One sister was living in Paris, one was living in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and I was living in Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories. It was the winter of 2007. Four years prior, I’d spent a summer in Istanbul, Turkey. While there, I was given a red purse inspired by a classic Turkish rug pattern. I’d added a red camera strap with Chinese characters that I got at an antique store in Canada. I loved that purse. It was slim, spirited, light, and it kept singing to me the songs of nations long after I received it.
So, it was four years later, and my consistent use of that Turkish purse brought it to its final breaking point: after months of minor repairs, it became too zipper-stuck, strap-torn, and weary to continue. It was a sad moment.
At the time, I was quite financially dry. Thus, even the idea of needing to buy another purse felt rough. Moreover, I was several days from departing to the USA for Christmas, by way of the V.I. (Virgin Islands) and Paris. I’d originally planned my layover in Paris to spend time with my sister. However, my parents generously decided to pay for us all to convene in the V.I. first. Our Christmas gift had become a Christmas trip! It was incredible!
In talking with God about all of this, I expressed,
Well, despite stumbling upon a great store with goods from West Africa in the V.I, it was not until Paris that I came upon The Morocco Purse.
That was it. That was why that purse was the right match. It neatly fulfilled the aims I’d asked God for:
1. Sold by an Arab
2. Based on relationship (After all our chatting about the Middle East, the storekeeper and I felt quite bonded.)
3. Prophetic about my future (since childhood, I’ve known that my future and my calling were centered on the nations)
That purse instantly became my travel companion. In fact, weeks later I was visiting a church in California and a woman said to me, “There is something about that purse!” “Yes, I know,” I replied. “No, really, there is somethingabout that purse. God wants to remind you of His faithfulness to you every time you look at it, and to proclaim His faithfulness to others. ” I nodded in deep agreement. That was the timbre of what I’d heard God say after I bought the purse, “I will always make a way for you in the nations.” It was the timbre of His faithfulness and a reminder that His faithfulness to me would also bless nations.
Years later, I began to plan to lead a group trip to Morocco as support to friends there who’d asked me to come. As planning went along, it became evident the timing was not right. I stopped the planning, much to my heart’s sadness. In fact, that was 2012, shortly after my now-husband and I got together. In our coming together, I saw priorities adjust. One evening I told him, “I’ve decided not to go to Morocco this year. The timing is not right. Even though I love adventure, I’ve realized that you are my adventure right now.” Tears snuck out my attempting-to-restrain-themselves eyes. It was a stretching realignment of focus. And it was beautiful.
Last fall, we wondered if the summer of 2014 might hold a trip to Morocco. Yet, we were cautious in our dreaming. We wanted the absolutely right timing. Then came a phone call from a friend (who does NOT live in Morocco) in January, “We’ve decided where we are getting married! It’s Marrakech!”
Suddenly, the parts tumbled together. I contacted our friends in Morocco. It was the right time for them too. We set to planning. We bought our flights. We plowed through car troubles and many visits to the mechanic, dreaming to replace my 1992 Toyota Celica, but knowing we’d chosen Morocco over replacing my car. It was a sweet sacrifice; and I found myself saying out loud, “I’m driving around Morocco, I’m driving around Morocco…” each time I heard another foul squeak or wobble from my car. I love investing in nations. That is more important to me than the car I drive. (And I know the right timing will come for a new car too. After all, God is faithful!)
Plus, God in His god-ness made a gorgeous recipe. Our friend marries on August 9. We arrive in Marrakech on August 3 – our one year wedding anniversary! Moreover, it just so happens that the cheapest flight gave us a long layover in Chicago, allowing us to meet up with two of the groomsmen from our wedding (dear friends of my husband who grew up outside Chicago). The cheapest flight also gave us an overnight in Madrid – a place my husband particularly wanted to go with me since he spent several days there in high school.
God is making a way for us in the nations.
On Friday, we depart for Morocco. After years of yearning to meet this land and champion it in person, we aregoing.
You can journey with us.
We aim to post a video snippet each day of our journey.
Plus, we will be doing a number of product reviews and hotel reviews along the way, to be posted after our August 16 return.
We hope this story inspires you. We hope you feel stirred to remember that your dreams can come true too.
We’d love it if you dropped us a line below about a place you are dreaming to visit or a place you did visit that was a dream come true!