It has been a very long time since I’ve posted anything, as the transition to life here in California (again) has been a difficult one. Many people have asked me for an update, but I’ve honestly been so overwhelmed that I just haven’t been up to writing about our circumstances.
You may remember that we initially planned on living at camp, and then found out we had to purchase a home. After that, the house we planned on buying fell through shortly before closing and a few days before the movers were supposed to come. In the end, we moved to Oakbridge in the beginning of May and lived on camp for several months in a very small apartment under the office that only had a bar sink in the “kitchen.” It was a little crazy with 5 humans and 2 large dogs crammed into such a tight space, but overall it was a good experience. We had our moments of melting in the heat and being a little too close for comfort, and carrying dishes and laundry up the hill to wash got old pretty quick. However, I can truly say that I’m grateful for our time living at camp. I’m so glad that we had a place to stay, and that our time there afforded us the sweet opportunity to get to know some of the wonderful people who work and volunteer at Oakbridge.
In July we moved into our new home, and moving twice honestly about killed us. Just the physical aspect of moving is crazy even when you’re healthy, but moving two times with 4 chronically ill people was unbelievably hard. My parents were a huge help in getting settled in; I honestly don’t know how we would’ve done it without them! Even with their coming to help for a whole week, it was still so difficult. Then of course there’s the emotional challenge of saying goodbye to dear friends and our whole support system, not to mention dealing with teenagers who were/are really unhappy about leaving. Yet despite all this, we are so grateful to have a house to live in. It’s a great house for us, and we are so appreciative of the ways that God provided to make this possible. Currently, we are trying to work on our yard, as our new home is basically sitting in a big pile of dirt. 😉 Hopefully with cooler weather, we can have some trees planted and get some landscaping done. Also, as I write this, I am especially mindful of the many dear friends and acquaintances we know from our time living in northern California, who are now dealing with burnt landscapes and homes that have been destroyed. Our hearts go out to those who have lost everything, and it gives us an extra measure of gratitude for what we do have even in the midst of our trials.
Now for the health update… I don’t even know where to begin or what to say… it’s been really, really tough. Initially, the lower elevation seemed to help us, but then our health began declining again. Towards the end of summer, we started seeing a doctor in L.A. who is a Lyme specialist and clinical immunologist, and we have been undergoing new treatments with him for the last few months to treat Lyme and build our immune systems. Unfortunately, we currently are feeling worse instead of better. We are all experiencing a flare in symptoms, and we’re not sure why.
Kathy – My adrenal glands and thyroid are a wreck, and my energy levels are so low that I’m having a hard time getting out of bed. I’m dragging myself through life, and just the basics like cleaning, grocery shopping, driving kids to school, making dinner….all of these seem like more than I can do at this point. It’s overwhelming and I feel like I’m existing, not really living. I don’t know how to keep up. Also, I don’t often feel well enough to get out and do things to make friends, so it’s pretty isolating. If I force myself to go out to an event, I can usually make it through with a good front, but then I’m in bed afterwards, often for the whole next day. Expending energy is costly, so I have to choose how to use what little energy I do have in the wisest way. Please pray for wisdom in treatment, for healing, for energy, and for practical provision of the things I can’t keep up with.
Betsy also is continuing to struggle and seems to have grown worse. She rarely leaves the house and has been unable to really participate in life. I don’t want to share private details for her sake, but know that her life is really difficult and it breaks our hearts. She asks me if she is going to get better and be able go to school, and it’s so hard to not have any answers for her. Please pray for wisdom in treatment, for healing in every way, for hope, for trust in God, and for encouragement and comfort.
Sam has had some improvement in his battle with nausea as we work to get his Celiac Disease under control, but he still wrestles with a lot of symptoms from that and from Lyme. Max has been having a lot of joint and back pain and extreme fatigue. Life has been really hard for him as well. Both of the boys just want to be normal teenagers and be able to do things that “normal” teenagers do, but keeping up is really tough for them physically. Please pray for wisdom in treatment, for healing in every way, for hope, for hearts that seek God, for endurance in keeping up with school, and for good and godly friends.
AJ is continuing to work overtime on taking care of all of us, not to mention dealing with difficult circumstances at work. After we arrived here, he discovered that Oakbridge was not in good shape financially, which culminated in him having to make some really tough decisions. Recently, he had to let several people go, which was painful and difficult on many levels for all involved. This also leaves camp in a tough situation, and the AMAZING staff here working hard to serve our guests well with limited resources. We love Oakbridge and the people here, and we are praying for God’s wisdom, provision, and direction. Please pray for strength, comfort, hope, rest, protection, endurance, wisdom, and godly leadership for AJ. Please also pray for God’s provision and direction for Oakbridge.
Honestly, all of this is more than we can bear. It is NOT more than God can carry, but it is WAY beyond our limited abilities and strength. We are deeply aware of the fact that we need God desperately each day. The truth is that our situation is painful and it feels overwhelming, but we are reminded that He is in it with us. I have been reflecting on this verse lately and finding much comfort:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you. Isaiah 43:2
He IS with us. By His grace, the waters will NOT overflow us. He walks through the fire with us, and ultimately nothing can scorch us. We have a glorious future and inheritance awaiting for us because of what Jesus has done. When I feel angry about the hard things that God has allowed, I remember what He has undeservedly and sacrificially given us already at the cross, and nothing can compare to that. I don’t understand His ways or purposes or thoughts in our situation, but once again, I am reminded of the fact that He is simply good and trustworthy. How can I not trust my God, the Man of Sorrows, the Suffering Servant, who suffered unimaginably for me so that I won’t have to suffer eternally?
So please pray for us, that we will keep our eyes on Jesus, and trust in Him no matter what comes our way. Thank you for not forgetting us in our struggles, and for continuing to love us and pray for us!
Also, a dear friend has started a fundraiser to help us with some of our medical bills, which are extensive. If you are interested in helping this way, here is the link: