Two months of resounding quiet from over here has elicited many questions. If you're someone who has messaged us and I didn't get back to you, please know I'm genuinely sorry. I've not been keeping up well.
Sometimes the light pushes into a dark place and we find it uncomfortable. Like when a lamp flips on suddenly dispelling the pitch blackness and your eyes take a bit to adjust before you don’t have to squint.
That’s where our family is standing. I've said it many times before and I'll say it again ... God brought us to Thailand because He knew that's what it would take to expose us to ourselves. He knew coming here would cause the layers to peel away and the masks would fail to stay in place. This is where we'd learn to be authentic, although the process would prove excruciating at times.
And it has.
Robbie was in a motorbike accident on February 5th of this year and it quickly seemed that his worst injury was to his wrist which required a 4 hour surgery and then didn't heal properly. But over time it became clear that the trauma to his head had left a mark we didn't realize. It was more subtle than what we were looking for. He could remember things that had been filed in his longer term memory but, for many weeks, his short term memory was almost non-existent, though it's slowly improving. Beyond that, his ability to cope with stressful situations bottomed out. You could actually see his shoulders round and he'd hunch over and appear almost fearful, which is completely out of character for him. It's also crippling since stressful situations around here are as bountiful as is the intense heat. Add to that the fact that his motivation to be involved in ministry or decision making was pretty much entirely absent and we had a whole new dimension to things which required a re-ordering of roles and responsibilities.
It took some time for us to connect things with the head injury since, on the surface, he's functional. Up close, however, he just hasn't been the same. About a month and a half after his accident, he was helping steady a refridgerator on the back of a motorized, thai-style cart and something happened that pitched him off the cart backwards and his head hit the ground and then the fridge landed on top of him. We ended up back in the hospital. He was ultimately cleared but I'm sure it didn't help.
It's been an exhausting, demanding, overwhelming season of frustration and confusion. But here's what I'm learning: no season is wasted unless we do the wasting.
What this time has done is bring to the surface things that had been buried. It uncovered that which had lain in darkness and the light has come with a period of adjustment. But now that weeks and months have passed, we can see so clearly that if God hadn't allowed all of this, we'd have continued on as we were and that just wasn't His plan.
His plan is redemption. He's the Redeemer of our hearts, minds, and habits. He doesn't want parts of us, He wants everything and yet most of us try to bury what we don't want seen, somehow thinking He won't know.
We waste years holding ourselves back from full surrender because we'd rather die stubborn. But He died to save us from our stubbornness.
Today as I write this, I'm thankful to be able to share I finally have eyes to see the pathway of healing we're on. Just last week Robbie still couldn't safely drive. This week he can and his wife who detests driving (that would be me!) couldn't be more thrilled. Three months of leaving the property every time ANYTHING needed to be done made my days disjointed and distracted and
I've felt like I've been nothing to nobody. I'm thankful I could drive but also thankful I no longer have to do all the driving.
Robbie's brain seems to be healing and short-term things are sticking better. We've done a ton of talking over the past two months and we've worked through many things we'd previously avoided. Missionary life has been nothing like we expected but everything like God knew it would be, which means it's serving its purpose.
Now, with our baggage checked at the gate our burden is lighter. We're finding there's One who really is willing to carry the weight that crushes us.
We're abundantly thankful for those of you who are intentional to pray for us and the people we're here to serve. We're grateful for the ways in which we experience God answering those prayers. Sometimes we're hanging by a thread and it's obvious that somebody, somewhere is interceding on our behalf, keeping that thread from snapping. Thank you.
We see you and love you for it.