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Epaphroditus and Fibroid Tumors | terimccarthyblahblahblog

Epaphroditus and Fibroid Tumors

Posted by admin in February 18th, 2011
Published in Blessings, faith, gratitude, missions, prayer, Uncategorized

Some things I’ll just never understand this side of heaven. A friend said to me recently, “I don’t want to go to hell over a mystery.” I know exactly what he was saying even though I believe once saved always saved. If I edited that statement and made it mine it’d go like this: “I don’t want to lose my love relationship with Abba Father and His peace that passes understanding just because I can’t figure out why He said no to something I earnestly asked Him for.” Yeah. That’s more my take on it.

Daryl and I love Lithuania. I can’t explain loving a piece of land. We love the people too, even though we don’t know each and every one of the three million there personally. But I can definitely say I love the ones we met. I love teaching and my students carried me away into one of the sweetest dreams I’ve ever known. But…and in my life there are some pretty big buts…

My body started going through a process that every woman in the world can relate to in one way or another. I thought my process was pretty well complete and I was on the road to freedom. But no! Things got worse in Lithuania. My body went out of control and I had to miss classes, didn’t have the energy to get involved in off-campus activities and some days I couldn’t even leave the apartment. Migraines set in. Some days I felt the gates of hell were trying to prevail against me. Sound melodramatic? Maybe. But no matter what I tried I couldn’t get on top of the problem. Every day I would read the Bible story about the woman who said of Jesus, “If I can just touch the hem of His garment (Luke 8:43-48).” I prayed. I fasted. I cried out to God. I asked my closest friends to pray with me and of course my family and things just got worse. By November 1st, I knew I was going to have to return to the States for surgery. I couldn’t see any other way out.

So, on December 11, 2010, Daryl and I headed back to Kansas. We lifted off the tarmac at Palanga airport by 2:35 in the afternoon. What we didn’t know was that my Dad went to be with the Lord at that very moment. My Dad died as we were leaving Lithuania. Nothing prepares one for that. My Dad and I had talked through all the possible scenarios before I left. He assured me that Daryl and I needed to be on the mission field. I assured him that I loved him and we said the Big Good-Bye before we left in August because we knew his health was failing and that “theoretically” it might be the last time we saw each other. But theory and reality are two different animals. My Dad’s dying without me being able to say one last good-bye was difficult beyond my wildest imagination. It cost and it was painful.

Sometimes I struggle with what has happened to us these last few weeks. Have you ever seen those reptiles on nature shows that thrust their tongues to ridiculously long distances and zap a fly? With lightening speed they bring their victims back to their mouths and the little fly has no idea what hit him. I feel a little like that lately—pulled from the students and country I love.

Please keep us in prayer. I’m scheduled for surgery on February 22. I’ll only have an overnight stay in the hospital and should be back to normal in two weeks. No biggy. I’ll be glad when it’s all over.

So what have we learned? What are the deep and life-changing spiritual lessons we learned in all of this?

1. It’s been good to be back home with my Mom and family. I had the luxury of staying with my Mom three weeks after Dad’s funeral. A miraculous and beautiful healing took place between my Mom and Dad before he died. My Mom radiates from that healing—a choice to forgive and a choice to ask for forgiveness. It was a great three weeks and I am so thankful I could be with her and my sister immediately after my Dad’s death.
2. Our house didn’t sell, so it’s good to be back getting the house ready to sell and finding a new, smaller place to move. We are literally getting our house in order. That’s good.
3. It was more important than either Daryl and I realized that he be onsite to help with the transition in leadership at IICS. The new EVP started on November 8, 2010, and transitioning leadership in an organization isn’t an overnight task. So, it’s good for Daryl and the new guy to be able to do whatever is necessary to make the transition a smooth and successful one.
4. And probably the most important lesson I’ve learned is that I feel more called to the overseas classroom than ever before. My heart aches to be back with the students and life in Lithuania. I grieve not being there every single day. This time back in the States has just convinced me more than ever that I am called to be an overseas missionary—plain and simple.

SO WE ARE HEADING BACK IN AUGUST! This is very important to take note of. We are going back and we’ll go back better than ever—healthy, house in order, obligations met and ready to love Lithuania for Jesus more passionately and more intensely than ever before.

Until then though we have lots to do. I was asked to write a chapter in a big ol’ book on teaching English from a Christian perspective. I am thrilled with that invitation! Also, I’ll be helping with the IICS orientation of new professors in July. I’m speaking at Oklahoma Baptist University the end of April and East Texas Baptist University the first week of April. Those are all good things that I really look forward to. I’m also trying to edit and clean up a manuscript I’ve written. It’s a collection of all my old-maid missionary stories called The Adventures of a Dandelion Gatherer. We are eager to head back to Lithuania. Thank you all for your prayers, letters, notes of encouragement and the financial support. I am so blessed and encouraged by the financial support we’ve received. Those funds have been placed in my IICS Lithuania account and are there waiting for me until we head back. We are so grateful and blessed.

And finally, please forgive the long delay in writing this update. Some days I just couldn’t think about putting down the words. Now I have. If you have any questions or concerns or you need more information, please call me or email me.

Life is strange. It makes me think of Epaphroditus (Philippians 2). He raised all his support, sent out his newsletter, had the big commissioning event at his church and went to minister with super missionary Paul. But poor Epaphroditus had to go home due to illness. The poor bloke had to go back home. Maaaan. Do I ever know how he felt. Thanks again for your prayers. Thanks for your support and most of all thanks for your grace concerning my very late update. Peace.

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468. Lisa said,
February 19th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Teri — it’s so good to hear from you…and to know how to be praying for you! I just lost my dad this week, so I have a special empathy for what you’ve been going through. Aren’t you glad we belong the the Father at times like this?

If you have time for coffee before you go back, I’d love to get together!

469. robin said,
February 20th, 2011 at 2:11 am

Dear Teri,
Thanks so much for writing. It seems that afterall, you were in the right place at the right time. We miss you here and will eagerly welcome you back. Gee, what will it be like if you come back with all of your energy – probably blow us all away. Keep your head up and please keep communicating as you are able. All the best in surgery – you will do just fine!

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