A Decade of Pain
1988 to 1997 was the hardest years of our marriage years. Tom had gone back to work. I had my guard up that I could not give Tom all of my heart – I needed to protect myself from hurt. I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 1991 which continued till 1997. Physically I was out of the picture. We hired out for cleaning. Luella down the street cooked for us. I did grocery shopping via internet. Our office was upstairs. Often it would take me half an hour to get myself upstairs. I had to stop and recoup at each stair. Once I was up there then I could order groceries on internet.
But worse than that was Tom’s spiritual health. As time went on he no longer was the dynamic person I fell in love with. He became listless, restless, and downright unhappy… maybe even depressed. He was playing a perfect husband for me yet zeal for life had gone out of him. When I was upset, he no longer was the person full of irresistible love which always restored my soul and spirit. I realized that my withdrawing from him had a detrimental effect on him. Then it became very scary to realize I had broken a wonderful man. For this reason alone, I started to seek Jesus. I did not care how I ended up. By now I had no appreciation for Christian life, our church life or even Jesus. I would take care of so many things in the church, faithful to go to meetings... yet all for what? My heart was not in this mundane Christian life.
In this seeking to save my husband, I realized that only Christ can do that …. and my prayer life began. I stumbled across Isabel Kuhn’s book and I was touched to the core. I begged for God’s mercy to restore Tom. I needed to pray. My baby Elizabeth seemed to have a sixth sense. If I woke up at 7 AM, she was up with me. If I woke up at 6 AM she was up with me. It seemed that I could not work around her. I began to ask the Lord to give me time for daily prayer. I started to wake up every morning at 4:30 and that was my personal time with the Lord. It was no struggle. When I opened my eyes it was 4:30 AM. After an hour, I would go back to sleep and wake up again with Elizabeth. Although I did not see any change in Tom, I realized that something was happening within me that was affecting Tom deeply.
In 1997 I heard that there would be another one of ten months time in the Word and Training to serve Jesus. The first one nearly killed me and I was contemplating that it might be good for Tom to take a year off and immerse himself in the Word. My health was restored back to me and I was seriously getting involved in Net Work Marketing of this nutraceutical. I started to give public speaking on the science why body can heal with proper nutrition. My business was growing. My ambition was that I would be able to replace Tom’s income and still stay home and be a mom to my four children.
Another conflict began to surface in our marriage. Tom began to hate all the time that my home business was requiring. He had lost me to illness for seven years and he was not ready to lose me to “business”. He did not care for the money I could earn. He wanted me for the family. What I did not communicate was that I wanted to release him from a job so that he can choose to serve Jesus. As my determination to be successful became stronger the more intensely unhappy he became.
We both agreed that he would take one year leave of absence from work and join the ten month Bible & Training program. This was September of 1997. Ten years from the last one year leave of absence for a Bible Training. We lived from our savings. Tom promised me that he will go back to work when the program was over. As he began to spend hours daily in the Word and in Christ, I was beginning to see the dynamic Tom resurface. When he was half way into the program, he went in to work for job review and such. His boss said, “Tom, you are not coming back to work, are you?” Tom responded by saying “I will come back to work. Why did you make that comment?” His boss said, “I have never seen you so happy and content. You will not be coming back” When he reported to me this, I was extremely bothered. During the rest of the months, Tom never brought any comment regarding any possibility of leaving his job.
I was invited to come with Tom to spend a week with him and be with him in his program. It was Thursday night. The Lord gave me clear feeling that I should let Tom follow his heart. I told Tom, “Tom I am scared to say this but if it is in your heart to pursue full time service, DO IT! We will manage somehow.” I could not believe that I was saying this. Tom hugged me. He said, “ I told the Lord that if I am to go into full time service, it would have to be JaeHi coming to me and telling me to quit my job and enter full time ministry”. He did not believe that I would actually come to him and release him to serve. To him this was an impossible prayer answered.
Thus our new life began. Tom has been serving full time for the last ten years now. Last three years have been with out any support from any churches.