“You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence…” Psalm 16:11

The hardest thing (part 3)

Leaving the mission field was harder than going to the field, as I described in the previous 2 posts (part 1 and part 2).

I won’t go into all the details of the next few months, but we really had no idea how much of an impact moving back to my hometown would have on our family.

After moving back and buying a house, John was still pretty sick.  He basically had 2 options:  to live on the high dosage of meds he was on or switch to an infusion-based treatment.  Neither sounded great.  During one visit, which was a Tuesday, the doctor told John that he may be a surgical candidate.  We had no idea there was a surgical option.  We saw the surgeon 3 days later on Friday.  The surgeon then told John that he would have surgery the following Tuesday, just 4 days later.   Wow!  Talk about a shocker.  They removed John’s entire large intestine and did a J-pouch surgery.  He had an ileostomy for 2 months while that healed.   All this within a week of learning that a surgical option even existed.  Two months later, after the J-pouch healed, he had a second surgery to reverse the ileostomy.

Here’s where it gets interesting…………

We had lived away from our families for most of our married life (Texas, Mississippi, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Mexico).  We were finally back and near them.  Our girls had never lived near them except for during our stateside assignment.  The boys moved away from them when they were only 2, 3, and 6.  We were really happy to be near them again.

The week John had his first surgery, my mom came to take care of the kids while I was at the hospital.  She was feeling really sick that week but didn’t tell us because she knew how concerned we were about John.   It turns out that a couple of weeks later she was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.   We didn’t see that one coming!

Life got very interesting with both Mom and John sick.

We had no idea why in the world we had to leave the mission field.  That was our heart.  Our passion.  We wanted to serve in that capacity forever.  We knew without a doubt we were called to be missionaries.

Now we were seeing it in a different light.  Even though John was extremely ill and it was hard,  it was also a blessing from God.  We realized that we probably never would have been able to come back and spend any time with Mom and be here to help my dad if John hadn’t been sick.

It truly was a blessing to be home during this time.  Don’t get me wrong, it was hard for John and I wish he never would have had to go through that, but I’m also thankful that God used that experience to give my family some time with my mom.  She only lived 22 months, but we were here for it and our kids got to spend some time with her.  It does make me a little sad though that we never got to spend much time with her all those years we lived in other places.  Then, when we finally came back, she was very sick.  It was never the same.

To be continued one last time …….        (part 4)

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