Sam and Emma, Newport Beach.

Over the last three weeks I’ve taken Sam to hospital seven times.

“This is crazy,” Sam said, as we sat yet again in peak hour traffic. “Three hours in the car for three minutes with the doctor. I’m over it.”

I’m over it too.

In January it felt like we had seen a change. Things were beginning to look easier; life seemed to be returning to normal and for the first time in two years, we made grand plans. My life was back in order; I was exercising each day, re-enrolling at uni and preparing for school. Sam had managed to get back into part time work and she too enrolled for uni full-time.

Then out of the blue came the chest pains that took us to emergency and now we have a string of appointments for lung scans, breathing tests and the thoracic professor. In addition to this, Sam’s left toenail became ingrown again and infected. The lovely oncologist who treats her for this tried all that he could to resolve the problem, prodding and probing her with needles in his private rooms; but resolve it he did not, so this week we found ourselves queuing up, gowning up and preparing for day surgery.

Add to this the reason we attend hospital in the first place, which is to see the haemotologist to:
• make sure that her bloods are okay and there are no signs of leukaemia;
• see that her major organs are functioning as a result of the bone marrow transplant; and
• try to provide her body with the supplements she needs to survive either via infusions or oral medications,
and life begins to feel a little overwhelming.

In the New Living Translation Bible it says, “Son of man, you live among rebels who have eyes but refuse to see. They have ears but refuse to hear. For they are a rebellious people.” (Ezekiel 12:2)

As I look at my situation with my daughter, I know one truth that above all things: God is good. So if God is so good why does he allow so many bad things to happen? I watch the world news, I see the physical changes in my daughter, I cry with friends whose kids are suffering too and I try to make sense of it all. Life is hard, but God is good and what does He want me to see?

Again the Bible says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

I am a girl of simple faith, so I ask God to speak to me in simple ways. I ask Him to forgive me if my heart is rebellious. I ask Him to help me to see what it is that I cannot see and to know the things that I do not know. I don’t want us to be like the people in Hosea 4:6 who perish due to a lack of knowledge.

I worry about this sometimes. I worry that there is so much that I don’t know. I am terrified that I will miss some important truth or lose a file, or a phone number or some important piece of information. Sometimes I feel like Lumiere from “Beauty and the Beast” and all the plates are spinning; but God is faithful, He works with who I am. He teaches me how to hear and how to see. He speaks in the language I understand.

It’s a combination of small things this week that linked together to form the information I need right now. If I watch and listen, He is showing and telling. Sometimes I need to adjust my activity so that I am not too busy to notice; but sometimes I just need to pay attention because He is in what I am doing as well.

Last Sunday I went to swim laps and for the first time ever I removed my wedding and engagement ring. As I did this I was subconsciously aware that it was unusual, but it was not until I returned from my swim that I noticed my diamond was gone. After a little search (and a keen eye – my diamond is miniscule) I found it on the dresser. In the silence I realised I had been prompted by God to remove my rings, which are precious to me and therefore important to Him. I sensed Him saying that He will show me all that I need to know.

Sometimes we need to see things with new eyes. In a reading I was doing for university, I came across this great story of a little girl who told her mum that she knew that four times four was sixteen. She went with her mother into her room to show her how she had made this discovery by counting the holes on the blinds where the cords passed through. The mother was confused because though there were holes in the blind, they were arranged in groups of two rather than groups of four. So she asked her daughter about this and the little girl went on to explain “that it worked when you went ‘cross-eyed’, then the twos became fours.”

No wonder God tells us to come as children. Only a child would stare long enough at a situation to discover a truth by going cross-eyed. As adults we are always rushing from one thing to the next, ticking off boxes and getting things done. Yet God has things to teach us if only we will persevere and stare at the situation long enough to see all that He wants us to see, to lean in long enough to hear what he wants us to hear. When we focus, when we look at things from every angle, the possibilities are multiplied.

It often seems like our situations in life are too overwhelming to deal with. We feel confined, caged in and confused. Yet standing there in the middle of it all is our teacher, just waiting for us to stop and to listen to what comes next. It’s like that in my classroom at the outset of every year. There are all these little people, lots of noise and activity. I am tempted to raise my voice when I need to get the kids’ attention; sometimes they will stop if I ring a bell, clap my hands or sing, but when we are all on the floor for mat time the thing that works best is for me to whisper or to be completely silent. Eventually every child stops, looks around and seeks my face. I smile. I say, “thank you, I was waiting for you.” I tell them what comes next, how we will do it and what they should do if it gets too hard.

