I remember when I first left Kyrgyzstan. It was raining that day, as a family we stood sobbing and hugging our dogs goodbye, realizing that it would be the last time we would ever see them again. I was 10 years old and at that time couldn’t really fathom what was going on. I remember leaving our house and driving away on our dirt road. Naty and I had just said goodbye to our neighbor friends and promised them we would see them again. Deep down I wondered if that would be true. Naty and I got in the truck of the car and stared out the window, tears rolling down our cheeks.
This was my first move, and little did I know that it would be one of many. But just like most things, the first time leaves the strongest memory and is the most painful. For months after we left Kyrgystan I would beg my parents to go back. I would dream about the day I would surprise my neighbor friends and go and see our dogs again. I kept thinking we would move back. I also wouldn’t stop talking about Kyrgyzstan. I was just a 10-year-old girl who didn’t know about anything else; Kyrgyzstan was all I knew and my only home. I remember going to 4th grade in Princeton, New Jersey and one day my friend turned around and told me, “all you do is talk about Kyrgyzstan, no one cares.” It’s funny how here I am at 22 and I still remember her saying that to me. It was after that moment that I never talked about Kyrgyzstan again. Sure, I’ll tell people I lived there but I don’t usually say anything else unless they really ask more about it.
It was after Kyrgyzstan that I started to feel that I didn’t belong anywhere. People would ask me where I was from and I would answer Kyrgyzstan but that usually resulted in a strange expression on their face and I realized that I would soon have to come up with a different answer.
It has now been 12 years since I have been back to my first home, and honestly the only place I have ever called home. In two weeks I will be back to the place I would spend nights crying about. It feels so surreal and I get emotional just thinking about it. For years I would pray to God to go back but the timing just never seemed right. God does answer prayers but He does it in the most unexpected and amazing ways. I will share another time how this opportunity came up but for now all I can say is I am in awe of God and so thankful for His faithfulness.
I am about to embark on the most emotional, heavy, exhausting, wonderful summer. I am prepared to meet the reality, I know that it may be very different from how I remember it. I also know that a lot has changed, just like how much I have changed in these 12 years. But I’m ready to enter it with open arms and allow God to work through me. I trust in Him with all my heart. He has never failed me and never will. Following Jesus whole heartedly has been the most exciting and fulfilling thing ever. He makes dreams come true. :)