The Journey of Renewed Hope | Ep. 44
How do you come to God when you’ve repeatedly prayed for a need that remains unresolved? What happens in your heart when you sense God is beckoning you to bring your desires to Him? This week Rosanne Moore picks up where we left off last week in sharing how God’s intervention in Karlene’s life became an invitation for her family to enter old pain and engage on a new journey of trust.
Rosanne Moore’s Bio:
If Jesus is Who He says He is, why doesn’t being a Christian seem to work better? More to the point, why didn’t it seem to make people better? Those were some of the questions Rosanne Moore was asking about her own life when she first encountered Dr. Larry Crabb’s book Inside Out as a teen and in its pages discovered an invitation to journey into a radically different understanding of what it meant to be a follower of Jesus, one that was focused on relationship with God rather than rule lists or behavior modification.
Drawing on her background as a writer, editor, reading instruction specialist, language arts tutor, homeschool mom, speaker, and social media marketer, Rosanne now serves as Larger Story’s Communications Director. She has run a successful small business and worked with several missions and church organizations, but her greatest delight is in listening to the unfolding story of God’s work in the lives of others and sharing her own journey of seeking God in every part of life, even (or, perhaps, especially) in our darkest nights.
Nowhere is Rosanne more passionate about seeing God’s redemption cultivated than in the lives of victims/survivors of abuse of all kinds. Her Lifeline course for women escaping domestic abuse was birthed from her personal experience, as well as out of more than two decades of advocacy work serving women and children impacted by intimate terrorism, coercive control, spiritual abuse, and sexual violence.
A single mom since 2011, Rosanne seeks to create opportunities for rich conversations with her 4 teen & college-aged kids who continually amaze, amuse, and humble her with their awesome selves and their crazy menagerie. She enjoys honest friends who are both hilarious and wise, a lapful of snuggly kitties, and a good book on a rainy day. Lily’s chocolates, Jane Austen movies, and crisp autumn days are a few of her favorite things, and music is her heart’s prayer language.
Karlene Cannon’s Bio:
In 2012, Karlene Cannon sat across a dinner table from Rachael and Larry Crabb and was captivated as Larry talked about his Teleios project- his dream for how his lifework and legacy of relational spiritual formation would be passed on to a new generation on a broader scale than had been possible in his lifetime. That evening eventually led to Karlene joining the staff of Larger Story as the Director of Content and Product Development, where she uses her experience in education, content development, and software business consulting to direct Larger Story’s strategy and create new products that bring to fruition the Teleios vision Larry articulated over a decade ago.
Karlene has written curriculum, developed retreats, and hosted a large Christian community group in her home in the ensuing years, but nothing has prepared her for the current task of reaching a new generation more than raising 4 children (ages 25, 21, 18, 14) in a family culture where relational formation is the norm, relational holiness is the goal, and the Holy Spirit gets all the credit. As she now launches them into a world rife with divisions on all sides, where the truth is often regarded as optional, Karlene’s vision is to reach this connected-but-lonely generation with the transforming certainty of a relational God and His Larger Story. Her passion has found an outlet in digital course development, content creation, and the kind of spiritual direction that occurs over a cup of coffee, via text, and through long conversations in the car.
Karlene loves sports (actually, just Duke basketball and whatever her sons are playing), all things vintage and historic, great books, fragrant coffee and crackling fires. She feels God’s pleasure when her home is full of courageous people sharing their hearts and lives for the glory of God and their own growth and healing.
Show Note Links:
The Faithful album project
“The Detour” song
The story behind “A Place For You”
“A Place for You” song
Karlene Cannon: Welcome back Larger Story family. We’re so glad that you have joined us for the rest of this story. We talked last week about some things that God had done in me through what happened back at the Larger Story Summit a couple of years ago. Little did I know at the time that it was just the beginning of what is an even bigger story; you’re going to hear about it today. We ended last week talking about this email that I sent to explain why I left the Summit. I don’t even know if I’ve shared this with you Rosanne, but part of me almost didn’t send it because it felt defensive, like I’m somehow trying to justify why I’m leaving, yet I’m going to share it. God needs to get the credit for this. I want people to know not why I’m leaving – I did honestly want to justify leaving, but I wanted more to show what God was doing at the Summit through Larry and his life that was in some ways bizarre.
