My friends…

These have been the hardest two weeks of life. The level of difficulty has only increased day by day. I can say without a doubt that the last twenty four hours have been the hardest. Or maybe the last eight.

I was just informed that my little girl, Susana, has cancer. These are the hardest words for a mom to swallow. The pain is so strong. I feel like my chest is going to explode. I am trying my best to hold back the tears in front of her. I am also trying to remember that I serve an amazing God. He is stronger than I am. He is holding the whole universe in His hand. And if there is one thing I am fully convinced is that for the past three years He has been preparing me for this very moment.

You see, three years ago I learned the most important fact about God: He is sovereign. He is in control. Not me. Him and Him alone. All of my days were already written in His book. And not a single detail of my life escapes His knowledge or His will. But that is not all. I also have learned that He is deeply in love with me, in love with Susana, and in love with everyone of His children. And so for the past three years, the Lord took me through a journey to teach me one very important lesson. A lesson that I now summarize in my favorite scripture that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Sure, I don’t understand His plan. I cannot tell you what He is doing or has in mind. But I am certain of the fact that even in this He will be glorified and He has a good purpose. So I have nothing to do, but to bow my head to a sovereign, good, and loving God and say, “Your will be done, not mine”. And that I say, again, because I am fully convinced that His will is perfectly good for me, for Susana, for our family.

So pray with me. Pray that my faith will only grow stronger. Pray that I am able to embrace the good in this trial. Pray that I can remain physically strong and healthy to be able to endure the changes that lay ahead for our family. And pray that God is glorified.

No, I am not in denial. This is not a pat answer or christian cliche talking. This is the very core of my faith in Him. If I don’t believe this, then the God I serve is not God, but an idol. I thank Him so much for the last six months in Haiti. I thank Him for all the trials our family endured while we were there. And I thank Him for all that we saw. For it was while in Haiti that I learned very well that He is not concerned with suffering and misery on this earth the way we are. He is, but in a different, much greater way. He is far more concerned with souls that are lost without the hope of knowing where true freedom lies–in Jesus.

I thank you all for your support and your prayers. And I thank you all for your love. We are blessed. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, but also down here on earth with friends like you. I love you all. Our family loves you all.


29 thoughts on “My friends…

  1. We are praying, and will continue to pray. God bless you all, especially Little Susana!

  2. We have never met, never spoken before. I found you on twitter via someone elses post. I write simply to say you have my prayers both today and all the tomorrow’s… I am speechless, but I will continue to check your blog and follow you via twitter as we pray.

  3. Maria, there is a Holy roar of prayers being sent up on Susana and your family’s behalf — I am certain heaven is being opened up to receive them and multiply them in the heavenlies. Your faith is serving you in a way you never wanted or expected, but the Lord is aware of every detail of every moment you are walking through this wilderness. You and Cody have been such faithful servants of His — His grace is sufficient for even this unspeakable trial. Please know your brothers and sisters in Christ in Dover – and in places all over this globe, no doubt – are boldly approaching the throne of Grace on Susana’s behalf and believing Him for great and mighty things. We love you and will pray unceasingly…In Christ’s Lavish Love, Ellen

  4. I’m so sorry to hear this Maria and as one Mom to another, I cry for and with you. God is good and God is gracious. We will pray for your family as you endure this trial, as you seek God and as you live out His will for your life. You have our complete love, support and most of all fervent prayer on behalf of you all!


  5. Praying for your family alongside the outreach team at Calvary Fort Lauderdale. Please know that you have family in Christ here in South Florida to support you during this time.

  6. God is being glorified through your faith, Maria! I pray that you are strengthened with the fact that He is holding you, Cody, Isabela, and little Susana in the palm of His hand. Standing in the gap for ALL of you…

  7. Biltmore Baptist is praying as are many many others you may never know this side of glory. As a parent of a child who had a diagnosis of brain cancer, I can tell you with all faith and confidence..God is far bigger than cancer!!!!

  8. Maria…Your post brought tears to my eyes…We do serve an awesome God and He does work all things together for good. I have no words of comfort but He does…I can’t imagine what you are going through…but as a mom of four daughters I am weeping with you and praying that He will continue to strengthen your faith. We do KNOW He will work this together for good and He WILL use it for His glory and your good. Your words of faith that obviously come from a heart that is rooted and grounded in Christ’s love are a huge encouragement to me. There are so many ways people respond to a trial…you have chosen the best way…surrender to His will, knowing that He knows best. I love what Warren Wiersbe says: In a trial outlook determines outcome and attitude determines action. It is obvious to me that you are living for the things that matter most…and therefore your joy in the Lord is still evident in your post despite your tragic circumstances. Heb 12:2. Job’s outlook in Job 23:10 reminds me of yours.

