Word of the Day: Strength
I definitely needed this today as today was the day I was most anxious about...we went to the Home for Sick and Dying Babies. I'm a mess when I see a sad commercial on TV, so when I found out a few months ago that we would be going to a hospital/orphanage for children who are malnourished, I knew it was going to be difficult. I have prayed circles around this experience, and cried many times just thinking about it, but to my surprise, I was able to hold it together today with the help of God's strength. Every time I felt tears approaching, I also felt God's hand over me giving me the strength to hold them back and do what I needed to do in order to be His hands and feet. I will say however, that this experience was one of the most difficult experiences I have had in my life. I tried to prepare for this day as best I could...I expected to see children with bloated malnourished bellies, I expected to see 4 year old children the size of 1 1/2 year olds, but what I did not expect or prepare myself for, were the blank stares I got from some of the ill children. As a speech-language pathologist, I work with little kiddos on their foundational language skills; I smile at you, you smile at me; I tickle your feet, you give a reaction; I play Peek-a-Boo, you giggle in anticipation. However, with some of these kiddos who have had such a lack of human contact, there was no reaction. It was as if there were staring at a blank wall. That by far was the most difficult part of the day. The time at the Home for Sick and Dying Babies wasn't all sad though. There were lots of smiles, laughs, piggy back rides, and playground fun! At one point, I had the opportunity to push 9 children on a 4 person swing; the giggles and laughter were music to my ears.
We wrapped up the day with devotionals where we were able to share about our day and process what we had all experienced. Right before leaving for this tip, a good friend told me a quote by Glennon Doyle Melton in order to help me prepare: "Life is brutal, life is beautiful, it's brutiful," and that sums up our day exactly.
Side note: I want to let everyone know that the prayers you have prayed over us up until this trip and the prayers you are continuing to pray for us now are working as we have been protected during all our travels, everyone is healthy, and we are all jumping in full force to be the hands and feet of God even when we are pushed outside our comfort zones.