Thursday, December 7, 2017

A really good God story with a hefty bit of TMI

I'll warn you now- this post may be a bit TMI for you. I am so in awe of how good God is and that's what this story is primarily about. But it's also about lady bits. So, read on at your own risk.

My TMI story happened yesterday. It was a normal day. I'd started my period a couple days before (see, told you. It's a story about lady bits) it was totally normal. And just like every other morning, I got ready to run after dropping Isaiah off at school.

The run was great. I'd had a lot on my mind and after 30 minutes of easy jogging, felt a big mental relief. "Wow, I'm so sweaty!" I thought as I finished up, but I wasn't sure why. It was hot, but not overly hot.

By the time I got home I felt even sweatier and after trying to cool off a bit decided to have a shower. Undressing in the bathroom I realized it wasn't sweat, it was blood. In the shower there was a whooshing feeling and I thought a tap must have turned on in my body. The bleeding didn't stop and it didn't slow. I was scared.

I sent my doctor friend a message letting her know what was happening and that, "I'm not sure if it's ok or not." She called me back an hour later she said, "It's not ok. You should have called me. I'm coming now."

Waiting at home, I felt alone and very scared. Ben was out flying and we have a deal - I will not contact him when he is flying. A worried and distracted pilot is a dangerous pilot. Any news can wait until he has arrived back in Wamena.

I started google earth to track his flight and saw the helicopter on the ground in Senggi. He was nowhere near Wamena. Would he make it home today or have to overnight in a village? I sat down and sobbed. I felt so weak and tired. What if the bleeding didn't stop? How could I take care of Isaiah? How could I take care of myself?

15 minutes later my friend was at my home with medicine to stop the bleeding and an ultrasound machine to make sure nothing more serious was going on. "Take two of these." she said handing me the pills and a cup of water. She did an ultra sound check, detecting nothing out of the ordinary. "Sometimes this just happens." she explained. And seeing how tired and emotional I was followed up with, "I don't want to leave you just yet. Let's have a cup of tea."

The medicine began to take effect and I slowly started to feel a little better. By the bottom of my cup of tea, I'd even managed to laugh a bit.

Having a medical emergency here is one of my greatest fears. Yesterday it happened. And you know what? God knew. My friend had only received the medicine I would need the day before. Yes: ONE DAY BEFORE.

The medicine was there and ready just at exactly the right time.

And my doctor friend could come right away to help.

And she didn't leave me, but stayed to make sure I would be ok.

And another friend picked Isaiah up from school and looked after him until dinner time.

And Ben made it back.

I can't tell you what this does to my heart. It's humbling and encouraging and overwhelming to think about. I was scared, but I was also cared for.

I am ok. Absolutely ok. And absolutely in awe of God's provision and tenderness towards me. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

No Safe Places

About this time last year, we fired one of our guards. The relationship quickly deteriorated and after weeks of threats to our family, we ended up paying him a large sum of money on the condition he sign a letter stating he would stop harassing us and the others who work for us. It was all a big mess, extremely hurtful, and a hugely stressful.

Coming back from furlough, I hoped I wouldn’t see him. Maybe he would think we’d left for good and would stop coming by our house? Maybe we could live peacefully this next term? But Wamena is a small town. I was sure at some point word would get out that we were back, or perhaps I’d run into him in town somewhere. I prepared for both scenarios.

Here in Wamena I don’t feel safe a lot of the time. It’s not that we’re under some kind of immediate threat, it’s just that over last term we had so many things happen that I tend to stay constantly on alert. I never know when something bad will happen again.

But there is one place in town were we could go and always feel safe. Nothing bad seemed to ever happen there. I enjoyed the reprieve and could let down my guard. 
One morning last week I went to visit my safe place. As I came around the corner on my bike, there was our old guard! My heart beat wildly – what was he doing here? How could this happen? This is my safe place!!!

Earlier that morning I’d read and highlighted a section in my Experiencing God devotional book, “Your opponent’s hostility is your invitation to become involved in God’s redemptive work to free him or her from spiritual bondage. Be alert to the spiritual warfare around you. It is real and potentially destructive to you and those you care about. Knowing your real foe will protect you from bitterness and unforgiveness. Your hope lies in the reality that “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4.4) Do not place your hope in humanity, but steadfastly trust in the One who has already defeated your enemy.” 

While the panic rose in my chest, the morning’s devotional came flooding back. He is not the real enemy. Fight the real enemy.

I came home and cried. This is so hard, Lord! It’s not fair that he’s in my one safe place! I have no more safe places! This is so hard and so unfair!

Honestly, it sucks. The whole entire things sucks a lot. I’ve seen him again several times and while our exchanges have been cordial, I wonder just how long it will take him to turn on us. 

Sometimes it is so very difficult to see the real enemy. 

This morning I read in 2 Corinthians 2 were Paul urges the believers to forgive someone who deeply hurt them. He urges the believers to forgive “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant to his designs.”

So I fight to forgive. It’s not easy. I’d rather bury the past and all the hurt. I’d rather not risk seeing someone who could hurt us again. I’d rather have my safe place back.

But then God’s like, “This was never your safe place anyway. It’s always been me.”

Friday, October 27, 2017

Back in Wamena: Live the Life

Last term, one of my main struggles was comparison. It is so tempting to look around at all the other women here and think, “They do this life better than me!” And once you start on that downward spiral, defeat, discouragement, and depression are not far behind.  Comparing yourself to everyone around you makes this life though.

When we left the field 7 months ago, I was hurting too deeply to even begin sorting through these wrong feelings and searching for truth. Thank God for furlough! It’s amazing what debriefing, rest, and a determination to sort through lies and replace them with the truth will do for you.

This morning, on day 3 back in Wamena, I opened my bible and read in 1 Cor 7:17, “Only let each person lead the life the Lord has assigned to him, to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.”

There it was, right at the beginning of this next term on the field, the reminder to simply live the life I have.

What does this life look like?

It looks like compassionate parenting.

It looks like a healthy marriage.

It looks like writing.

It looks like loving my neighbors.

It looks like wrapping my heart’s deepest affections around Jesus.

That’s a life I love. That’s a life I can live with joy.