Ottawa had presented a challenge for me. For the first time since leaving home I was overcome with hardship on several fronts. I had encountered a problem with the trailer, I needed to do a much needed repair on the truck hoping it would be covered under warranty, and I felt a sickness coming on.
It didn’t seem like much at the time because I was advised by the seller of my trailer that the repair was covered by this affiliate in Ottawa and that the trucks issue may also be covered under the Dodge warranty. So this little scratch in my throat should be a problem either, I thought. I would spend some time with my friends in Ottawa and be out of there in a couple of days.
Then came Thursday evening.
Turns out the type of repair the trailer needed wouldn’t be covered, even though I was assured it would be covered, and I would have to pay it. Dodge found the problem with the truck and it would not be a warranty fix either. I was out a grand just like that. To make things worse my throat was now in full shut down mode and I was certain I had strep.
I made the mistake of waiting it out and letting it get very serious. The worst I’ve had it. Every swallow was pure agony which would bring a tear to the corner of my eyes.
Just as a little bit of additive to the fire, Cynthia and I were not sympatico. Every little thing was building a wall between us, especially the kids.
I went to the doctor to solve the problem when I really wanted to go Church or stay and study with my wife. I wasted the day at the clinic and it gave me no relief. Even though I was in physical pain there was a spiritual pain that was more pronounced and needed to be addressed more urgently. I could tell that I was neglecting spiritual nourishment. Now when I needed to be well fed I was too sick to eat. Literally and figuratively.
It all came to the surface when I locked the keys in the trailer. I’ll spare you the details. Did I mention I had to go back to the dealership 3 consecutive days?
Something had to change because we we’re not doing well, any of us. kids included.
Then one night in the midst of a disagreement I remembered that we wanted to anoint the car and trailer in pure biblical fashion, as a sign of faith and protection.
Cynthia was reluctant to do it at first because she was not in the right frame of mind she said, even though it was her initial suggestion. She did not want to do it while frustrated. I persisted that this is the exact time we needed to do it and she agreed. We anointed and prayed together. The stresses between us were immediately relieved. I came to terms with the costs of the repairs and knew that this car and trailer would be my new “home” expenses as I did not have an address anymore. And although I didn’t have any physical relief yet from the antibiotics, I was able to see this throat pain as a chance to change some things; things I needed a reason to change. This pain was that reason.
My challenge with my diet was one of those things. I needed to reset but being in vacation mode, I made horrible vacation type food decisions that I couldn’t break.
My abrupt responding to my children was another. I gave them none of my patience. My parenting was suffering worse than normal.
And my decision to do something else when I needed to pray was super obvious.
This pain made me pray. But more than that it made me realize the need for a constant connection to the God that I claim to serve.
I could no longer shout. I could barely speak so I had to adjust how I react to the children and to my wife.
My diet now consisted of soup and cold water. Even then, I didn’t want to put anything in my throat. I would literally rather be hungry. But somehow the hunger didn’t come. I just ate less and all of my favourite foods no longer appealed to me because it would be too painful to consume them. I got the chance to detox that I asked for and this is how it came, through temporary pain and a bit of trial.
We have left Ottawa, Montreal and are now in Quebec City and I am starting to feel better. I am able to eat more but my cravings have not returned. It is up to me to remind myself of the gift of this “reset”.
I don’t know what we’ll face as we move forward but I need to be a much better version of myself if I am to lead us forward, and my relationship with Christ must be strong if I am to make the decisions that would glorify Him and keep peace in our 8×25 foot home.