Bleed Out

It was February in Haiti and I had five ladies over at my house for the weekend to live stream a women’s conference. I was so excited to be able to host in my new apartment. The guesthouse I had lived in for the previous 16 months was not a place to host and was not my own. It was more like a refugee camp for the dysfunctional Haitians in the neighborhood. I know I cannot relate to their plight but there is something very unsettling about living in someone else’s home, something that is not your own by means of hard work and/or payment. I can see why my Haitian refugee friends and housemates were not at their best. I wasn’t at my best either, though I certainly felt like I was earning my keep (hello hustling mentality).

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Dear Rachel

A Letter to myself on my Birthday,

Slow down a minute and breathe. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your tendency is full speed ahead, especially when anxiety is a little high.

Slow down enough to enjoy life. Enough to take a deep breath and enjoy all of the relationships you have so thoroughly invested in.

Keep loving people hard. This is one of your biggest strengths.

But I want you to take the time to love yourself as much as you love those closest to you. As much as you love missionaries, as much as you love Haiti, as much as you love your partner.

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A Poem

For some reason I was feeling poetry this week. So I wrote this out. I would’ve never posted it if not for a friend to encourage me. Here goes:

I sit here on this shore
This oh so familiar shore
Wondering if I might
Be able to take flight 
Or wondering if instead 
These wings were made to swim
And if i can do neither 
Will I simply become a deep diver 

And if I take the plunge
And dive down into the sea
Who in the world will be there to rescue me

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A liturgy for Spring

A while back I wrote a “Liturgy for the Fog” mainly for my missionary friends in the very foggy season of transition, after going through my own very foggy transition season.

Now I wrote a Liturgy for Spring, ripe with hope and also pain.


Springtime arrives. Slowly at first and then all at once.

Green is everywhere

The blooms and pollen and flowers teaming with new life and vigor

Reminding us that year after year the cycle continues:

New birth, revival, hope.

The hope of sunshine and warmth for body and soul

The promise that the chill of pain and darkness won’t last forever

The promise that nature births hope each spring even if we cannot

The promise that God holds hope for us

Even when we cannot muster our own

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A Soul Rediscovered

I sat at my best friend’s dining room table in her cool container house in Port au Prince, Haiti (yes, her home is actually made of recycled shipping containers). We reflected on life and transition and the seasons each of us have been in since I left Haiti in December, 2017, and as she prepares to leave Haiti after 4 years.

I found these words coming out of my mouth, referring to the last 1.5 years of my life: “I will never regret this season of my life.”

I took time after leaving Haiti to piece my life back together in a new way, a way that better reflected my values and different view of myself, the world, and God.

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Most days my mind is consumed with all the things I’m not doing well in life, how maybe I’m missing the mark, or am just not quite in touch with God’s perfect plan for my life (as if God is hiding it from me).

I’ve been thinking the last two days about what to write about for this week’s blog post. I so desperately want to be a writer, influencer, podcast-er, speak-er, all the things. I’m pretty sure I should listen to Brene Brown’s TED talks on the daily in order to truly muster up the courage to really step out in that arena and try and fail and try again.

So today, I’m going to write about trying.

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A Letter to My Heart

I wrote this piece in February, 2017 and over two years later it still rings true. I want to keep returning to my heart, keep listening to her voice, keep creating space for her to breath.

Dear Heart,

I'm not very good to you sometimes. I'm not very kind and gentle. I expect you to see the worst of the world, the injustice, the suffering, the pain, in the States and in my current home, and I just expect you to keep on plugging, keep on pushing. I haven't given you very much time to process the deep pain and suffering you've seen and felt. And for that, I'm very, very sorry.
It's in the quiet days of listening to worship music, a sermon, cooking, cleaning, that I get to digest the things my soul has seen, has bore witness to. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry I've let other peoples thoughts and actions invalidate you. I'm sorry I haven't trusted you a lot of the time. I'm sorry I've let you trust people that have proven to not be trustworthy. That happens in this life, even when you're being careful, but I'm sorry I haven't given you the time and safe space to grieve and feel that.

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Chasing Sunsets

I am missing the sunsets.

And it’s so much more than that.

I miss the pace of life and the simplicity of Haiti.

I miss no electricity and afternoons of stillness and quiet to recover from the day with nothing else to do but sit on the second story porch and look out at the mountains behind port au prince as the sun painted it’s way down to the ocean.

I wasn’t chasing then. I wasn’t chasing the sunset. I was forced, for a time.

Forced by the lack of distractions, the lack of busy, the lack of hustling. The lack of electricity, the lack of good internet (or any at all), the lack of obsession with social media and being connected. The many things that the ‘modern world’ has to offer are the very things sucking away our souls, my soul.

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Lose Yourself

During my few years in Haiti, I lost myself.

I lost myself in the best sort of way and in the worst sort of way.

1 year + out I can see the immense fruit of that season , death and re-birth, and am so thankful for the healing sabbatical I took after leaving Haiti.

The losing and finding myself was painful, brutal, and a Holy process of tilling the soil of my soul. To be clear, I didn’t have much choice. The choice is: look inside or become incredibly hardened, cynical, and bitter from the pains and traumas that accumulate (in an accelerated fashion) overseas.

Saying yes to moving to Haiti was saying yes to splitting my heart wide open and taking a deep look around… but I didn’t know that at the time.

I was faced with my own privilege, biases, worldview, faith, and understanding of God. In the midst of my fight for healthcare for the poor, I denied myself over and over again.

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