Today, I am so blessed and honored to share the next post in The Legacy Series at Heavenly Springs. Many of you are already familiar with Rosemary. Her little corner on the internet is called Rosemary At Home. Just a brief visit to her place will confirm that behind the screen is a woman of deep faith. Yet, what many may not be aware of is the rugged road this saint has quietly traveled. Her testimony will encourage you to trust the hand of Almighty God in the midst of all your sufferings and disappointments. Please join me in welcoming our dear sister, Rosemary Schaumburg…
Those who have read my blog over the years know a little about my family and the circumstances that have been sent by God during our forty-three years of marriage. Without a doubt, the ones that have been the greatest sorrow and been the source of God’s deepest work were regarding our children. Each circumstance is a story on its own, but for this post I summarize them briefly.
- While we were serving as missionaries to hippies in Nepal, our adoption of a Nepalese-Italian baby fell through because the birth mother changed her mind at the last moment.
- Our first son was born with a significant disability that continues even now that he is a man.
- Our daughter was born with a chromosome abnormality that caused her death two days later.
- Although specialists had ‘promised’ it wouldn’t happen, our second son was born with physical problems that would necessitate more than twenty hospitalizations and numerous surgeries, being close to death three times.
1 Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”
I was not only surprised when these consecutive fiery trials happened; I was confused and furious, reeling with emotions. Something very strange had happened to us. We had heard of people whose child had died or had a disability, but their other children were healthy. Why were all our children so afflicted? Genetic testing proved that none of their anomalies were related. It was all “a fluke,” the specialists told us. I accused God of treating them harshly and abandoning us in our suffering.
When terrible things happen it’s not unusual that we raise our fist and question the goodness of God. We bring him into our court of judgment and declare him guilty of not living up to his promises. Trouble is, we’re basing our judgment on what we think he should be and do, not what God says about himself in the whole of Scripture. Even if we try to prove our point with Scripture, we isolate a verse and say, “See? He promised that, but he’s not doing it!” Then we vindicate our anger and distrust, something of which I was very guilty.
I also failed to see that the very circumstances that caused my desperation and hopelessness were exactly what God planned to use to peel away the layers of bad theology, self-pity and self-righteousness that I wore like armor. What I felt as brutal, he knew was good and loving, perfect for me. He would grant understanding that what happened to my children was not “a fluke,” but that every cell of their bodies was specifically planned by our wise and loving God, for their good and for his own glory.
In his great kindness and mercy, God exposed my false and dearly held beliefs so I could see the truth of who he really is—and who I am—in Scripture. I learned how inadequate and inaccurate my view of God was—a very painful revelation as it revealed my sin against him. I learned that my self-pity didn’t hold water; my self-righteousness was a stench. But oh, the joy that came when he brought me to the Cross of Christ in deep repentance and submission to his good and gracious sovereignty. When I saw our God, full of grace and truth, revealed through the substitutionary work of Jesus on our behalf, I could no longer doubt his goodness. When I saw how desperately I needed not so much to be comforted, but to be redeemed, I no longer felt mistreated by God. I wrote in my journal, He has won my heart, he has redeemed me, he has done battle for my soul! I felt lavished with his love. My children didn’t suffer as a result of nature gone awry; their bodies were skillfully and wonderfully made by the loving hand of God, with great purpose—for them, for my husband and me, for his own glory. The eyes of my hope are set, not on circumstances, but toward heaven. The comfort I had craved for so long, I find in Jesus.
Sorrow and disability last a lifetime, as does the suffering that accompanies them. As years pass, more trials come and test our faith. How faithfully God keeps us secure and gives strength through his Word to endure each of them! He has blessed us immeasurably with himself.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell them,
yet they are more than can be told.
About the Author: Rosemary Schaumburg is a homebody at heart who enjoys all aspects of homekeeping except washing windows. During their forty-three years of marriage she has worked alongside her husband who is a biblical counselor and teacher. They currently make their home in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. She blogs at Rosemary At Home.