I have sand still stuck to my fingers as I type and I can feel the sunburn on my cheeks begin its freckling, ohh what a beautiful feeling it is. It’s been two months since I moved out to Hawaii, and I’d be lying if I told you it has been the greatest two months of my life, but I can say it has been an eye-opening and wonderful experience so far.
However, on more than one occasion here I have felt utterly alone. I find myself at night wandering to the ocean and looking out only to see that I am a small speck in this great big earth; at one moment that fact can be a beautiful one, but at times it can lead me to the conclusion that my life and my needs are minimal in God’s mind. Loneliness swallows me whole and my voice seems to be silenced by the waves and I wonder how can I be happy when I feel this empty inside? How is it possible that I feel this way when I’m following my dream of coming to Hawaii? Was this all a big mistake?
I found that my pain and loneliness followed me from Minnesota to Utah and now to Hawaii where I thought this was the escape from it all. It’s me that is crazy, it’s not the place, it’s not the situation, it’s not the relationships, IT’S ME. I still feel and think just as I did before and I am stuck with the same garbage that I drag around me from place to place.
With this (as Oprah would call it) AHA moment I started to change-up my prayers a bit.
“God, lighten my heart, soften my worries, and allow me to find beauty and joy in all that I do and God help me to help others to find it too.” Yes, my prayer rhymed and no it was not intentional, but part of me hoped God would take into account my poetic creativity and grant my desires faster than normal… well, he did just that.
Finding beauty isn’t that difficult considering I live in Hawaii now, so I pretty much step out my door for work and I feel I’m in the pages of The National Geographic. As weeks passed I found myself in constant awe of the world around me. Before I was so stuck on my “I wish I was with my friends from back home” instead of looking out to see what was right in front of me. I find that when you look for beauty you will find it, and with every step I take I find something new to be in wonder with.
For example, yesterday after class I was brought to tears over a sunset (yes, I was that crazy girl crying over a pretty sky, but I feel no shame in admitting it.) When I am in awe there is no room for self-pity or loneliness. Sometimes I wonder if the only reason God made this world beautiful was to soften the pains of humanity and give us something to constantly be thankful for. How can you not be filled with gratitude looking at something so stunning? Can any trail be too strong that a beautiful mountain range, or sunset over an ocean cannot distract from that pain, even if only for a moment?
God has placed me here to learn to find Him in nature, to remind me that He is there. I’m never alone. Even on an island thousands of miles away from home. God is the ocean, sun, and stars, God is the beauty of the earth and He wants us to find him in it. But when we focus so much on our sorrows we neglect to see the beauty, we forget to see God.
I never want to be so wrapped up in my loneliness that I forget to look for God. I want to find Him in the everyday moments, in the beauty around me.
and tonight I feel Him all around me…
may we all begin to find God whatever way that is, Katie