The idea of spending a month away from the people I love most didn’t quite hit me until I sat down on my bed in a hostel in South Africa. You can’t quite change your mind at that point, but God didn’t intend for me to. I realized I wouldn’t be able to be in constant contact with my friends, wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone I please at any time I desire, and wouldn’t be able to hug my mum every 5 minutes of the day. Thinking about this scared me out of my mind! What if I didn’t like the girls on my team? What if my leaders were cruel people who didn’t value rest? Who would I talk to then? These thoughts flooded my mind faster than I could realize I was crying. “God, You are driving me CRAZY,” I’d repeat. I had no idea what to do with myself. My teammates were asleep, and I had no way to contact my loved ones at home. I was lying in my bed with nobody to talk to…or so I thought. “How about you talk to your Dad?” I heard God say. I became angry, because I had no way to contact him, and my earthly father and I do not have the best relationship as my parents are divorced. Why on earth would God say that when He knows the situation? A few seconds later, I felt a warm and comforting embrace and realized the Dad that God wanted me to talk to. I hadn’t had a conversation with my Heavenly Father since we landed in Africa, and He was craving it. I began to chat with Him, my Dad, about everything. My entire life of not having Daddy-Daughter time with my earthly father was made up for in this moment. God and I had such a riveting conversation that night. It went on for so many hours. From that night forward, I realized how important Daddy-Daughter time is. God has opened my eyes to the many things we can do together: whether it’s looking at the sky, (one of my favorite things to do) chatting with him while we clear fields of shrubs and trees, or seeing His joy in the smiles of the many children craving hugs and attention. I am loving spending time with my Dad, as well as my amazing teammates and leaders on this trip. Relationships are becoming deeper left and right, but I can now proudly say that I love the relationship I have with my Dad.

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