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!
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