Just Cry

As you guys know, I went to Haiti in December. I am still trying to process everything that happened while we were on that trip and what to do with the hole that these orphans opened up in my heart. I haven’t written a lot about Haiti, and I won’t be discussing Haiti much today, except to use something that happened on that trip which sparked the need for this post.

First, I need to give a little background information. There are two families who are currently adopting from the orphanage in Haiti that went on this trip with us. One family both the husband and wife were able to come on the trip and this would be the husband’s first time meeting his son. The other family, the wife had been the previous month or so and this was the husband’s turn to come. Both families were able to bring their “children” back to the guest house, they were with us about 36 hours, including an overnight stay.

It was awesome seeing these families bond. You couldn’t help but smile at them bonding as families. Both families are adopting boys so there was a lot of playing catch, laughing, tickling, etc. Sheldon and little Bobby ate and ate and ate. We went to the beach Wednesday morning. There was lots of love in the air. I snapped this picture of Sheldon and his mommy, Jeannie, on the beach.






Then the most gut-wrenching, painful thing I have every experienced, outside of my miscarriages, occurred. We had to return the boys to the orphanage. This was on a Wednesday. We would return to the orphanage on Thursday, and then head home first thing Friday morning. We had spent all Wednesday afternoon at the orphanage and at 5:00 pm it was time to get on the bus and leave. I hadn’t realized, like most of us, what was going to happen, until it started happening.

I got on the bus after saying goodbye to my girls and saw our friends sitting on the bus in a tearful huddle. I looked outside and saw Josiah, who is a staff member at our church, taking the little boy who this family was adopting, Sheldon, away from the bus. I sat down in shock. This family was being torn apart. The little boy was screaming for his mama and his papa. He didn’t like being restrained. The couple on the bus, JC and Jeannie, were in a puddle of tears, they were holding onto each other, clinging, and watching as Sheldon was being taken away, screaming.

I started crying, others on the bus started crying. Eventually, they put Sheldon in the church so that Josiah could get on the bus. JC and Jeannie continued crying. Sheldon was able to “escape” from the church as we were pulling out. I told JC and Jeannie not to look. He was screaming, crying out for them, running towards the bus, and had, again, to be restrained.

After we left the orphanage we went to eat at a restaurant, as we did every night. I wasn’t really hungry and we were all emotionally spent. The mood was heavy. We didn’t really talk very much. After church, where JC was able to stand up and give his testimony of why he was in Haiti (which was an amazing testimony of Christ in their life), we went back to the guest house. Each night we had a debriefing and even though it was later than usual I was glad we were having it because of all nights, we needed to debrief. So many emotions had been present that day. Not only had we had to leave the boys behind, but in giving out shoes to the children that day, mass chaos had erupted among the children, and some of the team members were all but mobbed by children wanting to make sure they got shoes. What had happened was that children who had already received shoes came back in to get multiple pairs, leaving some children not receiving shoes at all. This really upset some team members.

Tami, one of our team leaders had asked me to help out during the debriefing since I am a counselor. I encouraged everyone to talk about their feelings whatever they were. JC and Jeannie were resting in the best place they could, their Saviour, Jesus Christ. It was obvious He was their ultimate comfort in all of this and they were clinging to Him as much as they were to each other. I was extremely impressed with their walk with Christ and it made me wish I had that same strength when I had walked through previous, difficult times.

At the same time, I knew what I was feeling, and wanted to make sure people understood that their feelings were ok. JC and Jeannie could be angry in this moment, and still be surrendered to all that God had called them too. I wasn’t specifically pointing them out, but of all the people present in that circle, JC and Jeannie had the right to be angry; to scream out at the injustice of not knowing when Sheldon was going to be theirs; to be frustrated. The other members who were mobbed by kids may have felt panic, fear, frustration. I told them it really didn’t matter what emotion they were feeling, whoever was feeling what, but that it was ok to feel that emotion, that anger, frustration, etc. are not wrong. We are human and we all feel. I didn’t want people to gloss over what they were feeling because what they were feeling may have felt “wrong” or “unchristian”.

