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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Josie Love/warfare

if there is ANYTHING that I have learned on this journey called life is that satan is real. He is alive, well, and willing to kill, steal and destroy. satan does not like anyone caring for orphans. plain and simple.

those of you who follow me on facebook or twitter know that Gwen and I went to the Created4Care conference this past weekend. I wont mention that it took us 7 hours to get there instead of 4 1/2, because we were so excited to be together and get away that we headed SOUTH, but on the wrong interstate! hahaha. thankfully, we were not in a time crunch, no one was screaming at us, and we had a FABULOUS time catching up on each others lives:)

The next morning the conference center was packed! it was so exciting to see over 400 women from all over the nation come and "retreat" with other moms that have adopted, in the process of adoption, or contemplating it. Just the numbers alone brought tears to my eyes...OR maybe it was because my throat hurt so bad, I wanted to cry every time I swallowed? Gwen and I left home Thursday night, and by Friday morning i felt as though razor blades were cutting my throat. I was speaking on HIV, 2 panels, and a breakout session on moms that drive a bus (ha) throughout the weekend. How else would satan attack? of course, my throat.

In my mind, I started going through the ways to rebuke satan. we rely on God’s power, not our own. Second, we rebuke in Jesus’ Name, not our own. Third, we protect ourselves with the full armor of God. Fourth, we wage warfare with the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God. scriptures are full ofexamples of spiritual warfare. Revelation 12:7-8, Ephesians 6: 10-18, Matthew 4:1-11....to name a few.

I took tylenol around the clock, and pushed through. On my way home, i tried to stop and get my throat swabbed...no one was in. Monday morning I went straight to the doctor....STREP. started on an antibiotic and on Wednesday I called back, throat still KILLING me and now spitting blood. SOOO, they changed my meds, I am now on the mend after promising my doctor that I would lay on the couch all day today (hence me posting on my blog hahah)

My heart is still heavy from my HIV break out session. The room was FULL. I am SO conflicted on the whole disclosure issue. I pray and ask God to make it clear to me daily, it's all fear, so I will continue to pray for Him to give me peace. There are days when I wish we had not told anyone about Josie being HIV+...the days when I feel my mama bear claws come out in protection for her. But what if I hadnt told? I wouldnt have a platform to encourage and educate, my children wouldnt have been able to watch the MIRACULOUS journey that we have been on from the front row, the emails wouldnt have flowed in telling me the news of hearts being open to adoption for HIV children, my family would have to live with a secret, and if I don't share... the stigma STAYS! (truly, the list goes on and on and on. ) I am praying each day that all of my children will find their identity in CHRIST. Not in what their life holds...what their HEART holds. Check out this video....MIRACULOUS.






26 comments:

Angela Braniff said...

I was in your HIV breakout session. You did such an amazing job! Disclosure is such a hot topic, and in my heart I know you are right for sharing Josie's story. The one thing I keep coming back to is shame. By hiding it, are we telling our children they have something to be ashamed about? Aren't we only perpetuating the cycle of fear and shame? I don't have all the answers either, but you are true woman of God, and I am so glad I could meet you this weekend!

Amy said...

I will never forget the day Mike posted on the blog about Josie's diagnosis. And I never had a doubt in my mind YOU were the mama that would fight for her and raise her up into a strong, beautiful, loving girl. I often forget that I left the country right before she came home and I haven't gotten to meet her yet.

Alison said...

Oh my goodness, Suzanne! I have TEARS!!! She is such a precious miracle from the Lord! It was so great to hear you speak this past weekend! And I had no idea you were so sick! God used you so much! Thank you so much for your sweet willingness to share your story and bring Him glory!!!

Treasures Evermore said...

Wow, wish we had a conference like that here in Canada...sigh.

Sounds like an amazing time.

I had strep three times this winter and antibiotics did not want to touch it. So I found out through my daughters Naturopath that Colloidal Silver is a natural antibiotic. Well, I went straight to the health store and purchased it...and I started to gargle and swallow...within two days the pain was gone...and quit the antibiotics which was causing yeast issues :-(...and I've not looked back.

