Religion Magazine

I Didn’t Look Back

By Marilyngardner5 @marilyngard

London Heathrow, Terminal 5, London, England

I was in London’s Heathrow Airport, crowds of people going to and fro. Some went quickly, late for connections and needing to get to their gate as soon as possible. Others, with hours to wait before their connections to places across the world, were walking slowly, herding children overwhelmed with baggage.

I was 18 years old and had just graduated from high school in Pakistan. I had left all I knew and was, for the first time heading into a world where I would not have my parents or small community to support me. I would be alone.

My parents and younger brother were with me. We had stayed in London for a couple of days of sightseeing and fun. And now I was heading off to Scotland to visit my best friend and a favorite teacher. Alone. I would first go to Glasgow and then catch a train up to Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where in the summer daylight stays until late night and fishing is the primary occupation.

I remember hugging my parents and brother and heading off with my suitcase, passport, and ticket in hand.

They remember that I didn’t look back.

I didn’t look back. Like Lot’s wife in the well-known Biblical story, I was afraid if I looked back I would turn to salt, an immobile statue. I would be unable to move from that point. These changes were big changes. And if I looked back – I wouldn’t have been able to move forward.

Although it had points of deep pain and longing, boarding school angst and misunderstanding, my childhood was all that I had. And I loved it. It was the only thing that anchored me to community. Pakistan and the small communities of missionaries and Pakistanis who made up my world – that was all that I knew. Oh I knew travel, I knew passports, tickets, airports, trains, negotiating life in a place far from my passport country. But Pakistan was home. It was where my heart was understoodHow could I leave it?

I knew intuitively that if I looked back then all of that would flood over me and it would be over before it began.

And so – I didn’t look back. I couldn’t look back.

Have you gone through times where you couldn’t look back? Because if you did, you wouldn’t be able to move forward? 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog