Thursday, June 9, 2016

and Wise Words from Mommy Susie

Wedding Day--October, 2014
A brave young woman with two sons of her own to raise, entered into our lives, married Doug and took on the role of mom to Isaiah.  A little while later they added a beautiful little girl, Charlotte, to the mix.
I asked Susan if she would like to write about what this journey has been like for her and she took on the task (amidst active baby, Little League games, and incessant questions from a 3 year old). What follows is Susan's gift to us.

As I look at Charlotte, I can’t help but think that she is the same age Isaiah was when Christina went to be with Jesus ….. almost three years ago.  As a mom, I cannot grasp the magnitude of Christina’s (mama’s) heart. The depth of surrender.  The amount of trust.  The battle in letting go.  Her reality of leaving her sweet baby boy without the comfort of knowing how things turn out.  

In only about 15 months of motherhood (beginning with babe in womb), Christina left an astonishing example of what is looks like to be an amazing mom.  She trusted Jesus whole heartedly.  Joyfully.  She not only trusted Him for herself, but also for her child.  She was selfless.  She chose fearlessness.  She prayed fervently for Isaiah.  She surrendered him.  And then again, and again, and perhaps constantly.  

Charlotte and Isaiah
I could not have written this story in my wildest dreams.  Marrying Doug, raising Isaiah, living in this home, blending our families, having another baby…  Even as I write it, it blows my mind! (And makes me sweat a little!) Although this has come with tremendous blessings, it has brought many fears and doubts. And questions.  Lots of questions. How do I do all of this?  Am i the right one for the job?  How do I love and care for Doug’s heart in all of this?  Is this really Gods will for all of us? What is my role with not only Isaiah, but the rest of the family? What is the expectation of me? How do my big boys fit in to all of this?  Is it okay to make myself at home here - change the decor, etc.? Will others approve of the way I raise Isaiah? Okay…you get the picture.  Its a lot to navigate.  And if I’m being honest, and vulnerable… I let some of these questions paralyze me with fear. 

If you have been to our home and asked for our wifi password, we will give you 2Timothy1:7.  This reads, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  I tell you this, because Doug and Christina lived and breathed and filled this home with God’s word that continually tells us not to fear. This is only one small example.  I remember coming to visit when Christina was on hospice.  This was not a house filled with  fear.  This was a house filled with life.  With joy.  With worship.  And it was filled with Isaiah … which brought so much joy and laughter and fun.

That little guy continues to bring it!  Can I just tell you ….. I see Christina in his smile.  The twinkle in his eye.  In the way he runs.  The way he does this happy dance when he gets something right.    And can I just say ….. I am so incredibly thankful that Doug and Christina fearlessly chose Isaiah.  I am so thankful that God blessed all of us with this gift.  I am thankful that I knew and loved Christina, and can share that with Isaiah. And I am thankful and blessed to be a part in raising up this little guy.  

Far beyond what I could have asked or imagined!!
For the last two years, God has asked me to surrender my fears to him.  He continues to show me what it looks like to walk in freedom.  He continues to show me - much through Christina’s story - that He is the author of my life.  He is sovereign.  That means … He has the whole picture.  And although I am not facing a brain tumor, I don’t have the control or knowledge of when my last breath will be. I don’t have the comfort of knowing how it all ends up for my children.   And the only true peace, is the peace that Jesus brings.  If I am surrendering as Christina did - all of my questions and fears and doubts - that is when the unexplainable joy comes.  The joy that only Jesus can bring in the midst of hardship.  And that is the blessing.  And when I am pressing into Jesus, the fears of this world fade away.  When I actively trust in His word, I can exhale slowly.  I am so thankful I don’t have to figure all of this out.  I don’t have to be anyone or anything other than what God has called me to be. I am responsible for today.  This moment.   Christina did not passively wait for all of this to come to her.  She fought for it. Continually.  Lord, may this be true in my life as well.  
Every day, may I surrender my life to you.  May I surrender my children.  Will you fill me with a spirit of power and love and self-control.  “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18.  Thank you Lord, that you give us these gifts.  They were not available just to Christina, but to all of us.  

And if you’re wondering ….  those questions and doubts I shared …… God has given and blessed abundantly.  Beyond my wildest imagination. 

My heart in sharing all of this, is to encourage you (and myself) that joy and peace in this broken world is attainable through our Lord, Jesus Christ.  That He is our bridge to peace and joy.  Oh, how I desperately want to live this way!  And thank you Jesus, for  Christina’s example in living this way.  Full abandon.  Nothing wasted.  All for His glory.  


  1. Beautiful and heartfelt! Your reminder to surrender all of our worries to Jesus is welcomed. Christina, indeed, set the bar high in her walk with our Lord; and,Susan you and Doug are doing a wonderful job of continuing her legacy in raising these little ones. The Godly example you both provide will surely reap rewards of delight as they grow. Carry on in the name of Jesus, dear lady, and enjoy the journey!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Ginger! Christina's life story left so much for us to continue to glean from. I am so thankful.

  2. Thank you! I'm so glad to be given this message again. A short while before Christina moved onward and upward, we talked about fear. She would have none of it. It was mind-boggling to me.
    Fear was my constant companion in a strange, new, post-brain-injured world. I brought it along with me daily. I regret to say that most days, I still answer its knock at my door. We hang out.
    And when I grow exhausted of fear (about once a week) and remember to turn my "eyes upon Jesus" and "look full in His wonderful face," I think of Christina and her strong, strong example.
    Susan, now I'll be thinking of your beautiful words and the admirable life you're living, too. Thanks for adding another chapter.

    1. Christina's no-fear life was indeed mind-boggling at times! It's hard to imagine in her situation that she could live that way. I think it was one of the most important examples and lesson she left us with .... as this is exactly what the Lord intends and has for all of us. She did it well. I know it came with much struggle and diligence on her part to fight for joy. And she proved the victory that comes when we surrender, and as you say ... turn our eyes upon Jesus. Thanks for sharing.