The green grass shimmers and I’m dancing – a small child twirling in the vast openness of the Andean hillside. I see my grandmother seated next to her awayu (a carrying blanket) and she is looking at me with pleasure. The sky is a beautiful blue and I feel the intensity of the strong Andean sun beaming its ray on me and the cool breeze of the wind on my face.
It’s a dream I remember well,and it comforts me. My grandmother has been gone for many years now but her kindness and love live in my heart. Of the different people I remember from my childhood, she was the one who made feel loved and accepted and maybe that’s why I feel no shame in my dreams. I’m alive and free to dance (which I loved to do as a child).
They say that the things we experience as a child remain with us for life and in fact shape the people we become.
So as I look back to the first 8 years of my life – the ones I lived in the small village of Conima, on the shores of Lake Titicaca in the Andes mountain – I can see how it continues to shape who I am today.
There is a longing in my heart to go back to that place in my dream where I feel no shame, where I belong and I’m accepted.
Up until then, when my family moved to Lima, Peru and eventually to Washington, DC, I knew who I was. There was no question.
But my life journey has taken me not only to Washington, DC, but to the Czech Republic — a small, former communist country in the middle of Europe.
And maybe because I stand out here like no other place, the question of who I am tugs at my childhood memories and the deep places of past wounds and hurts
And this journey to the heart of the Father really is about me uncovering those places of pain and finding healing in the only place there is healing — in the heart of our Heavenly Father.
Because more than ever, I want to be alive and free and dance again.