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Sunday, September 12, 2010

There is not a single person among us, including me, who would ever CHOOSE the hard road in life.

Yet the hard road is where we often find the process of greatest growth and lasting lessons.

Romans 5 begins, "1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 6 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. "

At the resurrection, I was always fascinated that Jesus kept His scars. And then I heard a song that singled out this idea forever- "See those scars, precious scars, proof of battles He has brought us through- Learn to love those old scars for the things they say to you- reminders that healing is part of His plan for you."

We also would never naturally choose the hard path for our children- and yet we know that they learn to walk by falling and 'boo boo's' are marks of progress.

So this is a quick reminder to all of us to rejoice in the hard road and embrace the hard times trusting that God is in control. I am thankful for coaches and teachers who hold firm lines and sometimes cause temporary pain and lasting fruit.

I am thankful for courageous fight against the most difficult of odds- it is inspirational.

I am more thankful for forgiveness, when we shrink in fear, and are welcomed back in grace to try it again.

My son's coach sent this out to us after a loss this week in football. His words were exactly what my heart needed as I walked away from a discussion with our preschool director. Josie has had a fabulous week at school. She is transitioning well and her teachers cannot believe how much love she has to give. While talking to the director, we were discussing rules/regulations/legalities about our "rights" of disclosure with HIV. While legally we do not have to tell a single soul about her HIV, we have chosen to share her life story so that you all can see the face of Christ through it all alongside us. Josie is not the only child in our school program with HIV (shocking huh?!? brings me a little more peace to not be totally alone in this venture....) The directors words to me were "legally, we cannot share anything about any child in our program to the public, but you must know that if she was to bite someone, YOU would have to call the other child's parents and talk to them."

NOW, while I KNOW that she could not infect another child this way, MOST people around me do NOT know this and the thought of the FEAR that another couple would feel receiving "THAT call" made me shutter. Once again, the reality of "my life " hit me between the eyes like a sledge hammer! A year ago, if I had been on the receiving end of THAT phone call....I would probably have passed out! So, my next thoughts were "I'm gonna pull her out! Just for the sake of others hearts, I would never want for another mom to feel that fear."

So, I called my infectious disease doctor nurse. She affirmed that Josie is almost five years old. Her viral loads are almost undetectable. The virus is not transmitted in that way. I'd have to pull her out of the nursery at church, not take her here, not take her there.....BASICALLY keep her closed up at home. AND the reality is....that the general public is in contact with infected people on a daily basis but do not know it because it hasn't been disclosed. yada, yada, yada....and most of ALL, God did not bring us this far, for me to walk in fear and not FAITH.

faith not FEAR, FAITH not fear, faith not FEAR, FAITH not fear, I choose to speak these words to my self DAILY.

So, there it is...ALL OUT fears, my confessions, MY LIFE.

Thankfully, Josie is not a biter.


Kait said...

I found your blog through someone else's blog and I just wanted to say THANK YOU! for writing this. My husband and I are in the process of adopting a little boy from Lesotho who is HIV positive and we are struggling with disclosure and the reactions of some family members. They brought up the biting thing too and no matter how much we reassured them that our child cannot transmit HIV that way they just keep telling us "Our child is our first priority and we have to keep him safe!"

While I understand that mentality on the other hand I want to scream because we have two daughters at home currently and we've gone through all this! We've educated ourselves and we just want people to understand that our kids are not dangerous to them or anyone else.

It's tough. I appreciate your honesty so much.

sunny-d said...

You are so stinkin' cute in those pictures! And you're funny. But most of all, you're a role model to me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for educating us all. Because of your blog if I was to get "that call" I wouldn't pass out now! Your family is beautiful and inspires me daily!

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

AMEN! Fear is so real, but God helps us erase fear- thank you for boldness

Anonymous said...


J @ distribution central :)

The McBs said...

I love reading this... despite that you probably didn't love writing it. I'm grateful for the wisdom you have and how much it helps us of those walking a few steps behind you... Just this week we are going to have E tested for Cystic Fibrosis, as it is suspected... FAITH not FEAR. I needed to read this today. Love to you sweet mama!

Jill Funkhouser said...

Beautifully stated and love the pictures!

Janel said...

Oh, I so needed to hear this today. Thank you!

emily said...

Love that beautiful pic of you!!! Great post, great reminder! Love how He uses these special ones to keep us at the foot of the Cross. :)

Tracy said...

OOOH so true! Sweet Josie is not a biter but our adversary sure is!! Praying for you and love your heart so much! BTW- Mercy just asked me last night if she would have her scars in heaven. :)

RaVae Erickson said...

No words of inspiration for you today, just a thank you for sharing another small piece of your world-the things you end up thinking about that others don't see. FAITH today!

Anonymous said...

You don't know me from Adam, yet you and Gwen have directed me back to my Savior so many times. You girls inspire me week after week and I just love you like my sisters!

laura said...

Thanks again for another great post. I love your honesty. Enjoy the journey!

katie said...

Love it, love it, love it. I have been following your blog for a few months now. I am a missionary that just returned home after a 11 month 11 country trip, The World Race. I learned about Katie Davis' blog and then found you and Gwen. I love reading your words. I love your heart and passion. I am entering into nursing school right now but as soon as i graduate I am moving back to Uganda/Kenya border. I was in Jinga the same time Katie was but I didnt know about her then. It was Feb. this year. But I love reading your blog and I love your fearlessness. Go get it Woman of God.

in a world surrounded by men said...

I needed to hear that today. My husband and I are wrestling with whether to adopt or not. After years of not being remotely interested, he recently came to me (out of the clear blue, I swear) with a plan of action to "collect information and make a decision" and now I'M SCARED!!!! I know it will be hard and my fear lies in my utter dependence on self, which I need to transfer to Jesus, who will carry me through. Faith not fear, faith not fear, faith not fear.

Andrea H. said...

Hi Suzanne. I started reading your blog when you were over in Uganda finding out Josie had HIV and you had to come back without her. I love your heart so much. I have adopted 4 children with HIV and there is still so much ignorance and undeducated people. Rest assured that you can always lean on us too when the going gets tough because more and more people are adopting positive. Proud of you that you are educating people because you get lots of readers.

Shawnstribe said...

thank you so much for sharing.
hugs to miss j love

Anonymous said...

She is beautiful! Thank you for your honesty, thank you for your willingness to shine light on truth. I am amazed at what I have learned about HIV through Josie Love's journey.

I have shared her story several times in the past week, it is amazing. Sadly, I have been ignorant to HIV... thank you for opening my eyes.

Sara said...

Hi. I've enjoyed reading your blog. I started reading it months ago when my husband and I began the process of adopting from Rwanda. When Rwanda closed, God moved our hearts to Uganda. And opened the doors practically. We're talking with our agency about a 15 month old HIV+ little girl. My heart just breaks for her and her family (dad died, mom is dying). I would love to talk with you if you would be up for an email conversation about the reality of caring for a child with HIV. Blessings to your family!

Rachel Leigh said...

I adore your blog! Thank you so much for sharing your love and hard work for the orphan and Our God!

God Bless

My blog is if ya would like to check it out!

Eunice said...

I love those individual pictures of your beautiful family. I can't wait to see you all again. You make my day, everyday, just thinking of you and your family. Love you muchus...LaLa


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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