Over the last several weeks, since we got home from Hawaii, I have been processing much wisdom I gained while we were there.

Before Hawaii, I had been in the darkest depression of my entire life.  I suffered my closest loss, and dealt with endless negative circumstances surrounding that loss.  My life felt like it had a tangible darkness wrapped around it, blinding my eyes from seeing past my painful present, my heart from feeling anything but darkness, captivating my capabilities.  The trip planning became a teensy speck of light, that grew brighter as we walked toward it.

Our first evening in Oahu, we walked to secret beach to watch the sun set.  As my little girls played on the sparkling shoreline, my two guys sharing a sweater snuggled in beside me, I was overcome with clarity, beauty, and a complete abundance of love I hadn’t felt in a really long time.  A gate of tears opened, and my heart spilled out every emotion, the thickest overall, gratitude.  The first day in Hawaii felt like the first gasp of fresh air after going too deep under water, just threatening safety.

A couple of days in, my breathing steadied.  The Hawaiian sun seemed to burn the darkness from around me, and suddenly, with clouds parted, I could see.  The first things I saw were the people who had been here the whole time – My daughters, Harlo, Stella, Grae, who were happily accepting me in any form of myself – dark or light.  My precious son, whose love had healed me in those quiet nights we had rocked our way to peace.  My husband, who held me steady and strong for over a decade. Friends – perhaps the last standing, who were invested in my family’s happiness, in my happiness.  

Everything I needed was on that Island, away from the rest of the world.  A true peek into heaven on earth.

I had some hard realizations while I was in Hawaii, nudges of situations I needed to walk away from.  But not in a way that felt panicked, or sad – but comforting, and necessary.  I gained the beginning of closure from a lot of things, and I felt the words written deeply on my heart: God uses all things for your good, and His Glory.

My girl April said it best, after viewing photos from our trip, “All your lights came back on in Hawaii.”

That’s exactly what it felt like.