Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reflections on My Trip

Sarah asked me to write a post before I returned to Alabama.  I don't have her gift for writing, but I will try to put my feelings into words.

Sarah has shared the ups and downs of the past year on this blog.  As a child she never liked change of any kind.  She loved her ''comfort zone".  Knowing her as I do, I wondered how she would react to this move.  Although we talk frequently and ""Skype" often, I had to see for myself how things are in Turkey.  I guess this is a "Mom" thing.  Having spent two weeks here, I am happy to report that life is good and my heart is at peace.

I really like this base.  It reminds me of how life was when I was a little girl.  People are out walking, and stopping to visit with neighbors.  Moms meet at one of the many parks and share time together as their children play. I love hearing the knocks at our door as friends drop in to visit.  There is a feeling of safety and security.  I am grateful that Sarah and Ryan have this close-knit community where people truly care for one another.

The Turkish people I have come in contact with have been so friendly and helpful.  They absolutely love William!  When we were in Cappodocia, they circled around him taking pictures.  Sarah says this is because they are not used to seeing blue-eyed children, but as his grandmother I know it is because he is the cutest child they have ever seen!  When we got lost in Tarsus, Wendi (who was driving) approached a group of men to ask for directions, and one got on his motorcycle and led us to where we wanted to go.  Again, we felt safe in doing this. I have met people who have touched my heart with their acceptance of me and their affection for my daughter.

I will never forget the sights of our travels.  As I write this, my eyes are filling with tears as I think of the caves where the early Christians hid from the Romans.  At one point we found ourselves in a room underground where they worshiped.  As I looked around I noticed that it was carved in the shape of a cross.  I felt Jesus there.  I saw His picture in the cave churches where ancient monks gathered.  The people did not know how to read, so pictures of the life of Christ were painted on the walls.  As I attended church for the first time here on base, I was acutely aware that Christians in this part of the world are in the minority.  I felt Jesus there.  He was also in Tarsus as I looked at the Roman Road where Paul had walked so many years ago.  I believe my faith has deepened as a result of this visit- I think Sarah's has too.  I see her growing and doing things she never thought she could do. I am proud of her.  I never thought I would say this, but I'm glad she had this opportunity.

Now it is time to go home.  It hurts when I think of leaving my children, but I miss home.  I miss my husband, my dog, my church, and my children at school.  I miss my country.  There are many wonderful things in Turkey, but there is also a profound culture shock. Back home in Alabama, as I sit on my porch overlooking the woods, I will remember my family and friends at Incirlik, and be thankful for their sacrifice and service to our country.

Oh, one more thing.... I didn't say much about William in this blog because I tend to go on and on.  Just ask me, and I will be glad to show you pictures!!!!


1 comment:

  1. What a sweet blessing for Sarah and for you!! So proud of you for traveling overseas by yourself. very impressive >>> memories for a lifetime for everyone! God is good. :-)