There will be hard moments, but I need to hold myself together

Before this trip, I had already traveled to the Dominican Republic three times. I’ve traveled to Guatemala multiple times. I’ve been to the countryside in Thailand. I’ve seen poverty and heartache.

So when Compassion asked me to come to the Dominican Republic, I said yes. I wanted to understand the people more deeply. I wanted my heart to fall deeper in love with the DR.

But I didn’t want to get too attached. I didn’t want to get too emotional. I didn’t want to be too broken.

As I packed my suitcase for the trip, I was determined to be strong.

“I already know what I’m going to see”, I told myself. “There will be hard moments, but I need to hold myself together.”

These trips can be overwhelming and heart-wrenching and exhausting. “But I’m fine”, I assured myself. I’m not going to let my emotions get the best of me.

And then we went to visit Elsa, who is a grandmother to Jazmin, and her two grandsons. Jazmin was born with a disability. She can’t walk or talk. She can’t chew food. When she was born, her mother didn’t want her. She is completely dependent on her grandmother to care for her and meet her every need. When I saw her curled up in the corner of the couch, I longed to hold her in my arms. With her grandmother’s permission, I scooped her up and I melted into a puddle of tears.

And I wasn’t fine.

All I could think about was my sweet David and how very loved and precious he is to me. What if we lived here on this mountainside? What if there were days I had no food to give him? What if I couldn’t afford medicine when he was sick?

Jazmin, you are worth three plane rides, a bus ride and a climb up steep stairs.

You are worth crying hot tears and being a complete mess.

You are worth cuddling and kissing and loving.

You are worth having my heart shattered into a million pieces.

You are worth every diamond, every pearl.

Each and every child is worth it. You are worth it. I am worth it.

Because of Jesus, each of us is worthy.

Tell a child she is worthy today. Open your heart and let yourself be part of something truly amazing. Click here to sponsor a child through Compassion.


  1. This post published the day I arrived back in the states from my first trip to Haiti. We were there serving with our sister church. Your post moved me to even more tears than were already flowing. Leaving Haiti was so very hard. As I lay here in bed tonight I can’t sleep. Half of my heart is thousands of miles away. The connections that we made there were amazing! I know that it’s good that God has moved my heart so for my friends and others in Haiti. But I am honestly having a hard time with adjusting back and being ok. How do you balance half of your heart here with your family and community and the other half thousands of miles away with another church family. My heart longs to take my family and be in community with them.
    Thank you for this post. It was so beautiful and needed!

    1. I totally know what you mean. It’s so hard to have your heart in two places. I remind myself that God is at work, even when I’m not physically present. And He loves those we care for, even more than we do1 Sending you a hug. xx

  2. This is so beautiful and heart breaking at the same time. Thank you for sharing. Good to hear the local church and her Grandmother is so loving!

  3. Lisa—- Thank you for sharing Jazmin with all of us. I can’t imagine the lliving conditions you experienced there. Please tell me what it was like to have to put this little girl down and walk away from her and her grandmother. I’m sure it was among the toughest moments of your life. What happens to them after you leave? Glenn

    1. Glenn, her grandmother was so loving. I was pleased to hear the local pastor is following up with the family and working to get a wheelchair for Jazmin. She won’t be overlooked or forgotten.

      1. Thank you Lisa for getting back to me. I sponsor 2 little girls— one in Peru and one in India. It’s tough just knowing the life they live at home but you actually (diliberately) place yourself in their homes. I wish I had that very special ability you have. I’m quite sure you fight back a lot of tears, I’ll be praying regularly for you and the rest of your team. I will also pray that God protects you in all your situations. God bless you. Glenn

  4. I am so touched by your post today Lisa. I am glad the Lord led me this way. We have been sponsoring a little girl from Togo, Africa for a few years now through Compassion. I get emotional, yet hopeful, when she writes us because she always signs, See Ya Soon.

  5. What a precious, personal connection. What a beautiful story of love and sacrifice and worth. Thank you for sharing it with us, Lisa. May you be strengthened by the love of God today.

  6. oh sweet lisa
    i love your heart & i love that you show us your tender and your strong as you mother your boys as well as when you advocate for little ones like jazmin. praying she feel HIS arms around her and a thousand angels guarding her ….sweet jesus…

  7. This was worth it. Clicking over and reading here and reminding my children how loved they are an why we love in return… love each other and love the least of these. All so very worth it!

  8. Thank you for sharing your tears, Lisa… I think anyone who reads this will be crying too – I know I am. Blessings on your trip, and on your beautiful heart.

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