I sent the email and just was like, “Whatever you want to do with this, Lord, I’m going to be vulnerable and share my story. And if it’s about me being defensive and I look immature, fine, whatever.” But something really significant happened, like I said, that was a catalyst for an even bigger story. And so Rosanne’s going to share her part of this story.
Rosanne Moore: I don’t know if it’s bigger, but it definitely is that interweaving that we were talking about. Because when I read your email, I was… on the one hand, really excited for you and really in awe of how God had worked that whole situation and how He had met you. But I was also aware of this unpleasant reality in my own heart of this envy that was there that kind of sparked and I said, “No, I don’t want to go there.” I sensed the Holy Spirit. I was like, “Lord, please forgive me.” I just sensed the Holy Spirit going, “No, wait, look at that. Look at that. What’s going on and why are you feeling envious?”
As I was bringing to the Lord what was happening in me that was not godly at all, what I realized was I felt envious that you had actually had this prayer answered and it was over something that felt… on the one hand, really core to your journey, but on the other hand, like you said, it’s a basketball game. The question I had was, “Why is it so easy for You to do something like that? The things that feel like they really matter, You say no to.” Not that this didn’t matter because it did; it was so much more than just the basketball game for you. I knew that, but the Lord just started really stirring in my heart and asking, “What is it that you really want?” I was just like, “Life is hard.” “No, Rosanne, what is it that you really want? Because you haven’t talked to me on that level for a while now.” And it was true.
I had hit a point a few years earlier when we went through the aftermath of the divorce. Of course I had prayed for years that things would improve with that and it didn’t. And then praying that God would meet us in the midst of it and things remained grindingly hard for a long time. We hit a crisis point where I was just done. I felt like I had said everything there was to say, and it didn’t make a difference. And so it was just, “Shut down, keep going. I’m not turning away from God, but I don’t have anything left to say to You that hasn’t already been said.” So I’m just going. “I don’t want you to leave, I don’t want to leave, but I don’t know what else to say.”
So when I got your email, the Lord was like, “You need to actually start bringing your heart again. What do you really want?” And what immediately rose up in me was I want a home. I want my kids to have a home.
When we moved from Georgia and sold our house in Georgia in 2009, we knew we were uprooting our lives, but we didn’t expect it to be so displaced for so long. It’s been 14 years, of displacement. We had expected to buy another home right away. That didn’t happen. Then the divorce happened and then the long grinding journey of single parenting and trying to hold things together and trying to make sure the kids were okay and to try to keep the kids safe. In the middle of it, we were living and have been living in the house that I grew up in, which is a hundred years old and is in really bad shape. I had kids who were allergic to it, so it was literally making them sick. But beyond that, it was the displacement of it all.
So when I put that out there, it was terrifying because I thought, “What is the point of asking for this if you’re not going to do it? Because You haven’t; this isn’t the first time.” I think that’s one of the hard things about prayer is, if I’ve already put my heart out there again and again, and you’ve said, no, and You’re God, and I do believe You know better, You know more about this than we do. That’s your prerogative and all of that. But what’s the point to keep talking?
I think that’s where I was stuck at that point when I got your email.
Karlene Cannon: I think that’s something that, as a body of believers, we’re not willing to talk about. We cavalierly say that God is sovereign in His yes and His no, but we don’t actually deal with the pain of the no, and the cascade of things that happen internally with that repeated no. Particularly in something big. If God said no to the basketball game, I might have been disappointed for a day, but I would have enjoyed the Summit. But when you’re talking about something that is so life critical as the place that you live and keeping your kids safe, these are things where the no is really costly. You feel that every day. It tests your faith in a way that’s just excruciating at best and maybe at worst. I’m interrupting you a little bit, but how did you keep going with that no?
Rosanne Moore: I think, I didn’t know it was going to be 14 years. So initially I still had the hope that it was going to resolve sooner rather than later. So I thought, okay, we’re just not there yet. It’ll happen in a few years. Let’s get this leveled out. Then instead of things leveling out, the next shoe would fall. For a while there, from 2009 until 2017 so eight years, it was like dominoes. It was like one thing after another, I think we’d get through one thing and the next worst thing would happen. There was no stability for all that time. Actually it was 2018, so 9 years. It was just keep holding on, keep putting one foot in front of the other. The thing that I kept saying to the kids when they’d say, “We’re never going to get out of here.” I was like, “Sooner or later, you will grow up, you will live someplace else at some point. Seasons do change. I don’t know why this one is lasting as long as it is, but seasons do change.”
