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Out of Control…

January 15, 2016

It began in the dentist office… I went in to get the tooth issue from last August taken care of.  My sister-in-law had told her dentist about what happened during my last dental ordeal in the Philippines.  He told her to tell me to come in and he would take care of me.  I was so thankful and yet terrified.  The first visit, they x-rayed my teeth from every possible angle.  (I have never had an x-ray in the Philippines.)  He told me they were going to fix the tooth next to the one they removed, that looked like it was broken during the extraction.  And then he would take out the remainder of whatever was left from that tooth.  From the x-ray, he couldn’t tell if it was a piece of bone, or my tooth, or what, but that he could get it out, none-the-less.  He explained that he may have to cut it out, that I would be awake, but numb, and shouldn’t feel it.  He said I could take a Valium to relax me before hand if I wanted, but I told him that wouldn’t be necessary.

The closer it got to the date that all this would go down, the more nervous I got.  The kids all wanted to go with me.  I told them all they would be doing is sitting in a waiting room, but they preferred to do that rather than stay alone at their aunt’s watching T.V.  The fact that they were with me as I drove, kept me calmer than I would have been on my own.  I kept my brave face on.  But on the inside, especially when they called me back, I was really panicking.  I thought maybe I should have taken that Valium after all.  As he injected my gums with the numbing stuff, I could feel my heart pounding in my eardrums.  He and his nurse said they would let me stay there for a bit while it did its thing.  As I was lying there, I had tears streaming down both sides of my temple and into my hair.  The more I fought to keep them in, the more they came and I was so frustrated with my tears.  I have had teeth pulled before and I was fine!  I told this to myself.  I told myself how embarrassing this was going to be if they walked back in and saw me.  I hated the lack of control I had over my emotions.  Finally, I pulled myself together and tried to remove any evidence of tears.  They came back in and began to work.  My chest burned and it went all the way up into my ears…

It didn’t hurt at all, and it didn’t even seem to take them all that long to do it.  He had to cut my gums and I could feel that he got under the tooth real well in order to get it out.  It was a part of the tooth, rather than bone.  After that, he told me he wasn’t going to stitch it because that could cause more pain.  He told me some other things to avoid for 24 hours and that I was good to go.  The only thing that hurt by the time I got back to my sister-in-law’s was my head because of the unnecessary frenzy I had worked myself into.  I took a nap and when I woke up, I could feel the pain from it all.  But simple Tylenol made it better and I was fine from then on.  I wrote that dentist an extensive thank you letter to somehow try and express my gratitude… but words sometimes don’t ever say enough.

This was pretty much the first encounter I had while being here, with my emotions taking the lead and refusing to be restrained.  I am usually very good at hiding the way I feel… I am very in control of that department… usually.  But this trip is taking its toll on me.  I have spoken about our mission several times now, and this last time I cried so hard when I was speaking that my voice was cracking, my lips were quivering, and the whole room was crying with me.  I cried all over the thank you letters I’ve been writing.  And I cried all the way to church the other night!  I cried when I messaged John, when I got the passports…  Goodness me… How much tears can a body produce?

One major reason, that I didn’t mention in my previous post, (It was in the “to be continued” part) is that I am leaving my oldest two, Riley and Kendall, here, to go to high school.  And I will tell you more about that blessing in a moment.  I have tickets back now that the renewed passports of my younger two, Liam and Neely, came in.  I am leaving again for the Philippines on Monday, the 18th.  The other day John told me that Angel was sick and had a fever.  I thought, ‘O man I need to be there.’  Then I picked Riley and Kendall up from school, and when I asked how their day was.  Kendall answered in tears.  She said she felt stupid, lost… and that she even set the alarm off by going out the wrong door.  Then I thought, ‘O man I need to be here.’  Their homework has been out of this world and many nights we have stayed up just so they could get it all done, with me assisting where I could.  Kendall has been needing math tutoring and Riley has had several questions about writing and Anatomy and Physiology.  Sometimes I feel like I failed them in areas, and other times I feel like they are doing well.  It was quite an adjustment just fitting back into American society.  The whole school scene is so different from the past four years of their lives.  Even speaking and hearing so much American English has been an adjustment.

My heart is so torn in moments of vulnerability, that I can’t catch my breath.  I used to get these panic attacks when I was younger and pregnant with Neely.  They came out of nowhere.  They were irrational and hard to explain.  I would wake up feeling like I couldn’t get enough air, like I was trapped in a tight space, but I had plenty of it.  I thought maybe it was because being pregnant leaves less space for lung expansion and that I just wasn’t getting full breaths of air, but it also felt deeper than that, in a way I didn’t know how to explain.  Even after I had Neely, I would still wake up in a panic, and it didn’t always just happen when I slept either.  I hated the feeling and I think I began to fear it, so it would happen more because of that.  When my husband was saved, and I began living my life for the Lord in a way I never had before, I prayed for it to be taken away.  He did!  It never came back until just a few times in the Philippines, but I can deal with it better.  I pray!  And it goes away just as quickly as it came.  Here lately, it has come back in full force.  I can’t sleep.  I am exhausted but I fear closing my eyes, because a few times that I have, I jolt up with that feeling that I most dread.  I have to stay occupied.  I clean and organize over and over.  Wash and put away clothes.  Pack and repack… until I am so exhausted that I know I will fall into a deep sleep, and most likely stay there, until I have to wake up to take Riley and Kendall to school in the morning.

