No guarantees?

March 27th, 2011

Q:  I spent two weeks cruising around Birmingham, flew back up to Harrisburg, took a side trip to San Antonio, and this morning, I left Philadelphia for parts unknown.  What am I?

A:  I am Package Dear, and Joe and Susanna have officially given up on me!

Friday night, when we saw that Package Dear was in San Antonio, our eyes were finally opened!  The online tracking service was doing no more and no less than stringing us along! Package Dear was supposed to be delivered to Lifeline on March 12th.  If we hadn’t been able to watch its “progress” online, long ago we would have said, “Lost in the mail,” and sent another one.

Yesterday we sent another one.  Yes, by FedEx, and guaranteed to be delivered to Lifeline by 10:30 tomorrow morning.  They have been looking for it since March 12th, and they are more than ready to send it right back out to the USCIS.

So here we are, stepping out of the lifeboat again. Something in me chuckles that He has asked us to to take this particular step twice.

The first time we stepped out of this boat, I knew that God was our only hope, and that He is able to do anything.  But I was struggling mightily against fear, struggling to keep my face turned up away from the waves surrounding us and turned only to His face.  But during these past two weeks He has used several different means to strengthen my heart in Him.  It took two weeks, but my emotions have caught up with the truth.

Susanna, my daughter, Who is in charge of the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them?  You are.

Who is in charge of the details of your life?  You are.

Who is in charge of Katerina?  You are.

Who is in charge of this rescue?  You are.

Who is in charge of your paperwork?  You are.

Who is in complete control of the decision of the USCIS officer who is assigned to your case two weeks from now?  You are.

When you get your answer from USCIS, from Whom will it truly come?  From You.

Who has truly provided thus far?  You have provided.

Can I do anything I please?  Yes.

Can I handle My own reputation?  Yes.

Am I good?  Yes.

Can I be trusted to do what is right?  Yes.

Will you trust Me to do what is right?   Yes.

What if I say “No?”  What if I stop everything right here?  Will you accept this from My hand?  Will you still bow to Me?  Will You praise Me?  Yes.  Yes, I will.

Several people have said, in kindness and sincerity, “God would not have brought you this far if He did not intend to see you through.”

We can look back and see what God has done to bring us to this place.  We would not be here if He had not worked many miracles, some of which we will not be able to write about until this story is finished.  He has shown us that nothing, nothing at all is too hard for Him.


…and I MUST lay this out and face it down and wrestle with it until I have completely accepted every aspect of it…

We do not know that God WILL allow us to adopt Katerina.

He simply has not given us any guarantees of this.  We can search all through the Scripture, and we will not find His promise that He WILL give us Katerina.  He has brought countless women to the point of birth, only to bring forth a stillborn child.  Every minute of every one of my pregnancies, I did not know whether God intended to give us a living child at the end.  We do not know the details of God’s plan for the future.

What we do know beyond any shadow of any doubt is that He CAN do anything.

No, He has not guaranteed a certain outcome, but we do have a guarantee from Him!

He has guaranteed Himself!  His own faithfulness!  His power!  His goodness!

We have done the next thing He asked us to do.

Now we hang up our bow and our sword, and leave the results with Him.

…the righteous will never be shaken!

He is not afraid of bad news!

His heart is firm, trusting in the LORD!

His heart is steady!

He will not be afraid!

The battle belongs to the LORD!

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10 Responses to “No guarantees?”

  1. Felicity says:

    This is beautiful, Susanna!  It gives me courage for our battle, which though different to yours, is sometimes as daunting.  I want to hang up my own bow and sword, and let Him do battle for us!

    BTW, I LOVED the video of Verity drinking from the straw!  Her little cheeks are so gorgeous, and I loved the way she held her arms out while drinking.

  2. Maureen says:

    I needed to read this today.   BTW, we too loved the video. The kids crowded around the computer and were cheering her on!

  3. Shari~hotfudgecustard says:

    It’s hard to understand why God gives directions and then sometimes seems to let the plan fail.  We have been through a season of following directions (we think and HOPE we were following Him!) and then watched the project fail miserably.  With tears!  And a whole lot of money, too!

    We are beginning to see a few small reasons for the failure, but still wonder why God seemed to direct in that way only to stop short of the finish line.  We’ll know in eternity.  And I have to discipline myself to rest in that and keep my mind from dwelling on wondering why.

    I am praying that the Lord will bring Katerina all the way to your home, but if He chooses to turn your ship another direction, I’m praying that you will rest in His leading.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Love this post.  I worried myself to death with what ifs.  If only I could go back and talk to THAT Stephanie and give her a heads up!

  5. Amanda Todd says:

    This is really beautiful:

    “What if I say “No?”  What if I stop everything right here?  Will you accept this from My hand?  Will you still bow to Me?  Will You praise Me? Yes.  Yes, I will.”

    I have had the SAME conversation with God recently and I was honestly surprised that was my answer.  He has brought me such a long way from the angry confused teenager I was and I’m so excited now about how close he has pulled me.  I wouldn’t be handling our pre-natal dx as well as I am without him and I absolutely know that.  

  6. M says:

    This would be a hard lesson for me to learn and easily give to the Lord-but I completely agree with what you’ve written!

    P.S. Did Lifeline receive your second packet?

  7. Susanna says:

    Yes, M, it is hard. And yes, Lifeline sent in all our paperwork before the end of the work day on Monday. The deed is done!

  8. Anna T says:

    Dear Susanna, are you in my head?  Just kidding, I’ve also had some of the same “conversations” and it’s refreshing to read them here.  Sometimes I hear in the quiet of my soul similar to when Job was questioned, “AM I not big enough for this?”; “Who has a plan for your life?”; “Who hung the stars in the sky, knows the number of hairs on your head AND knit your precious children in your womb?”…  Isaiah 26:3 and Psalm 27:14 are both very powerful for me to pray and read over and over, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” and “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”  I am praying for you as you are planning your course in your heart and the LORD is determining your steps (Psalm 16:9).  I am glad that Lifeline sent in all of your paperwork on Monday…yea! 

  9. Susanna says:

    Thank you, Anna, so much for praying.  You have been such a blessing!

  10. Anna T says:

    : ) 

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