Wow. Sometimes words fail to do justice to experience and this is certainly one of those times. As much as we thought we prepared for this journey, I feel like my past entries were just children’s stories compared to what we have discovered and experienced here in Kauai. So I will do my best to give you the update you’ve been looking for.
As far as our journey is concerned, we had great travels. It took about 40 hours to get here from Portland, including the six hour time difference, but the plane rides were all smooth and timely (early actually!) and our layover in Seattle couldn’t have been better. We were so blessed to spend time with long lost friends and see the city. Originally we planned on sleeping in the airport and having them join us for dinner there since our long layover required unchecking all our luggage, but they took the initiative and ensured that we had a wonderful night and some much more comfortable sleeping arrangements.
Despite the easy trip, traveling for 40 hours is never easy, especially when you’re leaving all the comforts of home behind. We thought we were prepared for anything, and when we got off the plane in Lihue (that’s the commercial center of Kauai), we thought we had made it and we were finally “home.” The ride to our temporary residence on the north shore was even more gorgeous than we imagined, because we really do live on an amazing island, but when you’re sleep deprived, dirty, and jet lagged sometimes life seems harder than it is.
We arrived at our residence to find something different than what we expected. For sure, it was much better than we thought looking back (hindsight is twenty-twenty of course), but after so many dreams and months of waiting, reality smacked us really hard upside the head. We were told we’d get a room over someone’s garage, which was true, although the term “room” could be used loosely as there were no actual walls or windows. It had been dubbed the tree house by residence past, as we’ve learned, and literally it was a 12×12 space completely open to the elements aside from blinds and faux bamboo siding halfway up the sides. There was a minifridge, which was great, a very comfortable full sized bed complete with mosquito netting, and an outdoor shower with a sink and toilet in the garage for our use. It was the ideal place for a rustic, romantic Hawaiian getaway and even with hurricane effect rains we stayed dry and comfortable, but it seemed like no place to call home in our tired eyes.
Honestly, we cried. I know, you can totally laugh, but we were so excited to have this free place to stay and couldn’t wait to get there and then our world just crumbled around us. We thought we’d have somewhere to stay for a couple months while we waited for DJ and Rebecca to join us, but there was no way that a married couple could function well in a space like that for a long period of time without having some difficulties. We even had access to the main house for anything we needed, so by all means we were not deprived of anything, but something happens when you have expectations for the unknown and I think that was exactly our problem.
We said we were willing to do anything. We said we’d sleep in a tent on the beach if we had to. We said we knew what we were in for, but that’s easy to say when you’re in Michigan with fall and winter fast approaching, knowing that whatever you’re headed for will at least be warmer and prettier than home. But sometimes I think God needs to test the waters a little. If we say we’re really willing to do anything, then why does “anything” seem so hard when it comes our way? It’s because we impose our expectations of what anything should look like even when we can’t possibly know the truth. When we project our ideas of what the future should or even could hold, God gently reminds us that only He holds the future. That is something we needed to learn here.
After the initial culture shock it was easier to take, although there were daily surprises those first few days we stayed there. Cane spiders, giant cockroaches, enormous seashell snails, geckos everywhere, dirty feet ALL the time (seriously, all the time), and lots of other little things that reminded us we weren’t in “Kansas” any more. But there were SO many amazing things that happened too that we can’t wait to share. This first week has been full of blessings and incredible encounters, but it has not been easy. We’ve been married for over seven years and this week has been the hardest week of our entire marriage, but God is so good.
Now that things have settled down a little (I say that lightly, because there is still so much to be done) I hope to update you more often on what He is up to here in Kauai, but I wanted to get this out as soon as possible so you weren’t overwhelmed with a week’s worth of stories in one swoop. So keep your eye on this page, our Facebook pages, and on our Instagram @Hawaiiheart9815 as the week continues. I hope to get everything totally up-to-date in the next few days so you get a complete picture of our life here so far and know how to pray for us and the people around us. Thank you for your prayers thus far. Truly, we have felt them all. And know that we are praying for all of you too. Aloha!