MWEN P’AP TOUNEN// I WON’T TURN BACK
Posted: February 3, 2018
It was one of those tiny moments that’s forever etched in my mind. a few months ago we were at Home for the Dying, which is quite literally a hospital for those with terminal illness started by Mother Theresa here in Haiti. We went room to room, praying with patients, singing, painting toenails—doing anything we could to bring them comfort or joy as sickness stole their physical bodies, but not their spirits. In one room, they requested a song. One of the only songs I know by heart in Kreyol is “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”
I sang softly and knelt by her bed to hold her hand. She looked tired, as her frail body was ravaged by sickness, but her face held the strength of a faith filled woman. She looked into my eyes as we sang. When we got to the part of that sacred old song that repeats “no turning back, no turning back” she sang it fiercely with tears streaming down her face. What a beautiful thing to face sickness and death, but to sing with all your heart that you will follow the Lord to the very end.
Those lyrics and that moment have been a memory that came back to me a few different times over the past year. No turning back. When the Lord asks, you say yes and follow with a willing heart. 2017 was my year of "No Turning Back." It was filled simultaneously with intense blessing and painful growth. It was the year Gideon made me a mom. Matthew moved to Haiti, we got engaged and married before the end of the year. The same country I lived in before, but seeing it through a fresh pair of eyes. New jobs, new neighborhoods, new friends. Throughout all the changes, one thing was for sure—no turning back. As much as I love adventures, I’ve always loved to be in control, to know how things are going to end. There were so many times this year I had no answers, no idea what was going to happen—-all I knew was the next tiny step of the plan the Lord had laid before me.
When God gets ahold of your life and you surrender control to him, he is going to take you places you never thought were possible. He is going to break your heart like His heart was broken,. He is going to fill your heart with compassion for your neighbors like He felt. And he is going to knock on our stubborn hearts and work away on our pride until we start to look more like him.
The next 11 months sit before us like a blank page, a chapter to be written. And there’s been this tiny whisper in my heart—-last year was the year of constant change, of no turning back. Perhaps this year will be the year of staying still & growing deeply—with this country we call home, with the community around us and with the calling The Lord has placed on our lives. Over the next year, come what may. I’ve chosen Him and there’s no turning back.
Images courtesy of Lynnette Mason