I’ve been through enough really hard, long seasons. I spent nine years with an autoimmune disease that looked like it was going to take my life or be the rest of my life and it didn’t. Seasons change and I know that. But in the middle of a season that’s that long and that hard, and you don’t know how long, it’s really easy to just get into survival mode. There’s pros and cons to that. It’s easy for someone outside to say, “You’re in survival mode. You should do X, Y, Z.” If you’re surviving, survival mode is what you have the resources for. Sometimes that’s actually the best you can do. It’s a daily holding on to the manna for the day, God’s provision for the day.
I didn’t want my kids to grow up being ungrateful. I still wanted them to have perspective that in the middle of everything that we were going through, there were things that could have been worse. We did have a roof over our heads. Was the house making us sick? Yes. Did we have to worry about being evicted? No. I knew people who were. I knew women who lost their children; they lost custody of their kid. That’s a huge deal for victims of domestic violence and why women don’t leave, because if they don’t have a place to live that’s safe, they can lose custody of their children. I think that was one thing like that did help me keep perspective. I could still see God’s provision. I’ve been in a developing country. I’ve spent time in Haiti. What we were living in, as difficult as it was, I have seen worse. I’ve seen the slums of Haiti.
But it did create a real tension. Particularly in a nation that tends toward either prosperity gospel or a rejection of prosperity gospel that doesn’t find a middle ground of, wanting to support often. In a rejection against prosperity gospel, there can be a failure to support dignity and safety and good living conditions for people. There’s a lot of misperceptions. There’s the assumption that if you’re in that situation, it’s because of something you did. We felt that. There was the wrestling with that too, when in reality I was working six jobs for a number of those years, and trying to stay present with my kids, connected. It was a really grueling time. So when the Lord started saying, “I want you to put your heart out here again.” I was like, “Yeah, I don’t know about that. I can trust You in suffering. I can, I’ve done it before, I can, but don’t ask me to hope for more. “
Karlene Cannon: That’s an interesting concept; that it’s in some ways easier to trust God in suffering than it is to trust Him in hope. Because you’ve got more to lose, maybe? I don’t know, but I think that’s common. It’s hard to hope.
Rosanne Moore: Uncertainty is worse. That I can remember. I can’t remember who I said it to, whether it was a counselor or some spiritual leader that I said it to at one point, but I said, “Despair is easier than uncertainty.” And she was like, “Really?” And I said, “Yeah, because you don’t have anything at risk at that point.’ So having the Lord say to me, “Go ahead and put out there, put what your desire is.” As I did, it was almost explosive. It was such a visceral, this is what I want. This is what I really want. And I sat with that before Him for a few weeks.
Then I felt like He said, “All right, you need to have other people praying with you. This is going to be something that I want to do in community.” So I shared it with a few friends and they were like, “Yes, we want you out of that situation. We will pray with you.” They also pushed me to check on some things and to look at what kind of help and options might be there. Basically – I’ve told you this – when I did, I found that I can either afford the kids or I can afford a house. So I chose the kids. But in the middle of that, I was saying, “Lord, all right, I’ve done what You asked me to do. It’s not possible. We’ve seen.” And He said, “No, I wanted you to know that. When I do this for you, it will be because I have done this for you. You can’t make this happen. This is going to be me and this is going to be me showing myself to your children as well as to you.”
That was almost scarier. It’s one thing for me to trust Him in uncertainty, but to ask them to hope and not be able to control what they would do with disappointment was even scarier. When I approached them, we had a family conversation and I put this out there. I want us to begin praying about this. They were all like, “Okay. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. We know that’s not going to happen.” It was at that point we had been through three times of having our hopes raised and it just never went anywhere. So they were resistant to that. But as we began praying – mostly, I began praying in their presence – eventually there was more of an openness to that. I said, I believe this is going to happen. So we began packing. At that point, we began packing things, getting rid of stuff. I said, “If we’re going to move, it’s a big deal. So we’re going to get rid of things we don’t need, and we are going to start packing anything that we want to keep, but necessarily don’t need hands on day to day.”
