Keeping it real. I'm having a BLAST and we are loving our time together - but there's a lot about life I'm having a hard time surrendering right now.We ran our Air Force race hard. We crossed the finish line. We're in the part where you collapse at the end, enjoy the joy of knowing you left it all on the course, collect a few high fives and regain energy to run again - on a NEW course.....to hear at this point there's another Air force lap to run ....no matter how fun the course has been, it's not a happy place.
We've TASTED retirement and we love it. We love having Michael more present. We love being able to rest and relax without either of us worrying about our ministry to do lists, Michael's short notice supsenses or Air Force "stuff." We love asking God where and what He'd have us do and KNOWING we CAN do just that immediately....without Air Force approval, career consequences, leave approval et al.In June we were told Michael did not have Parkinson's Disease. Japan was back on course - with a bit of a detour as we went through the typical end of tour VA claim. We'd hit Japan - rested and ready. We'd spend the time waiting for the VA to process the claim learning Japanese.
31 Aug, the day we turned our key over to our landlord, we heard a diagnosis of Parkinsonism with the understanding it seems to be Parkinson's Disease, but we won't know until he weans from current meds and tries Levodopa. Staggering news....and in the process of figuring out what it means for our plans to minister in Japan......11 Sept, base doc explains he thinks it best in the long run if he submits Michael's retirement for a medical hold and a medical evaluation board. I love this man's heart to be sure the Air Force does the very best for us....but ....
We ran that course. We're in the high-five stage. We don't want to have to run another lap. We like the now.But now...we're in limbo. We may be called back to Beale, or we may not be called back to Beale. We may have to fight the VA to have Parkinsonism/Parkinson's listed as service connected, or we may be another year active duty while the DoD takes care of the classification and sets up the course of treatment.
What happened to the great faith I had in May and June? It's still there. I know God is in control....but I've been angry. I don't understand WHY we were told "all's well" in June....it seems, TO ME, God could have orchestrated this lap better. An MEB would have been better to start in May/June - before we moved out of our home, before Michael's ministry was replaced, before we assumed we were going back to Japan again.... God HAS been speaking to me.I know He is good.
I know I can trust Him.I know my anger has built a wall - which He delighted in smashing through.
Finally - it comes down to surrender - again.I surrender and together we tear down the wall.
It comes down to the prayer that never fails, "Yet, not my will, but Yours be done."I have no idea which plan to pray for - a call back or a call saying to continue on....but God knows. There HAS been good in this interlude - we have tasted life after the Air Force - and we like it. We've enjoyed 6 weeks of enhanced family life - and it's good. We're resting - and it's very good.
If we get called back - it won't be pretty - but we'll find the reserves and gut it out - we'll run another lap as faithfully as we can - trusting in what we know of God.He is gracious.
He is faithful.His mercy is new every morning.
He loves us.He is working to give us the delights of our hearts - not necessarily the NOW pleas which don't always accurately reflect the desires of our hearts. He loves us too much to be side-tracked by my emotions.
The wall is down.Even here - His hand upholds me - "Not my will, but Yours be done."
*Note on 11 Sept we were told we should hear within 2 months if they are putting Michael on hold. The MEB process would mean he goes back to work for 12 - 18 months while they get him on meds, work through the DoD/VA paperwork and let us retire - with regular retirement and VA disability/care ready to start.
I didn't realize this would mean going back to work for a year. Wow! Knowing God is working everything for our good doesn't always make it easier to go through. Praying.
I am praying for you. I am so sorry for the path of unknowns that lie ahead and the enduring of months of waiting you have had already. Your deep wisdom and honesty-in-surrender touched me deeply as I read your post, and you continue to bring glory to God through this struggle. May His perfect love and faithfulness continue to hold you every moment. Love you!
SIS: I have not read this until today. So proud of you at the maturity you always show. Been praying for you all and will keep on praying. We love you all so much, so very much. Looking forward to seeing you sooner than later. love/prayers continuing..... mom t.
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