How thankful I am that in this season of confusion I have a teacher walking alongside me every moment, who cares enough about the small things in my world to teach me what is next.

Tell me, when has He surprised you with the whisper of His voice?


Filed under Life

7 responses to “Listen

  1. Jen

    Beautiful Clare!

  2. Thanks for sharing this post, it speaks volumes in regards to living each day with more self awareness. I often struggle at times with staying strong in my faith. There are so many things I question each day. I seek understanding constantly, amist a world that is so chaotic. I wonder why people suffer hardships, loss, and heartbreak. In our struggles we experience every raw emotion, and try to find comfort and solace in the moments that bring us peace. It is hard to comprehend fully the world around us, but I know in my heart there is meaning & ultimately purpose if we are patient and truly listen. I have struggled with my own health complications, and am always completing tests its seems. I have an MRI scheduled soon and am fearful. At the same time I question my fear. You quoted the book of Matthew, which I live by, or atleast try to the best of my ability to incorporate in my daily life. Wouldn’t the world be more great if we all followed the words of this book. In the book of Matthew chapter 11 verse 28-30, it states “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and i will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I know God is great, and he is with me always. He has blessed me immensely, yet I tend to lose sight sometimes of his love for me. If I slow down, open my mind and ears clearly I hear him speaking to me, guiding me. I know I should not be fearful for my struggle has purpose. My experience has made me stronger, and has allowed me to be more grateful each day. This part, human beings living in this world is the hardest thing we do. I feel we are meant to live each day to the best of our ability, leaving our imprint here, giving voice and sharing our stories. This helps others in the process. In regards to your daughter, I am sure it is a constant worry in the sense that you love her beyond words & want her to be healthy and happy. This is what my mother wants for me. Know that you being there, providing comfort and support is truly impactful in helping her be strong and courageous through any hurdle she endures. And through this experience although difficult at times, will continue to strengthen her. Remember to be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to continue and seek simplicity. Faith is so essential in our daily experience. Knowing God is always present makes me know that I will be okay, because he is with me. It is important to slow down, enjoy life, and appreciate how fragile it is. I wake up each day and pay close attention to the fine details of the world around me. I take notice of the color of the sky, the sway of a tree, the fresh snow on the ground. These are things I often ignored too busy with worry and moving quickly. I now know that God wants us to truly embrace the world around us good and bad, learn as much as we can, appreciate what he has individually blessed us with, and to simply live without worry. Blessings and happiness always–kira

  3. Bronte

    i will think of a whisper story…i’ll ponder on that one. i was explaining your journey to a friend today…the road seem so long now doesn’t it but you hear people like andy kabala talk about being healed from leukaemia and it was a long journey but it doesn’t sound long afterwards…i know and pray for the life you guys will have beyond this when you will have forgotten the lots and lots of little on going painful things and it’ll be the bigger journey of this you remember…but we’ll all know the subplot you’ve shared with us. i pray that. thank you, clare. xxxx

  4. Lindy H

    Oh Clare,
    you don’t realise what an inspiration you are to me! God’s whispers are so many and everyday, but its through my friends that he so often speaks the loudest. When I begin to despair for my Kendall and her health challenges, the Lord always points me to you and Sam. It is almost three years that Kendall has had Chronic Fatigue now; that’s a long time when you’re only 15, but your words of faith and encouragement keep me ‘in perspective’. When these times will end, we don’t know…..but what I do know, is God is indeed good…and there is always someone else struggling just a little more. We cry out for our kids, but for ourselves too. May you be blessed this week Clare.
    Thanks Lindy

    • Clare Froggatt

      Haha, thankyou Lindy. You are also an inspiration to me. You are calm and capable and full of grace. Thankyou for your words of encouragement and for helping me in so many practical ways as well. x

  5. Sandra

    Dear Clare, On Sunday I asked a friend at church to pray for me. I didn’t say what I wanted her to pray for. She suggested that I lie down on the carpet and she lay down next to me. She held my hand and we breathed together. After a time I was wondering why there were no words and I wanted comforting words. And it slowly dawned on me that she wasn’t saying anything for a reason. My senses awakened to His Presence and He was now lying besides me. He was showing me He was right there with me in my pain and then began to show me things that He was doing in my life, the things I needed to know for now. Words from another couldn’t have conveyed this to me. It was entirely precious.
    love Sandra x

    • Clare Froggatt

      That is really beautiful Sandra. Sometimes we need to stop and be still to perceive He is there. Thankyou for sharing that. Clare x

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