I Met Jesus in English

Our Identity is in Christ and our Citizenship is in Heaven!

Dedicated to the immigrant soul

“What if Dan’s Dad doesn’t make it?” I saw fear in my Father’s eyes as he uttered the terrifying, but all-too-real hypothetical. The fear I saw in his eyes was the ancient fear that parents all around the world experience when they sense the inevitable approach of the day a child leaves their side. I just shrugged my shoulders and said nothing in reply.

In November, 1995 I arrived at a small town in Western Pennsylvania to be finally reunited with my husband after spending the last four months apart. He had left Panama in early July to come here and be with his Father in his dying hour. My husband left Panama in a hurry and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next.

After my Father in Law passed away, I knew my husband was not going to come back to Panama. I knew then that my time to leave had come. It was my turn to finally depart the home of my youth to make a new life in another country.

I arrived at the Pittsburgh International Airport at night. I don’t remember what I was wearing. I don’t remember what the weather was like (though my guess is that it was cold). All I remember is that I was very tired and that I wanted to go back home.

I wasn’t a stranger to the region. Only a couple of years ago I had graduated from one of the area’s colleges. I had attended Clarion University of PA thanks to an academic scholarship I won back in Panama and as a result I had learned English, gotten two Bachelors and married a great guy. Not too shabby for a girl from a remote town in a corner of Central America, huh?

I often traveled back and forth to Panama during my college years. I knew the Pittsburgh Airport very well. The surroundings were familiar. Unlike all the other times, however; that night I wasn’t a student or a tourist. I was arriving as a permanent resident of the United States.

Dan and I had been married in Panama about 17 months ago. I was a young wife starting a new life in a new place without a clue of what was going to be ahead. And, although I knew the Lord, I didn’t have a personal relationship with Him. As a matter of fact the thought of that was totally foreign to me at the time.

Back in Panama I had a great job at an important company with a bright future in the horizon. I was making a lot of money for the country’s standards. We had an apartment. Granted, we had patio furniture in our dining room and just a rug and pillows in our living room; but it was our place. We had 2 cars and quite a bit of money in the bank. My entire family was in Panama and I was reconnecting with my old friends. Life was good.

On that November night in 1995 I had left it all behind.

We had to move in with my Mother in Law and I quickly sank into an identity crisis. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I had no friends. Dan worked all day. My Mother in Law had many activities outside the house. I wasn’t close to my sisters in law. I had no church family. I was lonely. I was lost.

What I didn’t know at the time, however, was that the Lord was preparing the soil in my soul in order for Him to be able to use me for His purpose and to make room for my destiny. He uprooted me from my comfort zone and re-planted me in a foreign environment. Lovingly He cared for my tender limbs and patiently He nurtured me until He saw me begin to sprout new blooms once again.

Through the years, He has filled me with the presence of His Spirit. He has given me a family. He has given me friends. He has given me a church. He has given me a profound love for this country. He has given me a home.

It has not been an easy road, but through the trials and the hardship of the journey, the Lord has shown me and continues to show me the living truth that our identity is in Christ alone. Long gone are now the days when I didn’t know where I belong. I belong to Him for in Him I was “also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.” (Ephesians 1: 11 NIV)

As the Lord’s design for my life would have it, my now late Father’s fear was justified. I left Panama for good all those years ago. My heart; however, has room for both, my birth and my adoptive countries. I have grown to deeply love this nation as my own and I praise God for bringing me here even when I didn’t really want to come. But above all, I praise Him for giving me life and for making me new. He adopted me into His family as His own and He has reserved a home for me in Heaven, for my true citizenship is there. I am no longer a foreigner or an alien, “but a fellow citizen with God’s people and members of God’s household.” (Ephesians 2: 19 NIV)

The house where I was born and raised in Panama

 The following is a list of links to posts that relate one way or another to my story as an Immigrant soul who was brought to this country by the Lord of our destiny.  I hope they bring insight into the eyes of those who have not had this experience and comfort into the hearts of those who share a similar story.  Have fun reading how I have met Jesus in English...

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