30 days until my last day of work.
37 days until I board the plane bound for Haiti.
38 days until my feet touch Haitian soil.
Not like I’m counting or anything. Actually, let you in on a little secret, I’m terrified. Yes, extremely excited, but also terrified. It is one of those bone chilling terrors too. Like after you watch a scary movie late at night, all alone and then you have to go turn on the lights because you’re so scared but the light switch is down the hallway and there’s a lot of creepy doors on your way that bad guys and monsters might like to hide in.
I wrote a post a while ago (click here to read it) asking myself what was holding me back. Today I ask myself, what is making me terrified? Is it the mocking I’ll surely receive when I stumble through conversations as I try to learn the language? Is it the fear of failing as a teacher? Not being able to keep my classroom together or that they will not pass their testing because of my sucky teaching ability?
No. Not really. I do not doubt that I’ll screw up in my own unique ways, or that I’ll struggle to learn the language or learn how to effectively teach. My fear comes from petty selfish desires. Like heat, hunger, oh and what if I hate it? Like legitimately hate it. What if I get there, hate it, and want to go home. And fail as a missionary. That’s like the ultimate bad thing I think. Evangelists stealing money: done. Priests molesting children: happens way too often. Missionary hating it and going home- WHOA. That’s a show stopper. But I’m afraid that will be me. The ditcher. The one who goes home.
And I do not want to be that person. I’m terrified I have talked up Haiti in my own mind to such a point that real Haiti cannot compare to imaginary Haiti. Yes imaginary Haiti has bugs, and sickness and dirt. But I’m in love with imaginary Haiti. Question is- am I in love with real Haiti?
The fact that I won’t know the answer to that question until I actually go to Haiti is what terrifies me. But I am not going based on a feeling. I am going because I am called. There is no doubt- I am called. And God will use me. And everything will be fine. And I will love them to a greater extent that I could imagine right now. Sure the bugs will be annoying. And the heat will be suffocating. And the sickness and death will be gut wrenching. But you know what? I’ll be great.
(but you wanna know a secret? …I’m still a little scared.)