My sister who is getting her degree in natural medicine said that she keeps Colloidal silver in her house all the time.

Maybe that would help.

Blessings,
Connie
PS...Loved the video...what a beautiful little girl.

missy said...

okay so my friend and i were saying at c4c how cute and scratchy your voice was! HA...strep is not so cute, huh? i was also in your break out and i was praying like mad. i felt a little weird about it like you were on the hot seat for just sharing how it has played out for you. which is kind of why i asked a question to change the topic. i was one of the people who started reading your blog on that day you went from 35 close family members to 1000. your family has challenged and inspired me ever since. i know disclosure is a topic that stirs people, but i am so thankful that there is a voice for that option.

Laura said...

Oh Suzanne! As I sit here (with tears in my eyes) watching Josie, with MY little girl right next to me...I am so thankful you have talked about HIV. You were soo instrumental in our decision..We would have NOT done this (and missed out on the greatest blessing in this child) if we hadnt read it here first! And oh how I understand the torn heart over disclosure, and how I pray that our girls find their (beautiful) idenity in Christ alone! That just because this is a part of their lives, it does not define them! Thank you for your transparency!

Vandewater Family said...

God used you to open our hearts to adopting a child with an infectious disease (I hate that label by the way!) I don't think I would have ever considered it before hearing your story. We leave in a week to get our son, who is Hepatitis C positive. Thank you. =)

Lauren said...

I was so sick at C4C this weekend too! I thought it was just a cold, but I had no voice by Sunday and got into the dr on Monday to find out I had laryngitis! crazy! I know it was warefare because God really did such a sweet work in my heart this weekend and I know satan didn't want me there. I was in your breakout session too (the HIV one... I snuck into the last bit of the bus one too!) and I thought you did an amazing job. You made me really think about our decision far beyond just the medical aspect. I so appreciated your honesty. I am with you on the disclosure thing. It's so hard to know what that line is. I guess I agree with what you and Angela are saying... if we hide it aren't we teaching our children to be ashamed and perpetuating the stigma? One thing you said has stuck with me... when Jesus was here on earth he was hanging out with the lepers and he sure didn't hide that fact! Thank you for your part in C4C!! You're a blessing!

Audrey @ The Brown Brigade said...

You are a blessing! Thank you for sharing Josie Love's story. It was great to have lunch with you and see your heart.

Heather Joy said...

I do not know you but started following your blog a few months ago after Katie came to our church. I now share the story with my classes during devotions. I am praising the Lord right now for Josie Love's life and your testimony of displaying the heart of God through adoption for His glory.
Heather
heatherjoyspigner.blogspot.com

Deb said...

Disclosure is such a hard choice. So far, we've gotten nothing but support and for that, I'm thankful. I pray that the attitudes will continue -- around the world -- and that fear and stigma will get lost!!

Home Project Manager said...

Suzanne,
I just have to say that God IS using you and Josie to tell the world the TRUTH about HIV. I loved that you shared on the panel. I did not get to attend your breakout session, but don't you worry, I bought the mp3 set and CAN'T WAIT to hear yours. I am certain the devil is working hard, but if he's not working hard, I always think that means I need to check my relationship with God. See, I kind of expect that the stronger my love and dependence on our Father is, the more trouble to expect.

So, as strange as this sounds....BRING IT ON little "d" because God's got this!!!

Hang in there girl! Hugs from Orlando!

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

YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So wish I could have been there this past weekend.....but instead we are bringing our newest addition to the family....Oh did I mention he is almost 2 and has hiv? Among a multitude of other needs.

So yeah....any advice would be WELCOMED!!

Holly Brown said...

