Aloha To The Islands

The last few days have been really bittersweet. Preparing to leave the islands, wrapping up ministry, spending time with dear friend and getting some final surf sessions in brought all sorts of sadness to my heart. Simultaneously though, the promise of the future has been incredible. Getting married, moving to TN and starting a church are all incredible parts to an adventure I can’t wait to be on!

Yesterday started off with getting my Hawaii drivers license. I had to take my bandanna off so in my picture everyone says I look like Jesus. After that I went surfing with a fantastic group of close friends. It was one of the best surf days I’ve had. I saw two sea turtles, rode seven ways, caught one all the way in, and rather by accident learned to walk out onto the nose of my board and back and was able to do it three times! Plus, I finally had the confidence to paddle out in front of all of the regular local surfers and catch the waves like a boss (yes, a little ego mixed in with the confidence).  But what I think made it even cooler is that one of my closest friends (who grew up on Oahu and yet neither swims nor surfs) decided to come out and learn that day. Not only did he surf, but he rode three waves! That’s unheard of for a noobie! I’m so proud of him. After that I cooked arab food for everyone left at the dorm. Hummus, matable, pita bread and fried goat cheese! Mmm! Then I got to go hang out at a coffee shop with the awesome Korean brothers Nam! We had so much fun. After that I cooked arab food again, but this time just for three of us. I made Maqloobeh with lamb and tea with mint. I also got the honor of sharing Christ with a dear friend and giving him a New Testament. Thhhhhheeeeeeeennnn I realized I was supposed to leave in ten minutes and hadn’t really finished packing….or started. So within forty minutes I packed everything and we took off. Made my flight thought! At the airport I think fifteen people who have touched my heart and changed my life came and stood in line with me for tears, hug-fests and to pray for me. It was beautiful. It was hard.

I made it to LAX and am now in Chicago’s O’Hare waiting on my flight that leaves in less than an hour so I can see my brother in Charlotte and tomorrow see Katie and dear friends in Boone. Note: emphasis here is on Katie. Can’t wait to see her. She is my world. Boone friends are a nice touch though. 😉

It’s weird to think that it’s over. I still remember not really believing I was going to Hawaii. Now I can hardly believe I’ve already left. God wrecked my life in Hawaii. He has a tendency to do that to you if you let Him. It was one of the most beautiful seasons of my life. Thank you so much for your prayers, love and support of God’s calling for me there.

As I’m moving on, Marhabaaloha isn’t really the most appropriate theme anymore. Beautiful, but not as relevant. I’ve had a second blog running for about a month now at http://www.outcastchurch.wordpress.com
If you want to keep with with where I’m going and what God is doing with me, check it out! =D

As my final thoughts wrapping up this year, I think I can put it in a short phrase: Let God wreck your life.
Let Him do whatever He wants to with you. Especially if it sounds stupid, impossible, harder than anything, and far outside of the norm. God doesn’t work inside our comfort-zones, He shapes us outside of them. This year has been the most challenging of my life, and easily the most uncomfortable. Yet it is also the most memorable and has the deepest evidence of God at work. I pray that as I continue to learn to live in the uncomfortable calling of Christ that He does even more as He continues to make this servant of His live my life less for myself and more for Him.

Gal 2:20 “For I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”

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