I was talking to Chloe the other day, and I realised that I often forget what my name is. Now, before you all think ‘she needs to see a doctor for severe memory loss’, let me explain myself. For the last 6 months, no one has actually called me by the name ‘Chloe van Schalkwyk’. To save confusion in the house, I have been called ‘CJ’ and am often referred to as a ‘de Bruin’. But this got me thinking. I know that I have one mum – don’t worry, my bio teacher wasn’t that bad! But, since moving to South Africa, I can quite confidently say that there are women in my life that I would easily call a mum. So, I am going to dedicate this blog post to all 4 of them.
- Suzanne van Schalkwyk
I’m going to start with my real mum! Makes life a lot easier! Now, this woman is incredible. If you ever have the privilege of meeting her, please tell her how awesome she is and what a good job she is doing. Whilst I was living at home, I would constantly be challenged by the way Mum handled a difficult situation or would realise how silly I was being about something when Mum spoke one line of wisdom into the situation. She modelled what it is to be a woman after God’s own heart and has done it in a way which means I am constantly aspiring to have a relationship with God that resembles something of what my mum has.
I knew that moving 6,000 miles away from her would be incredibly tough – I mean, I couldn’t really imagine doing life without her and my dad by my side. But I knew that they would be rooting for me, praying for me daily and looking forward to the times where we could sit for an hour and have an awesome conversation on FaceTime.
I have so much respect for my mum. She has coped so well in letting me be me and grow independently so far away from her. I can only imagine what it must have felt like for her letting me go at the train station that day.
I am praying that I become a godly and strong woman like her when I am older.
- Claire de Bruin
Here we have a beautiful and very funny woman of God who happily took me into her home for a year having only met me once. There aren’t many people I know of that would do that for someone.
I love having cooking lessons every time I walk into the kitchen because there is always something tasty being made in there! And I feel that not only have I grown as a person whilst I have been here, but my cooking skills have too. (There you all were thinking I was going to make a comment on how I have grown in size!)
Claire’s passion for people and making sure that everybody is comfortable is one that I pray that I will gain as I grow older. She models loving people with ease, even though people are the hardest to work with.
I thank God that He has brought this woman into my life; the things I have learnt whilst staying in this home have been lessons that I will not forget in a hurry and I know that saying goodbye in July is going to be one of the hardest things I will ever do.
- Liesl-Ann Monaghan
There is so much that I could say to express the amount of gratitude I have for God bringing this woman into my life. I always look forward to seeing her and having a really great chat, knowing that there is someone who cares so deeply about me and how I am doing.
I know that I am always welcome in her home and have appreciated the times when she has looked after me when I needed it most and took me on holiday with her family just so I could see a little bit more of South Africa.
It was with this lady that I got my first South African hair cut. It was this lady who encouraged me to get my nose pierced and was the person I told first because I knew she would think it was cool! It is also this lady with whom I plan on getting my second tattoo.
What she doesn’t know, is that she brings out a side of me that most people haven’t really seen and don’t know even exists. I can safely say that it is this incredible, godly woman that has helped bring me out of my shell and has shaped me into the woman that I have become.
- Cheryl Stead
If ever I have a problem, or am desperate to talk to someone about whatever is on my heart, I know that this woman will make time for me and is happy to see me. This woman cares so much about my emotional and spiritual well-being and it makes me overwhelmingly happy to think that there is someone who is actively praying for me.
Her prophetic gifting is one which I admire and have found myself asking God for. The way in which she is able to speak into someone’s life with such accuracy and be there to offer support and prayer afterwards is incredible to see.
I am so blessed to be discipled by this woman. Her input and insight into my life is amazing and the only way I can explain it well enough is by saying that God knows what we need before we even know ourselves. She has brought me out of my comfort zone, to a place where I can easily say that I am 10x more confident in myself and in my giftings than I was 6 months ago.
All of these amazing women all model something different to me and play a different role in my life. God has been so good to me in giving me these 4 women who hunger after Him and want to share that with me. And it gives me such pleasure to say that these women are all Mum to me.