As I was driving home the other night, a certain song came on that reminded me of when I moved to Hawaii. As many of you know, I spent 6 months living in Hawaii before I moved to Tennessee, about 4 years ago. There was one song that, for me, really embodied that whole time in my life. I love it when a song or an album comes to define a whole period in our lives. Hearing that song got me thinking about how I’ve changed since then and what makes my New Zealand trip different.
When I left home for the first time to move to Hawaii, I was so ready for adventure. I hadn’t done much traveling before and I’d always dreamed of living near the ocean and the beach. It was a big leap of faith for me to leave behind my family and friends and go to a place where I didn’t know anyone. I remember feeling extremely excited but also very anxious. Would I be able to survive on my own? Would I make enough money to afford living in such an expensive place? Of course I felt homesick almost right away. I remember going to work on the sailboats early in the morning and just hanging on, hoping that things would work out. It felt weird to have such a dream job in such a beautiful place but still feel homesick.
Four years and one smoothie company later, I find myself on another adventure. This time, I’ve pursued another long time dream to travel to and live in New Zealand. I admit, hardly a day has gone by during the past four years where I haven’t thought about this trip. Now that I’ve been here for a couple of months, it’s interesting to look back and see how much I’ve changed since I moved to Hawaii. I was still extremely excited to be able to come to NZ, no doubt about that. But this time, I feel so much more at ease. I have so much more confidence in who I’ve become and in what God can do. It’s been much more of a struggle to get settled down here in NZ. Nothing has come particularly easy, especially trying to find consistent work. Already, I have:
1. Built a website
2. Been a road manager for a concert tour
3. Worked on a catamaran sailboat doing grunt work
4. Done yard work and window washing for a widow
5. Waited tables at an Italian restaurant along the ocean front
I’m thankful for each of these work opportunities, as each has provided unique challenges and learning experiences. However, none of them have been steady streams of income! As I write this, I still haven’t found a way to make money consistently while still having freedom to travel and explore from time to time. The best news is that I’m not worried at all. Call me crazy, but my faith has been strengthened in a major way over the past several years, and particularly this past year. Instead of being anxious and worrying, I have such peace in knowing that God will provide. Obviously, I’ve been doing my part in being diligent to seek out opportunities. But ultimately, my life is in His hands and I trust that things will work out. The result is that I’m able to focus more of my attention and my energy on loving other people and looking for ways to serve the community I find myself in.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m here in Tauranga. I am so stoked to see how this summer turns out! This is my home for now, but I can’t help but wonder where I’ll be in another four years and how much I’ll grow and change during that time.
Have you seen yourself grow and improve in any areas of your life lately?