"I have no luggage," she thought, with a start. "I'm bringing absolutely nothing with me! There will never be a more important journey than this one, and, yet, I come empty handed". How ironic. There was absolutely no room for her to carry anything with her, her accommodations being what they were. In recent days, she'd been experiencing pain that was hard to describe. She'd had a pressure headache and felt generally achy all over. As she slept, she'd toss and turn, restlessly. "I suppose many others are the same way when they go on their first mission trip. Maybe all of the excitement, eagerness and hesitancy have combined to give me a tension headache," she reasoned.
"I wonder if people will accept me as I am.... I really know nothing of this strange place. I really think that I can contribute, though. I don't think I'd have been sent if that wasn't the case. I'm so excited!"
"I can't wait to meet people! It will be such an adventure. I can share so much. I have much to give. Maybe I won't be bringing gifts, but I can share what I know. Yes, I'll make a mental list of what I have to share so that I won't forget. At least it'll pass some time while I wait."
"First, I can speak of the amazing venture called life. I can tell what it's like from the very beginning...the miracle of it all. It really is spectacular. It's so obvious that the entire thing had a master designer. I can share that, for sure."
"Second, I can speak about the source of life, the Giver of life, the intricacy with which He has designed, molded and shaped us. Yes, I have much knowledge to share about that."
"Third, I have waited so long that I can share not only how I overcame frustration in waiting so long to come to them, but, more importantly, my eagerness to be with them. I will pass on a spirit of total joy!"
"Fourth, I will teach them how to delight in the small things. That's so important. I will teach them to look at their surroundings in a different way and appreciate, not what they don't have, but what they do have."
"Finally, I can encourage hospitality and sacrifice as my host family welcomes me into their home. I hope that I won't be too much of a burden for them. After awhile, after I get my sea legs, I hope to be able to pitch in and help where needed."
Her head began to ache much more than before. She felt pressure she'd never experienced before. She put her hands up beside her ears in a desperate attempt to block out the pain. "Shut off! Shut off!" She pressed harder and harder. Oh, she was dying..... She was sure of it. So close to her goal and she wasn't going to make it. "What is wrong with me?" She didn't know which was more unbearable, the physical pain or the emotional frustration of coming so close and not making it. "Oh, the pressure.... So this is how it ends for me."
She felt as if she were in a crowd, a pushing crowd at that. The jostling continued. Her head hurt too much. She thought it would explode! She couldn't turn it to see who was in back of her, pushing her so. An invisible wave crested. In an instant, everything changed.
"It's a girl!" the doctor announced enthusiastically as he held her up high. She struggled for words, or even thoughts. She no longer knew who she was, where she was....or even why she was. It was as if her brain had been turned off like a light switch. There were no thoughts to think, only the sensations of cold clamminess and intensely bright light. She finally squeezed out a "Waaaaa..." and, with that, her mission began.
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