What happened to those Rosenows? I know it seems like we have kind of slipped off into some place of silence. In addition to working our way through seventeen cases of Type A flu in our family (which all, thankfully, stayed pretty mild), we have been dealing with some grim, frightening, and significant life changes.
Some of you may know that for the past six weeks or so, our family has been facing some really scary uncertainty about our future, but only a few of you know the details. We have some clearer answers now, so I will share a little fuller picture here.
On this day last year, I posted the following photo and caption on my Facebook page:
We had no idea what a chain of events started at that moment.
In the months that followed, that chain of events slowly led us through some really tough spiritual battles as we wrestled with our humanness and God grew our faith.
Eventually, this growing chain led to the unbelievable gifts of Lucy and Ethel, our new vans. We are still in awe over these gifts and all that they represent to our sometimes fearful hearts.
What very few people know, though, is that this chain then also, unbelievably, led to the loss of half of our income. Half! Of an income that already didn’t stretch far enough to meet all of our expenses every month.
I recognize that I have left a lot of gaps in this story, and I’ve probably left you with a lot of questions. It’s a long and winding story that is too long and involved for this post, but if you want to know more, please contact me personally, and I’ll share more. For now, though, I’ll just say that this happened through no fault or wrongdoing on our part, and that we are sitting in a very, very scary place at the moment as we wait for God to show us where He will take this story now.
We have been able to accept this new reality, and we have even felt, many times over the past few weeks, that “peace that passeth understanding,” (Philippians 4:7)in brand new ways as God has filled us with assurance that He is the Author of what’s going on right now. But full disclosure here — we fluctuate between those feelings of peace, and moments of terrifying panic about the future and how we will provide for our family now.
At a time when our contemporaries are mostly beginning to reap the rewards of all those hard years of prep for their retirement, we are in a place of more uncertainty than we’ve faced since Scott left his engineering career to come home as full-time director of The Shepherd’s Crook Orphan Ministry. And we still have nineteen children living at home who need to be provided for.
God has so graciously made a way for us to get by for about three or four more months. At the end of that time, we don’t know what comes next. If you’d like to join us in this new chapter of our lives, would you please pray for us? Pray that we will follow this path with joy and excitement about what God is doing (we’ve written a whole book about this kind of walk — we should be better at this by now!). Pray that we will lead our children who are looking to us for assurance that the things we’ve taught them about this God we serve are true. They are afraid and need strong leaders to help them understand what a walk of faith looks like.
During my quiet time this morning, I was so blessed to stumble, again, across this quote from Theodore Cuyler, written in the nineteenth century:
“All around us are multitudes of weary people. The most common cause of weariness is the attempt to carry an overload of care. The word in season for such overloaded Christians, who toil along life’s highway like jaded pack-horses, is this: ‘Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you!’ (1 Peter 5:7). The infinite God from His everlasting throne has poor little sinful me on His Divine heart! My big load is not even a feather to Him! He knows my frame; He remembers that I am but dust. God’s offer is to lighten our loads by putting His grace into our hearts, and underneath the load. He then becomes our strength. His all-sufficient grace is made perfect in our weakness so that God really carries the load. This Divine doctrine of trust is a wonderfully restful one to weary disciples. It takes the weariness out of the heart. It is the fever of worry which consumes strength, and furrows the cheek, and brings on decrepitude!” ~Theodore Cuyler
These moments of panic that I mentioned above? They always come when we shift the load and try to start carrying it ourselves. This quote was just what my unsteady heart needed this morning. This huge, scary time in our lives is not even a feather to a Father who has promised to care for us — who has proven His faithfulness to us over and over and over again. And even more than that, it is part of something big and beautiful. We don’t know what or how. But He has promised. He’s up to something again. (Aslan’s on the move!)
Oh, Father, help us, as we walk this new path, not to miss even one lesson, one second of joy, one opportunity to know You more. You write good and perfect and beautiful stories. Help us to remember that.
I’ll close with an updated picture of the nineteen still at home. God blessed us abundantly during the Christmas season at a time when we didn’t even know how we were going to dress our children (their clothing needs truly had become desperate) or provide a Christmas for them. In this picture, they are all wearing brand new outfits that were provided by members of our church. He has not forgotten us. He will not forget us in the days to come.