Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sitting in Silence

     Have you ever had a moment where you just sat in silence and thought about whatever just happened? What happened a moment ago, a day ago, a week ago, maybe even things from the past year. I've found myself doing that a lot this year and when I did have those moments I’d try to write them down in my journal so that later on in life I could remember what was important to me or what even happened through out 2013.

            I look back to May 31st, 2012 (the day we got on a plane to move to Swaziland), and can read what I was thinking before we moved here. My expectations, fears, hopes, and questions that I had. It’s interesting to look back and see how things have fallen in and out of place as time went on and to just see how God was working. This year was probably the craziest year of my life. Moving is always hard, but when you go to another continent with a completely different culture that’s 2 worlds behind you’re previous continent, it takes it to a whole new level. Talk about the adventure of a lifetime. I think back to a year ago when we moved and where I am now and how much has happened. I went to a British international school for 6 months, finished 10th grade in December, and decided to transfer to a school in Taiwan for 11th grade (that wouldn’t start until August 12, 2013). That’s just the school side, on the other side, I've got to see our babies at El Roi grow and start to walk and talk, go with my mama to bring home (to El Roi) some of the new babies, etc.

     One “memory” I guess you could call it that’s treasured in my heart was with one of the moms of one of our sets of Twins, Leah and Rachel. The first time I met Nomsa was in the back of an ambulance as we were given her twins and she was rushed to the multiple drug resistant TB hospital. Since then, she’s become a big sister to me. Mom and I would go visit her and bring her treats, sit under the tree outside so we wouldn’t have to wear our masks and just talk. We encouraged her as she gained her strength and was fighting against this disease. It felt like we were fighting it with her, and I just assumed God would heal her because I know He’s big and can do anything He chooses, and this seemed like it would be such a big “win” for God, but like I said, He does what He chooses and He has a plan for everything. On top of that His plans are perfect. So when I heard that we were going to see Nomsa last Friday, and I heard the doctor say she had XDR (the last stage of TB), my heart broke. I looked at Nomsa and could see the hopelessness in her eyes as tears began to streak her face and mine as well. I didn’t understand... because we had been fighting this together? And she was supposed to get better and come home to Project Canaan? We had it all figured out and we had a plan, but this was NOT part of the plan. God was supposed to take care of the disease part, because we had everything else covered. This became one of those moments where I sat in silence, and thought. Where is God? And why isn’t He holding up His end of the bargain? That’s when you have to remind yourself that He is there and He does have a plan. His plans are perfect, and our plans aren’t always His plans, but His plans should always be our plans.

            That’s just one of the stories of this past year, but it was an extremely important one. Watching people lives here seems so much more real to me. The struggles aren’t 1st world problems, they’re problems that effect your health and well-being. Will I have food to feed my family tomorrow? Am I safe to walk my 2-hour walk home tonight?

You see real life when you’re living here, but you see joy too. Like when you go to El Roi and Ester walks over to you with her whole face just lit up. You crouch down and she just falls/flops into your arms for a hug and then proceeds to sit in/claim your lap for the duration of the visit. How is God so big? He sees and saves this little girl, one of my little sisters who brings so much love and joy, but He doesn’t heal my big sister Nomsa who is fighting for her life.

            I'm sitting in silence as I write this, thinking about this past year and wondering, “What if my parents had said no?” Wondering how many people before them said no to this calling, and realizing how God allowed our whole family to be apart of His perfect plan. Maybe life would have been “easier” if we had stayed in Georgia, but we would have missed out on something greater than anything we could imagine. I would never have met these girls that I now call my sisters, my big sister and all of my little brothers and sisters.

            Then I pause and think about what’s to come. I'm moving to Taichung, Taiwan in 8 days from now for my Junior and Senior year (11th & 12th grade) of high school by myself. I could have gone back to Georgia or anywhere else God wanted me to be, but He made it clear to me that He wanted me to go to Morrison Academy. And if His plans are as perfect as everyone says they are, then why would I want to go anywhere else? Morrison is an American Christian international boarding school, with tons of missionary kids and TCK’s (Third Culture Kids) just like me. Its like “an island of misfit (freakin’ awesome) toys” and I can’t wait to call it home. 

            In a year and 8 days from now I'll read my journal entry from August 7, 2013, and see what my expectations, my fears, my hopes, and my questions were. But what I’m most genuinely excited for is to see how God has exceeded them all. 

            Wish me luck, 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." 
     ~Jeremiah 29:11


  1. Yes, God is in control! You have learned well Grasshopper!

  2. That is soooo brilliant Chloe, you have been Blessed like your mother with a great gift of writing, God will use that too!! I shall promise to pray for you and your new adventure this coming year.I am Blessed to have met you, you are one special lady, and it is easy to see why you bring so much Joy to your parents, and Spencer's heart.The fact that you are aware that you are in the Center of God's Will is such a gift and Blessing, not many ppl discover that so early in their lives,He has given you HIS Heart for the poor and the needy,and HE will sustain you in it;)looking forward to reading all about your adventures with Jesus.............hang on tight :)

    Numbers 6v4-6

    Love Eternally

    from another sister in our common faith xoxox

  3. Oh my sweet Chloe! You are experiencing life in a way that not many can or are willing to endure. I can truly tell just how much God has touched your life- even if sometimes it's a challenge to tell what he's thinking. You are a blessed young lady. I miss you and wish you the all the best in Taiwan. I hope some day you will venture back to Georgia, if nothing else, to give some old teachers a few hugs...:) I will pray for you, your sisters, and your whole family. Take care of you.

    xoxo- Mrs. Fiddler

  4. Chloe, I'm amazed to read the depth of spiritual maturity you have at such a young age. To believe that God is able to do, . . . ANYTHING, yet to understand, "His plans are perfect, and our plans aren’t always His plans, but His plans should always be our plans." is more than most learn in a lifetime. You see the big picture.

    Blessings upon blessings for you and your family.

  5. So so so proud of you. You have grown to be a beautiful, giving, loving young woman. So very very proud of our Chloe'!!

  6. I admire your spirt and sensitivity to the wonder, beauty and fragility of life Chloe. My memory of you is somewhat different. I see you bouncing around El Shaddai, in paint splattered pants, spreading joy and exuberant spirit that was infectious for all of us. I see your face lighting up with love and affection when in the presence of all the children, not just the favourites that we all seemed to have. Meeting you has been one of the great pleasures of my life and I am infinitely proud of your pioneering spirit and marvelous sense of adventure. Thank-you for sharing your unwavering faith and giving me this gift of knowing that God is great and that to surrender is to live and grow under the great tree of love we call faith. I miss you and your family and take comfort in knowing that one day we will all run, laugh, cry, sing and share in our calling again.

    Your friend always