So we did start clearing out the attic and clearing out our closets and that process took place for… Let’s see. The Summit was March of 2022, so it ended up being a year and a half of going through that. It was a year. Really it was a year before we actually really started seeing visible movement. We started that quiet process of clearing out. Then My dad had a TIA. My dad had been very resistant… As my parents were getting older, my brothers and I had been very concerned about them staying in the property that they were in. I lived in the house that I grew up in. They lived in the house that my dad grew up in which was right around the corner. So he had a lot of emotional ties to that house and there’s also a familiarity where you don’t see things anymore. You have the impression of what was not what is. He wasn’t able to keep up with the maintenance. The house that he was living in was not in the same shape as the house he had grown up in. My brothers and I had been concerned and my mother was very stressed over how hard it is to keep up with two 100 year old houses. When we initially approached him, these were two separate things. His downsizing was a totally separate thing from the other when the conversation started. He was not open at all to moving, to even considering.
Then last January, he had a very minor TIA, no residual anything, but that sparked another conversation with my two brothers and mom and dad. This time we gave him all of the same arguments we had given him a year before, or a year and a half before. My kids went into it going, “Granddaddy’s never going to do this. He’s not going to do this.” And instead, the Lord just did something and Dad was like, “Okay, then we need to move.” We were all like, wow, really? So much so that my brothers were even like, “Are you agreeing that this is a good idea to think about, or are you actually agreeing to do something about?” Because anybody who knows my dad, Daddy does not ever, ever make decisions quickly. Not ever. I’ve seen people who have made life decisions faster than it takes for him to choose something on a menu at a restaurant. This is just not how he does things. So when we put out the plan that my brothers and I had talked about, what if we sold both houses and we bought a place that would be large enough for me and my kids and for you; with the expectation that I wil then be able to take care of you as you age.
Both of my brothers are local, but one has five children and then two foster children that are young that they’re now rearing. And then my other brother has seven young children. My kids are teenagers and college age. So it makes sense from that standpoint.
When he agreed to this, all of a sudden it was like, “Oh my goodness, this is actually happening. We’re going to be able to move.” And because of the way that we ended up, the finances needed to work for us to come together. They’re retired, so they don’t have income. I did have income, but they had assets. How we did everything, I’m going to end up ultimately… By purchasing the house like we are, we’re purchasing it. But then I’m purchasing their part from them, so I was going to end up actually owning a home. And that was huge for a single mom who’s poured everything into taking care of my kids for the last 14 years, that was a huge deal for the Lord to work that out. But it still didn’t come easily, even reaching this point. It didn’t come easily.
Karlene Cannon: I remember when you shared with us about that conversation with your brothers and your mom and your dad and thinking, “Wow, God has provided a solution.” That’s so amazing. And thinking that, “We’re almost there!” And we were just getting started.
Rosanne Moore: It looked like we were almost there. It looked like that within weeks. I had been watching the market for over a year, so in a matter of weeks, we found a house that literally was everything that had been on our checklist; everything, price, rate, everything. And our bid was accepted. Everything seemed to be coming together. And then we got the home inspection report back. And there were very expensive problems that were there. There was a long period of trying to negotiate that, trying to figure out, “All right, do we hold on? Is that what the Lord is saying to do? Do we just wait?” We’re kind of in the middle of all of it going, “Lord, what are You doing?” I think what happened in the process was, it went from, “What are You doing in this situation?” to, “Okay, what are You wanting to do in us? What things are You surfacing in us?”
One of the things that the waiting really did for me was made me think in a whole new way about refugees and displaced people. I was really feeling the weight of 14 years of displacement and I wasn’t in a different culture. I wasn’t in unsafe, crime ridden circumstances. It wasn’t violent circumstances. And if I was being this burdened and this torn and just the stress of living in limbo for so long, it just really gave me a heart for people who are in far worse conditions and living in that way. Of being able to see their struggle from a whole new place and to pray accordingly. But I think another thing that it did was it also made me really aware of God; the ache that must be present. God’s able to absorb everything, but for Him to be waiting for the fullness of creation to be. There’s a sense in which it’s done, but He’s also present with us in the waiting. That awareness of his longing to make a home for His children and for the redemption of all things, it became a place of invitation. Like the Lord was saying to me, “As hard as this is right now, I’m giving you a window into something that’s in my heart. I’m letting you see into my heart, my longing for this, for you, for all of your people. And when I give you your home, this longing for the fullness still remains in me.” That was another thing that was really going on in my heart during that time.
