Hands and house

Hands and house

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Be strong and courageous....

We spent the last two days camping with dear friends, watching our kids run and literally cover themselves in dirt (seriously rolling in it, I kid you not) and mulling over what I am thinking & feeling right now...I do not have a lot of answers but do feel like I have some big ones to lean on.
I have no doubt at all that this little girl is the one that God has chosen before the beginning of time to be our daughter. The Lord has been so very clear over and over with very real confirmation that we are right where we are supposed to be...more so than at any other time in my life. This is the path that we are supposed to be on, the door that we are supposed to walk through and we will continue to do so with our eyes on the Lord as it is the path He set out for us before the beginning of time.
This path looks different than I expected, we were really hoping that the update we got from the orphanage would have said that Georgia had received the first surgery that she needs (fairly commonly done in China) and that the journey would be easier than we thought. I really and truly wanted that to be the case, to be able to lay my head on my pillow each night of that wait heading forward knowing that her body was getting most of the oxygen that it needed. I think right now I am grieving, for her that it will be longer until she feels relief, longer that she has to struggle and for what lies ahead because it is definitely not for the faint of heart and is littered with unknowns at this point. I have been asking myself how I am doing with this (yes, that sounds a bit psychotic and I am ok with that). At this point, what I can say is that we stand on the cusp of much unknown and many perils but that I can move forward. How can I do this? Because there is no way that I do it alone.
I want to share something that happened today. On our way home from camping, Doug turned on a sermon from our old pastor (thanks Josh!) and he was speaking on the first chapter of Joshua. There was a ton in that sermon that was very relevant to where we are now but I am still chewing on it and will probably write more later. Tonight I opened my Bible up again to re-read what Josh was talking about and realized this...
It is the same passage given to the team of four that I went to Romania with in 1993. We were chosen to go and spend the summer living in an orphanage. I was scared to death of going and honestly spent a large chunk of my time there weeping for the little ones that I came to love, for the loneliness in their lives, the care they were given (or weren't) and how little our team could do in the grand scheme of their pain. I coped by reading a passage given to us by the pastor before we left for Romania and guess what passage it was? Joshua 1.
Here is the part that the Lord wrote on my heart halfway around the world as I read and re-read it while grieving for those precious ones and what He again reminded me of today:

"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it...Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

And that is where I am at tonight...I know that God goes before us. I do not know the outcome of this journey, how Georgia is really doing, whether her health has deteriorated a lot or just a little, and may not know until we get there. Our wait at this point may be short or very, very long. But I do not wait alone. When I focus on the Lord and do not turn to the left or to the right, then I can take the next step. I have fears, very real fears and about a million questions that I would like to have answered right now but I know without a doubt that the Lord my God will be with us wherever (and whenever) we go...


Jacob and Carrie said...

That passage was hugely instrumental in our lives when we decided to move to China. Looking back on that experience, I can be thankful that God only asks us to be strong and courageous for what we will face today... He doesn't show the whole picture to us and tell us to "buck up!" He gives it to us one tiny step at a time. I have no doubt that He'll prepare your hearts for each step of this journey, and that you will find your strength and courage made complete in Him. We will continue to pray for all of you and for sweet little Georgia.

Aaron and Erica said...

I think I found your blog from the China Heart Yahoo Group and I wanted to post a comment of encouragement. These next few weeks while you wait for the final pieces of paper from the CCAA probably be tough, but I will be praying for peace for your hearts and a continued confidence and trust in Him. We created a blog for our daughter as she underwent her first surgery (she'll probably need more than one). It's http://prayingforyouyou.blogspot.com...if you are interested in reading about someone who just went through OHS.

I look forward to following your journey to your daughter.


Shirlee McCoy said...

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the apostle Peter. He had it all there in front of him - Christ, standing on the water, holding out His hand and saying 'come'. For a few seconds of bliss, Peter did move with confidence. Then he took his eyes off Jesus, looked at the crashing waves and the dark sky and he began to sink beneath the water. Realizing his peril, he cried out to Jesus and was pulled up once again.

When you speak of your journey, I get a sense of those crashing waves and those dark clouds. The rumble of thunder and bolts of lightening. I see you clearly, standing above the chaos, not being drawn down by it, but moving forward, your eyes on Jesus as you take one step at a time on this great adventure. As the previous poster said, your strength and courage do not come from outward circumstances and cannot be destroyed by them.

Of course, that doesn't make it easy. When our little ones hurt, we hurt too. When they are in need, we want so desperately to provide for them.

My family will continue to lift your daughter up in prayer, and we will pray also that you will have peace in this journey.

Walk on!

Gretchen said...


Our daughter is also in 1st YuLin Although in foster care right now). I am praying for you baby girl. My friend just adopted a heart baby from China and she has just had surgery in the US. Please go to her blog and read. I think it will lift you spirit. Her blog is www.jacobsjourneyhome.blogspot.com Maybe we will be traveling together to get our girls!

Gretchen www.ourjourneytotheeast.blogspot.com

The Vinyards said...

I'm praying for you & your family.

Miller Moments said...

I love the way that God finds to speak to us-His Word, the radio, memories, etc!


Wife of the Pres. said...

Shannon, I hope it is OK to say this. I sort of shuddered when I read about you hoping that Georgia had already received a surgery in Ch*na. You see, if you had seen what I saw, you might see this as a blessing--that you will be there with her to make sure she is not in pain and not alone. Our daughter spent many weeks in a hospital in Ch*na alone at night. I shudder still to think of it. I am sorry for what she endured but I am grateful I was able to be there with her when she had her surgery.

Praying you get to talk to the cardiologists soon, to ease your mind and to hear their thoughts.


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