Personal Update

When it rains…

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Rain on the window during Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan, 2009

…it pours.

Charles and I have had a pretty rough transition back to the States. On top of some major costs up front for renovations for my mother-in-law’s apartment so we could live in the house, hurricane expenses for trees that had to come down, and the general cost of setting up a new home/life after leaving most of what we owned in Taiwan, we continue to have unexpected and unwanted surprises. I guess that sentence makes it sound like our transition has been difficult just because of finances, but it’s more that we feel like we keep getting hit while we’re already down, while we’re dealing with reverse culture shock, homesickness for Taiwan, and stress as we acclimate to a completely new day-to-day reality.

Last week, our central heating/air stopped working. Temperatures were pretty mild, so we were able to do without heat and use fans on warmer days. This week though, the temps dropped and the house is at about 55 degrees. We wanted to take the chill out of the air, so we brought in some space heaters from the shed. Tonight, as we plugged them in to separate receptacles in separate rooms, something got fried in the wires and tripped a breaker. We now have no working outlets in our bedroom and several out in the guest bedroom. Charles has a pretty good knowledge of electrical work (thanks to his dad) and has an idea of what will need to be done. It will be a moderately difficult task of rewiring, and we think we can handle it…but you know how these home projects are often much more involved than we initially expect. We’ll see.

Also today I found out that the sinus infection that I’ve been fighting for about ten months cannot be eradicated by antibiotics (I just finished six weeks straight), so now I need to have a CT scan and potentially a procedure or even surgery depending on what the scan shows. We have medical insurance, but it is not very good–high co-pays and deductible–so on top of being emotionally stressful, this is going to cost a lot.

We are discouraged. As we prayed together tonight, we asked the Lord to encourage us. We praised him. Well, we asked him to help us praise him. Honestly, it was much harder for me to praise him in the storm than it is to sing about it. We then also thought of our friends in Taiwan who just lost their baby boy who lived only 11 days. In the midst of bringing our own requests before the Lord, we prayed for them and lifted them before the Lord as they grieve. We asked God to help us keep everything in perspective. We recognize that our situation is NOT as bad as it could be–we are thankful for a roof over our heads and relative health. And we are oh, so thankful for Jesus. But we also acknowledged that God hears our prayers no matter how small they are in comparison with another person’s. And we know that God cares that we feel overwhelmed right now.

None of this has been helpful for my depression and anxiety either. I have just passed the three-year mark of when things got really bad. We thought we’d be out of this season by now. We thought maybe we’d be on the way to starting a family instead of still trying to wean me off of meds and get me back to normal life. As my mom always reminds me, “this too shall pass.” But the waiting is so hard, and we’re beginning to wonder when this shall pass.

Please pray for and with us as we grapple with life in this difficult time. We are praying that God will meet every need–emotional, spiritual, physical, and financial. Thank you in advance for your prayers. 

*I started to share this directly on social media, but then I wrote so much that I figured I should just copy and paste to my blog and link to it here. I did not spend nearly as much time writing this as I usually do for blog posts, so it seems inadequate and unfinished to me. But God knows. And I bet you do too if you’ve ever gone through a rough patch, and I know you have. Thanks for looking past my words and seeing my heart.*

3 thoughts on “When it rains…

  1. Praying for you. Thank you for being so honest with your struggles. I have no words of advice to help with the struggles but I do know how to pray.

  2. Continuing to pray for you guys. I know we can identify with you in feeling hammered with life’s inconveniences. The struggle is real, but you’re not alone. You are loved. Lifting you up today to the One who carries our burdens with us.

  3. Thinking of you, Christel! Lately I’ve been thinking of the subject, “when you do everything right only to have everything go wrong…” the principles of faith and perseverance. There so many examples of this from Urriah, Joseph, Job…etc, etc. I’m feeling for you and just wanted you to know that even though it’s dark and hard, His beauty, grace and presence are still with you. Yeah, nothing you don’t know already, words are always easier to write/sing? than to actually live out and resonate deeply, but I know He’s holding Charles and you through this time. Cultural adjustment is never fun, neither is dealing with “little” inconveniences that prove to be more troublesome than expected. 我只能说,加油,不要放弃!

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