Saturday, September 18, 2010


This past 10 months that I spent in the Kalahari Desert made me think a lot about manliness. Being one of the few girls in the camp and being surrounded mostly by men was something new for me. It's because of who these men are that I got to do a lot of thinking about manliness and femininity. It's because of what they said and how they behaved that I analyzed the values (concerning manliness and femininity) I was raised up with over and over again and I got to build my own system of values. And it is because of them that I know better now what I like and what I don't like, what I want and I don't want in a man. (By the way, I sensed that God is bringing me over and over again to the point where people's values and behavior challenge me to think and build my own system of values where I once just adopted my family's values. Not that I didn't know what I believed in before, but when I am challenged by a different set of values, I get to think over and over about my system of values and why I believe what I believe and even if it's not comfortable sometimes, it's really beneficial for me.)

I grew up in a family where vulgare jokes were not tolerated. Where flirting, playing with hearts, using double sense language were classified as non-Christian behaviour. I was raised up being taught that character matters the most, more than the way you look. Where talking about how good looking the girls are and talking only about that was not considered a good habit and showed something about a guy's character. I was surrounded by people who valued purity. My innocence was not taken as stupidness, nor my purity and determination to trust the Lord in the area of dating as a relationship problem.

The encounter for an extended period of time with some other set of values opposite to mine was a little shocking to me. Not that I have not met people doing the above mentioned things, because I had. And still I was shocked. I was shocked because I didn't expected it, not in that place, nor among those people. I found myself torn between the desire not to be different, to be able to be part of their jokes and conversations, and the holding on to the values I had. Sometimes, while listening to the endless talks about that girl and the other one they have seen on the street, I felt just like an object.

And you know what is weird? They almost made me believe that this is the world of men and I have to accept it. That they are all the same and I have to accept that I am weird. That I have to accept to feel like an object. That I have to laugh when they are saying vulgare jokes. That words with double meaning are something normal. That I have to get used to them turning their head on the street after some good looking girl and flirting around with strangers. That playing around with no intention of being intentional in a relationship is normal. They almost made me believe that one cannot find anymore men who stand for what they believe because the majority of them didn't really know what they believed in. They managed to shake my whole world... until I listened to a presentation that woke me up and made me realize that there are still upright people. Men who don't use dirty jokes, who do not turn their head on the street. Who do not flirt and play around with hearts. Who know what they believe and stand for what they believe. Men who are gentleman and make me feel a woman and not an object around them. Men who love Him and make Him the object of their conversations and not the good-looking girls.

The time I spent in Kalahari made me miss so much the company of dedicated people. People for whom God is not only a nice notion and Somebody you go to just when you are in trouble or in need. People who are interested in mission and not only adventures. People who want to obey Him because they love Him. People who know what they believe and stand for what they believe. People who are asking themselves: "What does God want me to do?" and who long to grow and learn more of His ways. People who live what they say they believe. People who will not laugh at me because I took my Bible with me on a 4 days trip and who will not call me Virgin Mary because of my innocence.

So, I thank God for sending me these challenges. They make me think... and decide for myself. And they make me appreciate even more integrity and faithfulness and purity.

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