And yet, my husband’s ministry was growing rapidly and creating real, beautiful social change. The kind of elusive, sustainable, community-led, tangible-yet-spiritual change that you dream of seeing when you work overseas. He was living his dream. And I was absolutely drowning in it.
About this time, around the three year mark, I had what I thought was going to be my life-changing revelation: this difficult life was going to be my sacrifice. I believed that we were supposed to be in Rwanda, and I believe wholeheartedly in my husband’s work, and so my suffering and general inability to come to a place of peace and health here was simply my calling. “Nobody said that this was going to be easy. Maybe it’s going to be really hard. I might never get healthy here, and I think that I simply need to recognize that maybe this is the thorn in my flesh that I’m going to have to live with for our ministry to be successful.” It seems crazy as I read it back now, but at the time, it felt like the wake-up call I needed to persevere to our next furlough. Coming to terms with it might be the next step.
A regularly-scheduled visit from our Regional Director turned into a kind-but-firm ultimatum: get help, or go home. Not quite that explicitly, but that was what we all understood. He didn’t buy my “difficult life as sacrifice forever for Jesus” narrative, and neither did my husband, and for that I am grateful.