An Email Exchange Between My Sister and Me

This is an email exchange (yes I received permission to post this now not private conversation) between my sister and me. I believe her words will offer many of us, who are going through way too much today, tomorrow or yesterday, the strength to let go of the strand we are holding on to and grasp on the never ending net God provides us.

From me to my sister: Thanks for the prayers we are waiting to understand this. I so want to board a plane and go home. Trav is putting his foot down to even discussing that option. I know it is stupid to want to go and I do not have the big head thinking we will go in and calm down those around us but it is so difficult to do nothing and to have our staff there that may be hungry or fearful and to have our dogs there (which is selfish).

My sister’s response: It has to be hard to feel like you’ve left your Liberian family and friends during a horrible time. Which probably makes it harder to enjoy your time here with relatively few concerns, peaceful nights, plenty of…. everything. AND I know how easy it is to convince yourself that you could fix this, make it easier, have a plan, watch over everyone if you were there…. I think sometimes THAT’S really where the devil lurks. Not in the Ebola reality or the chaos caused by that reality, but in that moment where we convince ourselves that we are the pivotal piece in the plan that it won’t work without us. That maybe our plan is better. This crisis in Liberia will pass. And another will emerge. Such is life everywhere and you know how magnified that truth is when life is a day-to-day, hour-to-hour existence. You and Travis will return when it is safe to return and God is ready for your return. Your community will emerge and grow stronger in part because of the confidence you will give them by returning and plowing onward, in rebuilding what has been lost. If you return too soon and contract this disease or become embroiled in something else, you will not only be a burden upon an already overwhelmed community, you will leave them with no one to come back, no one to lead the move forward. You have to trust that you are exactly where God intends you to be at this moment. As to feeling selfish about concern for your dogs. I think your dogs opened your heart in ways it had never been opened. It is not selfish to be concerned for them or to wish you were the one making the decisions impacting their well being in the midst of a daily crisis. It’s responsible and it’s love. You love. That’s not a bad thing. You have been given the gift of being able to go back restored, refreshed and full of confident faith when this subsides. You will return strong to lead the recovery as others are leaving worn from the fight. Liberia needs both teams.

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