As many of you know, our daughter Jane has been serving as a missionary in Taiwan. She left last April and was scheduled to come home in October. (She decided to extend her mission an extra month.) This time in Taiwan has been the most wonderful experience of her life. She gave her heart and soul to this work. She formed so many cherished relationships with her fellow missionaries and those beloved Taiwanese she taught and served. The personal growth she experienced cannot be expressed. It was the happiest and most fulfilling time of her life.
But even in the absolute joy, growth, and beauty of it, there were many challenges she courageously faced. At the end of March, she and her companion became very ill and were later diagnosed with salmonella poisoning. (Still unsure exactly how they contracted this. Their apartment being right above a meat market, cross-contaminated vegetables or a restaurant meal they purchased all could have been likely sources.) Since then, she has struggled with many debilitating symptoms and complications. In and out of the mission home, doctor and hospital visits, and much of the time, continuing to teach and ride her bike miles and miles all over that crowded city.
Through her emails and a few phone calls, our family was made aware of her condition. As you can imagine, it's been a time of great concern and prayer for all of us, and for me personally, a feeling of helplessness, heartache, and worry.
The day after our family arrived in California for our family vacation (Sunday, the last time I posted here on my blog), we received word that her condition required her to be released as a missionary so she could come home and get the medical attention she needs for her complete recovery and healing.
Greeting and welcoming her at the airport was one of the happiest moments of my life. A feeling of indescribable joy and elation to hold my daughter in my arms once again. Having these two missionary children return home this month been very healing to me; the holes in my heart now filled.
She and I have had many, many sweet moments together since she flew home on Wednesday. I've converted my massage studio into a temporary bedroom for her to heal, rest, and recuperate. A peaceful and quiet sanctuary for her. I've loved laying next to her, preparing nourishing foods for her, rubbing her feet, stroking her long hair, reading to her, watching movies with her, and most of all, listening to her share so many stories and experiences of her time in Taiwan. We've laughed and cried together.
We spend six hours on Friday at a doctor appointment and the hospital for her to receive IV therapy, extensive lab work, and CT scan to help determine an accurate diagnosis. We are anxious to receive the results of these tests in the next few days.
Our hearts have been lifted and blessed with so much kindness and love that has been shown to our family though the many prayers, phone calls, and visits we've received. Nourished and nurtured with flower bouquets, get-well cards, meals, and treats. This difficult time of trial made easier with the loving balm of compassion we have felt from our neighbors, church family, extended family, and sweet friends.
Things will be okay.
Things will work out.
Help and healing come.
God's Love is there.