Karlene Cannon: That strikes me, as you talk about that, that God gave you this unusual way to share in His suffering. That’s what I hear you saying. I think as parents we get a glimpse of that, because nothing hurts more than watching your kids hurt. Here is God coming alongside of you and sharing in the pain of waiting for, as you said, the fullness of His creation to be realized. He’s been doing that since the fall, He’s been living in that frustration and when He shares His heart with us like that…I think that’s this relational prayer that Larry is talking about. That’s what’s possible. When we share our heart with Him, He then shares His heart back to us and it’s such an honor and a privilege to join in those realities. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard that part of your wrestling and that’s just really beautiful that God would, even in the midst of that “No,” that painful “No,” or, “Wait, it’s not time yet,” that He would come and be with you in that kind of way.
Rosanne Moore: Ultimately that house did fall through and so then there was all of the question of, “All right, how do we know how we’re being led?” There was all of that that followed. So that was really difficult. That almost led into a real… it was just a really dark, wearing season. Yet we continued to go ahead and pack. The kids were really wrestling with, “We actually opened our hearts to this. And once again, it’s been devastated. We don’t even want to look at anything else as a possibility.” And we explored a variety of possibilities. We started wondering, are we supposed to build instead? All of these things.
As we were going through that, continuing to look at houses, there were two that came on the market all of a sudden at the same time. I was really drawn to one and the kids were really drawn to the other one. Even that experience was part of God’s working in our heart to uncover and draw us near because as we sat down, I realized we were talking at each other. We weren’t talking to each other. And we had to sit down and say, “Okay, why?” My daughter was actually the one who asked me, “Why are you having such a visceral desire for one and rejection of the other?” I realized that one made me feel safe, and the other had things about it that were very trauma triggering to me. And the same thing was happening with my children, but in reverse; there were elements about one house that were triggering to them and the other one felt for me the one that they liked felt.
It was going to need a lot of work like the one that we were currently living in, whereas to them, it was open. The other one had rooms that were distinct from one another, which is like the house that we had been living in, it was older from that standpoint. So they really wanted a spacious kitchen. That was very important to them. They wanted a kitchen that was open to the living space because we all like to cook. We like to be together. The house that we had been living in, as soon as you got more than two people in there, you were stepping on each other. I think for them, an open kitchen represented access to me.
I think as we look at relational prayer, there were things in this journey that kept bringing me back to, what does it mean to be embodied in my faith to not be spiritualizing or band-aiding things, but to actually be present in a physical body and to be bringing that totality of who I am as a human being to God in the way that I engage with others and engage my situation? We actually had ended up having some really good conversations that came out of that. It looked like the door was opening for one of those houses, and then again, failed an inspection report. It was just like, “Is this ever going to happen? What is this whole thing about, Lord? What is this thing going to do?” So we pulled back. I went through a really dark period at that point where it was just like “This feels like You’re playing with us at this point. Honestly, it feels like you’re playing with us, or worse yet, maybe all of this is simply a creation of my own desire. This isn’t You at all. This is me. Perfect. How do I even know You’re in this? How do I even know that You are leading this?” Every cult in the world thinks that they have a corner on God and are being led by Him. That was the kind of mind battle that I was going through at that time.
My spiritual formation group was so lovely. We met together and they just let me be an absolute angry, frightened, raging and despairing mess in their presence. They just held me there and I met with them. I was in this bad place and I felt I don’t even know whether this is God. How do we even know anything about how God leads or what He’s doing? It feels like we’re just pretending into the void or whatever. While I was in that meeting with them, I got a text from our realtor. We had an appointment for that afternoon to go see a house. She texted and said, “I actually think there’s another one that we need to go see instead. It just came on the market. I only saw it last night. It’s already got so many bids that they’re closing bids at five o’clock today. I think we need to go ahead and see it.” And I thought, okay, whatever, I was not primed for this at all. I’m feeling like a spiritual mess right now, and feeling very jaded.
