When Hubby and I had been married for a year and a half, he was conscripted to the army for a year. This was traumatic for me as much of my identity and self worth was wrapped up in him. I see now how God uses every circumstance to mould us and make us into what He needs us to be. I do not believe God brings hardship or disaster on us as He is a loving God, but that life’s circumstances and the devils ploys are there to test us in this life. But God definitely uses all things for His glory and advancement of His kingdom.
When hubby left for the army he was sent about 1400 kilometres from home and I was unable to uproot and move near him as I was paying off a teaching loan through service and so I had to grin and bear it. It was a very heartsore time for me – I missed him terribly. We had been leading a homegroup in our home and I was always a great support in this, but suddenly it dawned on me that I had to lead the group while hubby was away. No longer just able to support, but responsible for these precious people in our group. It was a huge wake up call for me. I had to really seek God and rely on Him to help me through. God used this time to take me from feeling self-conscious and reluctantly leading to being confident and a leader. It was a great training time.
About five months after hubby left for the army, I started having severe pain in my upper abdomen. I had had this pain on and off for about two years previously and it would last for a couple of days where I would feel violently ill and then I would be fine. I had seen doctors and they had done numerous tests to no avail. Eventually in desperation my doctor diagnosed me as ‘highly strung”. I knew this was hogwash – I know I am not a highly strung person. I phoned a friend when I could not even walk because I was doubled over in pain. I was taken into hospital and scanned every possible way. They thought it was an ectopic pregnancy ( I tried to tell them it is very hard to fall pregnant when your spouse is miles away and you never see them.) Eventually a surgeon said to me – “we aren’t sure what’s wrong but we are going to open you up and have a look.” That wasn’t too reassuring to me – especially since I had never been in hospital before and hardly even take headache tablets.
I had spoken to hubby the night before and he had said to me that he was out in the bush doing warfare training, living in trenches. He needed me to get our pastor to write a letter to the army chaplain requesting he be posted closer to home after his basic training. They had promised he would be posted near home, but when they told everyone where they were going he was posted far from home again. We were both devastated. This was now bad tinming because I had been rushed to hospital and wouldn’t be able to do this. I begged my friend to phone the army base and see if he was able to be reached to let him know what was happening to me. All I had was a public call box number. I told her that it would be almost impossible to get him as he was out in the bush, but to please try anyway.
This is where God is the God of miracles. She called this number and a man answered. When she asked for hubby the man on the end of the phone said – It’s me!! Of all the men on base he answered the phone. He had been brought in from the bush for a hockey practice and happened to be walking past the phone when it rang. She was able to tell him my circumstances.
The next morning I went into surgery and woke up a bit later very sore and nauseous. The surgeon came and saw me – he reported that I had an appendix that was rotten and had somehow grown around other nearby organs. It was close to bursting and was slowly poisoning my system. They were not even sure that they would be able to remove it properly. Fortunately all went well and was removed safely. It took me 5 weeks to recover from this operation due to infection.
God used the perfect timing of this to coincide with hubby’s posting. Because I was so ill, the army chaplain requested that his post be changed so that he could come home. My appendix could have burst anytime but it was the perfect timing for all things to work together for our good.
God made a way for hubby to come home for the last six months of his service – he lived at home and worked each day on the army base. Our God always cares for us – because He loves us so!!