“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, until the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
These two phrases have been the vision behind my most recent adventure with God all the way to Northwest Africa. I have four words that pretty much sum up my trip: radical. hard. free. fun. This trip was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life…but I learned that God is extravagant and that sometimes, in order to teach us lessons and refine us, that he takes us half way across the world. Over the course of the rest of the summer, there will probably be many of the lessons that I had taught to me summarized on here; but for today, I will pick two of the sweetest.
The first lesson must be framed with a story: We were out one night and met a guy, we will call him Bob. Bob was a Muslim who spoke English well, and was immediately an encouragement..considering that the place we were at, everyone speaks French and Arabic. We got his number and went to bed encouraged. The next day we texted him to hang out, and of course, Bob came:) We learned that the day we met him was his birthday…and we asked how they celebrate birthdays in his culture. His response, “We don’t celebrate birthdays over here.” MIND BLOWN. So of course, my friends and I wanted to throw him a birthday party..cake and all. He loved it. Fast forward to two days later: we celebrated his spiritual birthday as well, welcoming Bob into the family!! PRAISE GOD!
Anyways, through these encounters with Bob, I learned something about myself… I am not an orphan. Everyday I am celebrated by God, because before I am anything else, I am a daughter of the King. Just like Bob is now a son of God..I am eternally a daughter..not left out to make things work, not abandoned, not forgotten about, a DAUGHTER: known, seen, loved, celebrated.
“The Spirit you received does not make you sleeves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about you adoption to sonship. An by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)
The second lesson comes, also, from the culture of the place I was at and Islamic culture in general. Covered women. Some fully covered. Some partially covered. Some not covered at all. Why? I didn’t understand why some women, Muslim women, had to walk around in 80 degree weather and only be able to see out of two tiny slits in their coverings and why some women, also Muslim women, walked around with skimpy clothes on. The thought of the unfairness that surrounded that idea hurt my heart deep…but I learned why some women did what they did…It’s all based off of the beliefs and conservativeness of their father. The more conservative, the more coverings…the less conservative, the less coverings. WOW. Their daddy. Their protector. That was the determining factor. In the moment I learned that…I became overwhelmingly thankful that my heavenly father says I am free. Free to laugh and play and cry. Free to dance, and sing, and worship. Free to be Caitlin. Free to be His. No coverings. No strict rules. Just a Daddy and his daughter.
I became immensely thankful for my Daddy, my Jesus.
And from that thankfulness, I will end this post: thankful to be a daughter.
Thankful to be loved.
Thankful to have been able to adventure across the world with God.