heart and i will never be the same!

Emily Minich said...

I am very sorry to see this; you had truly begun to build a life there. I was constantly amazed at the grace God had given you guys to live in a place so difficult and that he had blessed you with such love for it and for the people there.

And yet...... I know, as you obviously do, that God is good and does good, as psalm 119:68 says.

It would be nice to see some Hendrick faces in Texas sometime. I live up here in Plano.

Emily Minich

Katherine Willis Pershey said...

Wow. Your family's experience in Haiti has - well, let me start that sentence over again. Though your family's experience in Haiti, God has transformed my heart. I trust that God will continue to use you in powerful ways. I am holding you all in prayer during this huge and unexpected transition.

RWebb said...

Thank you for everything. My heart hurts to read this, but we know God's plans are good. Praying for ya'll as you transition and looking forward to how God will continue to use your family for His glory!

Walking to China said...

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:15
Your work in Haiti was not in vain. We'll be praying for you all. Keep blogging- we want to know the next chapter.

Andrea said...

"Walk in China" took the words right out of my fingertips. Bless you for sharing your heart so openly. Please continue to do so as you are lead by Him. You are such an encouragement to others of us out here living in the year of the unknown. I love how we're all in this together and we really don't even know each other or live in the same time zone. God is THAT big.

Andrea said...

"Walking to China". My apologies.

Anne said...

Praying for you guys all the way from Italy.
He's got good plans for you.
I echo the previous comments... keep blogging!

keridwp said...

gosh...i keep thinking about that little cilantro leaf.......growing in unfamiliar soil......your story's plot has taken an unexpected twist and THAT is what makes the best kind of story!!! it is what it is...keep moving even if it is to stand still.....

keri

Our Family said...

Just a blog lurker but a sister still...praying, praying, praying for you. Thanks, as always, for your honesty.

Molly Bierens said...

Praying for you and your family as you make this transition in your life. May you be filled with God's peace.

mindingmomma said...

That's some news. We at this house will pray for you as you move intot he next journey set for you. And hope that you will keep this blog up as it means so much to us.

missing africa said...

when i was 12 my family, whom had sold everything to go, had to up and leave Africa without much notice. so my hearts prayer for each of your family members is tied to your kids because i have lived through it, i remember well the feeling of reverse culture shock. praying for all the little details and for sustained peace.

Nicky B said...

Wow - shocked and saddened but also believing, actually knowing, God works all things out in his perfect plan. I mourn for the loss of you to Haiti for you did much and it will never be undone. Blessings in the transition

Renee said...

Have followed your blog for sometime. What an inspiration your family has been. Change is always hard, but when God is in control and you have peace what more can you ask. I pray that your hearts and ears will be open to wherever he leads you next. I appreciate your transparency and can't wait to see what the future holds! Blessings!

Stacey said...

And so it goes...

This seemingly is a "common" thread through each of our lives.

Praying for you and looking forward to the continuing adventure!

T & T Livesay said...

We love you and we are praying about all of the things mentioned. No plans to stop.

Lee said...

Another person you don't know who has been impacted by this journey you are on. He WONT quit using you, He just won't, His hand is all over you.
Now, I'll just pray you sense it and that He makes this path as smooth as possible.

Love to your family from a stranger..

Heather said...

I'm sad for you because it sounds like your hearts are hurting yet I'm happy for the peace the Lord has given you. Does that even make sense? We will add you to our family's prayer list and look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for you.

John said...

While it was surprising, we completely understand. We too, are heading back on the 16th for some regrouping, etc. I hope and pray that you and Heather and the boys are always in the center of His Will, wherever He leads you. Always looked forward to a friendship with you all. Hoping to keep in touch Stateside.

Jessica said...

My heart hurts for you. As everyone has already said, your journey has been a great blessing to follow. Your heart and insight, and great sense of humor are a delight to read. Prayers for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

my heart aches for you - you do not know me - but you are so close to my heart, and have been since the begining.

Praying for you and your precious family. Praying every so fervently.

Keep walking, it is not in vain - May the Lord hold you and keep you close.

stephanie

Singing Pilgrim said...

Praying for guidance and comfort for your family during this transition.

kSk said...

I can't sleep because I am still processing this. You were just starting to feel at home there. Just know that you have touched so many lives...those of us who read your blog and those who you ministered to in Haiti. We are praying for you.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

But isn't this the way it so often works? That right when we're feeling settled in, He unsettles us? It's what I'm learning, at least. And the faith and hope that carried you there will carry you back here. You have shown so many of us what life can look like beyond our borders and now we'll see the way God uses your hearts and hands here.

ps - Right as I'm typing, Calvin and Ruby are dressing their cat Beanie Babies in barbie clothes. Calvin just stuck two tall black boots on Stripey and said, inexplicably, "Look Mommy, Stripey's high fashion! They live in a really poor place. They live in Haiti. Look how poor it is."

?????

Randomness, all the time. But in a small way, I think you have something to do with the fact that he knows about Haiti and knows that Haiti is a "poor place". I'm glad for it.

bye.

Courtney said...

Like so many others here, I, too, am from Texas, and have read your blog regularly. I never would have given a moment's thought to Haiti had it not been for blogs like yours. Your stories pulled the curtain back for me on what faith meant. I truly hope you never waste a moment doubting the contributions you've made not only in Haiti, but on all of us who have been moved by your words. Your bravery and honesty are so precious and rare in our world. Haiti is a better place because of you. God bless.

Christy @ pureMotherhood said...

Oh, wow. Is it okay if I'm sad about it? I loved reading about life in Haiti from Heather's perspective (especially everything about babies, mamas and pinterest). It's so good to hear you have peace right now. My husband unexpectedly lost his job 2 months ago and we've been trusting God more than ever. Uncertainty is not a comfortable place for me though and I struggle between being at peace and knowing God is in control to freaking out because we don't have health insurance. Looking forward to seeing how God provides for your family in the coming year.

Anonymous said...

Passion 2012 just ended yesterday. The final day of the conference is "Session 8". You would benefit from seeing it however, it may no longer be available on-line at their website. I think you may be encouraged greatly from hearing it. Maybe on Youtube now? Praying the LORD continues to cover y'all with peace, and that you are ministered TO during this transition time. Sherri in GA