Last night a new friend and I were sitting talking about Jesus and what He has done in our lives. It suddenly occurred to me…
I am sitting on a tile floor, in the Dominican Republic, eating black bean nachos with homemade salsa, listening to Indian music, sharing stories from my life in Spanish (with English thrown in when I couldn’t think of a word!).
So not the life I ever imagined, and yet, right now, there’s nowhere else I can imagine being.
There’s a song here I love. The chorus says “Gracia que me levantó, Nombre que me restauró, Has sido fiel, Has sido fiel” which means “Grace that lifted me, Name that restored me, You have been faithful, You have been faithful.”
You have been faithful.
This week I danced with Marjorie (aged 2) in my arms while the women of El Callejon sang praise songs. I cuddled Joelly (also 2), her dusty, tiny bare feet leaving foot prints on my pants. Has sido fiel!
God answered Ramona’s prayer. Negra’s son was born healthy and beautiful. Has sido fiel!
A student shared that her experience here caused her to rethink her major. Another just needed someone to listen. Has sido fiel!
We walked in El Callejon, stopping from time to time to chat with women, teens, girls. Glimpses of lives so different from ours, yet just as precious. That the conversations were in Spanish, and I could mostly understand them, in itself no small miracle. Has sido fiel!
Sharing bits and pieces of my story, hearing the stories of our students. How God has moved, not only in the ‘happy times’ but through the messy, icky, heart-breaking stuff of life. Brokenness transformed into His beauty. Has sido fiel!
I’m closing in on a year since I left my life in Harrisonburg. Today is June 3, and I flew out on June 25. A year of ‘last times’, ‘first times’, of tearing up, getting rid of, replanting, tearing up again, replanting again, resettling. A year that stretched me past myself, and then stretched me some more.
I’ve whined, complained, cried, pouted. I’ve been frustrated, discombobulated, annoyed, sad. Like Peter, the waves have surged, I’ve looked down, and started to sink. Again, and again. And yet… Has sido fiel. Each time I’ve cried out “Save me!” strong, sure hands have lifted me, restored me.
As awesome as this is (and it really is so, so awesome!), I have to pause a moment. Yes, I can look back on my life and declare You have been faithful.
But, there’s something missing, something more. My desire is that as the waves come, when the waters are up to my neck, when I feel wrecked and shaken, that in that moment, I can declare Eres fiel – You are faithful. Not when the calm returns, but in the midst of the storm.
And so, today I rejoice in the ways Has sido fiel, the ways God has been faithful. It is good and important to remember.
But, today also I renew my prayer that in His power, I will grow in faith and trust, bearing witness to His faithfulness right now, when my eyes cannot yet see, my mind cannot yet understand.
Has sido fiel, eres fiel, serás fiel… You have been faithful, You are faithful, You will be faithful. May that truth be my life!