Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

“The good fight of faith is a refusal to be drawn out from behind our shield; a refusal to allow our hearts to wonder why certain things are allowed to be; a refusal to be dissatisfied with His ways.” 
Amy Carmichael

I read this quote the day after we returned from Los Angeles. The day after Izzy’s surgery was cancelled due to an infection of the urinary tract. The day after we were told the surgeon wasn’t sure when he could do the surgery again, the day after we drove home with blank stares at the road ahead and minds whirling with the domino affect this has on so many of our plans.

After having such a healthy little girl all summer I could hardly believe it when Saturday morning we were sitting in the emergency room at the local hospital and she was diagnosed with another infection just two days before surgery date.

When we called the Children’s Hospital to inform them, they said come ahead as planned and bring all the test results from our hospital visit. Sunday we drove to LA and it was a long drive with a birthday-girl-turning-three-years-old questioning us on the whys and wheres of our trip. When little brother is left behind, our girl knows good things are not usually ahead.

Monday morning, there I was at the hospital with this continual lump in my throat, while watching Izzy run to see the fish tank and thrilled to play with all the toys in the waiting room. And then that little girl with no hair that she made friends with, who was waiting for a life changing surgery and they got to go up in the elevator together. It all hurt, every part of it and I felt so bad for her knowing what lay ahead.

By the time we reached the pre-op ward I had a huge, “holding back the tears for two hours headache”. The type where you ache right across the top of your eyebrows and down your throat. So when we were sitting 10 minutes out from her getting the “happy juice’ and the nurse said the surgeon wanted to come out and talk to us, my empty tummy started to flip a little. Anything unusual feels a little daunting in those moments.

As soon as he came over, I knew it was cancelled. Once he heard there had been infection just two days before and especially infection local to the area where he was to operate he cancelled it right away. In that one second I was both relieved and disappointed. Relieved he was making wise doctor choices for my little girl’s health and disappointed that we were so close and we couldn’t just get it over with. So, much to Izzy’s delight, we suddenly announced we were going to go and get something to eat. We checked ourselves out and stood in a coffee line our heads spinning with all the decisions that lay before us.

We then drove the three hours home again from Los Angeles. Totally quiet at first, not really knowing where to start in the process of all the things that needed to be changed and rearranged. And the subject   we almost couldn’t bear to bring up; would this mean we were going to be living in different countries for some time.
Being a multi-culture family has been a lot of fun for Danny and I over the years as we laugh at each others use of words and funny pronunciations but there are moments (like this one) when the reality of it all isn’t so fun.

We still don’t have a whole lot of information about our new road ahead. Izzy’s surgery is now set for Wednesday, September 4th. This is not a long enough recovery time for her to leave on our planned September 21st departure. The surgeon wants to do more tests 6 weeks after the operation too. So all we know is Izzy and Danny will for sure be in America until we return to the Philippines which will probably be somewhere near the end of October. Where Judah and I will be in the next 2 months or so is still to be decided and I don’t want to share too many details on here about that right at this time. Let’s just say it is complicated but we are doing all we can to try and be able to stay together as a family but also preparing ourselves for the possibility that we may be apart for a while.

So back to the quote which Amy Carmichael penned so beautifully; it just sat so right with my heart when I read it and it encouraged me to not even try and figure it all out. The whys, the reasons, the looking back and wondering, the looking ahead and fearing, it is pointless and wearisome. Acceptance and peace go hand in hand.

I have enjoyed writing here on my little blog and sharing the wonderful things that God has been doing for us as a family over these past few years. Through times of joy and times of hardship God has always, always been so faithful to us. We have seen answers to prayer that I still sometimes can hardly believe have happened. God has made ways for us through Red Sea skies and medical emergencies, through provisions of a house when we had to leave our home, through young believers in a remote village standing up to be leaders and evangelists…I could go on and on.

This story and this day are no different from the rest, because God has not changed. My circumstances may have taken a huge twist (from my perspective), but God sees it all and He is working out His will and His way for glorious reasons that are beyond me and my momentary situation. I have the opportunity to bow my heart to His will and just say; “Thank you Lord for Your provision in my life, however that may look today, does not change who You are”.

Our faithful God, who provided a house for three months in His perfect timing; has today postponed a surgery in His perfect timing.

Our Almighty God, who opened up the clouds for a medical flight; has today brought us this new storm to trust Him though.

Our All knowing God, who called us and led us to a little village on the island of Palawan; is today delaying our return, so men there are called forth to teach His Word.

Our Loving God, who in His goodness opened the doors for us to be here for this surgery; is now using this surgery to open doors and ways for us to run back to Him, seeking to wait on Him, to depend on Him and to know Him more.

We can never be dissatisfied with His ways when we believe with all our heart that they are good.
Thank you for praying with us. We appreciate you all so much and are grateful for your many kind notes and words of encouragement.

God Bless,
Love Philippa.

For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Malachi 3:6.

But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.
My times are in thy hand: 
Psalm 31:14-15

Family together –
 Morro Bay
Birthday girl. Now she is three.
In the waiting room getting ready to head up to the surgery ward.
Best thing about coming home early was getting to see our little boy again.

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