At the very beginning of our trip we flew from Atlanta to Amsterdam. We had a very long layover, so why not make the most of it. As we walked around, we stumbled upon a flower shop. However, this wasn’t any flower shop, this one was run by Coby Smil. She was such a sweet lady and despite our language barrier we connected. She had sunflowers in her shop, which I came to find out were called solsikke in Dutch.
Sunflowers are so special to me. They represent the growth I have experienced in life and the flower I have bloomed into. Although, that is not all. God used this metaphor to truly show me East Africa is where I am called to be. While the sunflower is budding, it’s very soft bracts support and protect it. They allow the bud to follow the sun throughout the day to grow and soak up as much light as it can. For me, those bracts represent friends and family. I’m so blessed to have been supported and protected my whole life. I know God was using that time of growth to not only prepare me in life, but for this journey!
When a sunflower blooms, the bracts solidify. That blooming represents me becoming my true self, and my supporters truly standing strong and supporting me as I go the direction the Lord is calling me.
The best part, in my opinion, is the fact that when a sunflower becomes solidified it is permanently facing east. East is the direction the sun rises AND we just happen to be over 8,000 miles to the east right now. How awesome!
I am fully trusting and confident in the person God has made me, who Jesus is and what He does for us, and the direction He is calling me in life! As time goes on, I’m more confident that I am supposed to be here. He is truly a GOOD, GOOD Father!
After talking to Coby, I found out her daughter was named Stephanie also! I bought her and I matching sunflower trinkets and, of course, took a picture with her! I love the little things God puts in our lives to bring us joy! I will always cherish that time in Amsterdam and my sweet friend!