by - July 11, 2011

After over 24 hours of travelling, I am home. I sit in the hospital as I type this. This is where I've sat since about 30 minutes after landing Saturday afternoon. A friend I've known since the 7th grade picked me up from the airport and brought me to the hospital. My Dad is currently on the phone with one of his best friends since Elementary school. I love old friends.

Flashbacks of this past week keep running through my mind. Did this really just happen? As I come out of the fog I find evidence that this wasn't and isn't a dream...

Evidence of Ethiopia:

- My watch is 8 hours ahead of all the clocks I see around me. I'm not ready to conform yet. I like considering where all of those precious-in-His-sight kids are in their daily schedule. I like wondering if today's rain is falling in Addis Ababa. I like remembering the taste of the coffee, the voices of friends, and the sights as we walked the streets of Addis Ababa. Keeping my watch to that time takes me back there.

At Kaldi's.
Daily Schedule at Orphanage
Beautiful gate we passed on a walk.

- There is a flower in my bible being pressed, waiting to become a laminated bookmark I will have forever.

- I had packed clothes for temperatures in the 60's to low 70's and its 109 degrees outside. I'm a little overdressed, but it is cold in hospitals.

- People keep welcoming me back home. (I know I wasn't here, but I never felt not at home.)

Evidence of Cancer:

- My dad is lying in a hospital bed. His comfort is growing. His pain is lessening, but he continues to hurt. Our resolve is strengthening as we wait on the Lord.

- With biopsy results in as of this morning, the evidence confirms multiple myeloma.

- I have been racing to hospital elevators to get to push the buttons. If cancer wasn't here, I wouldn't be in a hospital, and I wouldn't be racing. I like to think that I would be more mature than to push my 10 yr old nephew out of the way so I could be the button pusher. I'm not. I guess I get it from mom as she surprised me with a sneaky elevator-button-pushing win this morning as we came in. She won't surprise me again.

- It's Monday, and I'm not at work. I love my job, and love the people I work with. They made special arrangements allowing me to go to Ethiopia, and they made special arrangements allowing me today and tomorrow off to be here in Oklahoma. I'm so thankful to work with this ministry. I wish the address was somewhere on Broadway Extension, but as with everything else, I trust the Lord and where he has me. I pray he gives me the strength and grace to get back into my work there and allow Him to be Him, and me to be only me.

- Mercy hospital has low low prices on their cafeteria menu. I never wanted to know about the menu offerings at Mercy hospital. This useless knowledge is evidence that something has gone wrong. However, the sweet potato fries are pretty good.

Evidence of God's grace:

- My dad's smile and humor. My mom's grace and peace. Dad is back to sass mouthing mom. That's a good sign. But then, when he asked her for a cookie, she said "Where would you like it, Precious?" They are cute. After 43 years of marriage they have each other's number.

- Prayers from friends and family.

- Jesus. Jesus. Jesus who took the sting out of death, who's perfect love casts out fear, and who intercedes on our behalf. Where would I be right now, if my hope were in anything other than Him? "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:15-16

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  1. That is a beautiful gate...but I don't remember seeing it!!

  2. Haley, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts about the trip. What a blessing you are to Ryan and Jess... and anyone fortunate enough to know you. I will be checking for updates on your dad. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers... You kinda have to be bc I still get your tweets via text ;-)