Carl and Shelly Crosby
Garland & Hot Spring Counties
A year ago we could have never imagined our family to look the way it does now, but what a beautiful picture it has turned out to be. Carl and I have a blended family of one son (19) and three daughters (16, 16, and 17). All the children are pretty self-sufficient. Carl and I were almost empty nesters. For a couple of years, we prayed “God, please show us how to serve you.” We are both musicians, and in the back of my mind, I just knew it would involve being more involved on the Worship Team at Church or we had just bought a home with a pool and He would call us to have more gatherings to promote community. Being more involved with the Worship Team or having others over to the house were easy answers to serving. God had, surely, blessed us with these to serve Him. Our kids were older, now, so we had the time to serve in these capacities.
Our neighbors were foster parents, and our church had a presentation by The Call. We both felt a heart tug. We talked about it, and we could not deny that God was calling us to help the Call in some way. We attended the training, still thinking we would be respite parents. We had our own children, and that would be too hard for us to be a foster parent full time.
DISRUPTION! Not too long after we were opened, we got the call asking if we could take two very young sisters that had been separated. “REALLY? God, Are you sure? We have this, and that and that would totally change our lives” God replied “Yes, Really. Trust me.”
We were obedient to the call and YES! Our lives have been disrupted, but what a blessing the disruption has brought. We were a blended family before, and now we are even a bigger and even closer blended family! Carl and I are learning how to parent young children together and to rely on God. This is a task that is not easily done alone. All of the older kids have come together to show love and acceptance that make a parent’s heart smile. We went into this thinking the mission we were called to was to show the love of God to these children, but they are showing us the love and grace of God. With every sweet smile, hug around the neck, moment of excitement on their face and every trying “I can’t do this” moment, we are reminded that without the disruption we would never be taken to the place of being uncomfortable and therefore a deeper relationship with God. He called us to step out of our comfort zone, not just stretch the corners of it, but completely OUT!
DISRUPTION, whoever thought that this would be a word synonymous with growth?
Thank you, Lord, for disrupting our lives and trusting us enough to care for your children!