Monday, September 12, 2005

What a Difference a Year Makes

A year ago today I left Iraq. I distinctly remember as we were going through one of the many security checkpoints at the airport (the point at which we said goodbye to our drivers) thinking that I shouldn't leave. I should just go back home with the drivers.

But then "logic" or "reason" kicked in. "But you're going to a conference and you're actually interested in what they're going to teach you." "It's only a few days. You'll be back soon." And the real kicker: "You're going to get to go SCUBA diving in the Red Sea!"

Little did I know that I wouldn't get to go back. That those hurried goodbyes at the checkpoint would be the last words I got with our national staff. That those would be my last views of Baghdad.

Today, a year later, my fiance and I closed on a condo in Columbia, MD. A year ago, I almost didn't get on the plane that took me out of Iraq. Today I'm engaged, about to get my Master's degree, and have a new condo to paint and decorate in preparation for living there once VNB and I get married.

I still can't explain how much I miss Iraq. I really loved it there. There are times that it's almost a physical longing to go back. Even now, as wonderful as my life is, I wonder sometimes what life would have been like if I'd listened when that voice said "don't get on the plane." Would God have arranged something even more amazing so that VNB and I would have met at exactly the perfect time? Would I still be there? Would I be five months away from getting married?

What a difference a year makes!

No comments: