I remember a conversation I had with my husband, Kelly, so vividly it’s like it was yesterday. This was just a few months after we were married in 1987. We’d decided that I’d come off birth control and we’d start our family. I said to him, “By next year, we’ll have a new Rosser to take to big family Thanksgiving dinner at your Aunt Ruth-Marie’s house.”
In the same conversation, we were discussing the longevity of my teaching career. I was teaching at Eastover-Central Elementary School and was honored as their “Teacher of the Year” for 1987. That was huge for me because I’d only been teaching for three years. To have my peers vote to give you, a virtual newbie, an honor like that was overwhelming for me. “Yes,” I said confidently. “I will be teaching until I am blue-haired, squint-eyed, wrinkled beyond recognition, and walking with a cane.”
As confident as I was that day, neither of those things came to pass.
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Instead of getting pregnant, we found out about our infertility. “One in a million chance,” was what the doctor told us. Of course, I told him that God was the Great Physician, and without much consulting with the Great Physician, Kelly and I decided that our journey included donor sperm and monthly visits to Duke Fertility Clinic.
Within the next year, I injured my back at school while moving a science kit. It only weighed ten pounds, but something happened that morning that I can’t quite put my finger on. All I knew was that I was in excruciating pain. Five years and seven surgeries later, I was medically retired from a profession I thought I’d be a part of until I was…well, you know what I said in the first paragraph.
After six unhappy months of in vitro at Duke, Kelly and I finally let God have the infertility issue, and we adopted. It was the oh-so-right thing to do. We could not love our children anymore if they were our biologically. At nearly 25, 23, and nearly 16, they bring us so much joy. They like to tell me that they may not have grown in my womb, but they grew in my heart. I kinda think I’ll keep ’em.
The one thing I fought God on at every turn was the fact that I was not in the teaching profession anymore. I spent YEARS filled with anger at how that dream of mine had taken wings and flown. Even with the joy of adopting my children and the absolute miraculous ways He brought each of them to us, I held God accountable for not healing me physically and returning me to teaching.
In 2002, I did let most of the anger go and for the most part, I was able to move on with my life and be relatively happy. But the little sliver that I harbored in my heart, kept me out of God’s will. Seven years ago, I really had a come-to-Jesus moment that forever eradicated any anger I had and brought me to my knees to beg for His forgiveness.
I walked into a church where I was not a member because we were looking for a new church home. At the end of the service, a woman came up to me and said, “You know, we need someone to work with our children and when I saw you walk in today, I knew my prayers had been answered.”
That woman was my Aunt Melba Rosser. We were visiting the Kelly’s home church. I was just visiting to be nice. I did not think we’d really choose to become members of Culbreth Memorial UMC. For heaven’s sake, I’d been a Baptist for forty-four years! But this is where God led us, the church family He chose for us — and even though He hasn’t healed me physically (yet — I’m not ever ruling it out!), He healed me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
This church took me just as I was, knowing that some Sundays I might not be able to show up because of my chronic pain. I have a fantastic group of parents that pitch in and do things that I can’t physically do. We started with a very small group of five children. Now I work with fourteen: one children’s choir, one youth choir, and a drama team. We’re growing every year.
The one thing I realized I’ve always been teaching — God gave me three children to teach. And that I’ll still be teaching for years to come, just in different circumstances.
Is it the life I envisioned that day back in 1987? No…it’s better!
What had you envisioned that was not in God’s plan for you? What did He lead you to instead?
No-Carb Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken (Serves 4-6)
1 whole chicken, 4-5 pounds
1 bottle of McCormick’s Rotisserie Chicken seasoning
1/4 cup of water
Nonstick Canola Spray
1. Remove the giblets and neck from chicken. (I freeze them to use for making chicken stock.)
2. Rinse chicken thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry.
3. Spray crock pot with nonstick spray. Add 1/4 cup water. Turn on crock pot to “low.”
4. Use the McCormick Rotisserie Chicken season and coat the chicken liberally with it.
5. Place chicken in crock pot.
6. Cook chicken on low for 6 hours.
7. When done, remove chicken and place on a platter to rest for 10 minutes.
8. Skin and de-bone chicken.
Serve with vegetables or salad or use in a sandwich. I freeze the chicken diced or chopped in 1-cup portions in quart bags to use on salads throughout the week at lunchtime. This is moist, delicious, and cost-effective.
Tips: I was in Wal-Mart yesterday and checked the deli prices for one of their rotisserie chickens — $8.88 for one not nearly as big as the ones I cook. I try to find whole chickens on sale and buy them in bulk. They will keep in the freezer up to nine months. On sale, I can usually get whole chickens for about $ .69/pound. (Aldi has frozen chickens for $ .89/pound every day — which is not a bad price either.)
Nutritional Information (1 cup cooked chicken): 231 calories, 5 g fat, 119 mg cholesterol, 104 mg sodium, and 43 g protein.