Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

I feel like I have been a bit of a broken record on here lately always talking about Izzy’s surgery but this is my little place in the world to record what God is doing in our lives and how He is using situations to teach me more from His Word.  These blog posts really serve as stones of remembrance for us (and one day for Izzy and Judah too). I hope that as I share maybe you will be encouraged too.

So here is the latest: 🙂

After our appointment with the surgeon last week at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles I came home with some turmoil going on in my heart (and my stomach). I had really been hoping and praying that the date would be moved up so Izzy would have more recovery time before we need to return  to the Philippines on September 21st. But, the surgeon didn’t change the date and it is still scheduled for August 26th. However, at this stage in life I am learning to thank the Lord for not answering my prayers the way I had hoped. Why? Because I know with all my heart that He has our good in mind even when things are not answered the way we may expect or wish, and God can still change the date of surgery if He wants to.

Since our trip down to the hospital my mind has been mulling over the words love and trust, especially in the midst of painful situations. A lesson I am seeing anew (and more practically) through the eyes of my little girl.

Back in May when we were in Manila, we were taking Izzy to the hospital to get a lot of tests done all in one day. I remember walking through the underground parking structure with her and Danny. Izzy was holding both our hands while skipping and jumping her way to the elevator. I recall the question that haunted me in that moment and it was this; “Will she ever trust us again?”

We pointed out fun things for her to look at in the hospital and told her we were there so the doctors could do some tests to help her to get better. True words from a heart full of love.

However this process of “helping her” it hurt her too, and she cried out for Mama to come and get her and it took all my strength from within to not take her off the table. There were moments when she seemed terrified and was sweating in panic as a needle tried to find her little vein.

As she stared up at us hoping for help, I wondered what on earth must she be thinking about us? Then when the drawing of blood was over, I was so grateful (and relieved) when she put her arms out to me, needing my comfort, wanting to be held by the very Mama and Papa who brought her there in the first place.

I held her tight and I never wanted to have to do that again.

As much as I hate to take Izzy to the hospital, where I know they will be cutting her open, taking things out, reconnecting them and then stitching her back up. I know this is the best thing that we can do right now for her long term health. There is something wrong in her body that needs to be fixed, that needs to be taken out and reconstructed. Infection will continue to cause long term harm to her unless we deal with the root of the problem. Yes, this will cause her more pain, she will be confused and she will wish it wasn’t happening to her but we will allow it because we want to protect her from continual sickness and we want her ultimately to be a healthy little girl.

In those moments in the hospital when she is in pain and can’t find rest, I will be there and I will be hurting too. I will be right by her side every moment that I can and her need will be the call that I will be constantly listening for. In those moments when she reaches for me, I won’t explain the logic of it all, I will just hold her, love her, talk to her and let her know Mama and Papa are right there and as soon as she is feeling better, we will all go home.

Our Heavenly Father loves us so and because of this there will be times when He takes us by the hand and He allows us to walk through a season of cutting away, maybe a rearranging of priorities, or a taking away of things that shouldn’t be in our lives, even good things that have become much too precious to us. It hurts our hearts, we bleed, we cry and we don’t understand why it has to be this way. But Jesus does and in His great love for us He brings us to these places and He stands by our side asking us just to trust Him, to trust His Heart. We may not see His Grace and we may not feel the Love but He is with us in all our struggles waiting for us to experience His strength in our weakness, His beauty in our brokenness and His love in our despair. He has promised this in His Word and when we don’t have the words to call out for help, the Holy Spirit is making intercession on our behalf. Amazing, we are never alone. He will never forsake us.

Healing may not always come in the way we prayed for but love and hope and joy will always prevail in our lives when we cling to the One who first caused our hearts to beat.  These hearts of ours will keep beating until one day we will resonate with the rhythm of our Eternal Home where pain will be no more and Purest Love is all we will see.

Purest Love that led A Holy Son to Calvary’s Hill so I could be healed from sin and shame.
Trusting in Christ Alone,


I have been humming a verse of a hymn these past few days. It is one of my favourites that we sing at my church at home in N.Ireland. It seems to fit here:

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all……
All to Thee my blessed Saviour,
I surrender all.

Beauty in Brokenness Necklace 

I love this necklace which Danny just bought for me yesterday. From the moment I first saw it on this beautiful website (click here) I really wanted it. It reminds me of what I have shared about here in this post, that hearts of love and experiences of pain are often stitched together for our own salvation and for our Heavenly Father’s glory. To my Paso Robles friends; the lady Lisa Leonard who creates this handmade jewelry is based out of San Luis Obispo! Just an interesting little fact I thought I would pass on. 🙂

Finally a few photos of our little loves from this past week.

Izzy and I are learning some life lessons together. Love and Trust.
Sweet summer moment. 

3 thoughts on “Stitches on my heart.

  1. Deb says:

    Whew! Awesome and convicting words, Philippa! Thanks, as always, for sharing your heart. Such hard but encouraging thoughts. Praying for you all.


  2. Words Debbie that I am sure you have come to understand a lot more than me. Thank you for your prayers for Izzy, she missed you last week in her “Sunday School” class. 🙂 See you tomorrow!


  3. Unknown says:

    Love and prayers Philippa. Hardest thing to do is watch your own child be in pain but you have the right perspective. Your words help me remember that Jesus went through so much for us as His Father waited to receive him back – after all the pain. I'm sure he felt it as strongly as Jesus did just as we as parents do when our children, no matter their ages, are in any kind of pain. Blessing and healing, Kathy


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