Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting to See My Father

Yesterday marked 25 years since my mom and I came to the US.

I was born in communist Romania, where the oppressive dictatorship prevented people from even leaving the country (unless, of course, you were a member of the Communist Party). My dad was determined to get us out, so that I would grow up in freedom. After many attempts at getting his research papers accepted at conferences in the West, he finally succeeded in leaving. I was really close to him, and it was indescribably hard to watch him walk down the airport terminal... and I thought he was leaving for only TWO WEEKS!!! The government had spies everywhere, and in order to ensure that I wouldn't say anything to anyone, my parents didn't tell me that my dad was not planning to return.

Romania had signed a Family Reunification agreement with the West, that if a family became separated, they were to make every effort to allow them to leave, so they could be reunited, sort of like a rubber band. But it wasn't until 18 months later that my mom finally got through all the roadblocks and red tape, and we were allowed to leave.

The picture above was taken shortly before we left Romania. I think it's very interesting how happy and excited I looked, while my mom seemed to be light-years away. Maybe she was thinking about all that she would be leaving behind, including her mom, aunt, and brother. All I knew was that I would get to see my dad again; it probably didn't much occur (or matter) to me that I may never see my other family again.

I've got to tell you that the moment that I saw Dad for the first time, at JFK International, was one of the happiest and memorable moments in my entire life. I was so happy to see him, that all those months that we were apart didn't even matter anymore.

The next few months were filled with the excitement of living in a new place, discovering new things ("You mean I can wear regular clothes at school?!?!") and learning a whole new language.

The Bible describes another tyrant who tricked humanity into the oppression of sin. We were unable to escape by ourselves. Our Heavenly Father, however, had a plan to get us out, which is why He came to die on the cross. But while He was still with His disciples, He told them, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2b-3).

So now we wait. Paul says that the whole of creation groans, yearning for His return. Those of us who are His children will rejoice to see Jesus again, to take us to that new land of freedom, and all the time that we spent waiting will cease to matter. Oh, what a glorious day that will be!


Gigi said...

Oh I'll just bet that was a glorious reunion! My parents had a similar reunion - although it was from a post WWII/Nazi Germany. My mother was German (she's now an American citizan) and my father an American GI...and never the 'twain shall meet, was the sentiment of both countries. Months of lost paperwork, dead ends, government (both) red tape, etc. But my mom finally arrived in NY.

But you're so right! As wonderful and breathtaking and memorable as those reunions are, they don't begin to compare to what's in store for us! heart just aches for those who won't be a part of that reunion. They need to hear, they need to believe...they need salvation!

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Very nice story and segue, Greg.

At first I thought that I couldn't imagine being away from my father for so long and not knowing what was going on. Then, you reminded us that we too are not yet "at home" with our Father. Thankfully, Christ is present by the Spirit to minister in and through us until we are reunited with our Father in glory.

Nice job.


Greg said...

What an awesome love story your parents have, Gigi!

GGM, if you think 18 months is bad, my dad's dad was jailed by the communists, during WWII for THREE years, for unfounded political reasons. Dad was around 5 years old and at home, when they came to take his dad away. He never had a trial and wasn't released until health problems prompted his jailors to review his case. Their family owned properties and was pretty well off, but all that was confiscated by the government, and his mom was left at home with almost no income and two young kids to raise. Very hard times for all of them.

Dr. Russell Norman Murray said...

Spy novel...

Greg, I am glad your family could move to America where there was and is more religious freedom than a communist state, as was the case in Romania.

Happy Weekend, Russ:)

Andrew Clarke said...

You share an important reminder here, Greg, about how the whole world groans. It is too easy to be content and forget just what appalling suffering is going on, and will continue until the return of the King. The world became blighted by sin and the only real healing comes from God. By the way, I'm glad you were able to escape a dictatorial regime. Here in Australia we have such people as well, my son has a Vietnamese friend whose family escaped the communists. Let's pray we're always free to worship, and that Jesus comes again soon. Blessings.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

I love this photo of your mom and you and the opposite emotions they reflect! Thank you for this piece.

Wifey said...

Honey, I'm so very, very glad that Jesus brought you here!! :-)

Andrew Clarke said...

I'm glad to hear that you were protected from injury, Farrah. It is an answer to prayer, because like many other Christians I find myself moved to pray for the safety of all the brothers and sisters in the Lord, especially those I know by name. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed your story! Thank you for sharing that and being so authentic! :)

Wade Tannehill said...


What a great story! Thanks for sharing part of your background with us. Have you been back to Romania since things have changed? Are your parents still living? Did they ever get to go back and see family?

Greg said...

Thanks for stopping by, Tracy and Wade! Sorry that I have been too busy to keep up with comments.

My parents are still living, but only my mom has ever been back (twice!). My dad embraced the American way of life so fully, that he felt that his Romanian past was permanently closed. He almost DID go back to visit his ailing mother, but his sister brought her to live with them in Paris, so we all go to see her there. I may go and visit my uncle, the only living relative I think I have left over there. But it's been so long, it would be like a foreign country to me. I can't even speak the language anymore.

Greg said...

A typo in my previous comment made it sound like we often go to see my dad's mom in Paris. I've only been there twice, the last time being more than 10 years ago. She has since passed on.

No biggie, but I didn't want any misleading statements on my blog.

Unknown said...

That was so inspiring and heart felt Greg. It was a blessing to read and made me think how we too some day will see our Heavenly Father one day also. Thanks for being a great brother in Christ - Eric S.