I didn’t really do a good job, I feel, explaining what I was trying to explain. And it has bugged me ever since that debriefing. Not a lot of people talked, but I wasn't surprised. Everybody deals with stress and feelings differently. I know I don't open up even in the safest of situations. But, it was difficult to gauge if what I said had been helpful or not. I just said what I thought was important to say and moved on. I didn’t really get to explain, in depth, what I was talking about when I talked about being angry and having feelings and learning to deal with those feelings instead of suppressing them.

We ended our trip in Haiti on a high note. The last day was not as difficult leaving both boys behind as it had been the previous day. The next day we went home.
Every now and then I would think about that debrief and wish that I could have said something different, or gone more in depth with explaining what I was trying to explain. But, for the most part, I didn’t think about it too much.

Then I bought Mandisa’s current CD, What If We Were Real. It is amazing. I feel like Mandisa and I have a lot in common. We share a common struggle. We have both experienced pain in life, I have no idea what her pain is, but she is very open about her struggle with food. The songs on this album are real. They are transparent. And there was one song in particular that spoke EXACTLY what I wish I could have said at the debrief, or if I had known this song was out, I would have found it and played it before our debrief. The song is entitled, “Just Cry”.

I am going to list the lyrics at the bottom of this post. But the words that screamed out to me were what, I feel, I failed at communicating appropriately at that debrief. And that was that Jesus can handle your honesty. In fact, He already knows what you are feeling and it is better to feel what you are feeling than to push it down, because you feel you might be questioning His authority. He can handle your questions. He can handle your honesty. He’s got it. It doesn’t mean He isn’t on his throne or that you don’t believe He isn’t working it out for your good. But sometimes, man, you just gotta cry. You have to cry out. Sometimes there are no words. There is just pain. Jesus wants you to know that IT IS OKAY to feel. He made you. He knows you still believe in Him and trust Him. He can handle your honesty.

Again, the burden that was on my heart that night wasn’t geared toward any one person. But I know what I was feeling, and I knew I couldn’t be the only one. I wasn’t shaking my fist at God, but I didn’t understand why things happen the way they happen. I felt frustration and anger. Maybe I was the only one? I don’t know I am just thankful that He loves me no matter what I think or feel. He can handle my honesty. And He can handle yours too.

So, I hope these lyrics help you as they have helped me. To know that I can hit rock bottom so that Jesus can pick me up and heal all the broken pieces. But before He can do that I have to acknowledge that I am broken and ___________(insert appropriate feeling). If you gloss over the feeling you are not being true to yourself or to God. He can handle your honesty. Trust Him.
And please pray for JC, Jeannie and Sheldon. And pray for the Huber’s and their little Bobby.

Neither family knows when they will be able to bring their precious children home.

To follow JC, Jeannie and Sheldon’s journey, follow their blog HERE.




















"Just Cry"


Why you gotta act so strong?
Go ahead and take off your brave face
Why you telling me that nothing's wrong
It's obvious your not in a good place
Who's telling you to keep it all inside
And never let those feelings
Get past the corner of your eye

You don't need to run
You don't need to speak
Baby take some time
Let those prayers roll down your cheek
It maybe tomorrow
You'll be past the sorrow
But tonight it's alright
Just cry

I know you know your Sunday songs
A dozen verses by memory
Yeah they're good but life is hard
And days get long
You gotta know God can handle your honesty
So feel the things your feeling
Name your fears and doubts
Don't stuff your shame and sadness, loneliness and anger
Let it out, let it out

You don't need to run
You don't need to speak
Baby take some time
Let those prayers roll down your cheek
It maybe tomorrow
You'll be past the sorrow
But tonight it's alright

Just cry
Just cry

It doesn't mean you don't trust him
It doesn't mean you don't believe
It doesn't mean you don't know
He's redeeming everything.

You don't need to run
You don't need to speak
Baby take some time
Let those prayers roll down your cheek
It maybe tomorrow
You'll be past the sorrow
But tonight it's alright
But tonight it's alright

Just cry

Why you gotta act so strong
Go ahead and take off your brave face


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