Full Disclosure… Or Something Like That


I submitted the complete, long application to InterServe today.


Well, phew for the moment, anyway.

The next 8-10 weeks will be crazy busy as I prepare to attend candidate orientation in mid-February.  Psychological evaluations (yay).  Interviews.  Getting to know InterServe, and InterServe getting to know me (and my family and friends).  And in the midst of it all, letting go, EVERY SINGLE DAY, of a dream that may very well never come true for me.  Because this application, this step, has put me on a path that really, really narrows my chances.  Slim to nothing.

At the Global Missions Health Conference this year, I decided to visit the InterServe booth as something more than a casual, “Hi, I might be interested in something someday,” kind of person.  So, mustering a good bit of courage, I headed over.

“Hi, my name is Susanna, I’m a nurse, and I have a partially-completed preliminary application for InterServe sitting on my desk at home,” I said to the first available representative (it was a busy booth!).  I think his name was George, and he was probably a little older than my dad.

“Hi Susanna!  Thanks for coming over!” he said.  Then, with a quick glance at my left hand,  “Are you married?” he asked.  No beating about the bush here.

“No,” I answered.

“How old are you?”


“Well, you know that – ”

“- women who go to the field single usually stay single,” I finished for him.  He nodded.  “Yes, I know.  I’ve thought a lot about that, and I’m still here to talk to you.”

I knew I was going to like InterServe. :-)  I love that George had no qualms about getting to the heart of one of the biggest missions hangups seconds after we met.  I loved that he was honest with me, as was the doctor, Kris, I spoke with later (“I can think of three girls that came to the field single in my 15+ years with InterServe who are now married.  The rest are still single,” she told me matter-of-factly.  As it turns out, none of the three were Americans.).

Yes, I would like to be married.  Yes, I would like to have children.  And I’ve told the Lord that if that isn’t happening for me, I’d really prefer that He not tell me that for another ten years or so. :-)  In all seriousness, though, He is faithful.  He will not call me to something and then not provide the strength and grace to thrive in that calling!

These next days will be interesting.  They will be exciting!  They will be difficult.  Please pray for me as I step through this door into the new unknown – pray that I will continue to trust, continue to rest, and continue to love my Savior.

May the Lord bless you tonight as you seek to live out the calling He has placed on your life!  Go under the mercy!


6 Responses to “Full Disclosure… Or Something Like That”

  1. 1 Janine

    Praying for ya Susanna! I know that God has amazing things in store for ya – way better than you can even imagine. Don’t ever be reasonable. :)

  2. Susanna, we are strangers yet I felt an urge to comment. I just happened upon your blog. The few questions and challenges you face at this moment are nothing compared to what you will face. Don’t concern yourself with what you imagine but instead be yourself and draw close to Him. If you are really serious about serving in this capacity, start gathering those who will partner with you in prayer right now. This is the key. It is easy to become self absorbed in education and raising support but the key is PRAYER – communicating with Him on a higher plan than you have ever been before. An organization can be helpful but as you walk those dusty, lonely paths you better have Christ at your side.

    God bless you

    Ken and Maggie
    “Going before God on behalf of others”

    Our Prayer for You!

    “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you exerience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:16-19

  3. 3 Susanna

    Thank you, Janine.

    And thank you, Ken and Maggie. Thank you especially for sharing a passage of Scripture that has encouraged me time and time again on this journey. I was just reading (and copying – for what feels like the zillionth time) and pondering Ephesians 3 again this morning.

    “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21).


  4. We correspond with many around the world. Some have similar backgrounds as your own. As I read your blog I was thinking of a couple in rural Haiti. Anne-Marie is a Dutch doctor who is the only doctor for 700,000 to 1,000,000 people. Anne-Marie too often looses 2 to 10 children in a week to malnutrition and preventable diseases. There is a small hospital constructed by Rob her husband with funds from a Dutch foundation. Last year Haiti suffered three hurricanes and one tropical storm. Most of the housing was wiped out as well as the gardens and infrastructure. Every Sunday they have a Sunday school class for roughly 100 children. They could use a good nurse with Mid-wifery skills even for a short time like a month.

    There are many others – in Chad, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, many parts of Asia, etc. The needs are great. This is why “the mind of Christ” is so important. Be open and flexible and let Him lead you.

    Ken and Maggie

    We will pray that He will give you wisdom and guidance.

  5. 5 Erin

    Very cool girl! Can’t wait to see where this path takes you!

  6. Hi, Susanna,

    Thanks for sharing honestly. I will be praying for this area of your life. I moved to Kazakstan when I was 30yo, and figured that my chances were slim to none. I know I’m married now, but I didn’t know that at 30. And like you, I was glad that I didn’t know how long it’d take when I was 20.

    Anyway, I had the privilege of growing up with a fair number of single retired (female) missionaries, who faithfully prayed for me. There were two in particular who just radiated love and wholeness, whereas a number of them wore their longings somewhere in the three-foot atmosphere around them (not judging here–and not talking about being honest about longings, but just a general projected something that stuck out and was tender and painful, if unspoken). I remember asking Hester Withey (one that radiated) why she was so whole and obviously satisfied in life. She told me this, “There was a point in life where I let Jesus become my husband.” She went on to elaborate that whenever she had a need which a man might fill, she turned it over to God (car, fixing stuff, whatever). It was very real, and not abstract, and the power of her living with Jesus all those years simply burst from her with vibrant life, even when she was bent over with age. I don’t know if you ever met her, but she just recently passed away. I will try to see if I can find her funeral bulletin, because she had some other amazing pearls in there.

    The other woman was Helen Roseveare (sp?). I didn’t “grow up” with her, but I got to meet her and have a discussion with her several times. I highly recommend “Daylight Must Come”, which is her biography.


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