My husband and I will celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary on Wednesday.

On Friday, I’ll remove my diamond rings.

Not to worry, though. It’s only temporary.

I’ve had my flu shot, popped my first malaria pills, and packed last year’s Cipro just in case.

I’m making a list and checking it twice, three times, four.

Because on Friday morning, I’ll board a plane for Nashville to meet up with a team from Long Hollow Baptist Church.

And on Saturday, I’m going back to Jeremie, Haiti.

I’ll be away from home for ten days.

Here’s the thing.

A big part of me does not want to go.

In fact, a part of me has been hoping for, though not praying for, a roadblock.

I have been praying for all planes to stay aloft and land correctly, for no earthquakes, and not to go blind like the young girl my sister told me about who had issues with her contact lenses in the Dominican Republic.

I could wear my glasses all week, I suppose, but I can’t really see out of them, and they give me headaches. So I’ll wash my hands well, rub them with sanitizer, flood them with bottled water–and hope I don’t get dust in my eyes, or that a contact doesn’t pop out of position at the orphanage.

And though I know what to expect, I don’t know what to expect.

Some would say my anxiety is a good thing, that it means I’m out of control, have no control, that God’s got it all under control.

And so far, He hasn’t intervened to keep me at home.

For the first part of last year’s trip, I wanted to come home.

For the last part of last year’s trip, I didn’t want to come home.

Shortly after last year’s trip, I signed up to go back.

But now I’m not sure I want to go back.

I don’t want to leave my pups or my family for ten whole days.

I’ve become complacent and comfortable.

I’ve forgotten the mattresses that brought me to tears.

I’ve forgotten the frisbee supper bowls.

And how the children found their own way back to their houses in the dark after the movie.

I’ve forgotten that girls wanted the elastic bands from my hair, how Sophonie wanted to get on the plane and come home with me.

The home I thought I’d never again grumble about.

The home I grumble about.

What I want to do is to put up the Christmas tree and sip hot cider and sit under its lights and listen to O Little Town of Bethlehem.

I want to finish start shopping.

I want to wait for His coming in my own pew.

But since I was out of town for Thanksgiving, I’ll end up missing the first three Advent Sundays.

While others have been posting photos of their trees and holiday decorations, I’ve been posting photos on Facebook in a Haiti countdown of sorts.

Photos that help me remember.

Photos that remind me why I’m going back.

Photos that remind me why God has not closed the door.

Photos that remind me of how I found holy ground in Haitian grit.

But how am I going to get everything done in time to leave?

How am I going to get everything done for Christmas?

“Sometimes,” said Marlon Hall last weekend at Laity Lodge, “we let the how get in the way of the why.” We let the wrong interogative control us, he tells us.

So perhaps it’s in the going that I “incarnate” my why.

The Word became flesh, Mark Roberts reminded us at that High Calling retreat, and pitched His tent within us. He incarnates us so we can live out our why, so we can live out His why for us.”This,” Mark says, “is the theology of Christmas.”

So on Wednesday, I’ll celebrate my anniversary with my earthly husband.

And on Friday, I’ll remove my diamond rings and replace them with a simple band, a reminder of my union with my heavenly husband.

And I will carry Christmas within me.

What’s making you a bit anxious today? What how is in the way of your why?














carrying christmas

by Sandra Heska King time to read: 4 min