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Her words took me back a bit, “I’m a bundle of emotions.”
Our conversation yesterday as she prepared to leave Africa and her last World Race assignment was filled with joy for her return home, but also sorrow at the life she is leaving behind.

Nikki is like me – steady, solid, not typically emotional and with a strong aversion to drama. I don’t know why I was surprised. I feel it too. This emotion that wells up for no reason. Okay, not “no reason.” For good reason. Very good reason.

She is in the air at the moment on the last flight with her entire squad. For eleven months she has lived and breathed every moment with this group of young adults. They have lived in 11 countries in 11 months. A whirlwind world tour of sorts. They have laughed, cried, prayed, and witnessed miracles and tragedies together. They have healed the sick, comforted the sorrowful and loved the unloveable. When they land in Chicago 10 hours from now, they will say farewell and scatter across the nation to reunite with the families that have loved them from afar this past year.

They are sad. And they are oh, so very happy.

1531547_794453177944_7873548935800826098_nI feel it too, this bundle of emotions. I can’t read a post on the parent group page without crying. I read about the dad who wishes us well, but won’t see his son yet as he is choosing to stay in Europe indefinitely, and I cry. I see the mom’s comment about her daughter needing to stay in Malaysia just a bit longer until doctors are sure her malaria is under control, and I cry. I read posts from other parents I met at the launch event last January or the Parent Vision Trip in September, thanking us for being so supportive of their kids, and I cry.

I use the word “kids” lightly. They are young adults, for sure. But they are more than that. They are writers. They are artists. They are medical experts. They are teachers. They are construction workers. They are healers. They are preachers. They are worship leaders. They are warriors for the Kingdom.

And they are coming home.

My daughter’s journey on The World Race has changed her. I expected that. What I didn’t so much expect is that it would change ME. Profoundly.

I see more.

I feel more.

I love more.

I want more.

She will spend the next several weeks exploring where she fits in back home. Her calling doesn’t end because the Race ends, and she knows it.

In some ways, it has only just begun.

And so has mine.

Let the Second Act begin.