whisper in my soul...
Seasons in life come and go, and sometimes they happen when you least expect them. Do you have dreams and desires tucked away in your heart? Ones that God placed there a long time ago? Me too, friends. However, about two years ago, I heard a whisper in my soul telling me to start dusting off those dreams.
To be honest, I laughed. I was not sure what to make of that whisper. I had stashed a handful of dreams into the back of my proverbial closet as it just seemed like they were not meant to be - yet. Nevertheless, I continuously prayed over these "hidden dreams" for well over ten years. At the end of 2020, my soul could feel that it was time to uncover these hidden dreams. Not just to uncover them for myself, but to start sharing these dreams with those around me. Some of these dreams I have barely even talked about over the last five years, as I honestly was not sure if they would ever come to pass.
paving a path...
The first dream I have, and have been having for over ten years now, is to set my feet on the ground in Uganda to love on women and children of that nation. Yes, it is that specific and I have pursued it through various means, including trips and involvement with multiple organizations. Yet every time I set out to make this dream a reality, whatever means were in place fell apart quickly. I felt like Paul, halted by God when trying to minister in a particular region. In all honesty, I continuously asked God whether He was sure I should dust this dream off. My heart and aspiration were fragile; I didn't want to be disappointed once more by another failed trip.
While I have yet to step foot in Uganda soil, God is paving a path that I never could have envisioned for this dream. I have collaborated with beautiful women and artisans in Uganda, making a difference in their lives through Noonday Collection and Sseko Designs Uganda. I also discovered Hands of Action International, an organization that sponsors Ugandan children. Although my feet have not touched Ugandan ground, I know that the work of building community and empowering these souls from my home is exactly what I am called to do in this season. I believe that through these connections, God will provide a way for me to land in Uganda and see in person the work that God has been doing there. I am grateful for the opportunity to be an integral part of the transformative work already occurring in the lives of the women of Sseko Designs Uganda and my own three sponsored children.
Another dream of mine began in 2012 when I first moved to Spring Arbor, Michigan. I dreamt of being part of church leadership and youth ministry. In 2016 after years of ministering in various capacities, from mega churches to church plants to camping ministry, I knew that I needed to take a break. I stepped away from intensive ministry and leadership to focus on my own healing and growth. knew that to go any further in my ministry journey, I needed to heal and restore my soul, following a year of immense spaces of growth and devastation. My heart needed rebuilding and my soul needed rest. From this time until recently, I explored several opportunities, ministered to various people in an informal capacity, and God showed up every step of the way. Although I was not engaged in formal ministry, such as a church setting, during this time, I was involved in the ministry of everyday life. About six months ago, I could sense God was opening a door to formal church ministry once more.
However, I wasn't sure where to go since I had not found a local church that we were to connect with yet. Still, I prayed, "God, I will go where you call me.” Within a matter of a few months, I learned that my friends’ family was starting a new church in my hometown, so I reached out to the pastor to express my interest in learning more about the church and connecting with them. As I write this, I have been involved with the church for two to three months and deeply invested in the work that God is doing in our corner of the world. We show up each week to truly love those who walk through our doors on Sunday mornings and provide a hot, fresh meal so that no one has to worry about where their meal is coming from on Sunday. It's simple and beautiful. Becoming a mother, I never thought that this would be the season for me to be returning to formal ministry.
My favorite part of this journey is the simple reminder that God does not waste anything. These dreams have been a part of my life for well over ten years and I still have dreams that have yet to be explored and more that I have yet to imagine. I know God truly has so much more in store for me. I find myself reflecting on what would have happened if I hadn't listened to that small voice saying that in February of 2021, a door was going to open connecting me back with the women and children in Uganda in a whole new way. Would I have met these beautiful women who have brought so much passion, joy, creativity and inspiration into my life? I am filled with appreciation and honor for the work they do. Would I have noticed and become involved with a brand new church plant happening in my hometown? It's amazing to think about the dreams left to explore, develop, and grow in this new season.
Looking back from 2012, when I was a college student who had just moved to Spring Arbor University, away from home for the first time, following God's leading, to 2023, where I now have a small side business, a family, work full-time, as well as help with a church plant in my hometown - I would have never seen this journey ahead of me. If someone had told me then that I would have a house, a family, and especially be back in my hometown, I would have never believed it. Yet, here I am, raising a family where I spent my whole life growing up, loving these people as Jesus, and truly loving every second of this unimagined journey.
God has great plans for your life, beyond what you can even imagine or perceive. Are there any dreams that you are hesitant to pursue? Maybe they have been sitting in the back of your heart closet, covered in cobwebs and dust. Perhaps God has been urging you to explore those dreams.
Today, I pray that you take a few moments to contemplate these questions. Reflect on the dreams that God has placed in your heart, whether they are new aspirations or ones that you've had for years. God does not want you to waste a single idea; rather, He has given them to you as a gift to glorify Him in every season of your life. Whether you are in a season of abundance or hardship, God can breathe new life into those dry, brittle bones. Allow Him to bring things into your life that you never thought possible, and you will begin to understand the vastness of God's hand in your life and the lives of those around you.
Chloe is a lovely resident of Charleroi, PA! She's happily married and a proud mother of a little boy. When she's not busy with her family, she enjoys a good cup of coffee, spending quality time with loved ones, and exploring the great outdoors. Her passion for nature and spending time with those close to her always brings a smile to her face.
Photos by Carly Kristin Photography. Headshot provided by Chloe Henson