It’s been exactly three years since the day Haiti was turned upside down.
I wish that I could look at Port-au-Prince today and see healing. Millions of dollars were sent to mend and rebuild the broken city, and yet it is ravaged still.
Has there been healing that we cannot see? Healing of souls and minds? I pray so. I know from experience that it does not happen overnight. But I know from experience, that by God’s grace, it can happen.
While there are always fresh sorrows, and while there are seasons of unbearable grief or misery, there is still always the goodness of our God. “The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting…” (Psalm 103:17).
Over the past three years, the Lord poured out His steadfast love on this broken vessel through various means, and brought healing through each of them. Healing did not come in a sudden, miraculous form, as did our exodus from Haiti. It came slowly and painfully.
But healing came…
… through listeners: my husband, my mom, my dear friends.
… through professional Christian counseling: working through The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms by Mary Beth Williams, and Crisis & Trauma Counseling by Dr. N. Norman Wright.
… through books: The Hidden Link Between Stress and Adrenaline by Dr. Archbald Hart, Who Switched Off My Brain? by Dr. Caroline Leaf, Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear by Max Lucado, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
… through giving thanks — lying in bed, fighting panic, listing things both large and small for which I was grateful.
… through the renewing and retraining of my mind through Scripture and intentional new patterns of thought. (Romans 12:1-2, Philippians 4:6-7, Romans 8:6, Isaiah 26:3, principles found in Who Switched Off My Brain? Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions by Dr. Caroline Leaf, Beth Moore’s Esther Bible Study)
… through both fitness and relaxation exercise.
… through the profound help of a holistic doctor who diagnosed my condition as adrenal fatigue.
… and finally, through time. Broken bones aren’t mended overnight. Nor can we recover from traumas overnight — even when we are walking in faith. (How much deeper even our faith can grow, when given time.)
Amongst my dear friends around the world, I know there are many who long for healing or resolution. So many who are asking if God still sees… still cares. I have spent the better part of the last dozen years asking the same thing. And because of the painful journey, I can answer with absolute certainty that He does.
Today, I remember the horrific suffering experienced by a nation already too accustomed to despair. I also feel the sadness of those in different, but equally dark circumstances.
Yet at the same time, I give glory to my God, who is sovereign, whose loving-kindness endures forever, and who promises to one day wipe every tear from the eyes of those who are His own.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;[a]
he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!