I’m back home again at my parent’s for another visit – back in the old neighborhood I grew up in and the memories come flooding back as I walk the familiar streets.
I see the small, skinny girl dragging her light blue suitcase home on the sidewalk … my parents either forgot or didn’t know I was coming home from camp. I hear the jeering laughter coming from the group of teenagers who thought I was running away from home.
My heart ached and I wished that my parents didn’t have to work two jobs each and that they could understand the camp letters sent to them. All the campers had come home to eager parents waiting with open arms, but I was left alone in the parking lot and I’d felt afraid and lost.
And the memories of my childhood play themselves in my mind as I see my own children walking these roads with me.
I had to grow up in a way that my other classmates did not. My parents did not understand English, and I had to navigate my way in our new homeland not only as an eight-year-old but as a translator in my parents’ adult world. And I’d felt the weight of the responsibility that I did not want. … the carefree days of being a child had been left behind in Peru.
When we told our kids that we were going home to America this summer, they were thrilled. Coming home to see Abuelo and Abuela and all their cousins has always meant coming to a place where they know they are loved and wanted.
But for me it’s always a time of mixed emotions. There is the joy of reunion with loved ones we haven’t seen in a while but there is also the unexpected expectations that often leave both sides feeling disappointed and sometimes even hurt.
When you are thousands of miles away on the other side of the ocean and things get tough, it’s easy to think of moving back home to America to escape the pain and trials.
But we are here, and I’ve brought my baggage with me. Over the years, the load has only increased and some days the weight of it seems too burdensome — too hard to carry.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I’ve been carrying pain and burdens, I was never meant to carry this far into my life. It’s high time to leave them at the foot of the Cross of Jesus.
I see the little girl pulling the wheel-less suitcase for the mile and half walk and she makes it home safely. And the realization comes … I was never forgotten, never alone. I was always loved. He was there at every step of the way, and He is with me now.
And I rest in that.