To be perfectly honest, I can’t say that I was really ready to get back to Jamaica after a year away. I have kind of a complicated relationship with my home country. I don’t love it at all. Whereas some people love Jamaica and think it’s the greatest thing ever, I’m pretty indifferent to it. I’m not one of those people who thinks their country is the best place on earth and pine for it when they’re gone. I think this is mostly because I’m a wanderer at heart; I’m always eager to live in new places, not just visit them for a brief holiday. But also, I felt like I was stuck in Jamaica for far too long – almost 40 years, in fact – and for a good portion of 2016, I feared that I would return there and get stuck again. Thankfully, I’ve overcome that fear.
I was excited to see my family and a few friends but my heart isn’t in Jamaica because my life is no longer there, and I have no desire for my life to be there. That was why I expected to board that plane in the wee hours of this past Tuesday morning with a little apprehension in my heart and a fervent prayer on my tongue that God would keep me there no longer than was absolutely necessary.
There was a time when I would have been embarrassed to say all that then dishonestly acted like I was happy to be “home,” when really all I wanted was to live in other places, off the beaten-to-death-oh-my goodness-people-there-are-so-many-other-places-in-the-world! path. However, I allowed influential people in my life to make me feel that my desire to always be off some place else was stupid and immature. Over these past couple of years, I’ve found my courage and honesty, if nothing else, and I am no longer ashamed of the desire to wander that God has placed in my heart. He put it there for a reason and I’m embracing it fully.
So I approached my return to Jamaica with not much enthusiasm, but God was at work and I was His unsuspecting target.
Monday night came and Auntie dropped me off at JFK Airport. I walked up to the check-in desk and the course of my night began to change. As I heaved my suitcase up onto the scale, the check-in agent smiled and bid me good night and I wished him a happy new year. We exchanged pleasantries while he checked me in. When he finished and was giving me my boarding pass, he told me that he had tagged my bag as priority and VIP so that it would be unloaded quickly when the flight arrived in Kingston. Also, he gave me a pass for the airline’s lounge in the airport. I thanked him with a surprised and grateful smile and walked off through security and up to the lounge thinking how unexpectedly nice he was. A little while later, I was sitting in the lounge sipping soup and checking my messages when the same check-in agent approached me with a new boarding pass. He had upgraded me to first class! I thanked him again for his unexpected generosity and as he walked off and I shared the news of my upgrade with my sister and friend, it dawned on me that this was an act of God. I felt like He was using this man to say to me, “Daughter, don’t worry about the time you’ll be in Jamaica. Like this flight, it won’t be that bad. In fact, I’ll make it nice for you.”
As I boarded the plane and even as we taxied and took off, instead of praying for my time in Jamaica to pass quickly, I was smiling and thanking God for unexpectedly using the check-in agent to comfort me. So I have returned to Jamaica but still hopefully not for long, because there are adventures for me to have and dreams for me to fulfill. And God’s willing, I will do it all.
In the words of Boyz II Men, and now we’ve come to the end of this particular road. I think today will be my last post until my next adventure begins. My writing has been sparked by the things that have happened on my travels and now that I am back in Jamaica I don’t know how much there will be to write about.
I don’t plan to stick around for too long though so if you want to follow along with me on whatever new road God will set me to wander down, make sure to subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button at the bottom of your screen, so you’ll be alerted when I start publishing again.
Thanks for coming on this year-long ride with me. My very best wishes for 2017 to each and every one of you. I hope you’ll join me again for my next adventure when it begins.