I'm going to tell you what almost killed the blog soon. But you're going to have to wait a bit longer. Bleh, I know! I'm taking care of something within the "family," you see. My family isn't normal - it is made up of thousands of missionaries. They're all I've known, and they're all I've had for every day of my childhood. I didn't get to live near real-life relatives.
And I've always been sad about that. I thought I was missing out.
But you know what I've realized over the past several days? That even though my dysfunctional (::cough::understatement), missionary family is scattered across the globe; even though we may not have seen each other for one or two or three decades; even though we don't have the same grandparents or even the same accents, we really are family. My odd-ball family really will be there for me when the going gets tough. They're proving it this week.
I keep getting teary about it. They're filling the cracks in my soul with love.
I've been hugged by a hundred of my family members in the past few days, and not a one of them in person. The hugs came through emails, messages, texts, and posts from North Korea, Florida, England, North Carolina, Michigan, Guam, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, Africa, and Papua New Guinea. To list only a few!
I realized that my family is bigger than I thought.
I've been in touch with MKs and missionaries from missions not my own, from generations not my own, from religions not my own, and from countries not my own.
I didn't realize our bond was so tight.
I mean, I knew I cared about them, but I didn't know they cared about me. A New Zealand MK whom I don't even know sent me a message tonight to ask if I'm okay, adding, "Don't worry we'll keep an eye on you."
I can't even tell you how much those words - the many supportive words I have received - have meant to me. I did .not. want to be a "whistleblower," a giant-killer, a hero - the titles people keep giving me.
I did not want to be brave.
But if little girls can be safer now, if mommies can sleep more soundly at night, if daddies are more aware, and if my dear friends can find closure...if I can realize I'm not unwanted...then my pain was worth it. Absolutely worth it.
I have found my voice.