“The presence of God takes up residence in a person enabling them to live above human standards. That is grace.” Bill Johnson
When J.T. and I got married, he moved into our house with a wife, 6 yr old boy and a dog. A year later we had three cats, a dog and my 5yr old niece living with us. He had a large family, and was doing very well. (I think he liked the cats and dogs better than the kids, though! 🙂
I went back to work in the dental field. I worked locally at first, but at about five years into our marriage I worked in the Allen/Plano area. It was about a 45-55 minute drive one way. I worked very long hours and came home physically and emotionally exhausted. J.T. worked the first shift at Texas Instruments in Sherman. It was convenient for him to pick up the children from school and be with them after school. They preferred him to help them with their homework, because he was more patient than I was. My niece was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when she was 10yrs old. We were glad we had full custody of her at the time, because she was on our insurance policy.
The children went to our church’s school from kindergarten for Sam and 2nd grade for my niece up through high school grades. Sam only missed only one grade & graduated from high school, and my niece ended up moving in with her Dad when she was in the 11th grade. It was getting to the point we weren’t as faithful in our church attendance. J. T. was transferred to Dallas and we were both driving to the Dallas area. The kids were older, and we had friends they went to for after school care. The “cares of this life” were wearing us down. We still prayed and read the Bible. It was just easier to stay at home.
I started having hearing issues in 1999 and had to get hearing aids. I had already had one ear surgery, because the round window membrane had burst in my right ear in 1995. I was starting to have vertigo again. The diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease is a disorder of the inner ear. It was something I was believing healing for, and the left ear was starting to have symptoms of hearing loss. In 2004 I could not work and had to go to two different ENT/balance specialists. They did several procedures and another surgery on my right ear. I was put on a lot of medication. I had gained weight and gained even more during these first 10 years of marriage. I got a 3rd specialist recommendation and started getting some progress, off medicines and an accurate diagnosis.
These years were not easy for us, because we were not putting Christ in the center of our marriage. Of course, looking back it is easy to see that. But at the time we were both just working hard to make ends meet. We were trusting in what the doctors were saying to get relief. My husband’s father was a doctor, and this was something that was more natural to him. We knew better, but when you are in that situation, you don’t always do what you know to do. (If that makes sense…:)
There are some verses in Jeremiah 17:5-8 GWT that say:
“This is what the Lord says: Cursed is the person who trusts humans, who makes flesh and blood his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord . He will be like a bush in the wilderness. He will not see when something good comes. He will live in the dry places in the desert, in a salty land where no one can live. Blessed is the person who trusts the Lord . The Lord will be his confidence. He will be like a tree that is planted by water. It will send its roots down to a stream. It will not be afraid in the heat of summer. Its leaves will turn green. It will not be anxious during droughts. It will not stop producing fruit.”
I started receiving disability benefits in 2005. This cut our income by more than one third. We had moved to a town closer to J.T’s work and put the house up for sale. It was the year the market crashed. We ended up moving back to Sherman, and our niece moved in with her dad. There were extenuating circumstances and a lot of medical bills. Paying two house payments for a year put us in a bad financial situation, and ultimately we had to file bankruptcy. This August we will be debt free. We will have new beginnings, and God is good.
I have had eight surgeries. The most radical one is when they found I had a brain tumor in 2009. He said it would be benign. It was removed in February of 2010. I went back for another MRI in 6mos. It was Type III aggressive cancer, and we were shocked when we went back to the surgeon after the 6mos. The oncologist I was referred to wanted to see me every 3 months. I have been cancer free every time I’ve gone in for the MRI. God is good. He is faithful even when we aren’t.
I have been free of vertigo, which is one symptom of the diagnosed Meniere’s Disease. God told me I would never have it again in April of 2011. I have been symptom free since then. The hearing loss has stabilized and I am believing God for total restoration. My doctors just sort of shake their heads. There are areas that I am believing for complete manifestation of healing in, but I stand in the belief that it is a finished work of the Cross.
There is more to this story. The way Christ worked in our marriage and our spiritual lives. Through all the illness, we were wandering around in the wilderness and taking another lap around Mount Sinai-so to speak. Next time, I’ll share how we got out. Of course, through our Father God, because He is good and faithful all the time! 😉
Blessings to you and yours,