To our great cloud of witnesses

December 6th, 2010

Today I am going to talk about you, O readers of this Donum Veritatis, this humble corner of the internet.

There is a code hidden throughout this blog.  Its message is always laid open to my eyes, but not to yours.

But I think you need to know…


…did you know…

When I look back through this blog, I see many of you, and through you, I can see even more.  I see you in the photos and the stories, as well as in the comment section.  I see shared memories of the past.  I see the part that you have played in our family’s journey, perhaps small on the universal scale, but significant on ours!  I catch myself smiling and shaking my head in wonder at the layers of meaning in every photo.  Ultimately, I see the hand of God working through you.

Take this picture, for example.

When I look at this shawl, crocheted with love and prayer and sent to Verity, I see one of you, my mom’s sister, and the gifts you have given us.  I also see another one of you–my cousin, and the memories that run long and deep.  I see a congregation who prayed for our baby.

I look at this jumper, and this sweet little book called, “Who’s That Pretty Baby?” given to Verity, and see one of you, a friend who has enriched my life so much over the past few years.

Here’s another picture.

I see one of you here, although you are behind the camera.  You have been a valuable friend to our family, my brother.

I see here before me some of you, an extraordinary family who has blessed us so immeasurably this year.  You love, and serve, and help, and give, and give, and give, and give, and somehow at the same time you manage to make us feel that we are doing you such a big favor.

When I survey this scene, I also see three more blog readers, my husband and two oldest sons.  How many times have you literally stopped me from giving up the blog?  “Two are better than one…for if they fall, one will lift up his companion…woe to him who is alone when he falls…a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

I see the son who made the Thanksgiving dinner nearly singlehandedly, and all the other helpers!

Every time I look at these curtains, I see my sister, who made them for us, and has been such a steadfast support and understanding friend.

I look at the table runner and see my dad and his wife, so dear to us, honest, trusted and wise friends.

When I look at the face in these photographs, I see one of you who invited me to a Day of Blessing for women who care for someone with special needs.

When I see you, I also see your young daughter, whom you have taught and trained so carefully, and she makes me eager to learn from you!

Why do these pictures bring that Day of Blessing to my mind’s eye?

Because on that day I received many gifts, but most precious to me was to hear experienced mothers exclaim over Verity’s bright expression, her good eye contact, her responsiveness, and her strong grip.  As you can see, I remember every word.  I took words like that for granted with my other babies.  Not anymore!

In case there is any doubt, that beautiful day was worth every minute of hassle and pressure, and I’d do it all again!  And guess which family welcomed our children for the day and sent supper home with us?

One of you gave Verity that rattle.  That bow.  Every last stitch of clothing on her body was given by one of you, amazing friends.

When I look at the blanket, I see the face of one of you, a faithful and loving friend.

The shirt from another one of you.

When I look at this Verity-face, I also see one of you, the most amazing woman with Down syndrome, whom I love as much as you love Verity.  I see your bright eyes, your hilarious quick wit, your loving heart.  Just by being the woman God made you to be, you have given us a most precious gift of vision for our baby’s future.  We thank God for the gift you are to us.

I am buying you some peppermint patties.  So there.  <big smile>

What I have written barely does credit to the reality of what I see.  And I could go back to every picture on this blog and unpack story after story of the gift of relationships with so many of you.

Some of you have come from out of the past or from far reaches to surround us.

Many of you are not just blog readers or blog commenters, you are friends.  You are the people we see regularly, converse with, go to for counsel, care about, learn from, and pray for.

And when I look beyond the blog?  All I have to do is lift up my eyes and I see more of you all around me.

This family photo, that snapshot, this breast pump, the nursing cover, Boppy pillow, books, a stack of materials to show me how to help Verity.  It goes on.  And on.  And on.

Your encouraging words keep saying to me, “Do not grow weary in well doing, for in due season you will reap, if you do not faint!” Did you know that’s what your comments here or elsewhere were really doing?  It’s true!  So thank you.

Your prayers?  Our baby’s life is made out of answered prayers.  Thank you!

O readers, I have opened my heart wide to you, and you have responded by taking our baby into yours.

If you didn’t know it before, now you do.  If you have prayed for us even once, or have spoken even one word of encouragement, you can be sure of it–it has not disappeared into a bottomless pit.  You have been God’s hand in our life.

I have thanked God for you countless times, but now, with a full heart, I am thanking you.

May God pour back into you as only He can!  May He be praised!!

“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.”

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10 Responses to “To our great cloud of witnesses”

  1. Anna T says:

    Thank you for such a beautiful post Susanna!!  I am in awe of all of the wonderful people that God has brought into my life because of the priviledge of being Jacob’s mommy!!  I tried to share and finally did share through tears in my Bible Study last week a portion of our story and how we were brought together through the internet and our sweet babies.  I was overcome with how very good God is and how He orchestrates the details of our lives in such intricate and awesome ways!!  Thank you for sharing your life and your heart through your blog…  I’m continuing to pray for you, Verity and your family. 

  2. sabrina says:

    Beautiful pictures, Susanna! The pics of Verity are the cutest ones yet. Just adorable!

  3. Angiedawn says:

    Just about everything you write makes me cry Susanna…..:) In a good way…..

    Anyhow,I love the last picture of Verity and I am always amazed at how much she looks like her sisters!!!!

  4. So precious and yes, when I read this tears welled up.  You are so blessed!!  :)

  5. Robin says:

    What a beautiful post!  Your blog is a blessing to me.

  6. Tearing up here too!  Loved this post!  When I have time, I need to send you an e-mail with a journey the Lord has me on…
    Your blog is so inspiring and so precious to my momma’s heart!  Thank you again!

  7. Marilyn Osborn says:

    I love you dearly, my sister.

  8. Susanna says:

    I love you all too, friends!  One of the unexpected blessings of this journey is all the new relationships God brought to us–we just had no idea!

    Grace, I will hold you to that–I am looking forward to that now!

  9. mykl says:

    I love you very much, sister.  Without Net access I am rarely able to comment here.  But be assured that I read and thank God for every word you write.  God’s best to your beautiful, enthusiastic, godly family.
    And especially your sweet little muffin. :-)

  10. Susanna says:

    Thank you, brother! Love you, too!

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