This week has been a challenge for Team Sinkler. It was one week ago that Staci came down with an infection in the lymph nodes of her neck. Doctors do not know the source or cause of infection, but what we saw was an incapacitating infection that caused one side of her neck to swell up. At its worst point, it nearly looked like a baseball protruding from beneath her skin. Her neck was thick enough that you might have mistaken her for a middle line backer like Clay Matthews. None of our home remedies or medicine would provide relief, so ultimately she was taken to the ER and admitted to the hospital for a two day stay.
While Staci battled through the infection with the help of antibiotics, steroids, and pain relief, the rest of the family did their best to prepare for an open house on both Saturday and Sunday. Our older kids were a great help in cleaning up, while our youngest followed behind them to tear it all back apart. While people explored our home to see if it might be a good fit for their family, we took our family to the hospital to visit momma and make sure she was feeling okay.
Now, throughout this week, we have been struggling to manage the schedule with homeschool, home showings, my work, and extracurriculars. Staci has slowly improved, but the household simply does not function well with a mom who is ill.
On top of the physical toll this illness has taken on our family, there is a financial burden as well. We are still paying on an emergency room visit that Benjamin had this summer, and now we will have to pay our entire deductible for Staci’s hospitalization. More expenses are simply not in our favor when we are trying to transition to a new life that is dependent on support, nor for this time when we have so many expenses associated with this major move to Uganda. We have no shortage of confidence that God has called us, though. With that assurance we were confident that He will show Himself faithful.
Today there is so much to be thankful for. We are thankful for health care that is so readily accessible. We are thankful for an unbelievable outpouring of prayer and support from our local body of believers, and from friends far away. We are thankful for this challenge to trust God with our health at a time when we were unable to control the circumstances.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Finally, we are thankful for God’s constant provision. As we came home from the hospital we talked about the financial burden of this hospital visit, and how God is certainly sovereign over all of these things. We thought of how this testing of our faith would mature us and prepare us for what lies ahead. We felt peace that God was not concerned about the cost, so we shouldn’t be concerned either (easier said than done!). When we arrived home, we checked the mail and found evidence of His provision. In the mail was a check from an employer I had worked for over 10 years ago. They had discontinued their pension program, and earlier this year I had opted to have the taxes withheld and cash this out. I had completely forgotten about this.
Here, at the perfect place in time, the finances showed up to cover all of our health care bills and more. It’s been 10 years since I left that employer. The check could have been issued at any time, but it wasn’t. It was issued at exactly the right time. We trust God. We trust that He called us. We trust that He will continue to challenge and refine us. We trust that we will experience more difficulty. We trust that he will always provide us with patience, peace, and wisdom.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.