We pulled up to this gorgeous brick home and I’m thinking, “Okay. There’s no way this is going to really work. Is this in the budget? Is this it?” It was the same as the houses we had been looking at. So then my question was, “What’s wrong with it? This is a lot nicer than everything else that’s been in the budget. We’ve already gone through two failed inspection reports. So what’s wrong with it?” We went through this house. I was aware it was gorgeous, but I had this weird sense that I had been there before. As I’m walking around the house at one point the realtor said, “Okay, let’s go upstairs now.” I said, “Okay, the stairs are over there.” Like, how did I know that?
We went upstairs and as we came back down, I suddenly had a flashback of 2009, the year that we moved to Rock Hill. We were attending a church on Saturday nights. A high school classmate of mine that I had not seen in 15 years and 40 pounds for both of us, so it was amazing that she recognized me. They normally went on Sunday mornings, but this time they were there on a Saturday night. She recognized me. We reconnected. They had us over for dinner, and it had been at this house. Her husband was a builder and had built this house. I realized that the flashback that I had was of the evening that we had first had dinner with them. They had been telling us about a particular devastating situation in their life where they followed what the Lord told them to do. He led them to do something and it seemed to lead right off a cliff. Their lives imploded in many ways. The story that I had that flashback over was that she had been telling me in the kitchen how in the middle of this situation, she had been crying out to the Lord, “I need You to make clear that this is You, that we’re hearing from You. How do I know that in the middle of the situation?” She was going through a drive through and the thing that Lord had been saying for months to her was, “Just keep moving forward. Just keep moving forward.” And as she’s crying out to Him as she goes through this drive through, she’s just sobbing. The guy who hands her food had tattooed on his arm, “just keep moving forward.”
So as I’m coming down these stairs and I have this flashback, I was like, “Oh my goodness, I have to get in touch with Christine because this really feels significant.” I Facebook messaged her that night. We put in a bid on the house. The other places we had been looking at would have required us to either build an apartment for Mom and Dad in the garage or in the basement. This was done. This was all done and ready. I got reached out to my former classmate that night, and I told her that we had looked at the house and said, “I had this flashback.” She was currently going through something and she said, “The Lord knew I needed that reminder today. So thank you.”
This is the interweaving. You and your tickets, and then all of this, and then the flashback for me. Having been through 2 situations that looked like they lined up and they didn’t, we’re moving forward, but I’m trying not to be too invested. The day that we got the final inspection report back on this house, and it was clear, I suddenly realized it was the 10 year anniversary of the divorce decree, where I had walked away from the hope of all home ownership. That day I had been listening all along to an album called Faithful that was done just before the pandemic. A collective of female artists had gotten together and had done all this songwriting. There had been song lyrics in there during this journey. “The detour is the road” or “You’ve been good to me. I can dare to hope I will choose to believe when the way is dark and cold.” Things that had sustained me throughout that time when I realized that this is the 10 year anniversary.
I went back to that album and a new song had dropped. I don’t know if I’ve even told you this part. It’s based on Psalm 68:5-6 about God being a defender to the fatherless – So this is for you as well, Karlene, the defender of the fatherless – and the husband of widows. One of the things that they talked about was the abandoned. Not just widows, but the abandoned. And the song is A Place For You and we’re going to link it in the show notes. But I lose it. I just lose it. Every time I hear this song it is so tender still because it talks in there about having a safe place for your children, for you, the protection. All of the things that underneath that prayer, that surface prayer for a house that worked, those were the underlying questions that God wanted to answer for me. We’re not in heaven yet. We talked about that. He hasn’t returned. All things are not made new. The night that we moved into this house, we had a flood that had to be dealt with. There’s been a lot of points of chaos in the just few weeks we’ve been here. Yet in the middle of it, I wake up every morning, just grateful for His provision and trusting that this place.
We have named all of our houses in every place we’ve lived. We’ve named this one Arukah Oasis. Arukah is the Hebrew word that means to rebuild what is destroyed and demolished; to heal what has been broken and torn down. This is a place that we’re praying will not only be that for us, but that we can actually make that for others as well.
Karlene Cannon: As someone who’s privileged to be part of the team of people who were praying and holding on to hope when it was so dark, it was a really long process from the moment you asked us to pray until now. I saw the pictures of all the different options and they all seemed good at the time. Yet this place that God has prepared for you is so much better than any of the other options. It’s absolutely beautiful. One of the things that I am so grateful for is that you get to live in a place that is beautiful. It’s just beautiful. In a different way, this gift feels extravagant because it is so much better. It’s worlds apart from the house that you were in, but it’s also head and shoulders better than anything you had looked at until this just dropped in your lap so suddenly. It just echoes all over the place of the way God.
