Dear Senegal, You've Raised Me Well


Dear Senegal, you have raised me well.

If you had asked me when I was 6 years old what I thought I'd be saying when I was 18 years old, it wouldn't have been that. It probably would've been something more along the lines of "I'm gonna be a mommy just like my mommy"... but never the starting line of a goodbye/ thank you letter to the country I've called home for the past 10 years.

I look back on my life the way it is now, and I seriously wouldn't have it any other way. God has used and is continuing to use each and every one of the experiences that I've had in my life for His ultimate glory.

So, I'm back to where I started...

 

Living overseas, we don't often get our hair cut because it is either too expensive, or it requires extensive planning. But when we take furloughs in America, we go through this like two-ish month stint where all we do is make and attend appointments.

Doctor's appointments, hair cuts, dentist appointments, eye appointments, ear appointments, check-ups or physicals... pretty much any kind of appointment you can think of, we've had.

But this time on furlough, we've been doubly blessed by COVID being around because we've been able to space out all of our usual appointments to times more suitable for our family. That being said, I've saved getting my hair cut until now.

 

I'm staying at my aunt's house, spending time with extended family by bonding and making memories with my cousins that I don't get to see that often.

My aunt loves to do things for our family to help us lighten our load, so since she knew I'd be up here with them for a while, she went ahead and made an appointment for me to get my hair cut.

More to the point, as I was sitting in the chair getting my hair cut and styled, I realized how much I really have to thank Senegal for...

Why? Well, I'm glad you asked!

The answer is simple, really.

As I introduced myself to the hair stylist, she asked when the last time I got my hair cut was. Naturally, I answered "At least two but possibly four years ago..." which launched us into a conversation about why I was overseas and what I do for a living/ what my parents do.

So for about 30 or 40 minutes, I got to share the gospel and my personal testimony with the hair stylist. And I have Senegal to thank for that...

 

Dear Senegal, you have raised me well.

You've raised me to always see the good in people, and to love them unconditionally.

You've raised me to value relationships with others, and to build bonds of trust.

You've raised me to deeply care about the people I'm with, and to desire the best for them even if it's not easy for me.

And I did all of those things today.

I was sitting in the chair loving on the woman by sharing Jesus with her. I was valuing the relationship I was forming with her. Even if she doesn't accept Christ today, at least I planted the seed.

Sharing the gospel is something that can be really challenging, but so worth it!

And look at how healthy my hair looks now!

My dear readers, I challenge you to see the good in people.

I challenge you to love everyone unconditionally, even if they are different from you.

I challenge you to build bonds of trust in those relationships because you never know when God might choose to open the door and allow you to share His name with others.

I challenge you to deeply care about others, and desire the best for them even if it isn't easy for you.

Matthew 22: 37-40 says "Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

So, love them. Love them even if it hurts.

Luke 6: 27-28 say "But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

So, love them. Love them even if it hurts.

 

Dear Senegal,

you have raised me to live and to love well.

Thank you.