Hawaii has been my land of perpetual summer. The season stretches on and, though beautiful, it often leaves me feeling like I’m stuck in a sort of perpetual limbo. Flowers bloom year round, waves continue their rhythmic crash onto the shore, and the traffic is never clear. Nothing changes except the people around me.
This perpetual season has been a season of pain. I have said goodbye to more friends than I care to count. I’ve been to the emergency room for the first time in my life. Then for the second. Then I had surgery. All whilst my husband was deployed. The recovery, confusion, ache, and infertility diagnosis that followed left me disillusioned with the beauty of the sunshine.
But this place has also grown and stretched me in ways I didn’t anticipate. I’ve made friends with people from all over the world and in every stage of life. Some of the most courageous women I know have taken me under their wing and shown me what it means to love for better or worse. Writing and opening up about the good and the broken parts of my life has allowed me to find my voice and to rejoice in God’s goodness through every stage. I’ve fallen more deeply in love with the man that I married. Dreams have died here but many new dreams have also been birthed. While circumstances have been vastly different than we imagined, we’ve started a beautiful life together.
And now that life is moving into its next stage.
As military life has taught me, the only thing I can plan on is a change of plan. It was probably silly to think I’d be on this island until next spring, but that was what I’d been building my life around. Now, that is all changing.
This fall, I’ll be making my way once again across an ocean and a continent to my home state of Michigan. Only this time, I’m going to stay put for awhile. The ending of my endless Hawaii season is bittersweet. While I am sad to leave friends and the places I’ve come to love behind, I am so grateful for the unexpected opportunity to live so close to family again. With all of the challenges these last few years have brought, there is comfort in finding the familiar once again.
As is fitting, I will be arriving right as the summer closes as fall makes its way to the mitten. Prepare for pictures of changing leaves and snow.