You are the voice for so many! Thank you for sharing your heart and your story! I am reminded that once again we are God's "Plan A" and called to greater things. We visited at the C4C conference about our Uganda adoption and I was blessed to sit at your table for dinner Saturday night. Got an email from our agency Tuesday that the Lord is moving and they are expecting to be making several referrals in the next 2-4 weeks. I will let you know! Boo devil & strep!!! Doctors orders you must rest ;) much love xoxoxo

Shine Like Stars said...

Don't doubt for one second that you made the wrong choice in sharing your journey with Josie Love! Children are being rescued and healed in the name of Jesus because of your courage and strength!!

And I'm sorry you were sick at C4C! :( You covered it well but you should have asked all 400+ of those praying mommas to pray for you! If it makes you feel any better, the scratchy voice was super cute. :)

Anonymous said...

LOVE the video..so sweet and precious and miraculous!

Kim said...

Love you friend. Josie Love's transformation is such beautiful testimony of the power of LOVE. And her story is changing lives and drawing those who hear closer to Jesus! What a blessing!

Lauren said...

Another affirmation for you: if you hadn't shared Josie Love's ENTIRE story (disclosure and all), we wouldn't have our precious Eden today. It was YOUR story that stirred our hearts and caused us to open our adoption parameters...which lead us to Eden.

Erika Chapman said...

You blessed our socks off at the C4C conference. Our conversation in the hallway before the Pajama Party Blogger panel was the highlight of my weekend:) Thank you for investing in us despite the fact you had JUST said your throat was killing you! But you stayed and shared so much with us! I have been chewing on our discussion about finding strong adult African-American role models for our kiddos and for crossing barriers and sticking with it...so much!! Thank you for the sacrifice you made physically and emotionally to teach us, and invest in us. I am so thankful for the way you and Gwen mentor hundreds of us through your blog. And I just watched a Tim Tebow interview and all I could think of was how he and Katie Davis just HAVE to meet!!! They could change the world:) Is that bad to say??? Sorry!! Just sayin'

Kristi said...

I am just one more person who is now loving a beautiful HIV child because of your willingness to disclose the truth about Josie love. I am so thankful God led me to your blo long before I ever thought I would need to know facts about HIV. Now I live among the Karimojong people, and HIV has become as common and usual for me as a cold or the flu in America. Your family has been such a blessing to me, and I can't thank you enough for sharing. My daughter is now thriving and healthy after one year of good food and medicine, and I continually thank God for bringing her into our family!

Julia said...

LOVE that video! Cracking up at the baby powder pictures. It's been a while since i checked your blog and Josie has changed so much. Those eyes are so open! You have a beautiful fam!

LIfe A Bit Sweeter (Michelle) said...

Not much to say but I love you for what you are doing. As I shared with Kristen...you, Gwen, Katie, and Kristen are my own personal Dream Team if I could have one. You all have inspired me more than you'll ever know. We may or may not make the right choice but being the woman of God that you are, I totally believe God leads you in doing what's right for you and your family. No matter what you do, people will find a way to criticize. Keep up the fight sister, you're making a big difference in this world.

yellodaisy said...

I worked as a social worker for over 10 years, providing case management for adults who were HIV+. This was over ten years ago. Back then , the stigma was worse than it is today. The stress of living with such a secret often took a terrible toll on their health. The more HIV is brought out into the open and learned about, the less stigma there will be. God bless you for being a voice for those that have none.

Anna said...

Thank you Suzanne, for posting your miraculous journey of love and grace, and for sharing Josie Love's sweet smiles with us. Am praying that Satan and the stigma are shut down!!

LIfe A Bit Sweeter (Michelle) said...

whoops! i hate mistyping someone's name and then do it that way twice. yikes! sorry...kristen is supposed to be kristi!

Adrienne said...

Just finished studying 2 Corinthians 4 today, and without a doubt, it speaks to your decision to spread the gospel and God's message of hope through disclosing Josie's HIV. Especially v. 13 "I believed, therefore I spoke" and then 15 "For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God." You've turned an affliction into comfort and the giving of life to others. Thank you for being obedient to believing and speaking!

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suzanne
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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