I remember, maybe a week ago being on the phone with you, and your kids were laughing and having fun in the kitchen, being lighthearted. We were talking about work issues and all of a sudden you just stopped and said, “Just listen to that. Just listen to their laughter because they just have a carefree experience of life that is new because of this place.” There’s just so many ways that this – and of course with your parents – has been such a gift and it’s just a beginning I think.
Rosanne Moore: For sure. And throughout it, because we are blending households and all of that, there have just been really sweet things that the Lord has done, like giving me conversations with somebody else who is doing that. The way that we’ve had to work through things in our relationship. Anytime you do this, you run into all the family dynamics. Even seeing the Lord show up in the middle of that and really moving us toward health, toward greater love in the way that’s happening in ways that – it hasn’t always looked nice or neat. It’s been messy – but towards something that’s actually healthy instead of just looking nice on the surface and it really isn’t underneath. It’s been very multifaceted. I think the big thing was walking away from that and the conversation with Christine. I was like, all this stuff in my head that was clamoring, “Is this true? How can I try?” That got blown out of the water because only God could have worked all of the pieces and all of the people and all of the facets of this together.
Karlene Cannon: That random guy who got a tattoo, whatever day that was, years and years ago.
Rosanne Moore: Exactly! The thought that at the point where my life was falling apart and I didn’t know it yet. I didn’t even know how bad it was going to get. He was already preparing a place for us.
I hope for our listeners. I hope if you are still waiting, there’s still something you’re waiting for or if there is a loss – because I’ve lost a child. There are losses where there’s not going to be a happy ending coming, there has to be something else in which He meets you. I’ve been there too. I know what that is. – My prayer for you today is that you will be able to do what Larry talks about and to present whatever is truly going on, whether it’s envy or resentment or doubt or fear or longing or feeling abandoned, whatever’s actually going on that’s behind the thing that you’re asking for the questions that are there, you’ll be able to present all of that. You’ll be able to actually attend to how you’re seeing God and how you’re seeing yourself in relationship with Him and not cover that with any kind of spiritual band-aids at all, but to just bring that as it is and to let Him purge out the lies and the deception and and to reveal Himself to you in a fresh new way. Be able to bring all of that to Him and encounter Him in the goodness that He is. Not just your sustainer in suffering, but also as the giver of good gifts.
Karlene Cannon: To reiterate again, the starting place is to just be where you are, to come as you are. That’s really what God wants, all of you. It feels really risky, whether it’s something as trivial as a basketball game, or something as vital as a safe place to live. The risk is worth it, because God is weaving this incredible tapestry and He’s graciously and kindly giving us these opportunities to see what He’s doing. Until we’re able to just come and trust ourselves to Him, we miss so much in our spiritual platitudes and good doctrine and cognitive rationalization of whatever’s going on. He really wants to offer something that’s fully human and addresses all of our experience.
I think the other thing that strikes me is to do that in community. There was something about me being willing to send the email, something about you pulling us all together. Rosanne has this group message, I think there’s 13 people on it, or 14, that have been updated. We’ve been on this journey. She graciously invited us to be with her on this journey. You talked about meeting with your spiritual formation group and them holding you in what, as you described, seemed you felt was this ugly place, this looking bad in the face of love. Yet that was so powerful. Larry talks about that in all his books and it feels counterintuitive, but it really is the way God wants us to be. He meets us in so many ways when we’re finally willing to do that.
We hope that this has been a good, good story for you guys to share with us. We really wanted to make these stories available to you. For you to know that, as part of our Larger Story family, you were part of all of this that was going on, starting at the Summit and it continues.
Rosanne, you guys moved in about a month ago. Is that right?
Rosanne Moore: It was September 28th, so it’s been almost 3 weeks.
Karlene Cannon: So pretty close. This is real time, real life stuff that is happening. That’s what we’re about here at Larger Story, wanting to be part of those moments and all the moments in between. Thank you for listening. Thank you for joining us. We look forward to next week and the conversations that we’ll have next week.
Rosanne Moore: Thanks so much.