A Haines Home Companion: Back to the Grind


Back to ARkansas

I got a window seat on the flight out of Haiti, and the poor man next to me had to endure the tears literally squirting out of my face. I was ready to be with my family, but I wasn’t ready to leave. I have such a divine sense of longing right now that if I don’t use this energy for something, anything, I might die. I journaled no less than 25 pages. I would write and then cry and then look out the window at the Caribbean and then poke the kind Haitian next to me and say, “Beautiful! Look!” Either, I drove him nuts or entertained him to no end. He was totally reading my journal as I wrote, too, so I felt as if we were having conversation. You read my journal, I get to make you look at that freaky blue water.

The photo of Seth and me up there is an older one, but I love it. On another flight I looked through all the photos on my computer. I love my life. I really do. I laughed at photos that just seem so regular.

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Last night when I got home, my Jude had written me a letter about his joy. Remember last week that we had prayed for his joy? He told me I am pritty and wellcome home and how was Haeddy. He outlined his hand and wrote on the palm, “MOM ROCKS!” Then when I walked in, they jumped out from behind the couch and yelled, “SURPRISE!” I literally picked all of them up but Isaac, the one who wraps his arms big like one becoming a man. He could probably pick me up. I bet I got 400 kisses last night.

I want to tell you every single tiny detail about Haiti and the church there, but I’m soaking in it a bit. I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed or think that if you see a photo of me in Haiti that I’m going to tell some story of woe. Ha. That’s just not how it’s going to go at all. I made observations there that I believe should be transforming to the body of Christ, and I want to share it all with wisdom. I begged God on the flight, over and over, “Please, don’t let me forget a single thing!”

So for now it’s back to this.

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These lips.

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All our things.

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My boys in a quiet, safe yard.

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I haven’t returned with even a hint of guilt, only responsibility. I haven’t come with anything but gratitude. I literally saw flowering vines push through in bursts of red blooms, up through piles and piles of rubble. This week was a week I walked with Jesus Who Lives Within: in the pastors, in our translators, in Chris Marlow, and in Scott Wade. I saw Him in friendships that have taken a turn for the forever. We said, “We can never break up!”

I saw Jesus in Ferrier Village, and I haven’t told you about this place yet, because I’m not ready. All I can say today is that I saw Jesus.

Look. Do you see Him in this face, too? Of course you do.

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I sure do. This girl and I hit it off big and had an actual conversation by sheer want of communication, because she sure didn’t know English, and I sure didn’t know Creole. She told me my nose was big and pointy. We counted together. She is fourteen.

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This is the airplane we were supposed to fear, the one that roars and tips side to side, dropping and picking back up over the mountains.

The plane was so loud that I listened to music and sang hard, and no one could hear me. One of the translators told me that he saw Jesus in me, too. He was the one that told me he wants everything and also that he wants for nothing. To be near this one was to be near one at rest. I’ve never seen anything like it. The other men called him Monk. I met brothers there I didn’t know I had.

I walked away from that conversation with him, and I knew exactly what I wanted for the rest of my life – for everything and for nothing. I thought, how unjealous I am of anyone on this planet. All I ever want for myself is the kingdom version of me, the exact thing He is making me. All I ever want to be said of my sons is that to be with them is to be near Jesus.

A word of blessing can be like a chemical change in the mind and the heart. I learned to not withhold my words when they are to bless.

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Riding in that plane was proof of an older version of myself falling off. It was the feeling of being ready to meet my maker, of being exactly where I was supposed to be. There’s a certain amount of surrender and release that has to happen in Haitian air or on the side of a twisty, steep, and broken mountain with a driver who has a particular need for speed.

I have never been more full of joy than when on that ground and in that air. Being around the people of God, those bearing the invisible things, was experiencing my own body full of energy. The invisible is a force of momentum that feeds the hungry and houses the homeless. It felt like coming into wisdom. It felt crying. It felt like days and days of laughing.

So this is back to the grind, but the grind this time has a different lens on it. It has a new backbone. Next week you’ll hear more of the narrative. I do not lie when I say that you were there, too. I thought about you nonstop. Don’t forget to check our page for other stories, and I really want for you to dig in deeper with us. Follow the links below.

amberhaines
About me

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12 Comments

Emily
Reply April 18, 2014

"I walked away from that conversation with him, and I knew exactly what I wanted for the rest of my life – for everything and for nothing. I thought, how unjealous I am of anyone on this planet. All I ever want for myself is the kingdom version of me, the exact thing He is making me. All I ever want to be said of my sons is that to be with them is to be near Jesus."

Wow, such good stuff here. I can't wait to hear more next week!

the Blah Blah Blahger
Reply April 18, 2014

DANG GIRL...I feel how He moved you on this trip. I CAN'T WAIT to hear more, but mostly, I'm just blessed by reading this. What pure joy it is to hear that you didn't come back with a sense of woe, but rather knowing, seeing, touching God's blessings!

LoraLynn
Reply April 18, 2014

Welcome home, honey. The joy is just oozing through the screen from your words. Glory!

Sus
Reply April 18, 2014

"...for everything and for nothing." I'm going to Haiti this summer with 99 balloons and this makes me even more pumped.

    Amber
    Reply April 18, 2014

    You are?! Sus, I asked about special needs children at every place I went because of 99 Balloons. :) Once you know, you look at things in a different way, huh? I'm so glad you're going.

Lisha Epperson
Reply April 18, 2014

"Riding in that plane was proof of an older version of myself falling off. It was the feeling of being ready to meet my maker, of being exactly where I was supposed to be." - and that's everything. Welcome home Amber! Delighted for your safe return.

Leigh Kramer
Reply April 18, 2014

I cannot wait to hear more! xoxo

Brooke
Reply April 19, 2014

You read my journal, I get to make you look at freaky blue water:)) oh amber-what an eye opening, heart opening experience. I feel like God made you for this trip. He was ready to show you more of Himself and more of your heavenly self. I'm so happy for you...I love and miss you. BLESSED be the name of The Lord!

Diana Trautwein
Reply April 19, 2014

Okay, now. THIS: "All I ever want for myself is the kingdom version of me, the exact thing He is making me. All I ever want to be said of my sons is that to be with them is to be near Jesus." Yea, and amen. And thank you.

Robin Dance
Reply April 19, 2014

Fresh wind, fresh fire...

I can see it, smell it, feel it, hear it and near 'bout taste it.

Friend, I sense a mighty strength within you, and there's just no way you can conjure that.

Which I suppose just means I see Jesus in you, too.

So beautiful.

(love you)

    Amber
    Reply April 19, 2014

    I love you, too. So much. The Joy of the LORD is a powerful thing. That's all we've got in the way of strength.

Kathy Schwanke
Reply April 19, 2014

Beautiful. You and your words. :)

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