    Much love and prayers in Him
    Jean Lilley

  9. Thank you Jean. In reality, it is not my faith what sustains me, but His grace. Thank you for being so encouraging. Much love to you!–Maria

  10. cody & maria-
    praying steadfastly all day long for your entire family and especially little susana!
    i’ve been logging into facebook and your blog all day for updates and am touched by how the Body of Christ has responded in lifting you up to our Lord.
    please let us know if there is anything we can do!
    praying always,
    jon & karen young

  11. Cody and Maria,

    My prayers are with you. I have been reading your post today while sitting in the hospital awaiting our very first child. The labor has been longer than we expected, but His timing is perfect. You too have testified to that even in tragedy. I have never been a father so I can’t say that I know what you are feeling, but as the moments are drawing closer and closer to the arrival of my son, I am tasting something i have never tasted before. This little boy is about to be in my hands of responsibility. It is my prayer that I can lead him with the same faith that I watched almost 2 months ago while visiting you and am now reading about. Keep your eyes fixed on Him, the Author and Finisher or our faith. Blessings to you and yours.

  12. Cody and Maria–
    We are so deeply sorry to hear about your little girl. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I’m sure you guys are swamped with e-mails. I don’t know if you guys have support there in Miami. We lived there for about a year, and have some contacts there if you need some. Let us know if we can be of any help to you.
    Love and prayers–
    Pam and Matt

  13. We are praying for your family here in the Memphis area of Tennessee. I heard about you from our friends, Bill & Gina, from Biltmore Baptist. Just wanted to let you know if you need to bring Susana to Memphis to see a doctor here at St. Jude you are welcome to stay with us! We will be praying for all of you and letting our church family know about your family as well!

    In Christ,
    Gina Richardson

  14. Dear Whitaker Family, we have never met but thanks foer the Haiti quake and following your family my prayer life has grown leaps and bounds! I have tried to start a prayer chain with friends and family in Dorsey MS! May it be to Gods glory that the prayers, your lifting prayers be answered. I personnally pray for strength to u bot. Cody and Maria, being a mother of three, I could NOT possibly fathom what u r going through. I love you and God loves u four much much more!!!!!

  15. Dear sweet Whittaker family, I am crying to the Lord, asking that He will grant you strength and peace and that you will actually feel Him hugging you. And I am praying that His healing hand will touch Susana’s precious little body.

  16. We are praying for your family and for little Susana. (We are friends of Martha Suarez). Please know that our church will be covering you all in prayer too.

    Becky and Jim Burton
    and your brothers in sisters in Christ at Community Christian Fellowship in Virginia

  17. We are praying for you at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. May Jehovah Rapha send forth His Word and bring healing and strength to your little one and peace to your family.

  18. Just adding my prayers for your family. God Bless You and your family. I have two children of my own and can’t imagine what you are going through. May God provide all the strength you need to endure and get through this time.

  19. “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
    Isaiah 46:3,4

    God is who He says He is, and can do what He says he can do.
    His word is better than any I could offer, but know that our family is praying for yours, too.

    Paula (mom to two preschoolers whose heart cries out to God on your behalf)

  20. Maria and Cody
    I have never met you, but our family prays for you daily as you and your family serve in the mission field. As a mom of two, my heart is breaking for you right now, and I will be on my knees for your family continually. I know that only God can truly bring you the comfort and strength that you need, and I know that He will. We will be praying for Susanna!
    Love in Christ
    The Parkers

  21. Maria and Cody,
    Forgive me for the intrusion in such a difficult time of your lives – but I was introduced to your story by Melissa DeJesus a co-worker of mine. We may not know eachother personally – but as christians we know prayers are always welcomed. My family and I will keep you in our prayers as you walk through unknown and difficult times. You inspire me as a single mother of two to keep the always giving Father at the top of our lives. May God hold you close and allow you by His grace to take on what awaits you.

    Sending prayers in abundance,
    The Nazario-Rosario Familia Orlando, Fl

  22. What a blessed little girl to have a mom with such faith! You are an inspiration to any mom.I can only imagine how proud God must be to call you his child. When faced with the hardest trial on this earth, you remain praising and lifting His name. I am praying for your family and your daughter will stay in my thoughts and prayers!

  23. Praying that God will give you strength. God has not promised skies always blue, but he has promised that He will never leave you or forsake you. We serve a risen Savior who suffered in every way that we have, He understands our fears. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. We are praying for your whole family.

  24. My grandson just celebrated his 12th birthday. Praises to the Almighty Ones in heaven. He was given less than a 10% chance of beating luekemia and he is 7 yrs as of May 1st cancer free after three years of treatment. By their mercy, he is stronger than ever. You are all in our prayers. May their mercy fall on Susanna and you too.

  25. Cody and Maria,
    My church family is also praying for you and your Susanna. We have a family in our church who has a grandson with medical difficulties, so we do understand your pain. God can heal in his time. You and your family are under his wing, protecting you and giving you strength as you press on through this trial.

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