A Look Into Sydney

Author - Emma Stanley

Living with Sydney has given me an awesome opportunity not just to see her in our working/learning environment but also to see her in a state of rest and fellowship. When we first met, she was very reserved and didn't have much to say. But when she did speak, you could tell what she said was well thought out and, in a way, ran through many filters before it came out. I've come to appreciate this more and more during our time together. I've also loved to see some of these filters come off as trust is built within our household.

During our Maui trip, Sydney and I helped run the door of Hope Chapel's distribution center. We also joined the prayer team in front of the door. She was quick to adjust, asking how she could pray for someone, and led in prayer flawlessly. I was absolutely amazed at the casual and welcoming air she had. Then she opened up about how this felt awkward for her. She didn't know how to approach the subject of prayer with everyone who walked in and out of the doors. I very much understood, as I had gone through the same only a day or two prior!

At one point, Sydney talked with one gal on her way into the distribution center, who opened up like a book on a windy day. While the woman went in, Sydney eagerly awaited her return, ready to pray and just love on her after a conversation that lasted maybe 5 minutes. The Lord gave her that one person, as He had done for me. It was as if I could see the ties that she had to this sweet, hurting soul, and it was truly an amazing sight to see.

Fast forward to our time back in New Braunfels. We were mowing some lawns, and they seemed endless. Lawn after lawn, one looking like a jungle and the next having a 75 ft. rotted tree to cut down. They were rough. I was about ready to never see a mower or an organic materials bag again in my entire life. But never once did Sydney hesitate to continue. She adopted this "come and see" persona that, as a planner, I can say is very hard to adopt. Sydney worked fast and efficiently, taking each yard in stride. She was awesome. "Come and see" has been something that Sydney and I, at times, have struggled with. We are putting plans into place and then having to move them when Keith or Arlie come to us with their own plans. It has been no small feat to adjust to this new way of living, and Sydney has dutifully taken it in stride.

Sydney has also grown in the way we interact from day to day. I mean, you can even see this growth in how many questions she asked at the start of The Fellowship versus how many she asks now. As we've continued to learn each other, what our routines are, what tones we respond to, and how we work best on projects such as mowing lawns and cleaning up the property, Sydney has been very quick to pivot. When one thing frustrates others, she turns and tries a new way. I can definitely learn a thing or two from that. I've seen a mentality develop in her of learning and moving and growing with a person, whereas I often take the face value and roll with it, hoping I interpreted them correctly the first time around.

It's been a treat to evaluate our lives, routines, and theologies together. To pivot and to grow and to redirect our thinking in ways that never would've been possible without The Fellowship. Sydney and I are much alike in many ways, and to watch her grow has been such a treat. She is always strengthening her thinking, motivations, and walk with Christ, learning how to love well without compromising her own sense of self. That is something I really admire. I am truly excited to see how the Lord works in my sister in Christ's heart as we continue our journey together this year.
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