I was 18 years old the first time I came to Hawaii. When I think back on my younger self I have great compassion for that young bride. She only had dreams of a bright future filled with high hopes. She had no language for the painful depths of loss and how the next 7 trips to Hawaii would be filled with kaumaha, heavy grief. The last time I was here my 4th IVF was a few weeks away, the procedure that finally brought me to Lydia. I left the islands in tears of fear. 

Today, a wise and gentle Hawaiian reminded me through his stories of hardship that “the righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.” (Ps 34:18, NLT). 

Each. Time. 

This trip, my 8th trip, some 38 years since my first trip, I am someone entirely new. I’m no longer young, skinny, or naive. I’ve been broken and I have many scars. But I’ve been rescued again and again and I’ve seen the goodness of God. 

This trip there are tears too, but all the kaumaha is gone. On the last day of my 55th year, there are again tears falling down my cheeks in Hawaii, but this time they are tears filled with joy and the sweetness of aloha.