Sweet bananas met me no more than 60 feet inside the front doors of the Sonoma County Airport early this morning. They came in the form of the two kind and handsome men who were waiting to assist me at the ticket counter when I arrived, luggage and family members in tow.
The younger of the two asked how and why my luggage was so exceedingly heavy (the smaller one was 64 lbs. and the larger one 71.5!).
I explained I was moving overseas with no known date of return.
Then he asked where I was moving to.
As soon as the words, “Sicily, Italy” left my mouth, the older gentleman standing near by began to sing a classic Italian song with the deep vibrato and passion characteristic of many Italian “cantanti,” (singers). A few lines into the song, he stopped singing and immediately began to tell me (in Italian), how he was from the Venice area and Italian was his first language.
They were both excited for me and quick to wish me a safe journey and all the best in Italy.
If that weren’t enough, the younger man who had been weighing and tagging my luggage, informed me my luggage would be checked all the way to Catania (I’ve been hoping and praying this would be the case but this was extra good news because it meant I’d be able to take my guitar with me!).
Then he went on to tell me my overweight and extra baggage fees were being waived. These fees collectively amounted to $200!
In the thick of some of the most difficult hours I’ve faced in recent years, Jesus has proven Himself yet again to be right by my side, holding my hand and reassuring me He is with me and the road I am on is right where He wants me. His grace truly knows no bounds. I knew leaving would be hard but I did not come close to anticipating the depth of heart-wrenching pain moving to Italy would cause within me. Yes, I am excited to go, to get there, to be there, to see my friends again…
but you can’t go somewhere new without leaving where you are.
I know whatever Jesus has in store for me in the weeks and months ahead, the pain of leaving, as deep as it is, will be worth it in the end.
But for now, it just plain hurts.
In this limbo that I’m in, between here and there, between the pain of goodbyes and the joy of being in the arms those who await my arrival, I think I would be a tangled mess of grief, sorrow and sadness if it weren’t for this one thing:
I can still hear the airline employee singing his song.