That is my way of dealing with things a lot of the time… to gain some sort of control, you know… do it on my own… which may work for a time, but never lasts in the end…  All my efforts usually come crashing down until I finally turn it over to who it belonged to in the first place.  But my husband will tell you I am stubborn… and he would be right.

As time has progressed, they have been doing much better.  I did see Kendall crying in the rearview mirror on our way to church.  She didn’t realize I could see her.  I said, “Kendall why are you crying?”  She smiled and said, “I hear tears are good for your skin.”  She is stubborn too. 🙂 Later I talked with her again about it, and she said, “It was just that it was a good day, we were listening to the music, and singing, and going to church together… and you’re about to leave…”  I cried with her at this other out of control moment, and told her how much I was going to miss that too, and that one day, it would be just like that, but with Daddy and Angel also.

Through everything, I am still confident that this was the right move, one of the reasons is that they need to be confident in this environment, just as they are there in the Philippines.  They need to be able to adjust well between the two, especially at this stage in their lives.  Riley only has the rest of this year and the next before he graduates.  And Kendall is a freshman.  The struggle is evident, yet much more doable at this stage, rather than later.

Another reason is how God answered prayer through a friend.  I had emailed the school I had wanted them to go to from the Philippines.  It is a local private school.  It cost money that I don’t have, but I knew they offered scholarships so I thought I’d try.  I got an email back, saying their scholarships were done for the year and if I wanted them to go next year, I could apply them online, for a fee of $225 dollars each.  I lost hope in that moment and began a journey in searching other routes and schools.  The local high school that they would have attended, had we never moved away, even advised against them going there.  They were concerned with them getting “eaten alive” by the other students.  So we were in contact with other districts that were smaller, but a good distance away.  It was a struggle and heavy burden until, my friend asked if she could speak to that private school, where she takes her kids, on our behalf.  I said sure.  Within two days, she had gotten a significant amount taken off for us, and had spoken with several others who wanted to help, and the remaining balance was raised.  I was floored!  I don’t even know who the other people are that helped get my children into this school!  And then  another friend of a friend wanted to bless them with their uniforms.  A few days later we were interviewing, testing, and touring the school.  This was another one of those out of control moments where I just cried… at the sight of the science lab, the gym, the computer room, library… all these things that my kiddos were going to be able to do, in a good, safe environment.  God took care of them!  I don’t know why I was so surprised…  but I am still in awe of Him and grateful for His people.

But I realize, that I do need to be out of control, so that He can be in control.  I love the fact that I am out of control… I just can’t handle this stuff!  I know that the Lord continues to do His thing, no matter how out of control I get on my end.  I am reminded that it is not about me.. It never was… And it’s not about my children… It never was… It is about something that’s not just a vapor in time, something that moths and rust cannot destroy.  Something that we should have our hearts set on.  I am so thankful for getting to see glimpses of that, when I see Jesus in people.  I cannot tell you how much I saw Him on this trip.  I love the people God has placed into our lives!  I feel like he put us in the midst of an army of angels!  And I intend to be a prayer warrior on their behalf.

I am ready to go back… I am eager to go back… and more importantly I am not in such a hurry to get back here.  Don’t get me wrong, I do eventually hope to reside in the U.S.  I love it here!  I love the people!  I love driving!  I love the food!  I love wearing my pretty clothes… putting on perfume… dusting off my cute boots and fur-hooded jacket… having clean finger nails and toenails, my lice free head…  But I also miss knowing how much more there is to life… It almost seems too easy to forget here.  As I look at pictures that John sends me… It’s not just a picture to me.  I know them.  I can tell you everyone’s name, what they are like… how they smile and laugh and cry.  I miss getting lice out of their hair!… Yep, whoever knew I could say such a thing!?  The thought brings me to what someone told me last night…  I was telling him, that even though he doesn’t have any children of his own, he is quite good with them.   He said, he thinks it’s one of those things, where if God calls you to something, He equips you…  I was freaked out by lice at first!!  I got so skinny because the food was hard for me to adjust to, and therefore I often just didn’t eat.  But now… we bond through things such as getting lice.  I have eaten dog, stir-fried pig intestines, pig brains, fish soup, chicken soup with the head and feet in it…  all because I want to minister with the people God has sent us to minister to.  When I think back on the ‘me’ before… that ‘me’ would tell you she could never, and therefore would never do this!  God equipped me with an iron stomach… There are other giftings I might have chosen for myself, but God knew what I needed.  My friend, who makes beautiful cookies to make side money, along with being a homeschooling mom, says that people tell her all the time how gifted she is at that.  She says it seems like such a funny gift, and that she would have chosen something else, something that she might weigh as more valuable.  I, however, think the ability to bring joy at the sight and taste of a cookie, ranks higher on my list than having an iron stomach… Just sayin’ 🙂

So I will will leave again in just a few days… out of control… and thanking God!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2016 9:24 pm

    Hello Wilson Six: Thanks for the info on your trip to the U.S. , we just returned from El Salvador, Good to be home…..BUT Home is where the heart is, and I know you will be Happy to return to John and Angel, but also to the field of ministry God has placed you.
    You are always in our prayers and love hearing of Gods un-ending Love and Blessing in your life and family. You are special to us….Don and Beverly Davis

  2. January 31, 2016 3:51 am

    I read them all even if I don’t comment. Your faithfulness and courage in doing what God has given you all amazes me. Your riches are emence en heaven.

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