Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Journey: Part 1

It was an emotional day. I was checking to make sure I'd packed everything. I weighed my
suitcases that morning... I ended up setting some stuff on a shelf in my parents living room that I couldn't take with me. I wonder if my parents have left it there, and if not where is it?

I'm blogging today about the journey from America to India. Yes, I'm slacker, I moved back in late November (2012) and haven't shared this with you yet!

My sister and her fiance were there until the early evening, when they left to go to home in Georgia. We were in South Carolina, which is where I'd spent the last 19 years of my life.

After they left, my mom and dad and I were alone. We'd eaten lasagna, my choice, as my goodbye meal. It was a good choice, as it turns out, because I haven't had it since!

My parent's house... not that day. Taking pictures for the blog
was the last thing on my mind that day.
Then I had to say goodbye to the pets. To Radar, our fourteen year old german shepherd mix who I knew wasn't going to live much longer, so I knew it was the last goodbye. (Sadly, I was right.) To the cats: Mallory, Devlin, Corwin, and Ezra. And to my darling, darling Sophie. My dear sweet rat terrier, who at that time was 9 years old. I have shared on this blog that I have cried many times over her. I actually woke up two days ago and told Ryan that I dreamt that Sophie had finally come to India to be with us. Leaving her broke my heart, but though small, she's too large to travel in the plane's cabin, and traveling from the US to India in cargo would probably kill her.

Also, it took a very long time for us to save up the money for my plane ticket. There just wasn't any extra Sophie money. And the Lord had told us that we were to marry sooner rather than later. So I had to tell her goodbye.

my darling Sophie
Then my parents and I got into the car and we left for bus station.

Yes, it may sound funny, but I was taking a bus to India... haha.

I was taking the greyhound up from Spartanburg, SC to Newark, NJ.

We got there early. I was nervous about missing it and wanted some time with my parents. My dad came in with me, I don't remember why Mom wasn't there at first. I was stressed and overwhelmed and emotional...

Then the bus was late.

Like wayyy late. Like several hours late.

There was one other guy in the bus stop getting on the same bus. We started joking with him. Then my mom joined us and we were just trying to pass the time and cracking jokes. It was good. The tension and emotions eased. We had a little more time together.

I thanked God the bus was late. It was good to have that time.

Then the bus station closed before the bus arrived. This was late November, so it was cold. We huddled on the sidewalk. The bus was coming up from Atlanta and apparently traffic was horrible. A bus that was supposed to leave an hour after ours arrived before ours did.

We were joking around with that guy. I really wish I remembered his name. See, I had written it down but it got deleted... but I'll get to that.

My family at my sister's graduation, earlier that year in May.
From left to right: Me, Brad- my sister's fiance, Alison- my sister, Mom, Dad
Then... the bus pulled up. And the knot in my stomach returned.

I hugged Mom and Dad tight, and got on... I sat down... then couldn't stand that I couldn't see
them from my seat, so I switched seats to watch them as the bus pulled away. I waved...

My heart was screaming, "No!"

I wanted to marry Ryan. I was excited. I'd been anticipating this for over a year, working on the move for months. I knew this was what God wanted from me...

But I had no idea when I'd see my parents again. What if something happened to them? How long would it be until we reunited? How many years? I knew that it had taken Ryan months to save up for the plane ticket, and I wasn't going to be able to earn money for a long time, legally. With a wedding and a new apartment sometime on the horizon... how long would a reunion take?

I cried. I sat down in my seat with tears streaming down my face. I turned my MP3 player on and let it be a soundtrack as we wove through Spartanburg neighborhoods and onto the highway...
My dad. This photo was taken by my sister Beth (photo credit!) after I was
already in India, but seriously I think this is the best photo that's been taken of
him in years!

I was on my way.

I prayed to God and I felt my tears ease, to be replaced by excitement. I was still a ball of roiling emotions... but I had peace and joy. I was following God to the unknown, literally. I had never been to India. I had never met Ryan in person. I had never even been anywhere overseas. Not even Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean.

Everyone thought I was crazy. And in a way I was... I was walking by faith. I knew God, and I knew what He had said to Ryan and I, the way He was leading us. I knew what He was calling to me, though I had no idea really how it would end up looking in my life. I knew I was following Him to India...

But first I had to get through a really long trip to New Jersey!

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