Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"Are you overwhelmed?"

That's what someone asked me tonight. Normally if I were to be asked that question, I would say "no", but tonight I said, "Yes. Yes I am overwhelmed." I will not deny it.

The past several days have been very productive...speaking to a new contact in Guatemala, getting the best information yet from the person that is going above and beyond what he is being hired to do for us, having more people call and email asking what they can do to help. I will never forget this feeling of amazement that fills my days now. But I will also not forget these waves of fear that are hitting me so hard.

I'm getting very real here. I'm terrified. There are moments that I think I can't handle this and times when I wonder how I ever got myself into this. How can I, as one person, handle all of this research just to get an idea of where to start first? How can I handle making sure that I do not knowingly put our teams into danger? How do I keep my child and our children safe? How do I think I will be able to decide which area to move in to first when every area we visit is going to be begging us to stay? How can I handle all of this stress in getting this started, planning fundraisers, trying to get teams together, trying to help people survive. How can I emotionally handle walking into an orphanage and not collapsing on the floor in tears while looking at my son who could very easily have been living the same life as the rest of the children in the room? How can I handle helping people have a better life or maybe just to simply survive?

At night, now more than ever, I hear the cries of some of the children I met in Antigua..their cries to help them and I hear myself say the promise I made to one over and over again..."I promise I will come back to help Guatemala." I am woken up by the cries of mothers that have watched their children die due to malnutrition or some other issue that is preventable or treatable. I see the sick walking around on the street, just waiting to take their last breath. I hear children begging me for just one bite of food. In my dreams, I find myself in orphanages, standing over cribs, looking at children that will never know what it is like to be part of a family...to have moms and dads that adore them...and I ask myself constantly how I will ever be able to make them understand that even without families, they are loved.

Yes, I am overwhelmed and yes, the fear is sometimes paralyzing. But fear will not stop me from spending the rest of my life doing what I know I was born to do. I will handle this because I have been given the capability to do so. Every day, I find myself surrendering for the same reasons I did the day before..."Help me. Tell me where to go. Tell me what to do. Take away the fear. Take it all. I cannot handle this alone. I am not alone. This is your work, not mine. Whatever you ask, I will do. Wherever you lead, I will follow." It all sounds so similar to the prayer I prayed on that beautiful day in Antigua last year...the day I realized that I had been so selfish, so foolish, so blind.

We've accomplished so much in such a short period of time. Our board is nearly completely filled and will be complete by the end of December. Our first fundraiser is coming along, even though it won't be sold until February. Our 1st annual golf tournament is in the beginning stages, but I have no doubt that it will be a success. I now have a list of places and orphanages that we will visit on our first trip and will likely have a much better idea about exactly where we will be working before we leave than I thought we would. Our trip has been scheduled for June 19-
26th and an AWESOME family, that includes another Guatemama and one of our board members is traveling with us (and possibly even another Guatemama that is also on the board). We have a good idea of where we will be staying since Casa Bella is no longer an option due to our travel dates. I'm working on a way to help the area and orphanage we decide on while we are there because we can't just go and leave them with only our promise to return. I'm slowly beginning to figure out all of the paperwork that is involved in getting this started and will start working on it soon after the holidays. We will be officially launching in January. Overwhelming? Yes, but so, so rewarding. I've never been so happy to be overwhelmed in my life. And I've never had so many people step up and ask to be overwhelmed with me.

I still haven't said exactly what it is we will be doing or announced our name. I promise, right after Christmas, closer to the official start of all of this, I will share every detail.

For now, I want to say thank you again to everyone that has been so supportive.

And to the person that I know is defintely traveling with us....Thank you so much for your support, for you willingness to do whatever needs to be done to help, for your involvement and for agreeing to be my very far away board member :), for helping with travel arrangements, for being an instrumental part of all of this and just for loving Guatemala so much that it hurts. I will never be able to thank you enough for your offer to travel with us which has turned into something much bigger than I ever expected. I'm so glad to have you and your family on this journey with me.


Chris and Lindsey Wheeler said...

SOUNDS EXCITING!! I can't wait to hear more.

Bobbi said...

I like people who don't try to put up a front. I like honesty. This is not/or really ever will be easy, but it is a journey that will leave you feeling so wonderful. Stay strong.....I'll help you!!

nikki said...

Such an exciting and wonderful journey you are taking. The need in Guatemala is so great. I'd love to help in any way I can