At the end of May I turned in my resignation after nearly 9 years at Franmar Chemical. It was quite bittersweet. I loved the people I worked with and really enjoyed my job, but working was becoming too hard on me. So after a lot of thought and consideration, we decided it was best for me to retire. Strange to do at 27. I asked my mom and dad if they felt old since their youngest daughter had now retired. They just laughed. We've had an ongoing joke that my body thinks it's twice as old as it is. So, at 54, I guess I just took an early retirement package. :)
Due to the significance of the appointment with Dr. Tait, Jake and I decided we were in desperate need of some alone time in a far off place...preferably with a beach. So, on May 28th we flew to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We made an agreement before we left that there would be no discussion of the trials we were facing at home. We were leaving it all behind for 6 days and just enjoying our time together. It was exactly what we needed. After six days of beach, relaxation, and a really cool car, we came home relaxed for the first time in long time.
As soon as we got home Jake started his new part-time position as Associate Director of Technical Ministries at our church. We'd prayed about this job for almost 2 years and God brought it to us in His perfect timing. Jake is now really enjoying every minute he spends working. Another answer to a long prayed prayer.
Along with that new job, Jake also took over my former duties at Franmar and continues to work part-time in the warehouse. Of course, in addition to starting a new job, accepting new responsibilities with his old job, and continuing to work his old hours...he also got selected for jury duty! A two-week long mesothelioma civil trial, where he was elected foreman. (Had to brag on him :) ) Could there have been any more? Well, actually, yes! During those two weeks he was on the jury, I was also in the hospital again in Iowa. Did I mention things have been crazy?
Those were the hardest 2 weeks in recent history for us. Normally, he and my parents come up each weekend I'm in the hospital. Now, however, he works every Sunday so he needs to come up during the week. But with all the craziness he had for those 2 weeks, that just wasn't possible. Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, he was at the courthouse. Wednesday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays he was at church. Thursday night he did payroll. There was no time for him to come up to see me. On top of that, we couldn't even talk all that much. Generally, we text back and forth several times a day, and we talk every night. He was so tired at the end of every day, though, that our conversations had to be cut short.
The second Thursday I was there, I got a text from him around 5pm, when he normally would contact me. We chatted for a little bit then asked me if I wanted to go out to eat. I thought he'd gotten his days confused and thought my mom and dad would be up early. So, I said I didn't want to go out by myself. His next text said "What if I picked you up?". I read it and immediately started bawling. Happy tears, of course. I'd missed him so much and had been having a pretty rough time at the hospital (a lot of crying and a meeting with the nurse manager if that tells you anything). I called him right away and he said he'd be there in about 10 minutes. He purposely waited until 5pm to get a hold of me so I wouldn't know anything was up. I later found out that around noon the lawyers decided they were going to take a recess for the afternoon and the next day. Jake immediately went to Franmar, did payroll in a record hour and a half (pretty good for his second week on the job!), grabbed what he needed at home and started the drive to Iowa City. That is my man.
He stayed for the night and spent almost the entire next day with me...almost exactly 24 hours. He was told by several people that "she really needed you". And they were right. They know me and knew what I needed, but more importantly God did. I'd been begging God for just a little bit of time with Jake, however that had to happen. Though he could have gotten out of jury duty because of me, I wanted him and he wanted to have that experience. I knew it was only going to happen by God making it happen, and He did. I'm always amazed at the way He works.
Since I've been home, we have been on the search for a home of our own. This past Tuesday we found it. Yet another answer to a long prayed prayer. We'll be moving sometime at the end of August and are absolutely thrilled that we'll be on our own again.
This is a theme has popped up repeatedly in our lives lately. In His time, in His way, for His purposes, and His glory. I pray that I won't soon forget the lessons of these past weeks, months, and even years. God is faithful even when we are not and for that I am so very grateful.
Things are moving with the transplant process. I completed a few more tests while in the hospital and will go back in August to meet with Dr. Tait again. I also will have a date soon when I will meet the surgeon. I think I have just one more test before I am eligible to be listed. I will find out more about when that will be when I see the doctors.
As always, thank you for your continued prayers for me, Jake, and my family.