Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'Medase', Ghana, for your inspiration.

        For those of you who aren't fluent in Twi, one of Ghana's languages, the word 'Medase' means 'Thank you' in English (Don't be fooled...I'm not fluent in Twi by any means...this is just one word I learned while I was in Ghana!). I have a lot to be thankful for because of my trip to Ghana. I think the biggest lesson I learned while I was in Ghana was to rely on my God more and more. Sorry Dr. A, if you're reading this, that I didn't say anything regarding the 6 hours of course credit I received...all that was next in the line of things that I learned! 
        Like I said, Ghana really inspired me to rely on God to get me through my troubles, both present and future. I loved the attitude that most Ghanaians had that God would bring them through whatever troubles they had and the fact that God seemed to be ever-present in all the towns we visited. Okay, I could go on and on about how great Ghana is and how much it changed my faith in just the two and a half weeks we were there, but I'll get to the point. 
        In Ghana there are symbols called Adinkra symbols. They were created by the Akan people and are now used by the Ashanti people in particular, but can be seen throughout the country. Adinkra means 'a departing message' or 'a goodbye', so often times people would put cloth adorned with Adinkra symbols in a coffin, as a message to bring up to God, or give them to a person leaving for a long journey.  One of the most popular that I noticed was the Gye Nyame, which means "Except God". Essentially, nothing is important in this world, except God. 
Gye Nyame
    One that I fell in love with, is Nyame Dua. This symbols stands for God's presence, or the Altar of God. I have painted this on a canvas and hung it above my bed at my apartment here in Fayetteville, but since I have gotten home from Africa felt a stronger connection to it than any other symbol. 
Nyame Dua
   This brings me to my point in this blog. For a while now I have been debating getting a tattoo to symbolize all the work that God has done in my life, and my walk of faith with Him. This blog is all about seeing God through everyday occurrences and what I have learned about my faith through experience.  In this blog post I spoke about 2 Corinthians 12:10, "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." I related my ultimate physical weakness, my achilles' tendon, to the weaknesses in my life and always relying on God, whose "power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9). That is why I would get this tattoo on my ankle, close to my achilles' tendon. I love the idea of having a symbol of God's presence close to a symbol of my ultimate weakness. 
    I know not everyone who is reading this necessarily agrees with or understands why I think I need a tattoo symbolizing my relationship with Christ and well, that's okay. I have been blessed with parents who struggled back and forth with me regarding this idea but respect me enough to tell me that it is my decision. I could never get this tattoo if I didn't think my parents would be with me in this. I have been blessed with friends that will listen to me as I explain it to them and ask them to pray for me in this decision. I am hoping to be blessed with you, as a reader, who will respect me in whichever decision I make, to know that I have struggled with this tattoo idea and to know that it means more than the aesthetic value of a tattoo.
         It reminds me that everyday I will struggle with my faith in the real world, and every day God will be there. It reminds me of my time in Ghana, where God was ever-present. It reminds me of the meaning of Adinkra-a departing message. In my walk of faith I would like to show people I come into contact with that God is present in the weakest of times. 
     I haven't completely decided whether or not I will get this tattoo, that wasn't the point of this post. It was to share with my friends and family something that has been on my heart for a long time. If I do decide to get the tattoo though, I know it will be because I have prayed long and hard about it with God, and believe whole-heartedly it is the right thing to do, and not just a temptation. 

I love you all for taking time to read my blog, I urge you all to try and see God in some aspect of your life today, tomorrow, everyday as I try to. It makes the day much more enjoyable!


  1. Hmmmmm....cool ideas there, I like the painting instead of the tattoo. As long as you keep preaching Gods word, others will learn from you and with you. On December 21, 2009 I learned that GOD IS ALWAYS with YOU.....no matter what!

  2. Abby, I think the tattoo and its place at your tendon goes great with your "walk of faith" theme! Really!

    YOU are my tattoo....you are my constant reminder of GOD"s love, and presence in my life. Thank you for being there, reminding me and inspiring me......

    XO's Aunt Alice

  3. Don't rush it- you will know when the time is right if you should get the tattoo. It sounds like an extremely meaningful symbol of your faith, which puts it in quite a different category than having Tweety Bird or some dude's name forever stained on your skin.

    I'm glad Ghana was such an important trip for you. While of course the academics are necessary, and hopefully enlightening, to me, traveling abroad is much more about the personal growth students go through, and the lessons they learn and the paths their lives take *after* the return home with a changed/changing world view.

    Dr. A