Guatemala City dump

I woke up feeling the cool breeze of the Guatemalan morning. It was refreshing as my heart had been wrecked beyond what I could imagine the days previous.

Walking around the Guatemala City Dump community the previous day had left me feeling overwhelmed. My mind continually thought What are you doing here? This is too much. You can not make a difference. One person can not influence this much poverty. I have nothing to offer.

So waking up refreshed after my mind had stirred all night with visions of the children I had seen living in the dump was such a welcomed feeling. And wouldn’t you know it, that peaceful feeling didn’t last long as I soon heard we would be serving at a Cerebral Palsy hospital that morning. I don’t know if you ever do this, but I had a come-apart with God! I told him I couldn’t do that.

I had nothing left in me to give as I was already broken and spent.

Arriving at the hospital my heart began to beat fast. Not with excitement, but with anxiety and fear. As I stood in the doorway of the Cerebral Palsy ward, I froze when I saw the level of needs in these severely handicapped patients. And the thoughts began again. What can I do here? How can I make a difference? I don’t want to do this!

Realizing that standing in fear was doing no one any good, I began to walk through the rows of wheelchairs in the ward. Carrying these raw emotions around, I was fighting back tears when all the sudden a young boy in a wheelchair smiled and his eyes lit up to see me. I stopped and began talking to him. His eyes danced. His smile got bigger. And the shell around my heart began to break.

I learned his name was Micky from the nurse. Micky couldn’t talk or feed himself, but his eyes told a story.

I leaned in closer gazing into his eyes and questioning why God had me there. I was already devastated from the amount of need in this country and feeling like I couldn’t make a difference.

That’s when the whisper that changed my life came.

“Alene, Micky is enough.”

It wasn’t an audible whisper, but one of those quiet words spoken into the pit of your soul where you know it was from God. And so in silent awe I answered back, “Oh God, I know. Thank you for loving each of us as we are.” And the whisper answered back.

“Alene, you’re enough.”

There was no holding back the tears that I had been stuffing. They spewed forth as I realized God didn’t need me to fix anything. He didn’t need me to have a plan to solve the poverty and heartache. No, God just needed me to be there.

Just showing up, loving God’s people, and serving others is enough. There is such freedom in realizing that you are enough.

I am enough.

You are enough.

Do I want to make a difference? Yes, I think we all do. But sometimes making a difference means we drop our agenda’s to fix the world and just love the person in front of us.

the whisper that changed my life

by Alene Snodgrass time to read: 3 min