If you would have asked me 3 weeks ago why Jesus brought me to Haiti, I honestly wouldn’t have been able to answer it. People always ask, “why foreign mission, America needs help as well,” they’re right but for me America is comfortable. I would say I’m the type of person who gets comfortable pretty easy. I don’t mind heat, I could sleep anywhere, and eating different types of food is my forte. I like a good adventure, and I find a lot of life in exhilarating challenges. All in all, I don’t really have too many places in my life where I feel uncomfortable. St. John Paul II says that God didn’t make us for comfort. He made us to be uncomfortable, to let Him stretch us beyond what we think we can do. So here I am in Haiti eating all parts of a goat soup, sweating like I never have, and loving every second of it.
When I got to Haiti, people kept saying be ready to be uncomfortable, the Lord is going to strip you of so much. I was almost looking for the things that made me uncomfortable because I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. Little did I know that what made me uncomfortable were my fears. Until one afternoon, when I encountered a fear that I had no idea I had. Then all of these fears started to pop up. Everyday I’d wake up and it was something new that I was becoming fearful of: fear of how the devil works, fear of leaving the base, fear of not being a good missionary, and the fear of being too over-bearing. I took my fears to prayer but then I just started to ignore them. Pretended like the fears weren’t there and I wasn’t actively trying to give them to Jesus but instead was sticking them in a spot of my heart and not letting Jesus touch it. It worked for a few days, but then the fears and places I was uncomfortable, hit me in the face like a 2 by 4.
A few weeks ago, we were doing a work project that had us digging up huge rocks in the path that we walked on; the path led us to the chapel. The path had become more narrow with many big rocks that had half of us tripping on. A couple of us agreed it would have been easier to get dirt and place it on top of the rocks and cover it up, but the missionary leading the project asked us to dig them out. As I was sweating and my arms were becoming noodles, I realized– this was Jesus digging up my fears. Jesus was shoveling out the fears in my heart, removing them, and making them raw. While all I wanted to do was cover my fears up, pack them back down, and not let Jesus bring them to light. Jesus was showing me who I really was, not who I thought I was. When we were done with the path, it didn’t have any boulders, it was smooth and wide. It was a clear path to the chapel so people didn’t have trouble walking on it. That’s exactly what Jesus is doing to us. He doesn’t want us to be afraid when serving him. He takes out our fears and places of being uncomfortable, makes them smooth, and creates a bigger path in our hearts for us to trust that He’s leading us. A path in our hearts that isn’t going to trip us while walking with him or a path that’s not going to be sturdy– a path that will be strengthened with trust and only his love.
So really, what’s the point of being afraid when I’m constantly seeking Jesus? My fears and places where I’m uncomfortable, Jesus washes with his most precious blood. He wipes it away– but only if I let him. Only if I leave all of these things at the foot of the cross, and I let him take them from me. When I ask him to be there in my fear, he doesn’t say “wait a minute”, he runs immediately to my side and consoles my heart. ALWAYS. He never delays. That’s love, that’s the King that I serve, my redeemer, and my safety. This is ongoing, it’s an everyday lifestyle of putting my fears at the cross. An everyday lifestyle of constantly choosing him. I’m actively praying with my heart asking and pleading on my knees for His strength, His trust, and His courage. Y’all, this is the man that cured the blind, the afflicted, and turned water into wine; and if that’s not enough, this is the man that died on the cross for US, the man that promises us eternal life with him. So no, do not fear the war- it’s already been won, and all Jesus is doing is asking us to trust that he is taking care of the rest. He’s running towards you and your fears, will you let him take them?
Jesus, I pray that you pour your most Precious Blood upon us, and you continue to seek our hearts, you continue to run towards us even if we turn away. Jesus, in our fears, I pray you hold us so so so close to your heart, love on us, and let us feel your protection and safety. Jesus, our souls rest in you. Most Blessed Mother Mary, pray for us, Saint Joseph, pray for us, Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us! Jesus we trust in you.