I’m just going to lead with these words: This is extra special to me.

Chapter 6 of Even If Not holds stories from the country that stole my heart and gave me so much in return. Here & There is about wrestling with my very American life, sorting through what I saw and witnessed and learned in Haiti, and trusting that God is good both here and there. One day my “here” might be Haiti instead of Birmingham… one day your “here” may be what you currently consider a “there.” But for now, this is what I know: I am responsible for what I’ve seen and lived, and I can only pray that I do the stories and the heart of Haiti justice through this chapter.

Random fun fact: Every chapter of Even If Not has a free print with a quote from the chapter — the prints are in the book and also available to all blog subscribers. You already know this. But you may not know that I prayed over which artist to match with each chapter… and that this is the one chapter I held onto, unsure of who to give these words.

We are called to shine like the stars against the dark of night.

It’s a little bit of a long story, but the short version is that a friend of mine was raising support for a mission trip by doing custom lettering. After we talked about the print for here & there, I remembered that she was in Haiti the exact week I was there for the first time.

She gets it. She has seen and she knows and now we’re both doing our thing, leaning into the gifts God has given, to give back and point to Him.

You can visit her Etsy shop here… And while you’re at it, take a minute to stop by another favorite shop of mine. Ryland and MG are both incredibly talented and I’m encouraged by how they worship through their art. {Ryland designed the print above.}


Every Tuesday — for a few more weeks — I’m sharing a free printable, short video, and exclusive excerpt from my newly released book, Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between. We’re almost done, just a few more chapters to walk through together, but you can always catch up on all the posts here. If you want to grab a copy of the book and read along with these posts, it’s available over on Amazon.

Even If Not // chapter six: here & there

I am there. Everywhere you turn there is another lesson to be learned, another story to listen to, a child to push on a rusted swing set and a set of hands outstretched, waiting silent and patient for a bowl of rice and beans.

Streets as we know them in America do not exist. Everyone is going and moving in all directions, animals crossing the road at any given time, noises blaring and smells wafting and all of it, all at one time, everywhere. Bright colors stand in stark contrast to the mud brown houses and pathways and skin and eyes. They walk with dignity like you’ve never seen and when they smile, something lights up inside of you at the mere sight. There is unimaginable beauty and undeniable poverty no matter where your eyes land, but in the despair and the dirt there is more hope and joy than humanly possible.

This is Haiti, the land of the forever hallelujah, the place where joy and sorrow meet and mingle until you can’t see one without the other. There is darkness darker than you’ve ever seen. There is light brighter than you’ve ever imagined.

In so many ways, Haiti is my ampersand, my in between. When I am here, in a place with clean, running water and a Starbucks on every other corner, a part of me wants to be there. When I am there, first-world worries fade away and my biggest concern becomes how I can best encourage the broken sets of eyes that belong to the little hands that slip into mine, and yet when I’m gut-level honest I long for air conditioning and iced coffee and maybe I also miss Instagram.

As soon as I breathed the Haitian air on a Friday afternoon in 2014, I became a walking ampersand, the real life version of these words: You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.

Haiti is my ampersand, the culmination of so many of my “even it not’s” and the place that asks me to lay them at His feet. Sure, He could choose to save the day in the way I imagine it in my head. But the truth is that He’ll be just as good if He instead asks me to daily say, “Yes, Lord, I’ll love You even if not.”

Video & Free Print

God's love story spans the globe. (free printable)

“God’s love story spans the globe.”

This print is available for exactly zero cents. Just subscribe to the blog {click here or on the image below} to receive the print above + eight others!

9 free prints from the book Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between