to my long-lost love

liberia, i have been missing you oh-so-fiercely as of late, missing you so deeply and true that i feel it in my bones, in the way they ache for you. i miss the heaviness of your air, the way it sits on my shoulders and seeps in through my pores. i miss the glare of your noonday sun and the blue of your sky; i miss the lush green of your tall grass, the red of your dusty earth. i miss the sound of waves crashing on sandy shores, of dance music crackling over old, busted-out speakers, of the loud, frequent greetings heard from the road. i miss the feel of your children nestled in my lap as i stroke their heads and run my fingers through their hair. i miss the way you taught me to seek the gift in every moment and showed me how to find Jesus in even the hard places of life, in all the things that don’t make sense, like poverty and war and death.

see, now that i’ve been away from you for some time, i’m able to look back and remember all the good you gave me. five months ago, all i knew about you was that you hurt me; you stretched me, hard, and drained away my strength, my joy. when i left you, i was bitter and confused, heart tender and torn, very much as broken as i was when i came to you all those years ago, just in a different way.

but i’m healing now, and i see that i’ve blamed you for so much that wasn’t your fault. and i’d like to apologize to you and make peace with all the grief and trauma you gave me. it hurt like hell, but i’ve learned and grown from it. and when i think about you these days, i want to dwell on the good, the beautiful, the blessings.

though there are many gifts in the place i find myself now, nothing can compare to you, my sweet liberia. and i don’t think anything is supposed to be able to. i think i was always meant to have a piece of this stretched-wide, bleeding heart that was reserved just for you. no matter what i’m doing or where i find myself in this world, i carry you with me always. and i know also that i’ve left behind so many pieces of myself, in both my tears that have soaked your earth and in all the love i have poured into your people.

i know also that our story isn’t over. because when i walked away from you, from your children that i welcomed into my arms and my heart as my own, i vowed to never forget. i promised i would speak up for those without a voice and fight for those who cannot do it on their own. though i am fearful because i don’t ever want to be emptied like that again, i know it’s my call to be love, to spend myself on behalf of those who are needy.

this morning, as i pray for you, for i, for our future, i carry this verse in my inner-most parts, in the deep well of my soul:
the…heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. (proverbs 21.1)

liberia, He has turned my heart ever-towards you. and one day, i know–He’ll turn my feet back also. 

until we meet again…Image

6 thoughts on “to my long-lost love

    • eek! that is EXCITING! i will be joining you in prayer that God opens every door. keep me posted!

      (i’m hoping to get back next summer; one of the kids i sponsor will be graduating from high school, and i’d love to be able to celebrate with her.)

  1. This is great. Thanks for taking the time to write. God blees you. Melodie, hope all goes well. You all are in my prayers.

  2. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 KJV

    And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord ; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

    I pray that God blesses Liberia so much that other counties will stand in awe of the wonderous works of restoration and prosperity. I truely believe that Liberia’s greatest days are ahead.

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