seasons

To stay, not go.

I was hardly released from jet-lag's hands when I traded the heat of Nepal and its unpredictable streets for the cold A/C and an organized cubicle in Florida.

I went from blistered bare heels to gold glitter heels. Hardly making cash to making hard cash. Seeing numbers of people to seeing people's numbers.

Only four weeks separated these extremes.

A quick visit with my precious family back in August was meant to be just that—a quick visit. I had plans to catch up, raise support, eat my mom's cooking, and sleep on my childhood bed. Maybe even play a few rounds of Monopoly Deal with my siblings.

It was going to be great. Then God placed a decision down before me, and even though I was tempted to pull a "Just Say No!" on Him, I had to stop myself and consider. I am defiant at times. I am human and I like to pretend I know what I need. I really have no clue. 

The plans had been set for me to return to Hawaii and staff a Discipleship Training School. That opportunity was drenched in the good things I had desired and yearned for. But what I felt God prodding me to consider was to stay. To stay in Florida, to gather finances, to further the relationships there, and to find a mentor, church, and place to serve.

I have left Florida twice now, and I think both times I declared it would be my last. With some irritation at the constant change, I took the decision to prayer. I laid it before my leaders and those whom I respect. I sought God's heart and voice through the Scriptures. And He gave me an unexplainable peace.

A peace to stay.

I made the decision on a Monday. Tuesday, my previous employer called me for an interview. Since my belongings were tucked into a suitcase at a house 4,724 miles away, I scrambled to Goodwill. I purchased formal work attire, changed in the store bathroom, lost my keys, found them in said bathroom, and showed up to my interview with maybe 30 seconds to spare. I got the job.

Staying here is not what I wanted or expected, and it surely was not the route I had planned for.

I have had many friends transition from being support-based missionaries to returning to their lives at home again. Some have been launched into ministry, missional living within their cities, or started their own businesses. Others have fought purposelessness, depression, and have even turned their backs on God. The move is often frazzled from emotions.

A sweet friend who has experienced the transition herself reminds me to take it "moment by moment, day by day". I am thankful for her encouragement, as I want to rush through figuring out why it is even good for me to be here once again.

The level of self-criticism, anxiety, fear, judgment, perfectionism, and oppression I now battle has rocked me. I get on my knees and thank God He is the Rock that won't move—because remember?

I am only human and I know not what I need.

Life has swept me up and I am looking for a piece of comfort to still me from my failing performance.

"This, too, is good," He whispers.

Those four words hug my heart.

Friends, maybe you need to hear that as well. Maybe you need reminding that God is even good at all. I am holding to the belief that He has plans to redeem us and grow life from areas which previously brought ache.

You may discover the city which you've been placed in is hungry for the presence of the living God, too. Hungrier than either of us may have thought. Let us repent for the ways we have compared or cast judgment towards others and ourselves.

It matters not if we are far from our birth countries or tucked away in its very corner—because as the Church we have been called to live on mission, and that's not going to change.

We are not our achievements or adventures. We are frail and small. We need to be bent and broken, so the Maker can shape us and heal us. There is work to be done here and there. 

Be in Him, and let Him prune you for His glory.

The big island return.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Aloha! Some have asked the reason for my return to Hawaii to which I have mostly responded with, "I have no idea what I'm doing with my life!!"

Flying out to an island just seemed like the next logical step for a 20-something to do, right? (kidding.) I am a little more responsible than that. 

a little backstory...

Last November, I had a deep yearning in my spirit I find hard to explain. Not understanding what to do with this, I paid it little attention through the winter months.

With the new year came a full-time job, friendships I had long prayed for, and my first relationship. Although I know circumstances do not define our level of joy, I acknowledged life was good; I was working in an incredible company, socializing often, and of course, being pursued by my handsome boyfriend. 

As the weeks progressed, life continued to look good.

However, I was soon met with the same yearning I experienced months back. Not to be confused with discontentment, (as I was pretty happy with my life), this restlessness was like an unshakeable hunger for something more.

I had already succumbed to my full, new schedule so I kept balancing and navigating, thinking maybe then that total peace would come. During this time, my relationship unexpectedly ended—an added chaos I was completely unprepared for.

My heart unraveled, leaving me with a wound exposed for all to see. Thankfully, I received genuine support from friends and family who constantly called me higher, providing ample grace, patience, and chocolate as I began to heal from my first heartbreak.

The relationship was gone, but the yearning remained. 

I knew this stirring inside was from the Lord and it required a response, but I wasn't sure what to do in the midst of my pain and confusion.

Someone once told me, "If you are having trouble clearly hearing what God wants you to do, think about the last thing He told you or put on your heart. Maybe that's the thing He still wants."

I thought back to what He had last spoken. It didn't take long to figure out what that was: return to Hawaii and get with Him for fresh vision.

Through events only orchestrated by the Lord, He clearly confirmed I was to go. My dear friends immediately welcomed me to stay in the Ohana (studio apartment) of their home, I booked a one-way ticket, turned in my three weeks' notice, and packed my belongings.

Leaving Melbourne was the hardest right thing.

The small beach town I once dreaded now held precious friendships. Saying goodbye to my family with no set return date made the leaving far more bitter than sweet. But deep inside, I knew this was right. Knowing I had an amazing group backing me up in this faith journey allowed me to board the plane with more confidence.

and now, here i am...

The first week of acclimating to living in Hawaii again was strange, lonely, and exciting. Everything is the same, yet different.

It's awkward not having a specific title or ministry involvement like I once did. I've felt pressured to prove to you how I am doing something great, something worth flying miles away for, something, you know—to really write home about.

Putting it plainly, I am here because God called me. And it was time for me to be obedient.

Right now, I believe I am to not attach myself to a schedule, but rest instead. To be surrendered before the Lord. To allow Him to work with me on some serious heart issues. Through His kindness and grace, I see Him sewing me back together, rediscovering who He has made me to be.

This is such a unique time in my life where I am able to live in community and seek after the Lord's heart. That might be spent in the prayer room, interceding for the nations, or sitting on the lanai taking in His beauty.

I believe as He breathes life into my identity, He will reveal vision for future ministry.

I have no idea how long I will be here or what I will be doing, but as I take each step, I am thankful God's ways are nothing like my own.

His ways are far higher, and for purposes much greater than what these eyes can see. 

YWAM | University of the Nations Kona Campus

YWAM | University of the Nations Kona Campus