This last week of my life has been spent Hawaii saying aloha to the land I loved, the land I built my first home in, one last time. But even in the short few months that have passed since I left this island, so many things have changed.
That little mom and pop shop that made the malasadas I loved has closed down. New restaurants are popping up downtown. Friends have recommended places to visit. But nothing feels quite the same.
Many of those friends have moved on to new places. My home is no longer my own so I am spending my days exploring new places and my nights in an apartment not my own. Even the weather has been atypical of the Hawaiian sunshine and has met me with rain.
I do not mean to complain. My trip has been lovely and I am grateful for this opportunity. But my time in Hawaii had previously been marked by consistency. I spent years joking that I lived in a strange sort of Limbo Land where time marched forward but nothing seemed to ever change.
As I walked by my favorite coffee shop last night, I did a double-take and saw that it was no longer in business.
But today, today called me out to the water. And although the water is always changing, the water is always constant.
Riding out on the pontoon, I left behind all that had changed and opened my eyes to all that had stayed the same. The water was warm, but refreshing. The sand worked it’s way into the familiar places between my toes.
Much of my last year in Hawaii was filled with pain. God felt distant and confusing. But when I stepped down to the water, when I watched the first rays of the morning sun burst from behind the waves, I remembered the promise from Lamentations.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV
God’s faithfulness was not dependent on my circumstances. It didn’t matter if I could see it with my eyes. It was as certain as the sunrise, as constant as the tide.
When I surveyed the mountains, I noticed the scars that the water had formed from years running down the sides of the mountains impressed deeply into their landscape.
They were no longer the same mountains they were when they originated. They’d been transformed, into something beautiful.
Change is never easy. It cuts and presses into us to help us more fully reflect the person we were created to be.
This morning on the water reminded me of the faithfulness of God and just how much I’ve changed. I am no longer the person I was when my plane landed here all those years ago. God has stripped away layers of my sin nature to mold me into the image of His Son.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8, ESV
Not only is God faithful, but the One He is modeling me after is also unchanging. In the midst of my change, in the midst of the ever-changing world, Jesus is constant.
My perspective on God may change as I grow. At times, I may walk through valleys where He seems distant and cold only to suddenly be transported to a mountaintop where I feel His arms cradle me. There are a thousand experiences in between that show more about my heart than they do the character of our Savior. But no matter where I’m at, no matter the burdens I am carrying, today, I am reminded that in the midst of all of this change, my eyes are always being opened to new truths about our never-changing Maker.