“Eye has not seen, ear has not heard,
Nor has it entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
After our homebuying visit to Phoenix, we returned to Milwaukee knowing we were on our way out of Wisconsin. Staying was no longer an option.
Ronnie continued to suffer with one sinus infection after another. Or was it really a long, single attack with rise and fall? No matter what, we were committed to getting out of Milwaukee! We returned to Arizona to close the deal on our new home.
I continued praying and meditating on Genesis 12 and Mark 11:23-24. My faith was growing deeper and God’s command to Abraham to move away from his home and go to a land that He would show him became our command.
Meanwhile, our house in Milwaukee showed no visible sales activity. Nevertheless, I believed God that our house was on its way to a new owner. I had prayed that God would send a buyer who would need a home for their young family.
One Sunday in August, we were doing yard work when a family drove by and saw the for sale sign. They inquired about attending our next open house. We invited them to come in and take a look. As they walked through the front door, they were calling the house “my house!” I agreed with them in prayer and two weeks later they became the new owners! We closed on the Friday before Labor Day. The next day, we started on our journey to a new life in Arizona!
Our first year in Arizona was exciting! There were so many new places to explore and people to meet! Two months after our arrival, I began working at Arizona State University. Four months later, Ronnie accepted a position at Maricopa County. We experienced God’s Word become our reality–He had answered our prayer and we believed we were in the right place at the right time!
Ronnie’s health greatly improved–no sinus infections, no pain. We began enjoying life again. Eventually, we embraced the idea that Wisconsin’s humidity was the cause of Ronnie’s suffering and those days were finally at an end!
We did not miss Wisconsin’s weather–we had abundant sunshine everyday and although it was “HOT”, it was not humid so the heat was bearable. We learned about “snowbirds” or people from the midwest and Canada who spend the winter months in Arizona. We didn’t know that our condo complex was snowbird central, especially for Canadians! We also met people from Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan. Our first winter in Arizona was extraordinary. Sunny days, cool nights–no coats, boots or gloves. And, more importantly, no “wind chill factors”! As we became fond of saying, “you don’t have to shovel sunshine”!
Unfortunately, our idyllic existence and comfort was short-lived. In June, Ronnie had his first sinus infection since leaving Milwaukee. The infection lasted one week; not too bad! In December, Ronnie bean to experience flu-like symptoms–body aches, fever and sneezing. Again, this “illness” lasted about a week and he recovered. We weren’t concerned because he always had colds in the winter.
But in February, strange things started happening. Ronnie had a problem digesting his food. He would come home and collapse on the bed– which is where he would be for the next twelve hours. This pattern continued for several days before he finally made a doctor’s appointment. The “diagnosis” was that he just needed a strong probiotic. He began taking them; they did not help–the pattern continued.
Over the next eight months, Ronnie entered what I call the suffering zone. He could not work, he could not eat, he could not sleep. He also began vomiting several times daily and had diarrhea continuously. On two occasions, Ronnie was hospitalized for kidney failure. He underwent seven different biopsy procedures on his kidneys and groin. He had surgery for the removal of his gallbladder and a colonoscopy. Despite all of these tests and procedures, nothing changed and the medical professionals had no answers or diagnosis!
A friend told us about how a naturopathic practitioner had successfully treated him for “heavy metal poisoning” so we decided to visit a naturopathic clinic in Scottsdale since traditional medicine had no answers. They ran a battery of blood tests and determined that Ronnie had a cancer marker called “Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS).” She explained that it didn’t mean he “had” cancer but she referred us to a cancer specialist for further examination. Ronnie was again poked, prodded and biopsied–this time of his bone marrow. The results of these assaults on his weak body were inconclusive. However, she also discovered the “monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance” cancer marker.
We went back to the naturopathic clinic where he was treated with electrical hydrotherapy; physical therapy, blood and stool tests, lead tests, and more. Despite these “treatments”, Ronnie’s physical body showed no improvement.
Every night he would sweat through two, sometimes three, changes of pajamas. His body, especially his hands, felt as if he was continuously warming them over an open flame. Eating very little, and eliminating from both ends all the time, Ronnie lost sixty pounds. His groin was swollen inside both legs. The “health care professionals” ordered body scans and tests at various hospitals and clinics in the Phoenix metro area. The result: no diagnosis, nothing changed!
Despite what we experienced, we refused to believe satan’s lies! We knew God had led us to Arizona and He would sustain us through these trials. We continued to pray God’s Word and believe for the impossible!