the big island return.

Erika Spitler3 Comments
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

ALOHA! Some have asked the reasoning for my return to Hawaii to which I have mostly responded with, "I have no idea what I'm doing with my life!!" Flying out to an island just seemed like the next logical step for a 20-something to do, right? (kidding.) I am a little more responsible than that. 

a little backstory...

Last November, I had a deep yearning in my spirit I find hard to explain. Not understanding what to do with this, I paid it little attention through the winter months. With the new year came a full-time job, friendships I had long prayed for, and my very first relationship. Although I know circumstances do not define our level of joy, I acknowledged life was good; I was working in an incredible ministry, socializing often, and of course, being pursued by my handsome boyfriend. 

As the weeks progressed, life continued to look the way it had at the start of the year. However, I was soon met with the same yearning I experienced months back. Not to be confused with discontentment, (as I was pretty happy with my life), this restlessness was like an unshakeable hunger for something more. I had already succumbed to my full, new schedule so I kept balancing and navigating, thinking maybe then that total peace would come. During this time, my relationship unexpectedly ended — an added chaos I was completely unprepared for. My heart unraveled, leaving me with a wound exposed for all to see. Thankfully, I received genuine support from friends & family who constantly called me higher, providing ample grace, patience, and chocolate as I began to heal from my first heartbreak.

The relationship was gone, but the yearning remained. 

I knew this stirring inside was from the Lord and it required a response, but I wasn't sure what to do in the midst of my pain and confusion. Someone once told me, "If you are having trouble clearly hearing what God wants you to do, think about the last thing He told you or put on your heart. Maybe that's the thing He still wants." I thought back to what He had last spoken. It didn't take long to figure out what that was: return to Hawaii and get with Him for fresh vision. Through events only orchestrated by the Lord, He clearly confirmed I was to go. My dear friends immediately welcomed me to stay in the Ohana (studio apartment) of their home, I booked a one-way ticket, turned in my three weeks' notice, and packed my belongings.

To leave Melbourne really was the hardest right thing. The small beach town I once dreaded now held some of the most precious people I had ever met. Saying goodbye to my family with no set return date made the leaving far more bitter than sweet. But deep inside, I knew this was right. Knowing I had an amazing group backing me up in this faith journey allowed me to board the plane with more confidence.

and now, here i am...

The first week of acclimating to living in Hawaii again was strange, lonely, and exciting. Everything is the same, yet different. It can be awkward not having a specific title or ministry involvement like I once did. I felt pressured to prove to people like you how I am doing something great, something worth flying miles away for, something, you know — to really write home about and impress others with. Putting it plainly, I am here because God called me. And it was time for me to be obedient.

Right now, I believe I am to not attach myself to a schedule, but rest instead. To be surrendered before the Lord. To allow Him to work with me on some serious heart issues. Through His kindness and grace, I am already being sewn back together, rediscovering who He has made me to be. This is such a unique time in my life where I am able to live in community and truly seek after the Lord's heart whether that is spent in the prayer room, interceding for the nations, or sitting on the lānai taking in His beauty. I believe as He breathes life into my identity, He will reveal vision for future ministry.

I may have no idea as to how long I will be here or what all I will be doing, but as I take each step, I am thankful God's ways are nothing like my own. His are far higher, and for purposes much greater than what these eyes can see. 

If you find yourself with a similar hunger and yearning, respond today to His gentle nudging. Why wait another day?

YWAM | University of the Nations Kona Campus

YWAM | University of the Nations Kona Campus

follow along on Instagram:
@spitlerika or search #erikasbigislandreturn

take heart : a playlist

Erika SpitlerComment

Sometimes, only music can properly express what stirs within one's heart. And whether aching or not, certain songs have been able to do just that for us all. In this playlist, you will find the song I held tightly to since the start of 2014 when things were swell & when things "fell apart" a few months later (Nothing Is Wasted), the song I listen to on my walk home from church, around the building at work, and across the bridge at my favourite park (Your Favor), the song a sweet friend texted me on one of the darkest nights (Sovereign Over Us), and the song that has been my anthem — sung through tears of surrender enveloped with hope (It Is Well). If your heart is in need of healing, I pray these songs would help you enter into that precious place before God's throne where you would experience something only He could do.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." | John 16:33

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01. Loving A Person
02. Nothing Is Wasted
03. With You Now
04. Take Heart
05. Your Favor
06. He Is All We Need
07. Eyes Of Mercy
08. Sovereign Over Us
09. Like Incense
10. It Is Well
11. Back To Life