“You want it to be great, 
but it’s just going to be good.”

It’s a pretty depressing sentence, isn’t it? Full of breathless anticipation– then a sudden crash. I mean, not a crash into absolute despair, “good” isn’t bad. It’s not hard, it’s not sad. But it’s not amazing, either. And so, it’s depressing because it’s settling for less than you desire.

Over a month ago I was parked at Waihi Beach, just a fun stop on a road trip up to Auckland. My mum’s family grew up going for holidays there, my own first memory marked by the incredulous question, “Where are the rocks?!”. We may have tropical water and epic waves where I grew up, but contrary to popular belief, sand is not something Hawaii has a lot of! So every time I’ve stayed at Waihi Beach in recent years, I’ve been in awe at New Zealand’s scenery (I mean, it is basically Narnia and Middle Earth put together!).

Pretty far from depressing.

So, that’s why we stopped at this little beach town (clarification: the town is little, the beach is not!) on our road trip. I was with YWAMers, and soon the idea popped up, This would be great for our DTS staff retreat next month! I agreed wholeheartedly, like someone proud of their hometown– then had a little prick of unwarranted hope, Oh, that would be so fun to be at.

But I excluded myself from any further anticipation. Life in New Zealand was good. I had a good job, I got to make preschool children smile every day. I had a good plan, I was paying off my student loan quickly and going back to Australia as soon as possible. I had good friends, who I saw every week and even though we all were doing different things, we had a lot of fun. It was good, far better than I ever expected life would be like after I left Australia.

However, there’s this inconvenient desire in all of us for greatness, not just goodness. 

And when I let my heart breathe, I discovered that desire wasn’t silent– and God was whispering right along with it.

This past week?

In a remarkable flip-flop of events, I found myself at Waihi Beach for that exact DTS staff retreat–  where God poked at my depressing tendency to tell myself, You want it to be great, but it’s just going to be good. 

Yet it wasn’t just “good”. The beach house was beautiful, dance parties in the living room were glorious, pancakes or chicken stir fry or burritos, delicious– it just goes on and on. Prayer times for the DTS ended in getting wrecked by the presence of God, team devotions ended with me wiping tears away because Jesus whispered truth that I hadn’t heard in a very long time. Yes, I was shocked, it was great. 

However, as the week drew to a close, I started preparing myself for good again. Normal. Going back to work on Monday, back to being the outsider– well, I’ve always been part of the YWAM Bethlehem family, but always have to drive back to my own house, always far away. This week was just a fun fluke that ended, right?

Ummm, Kayla? This is only the beginning. 

And it’s going to be great. 

Hope in God;
for I shall again praise Him,
    my salvation and my God.
-Psalm 42:11 (ESV)
Photos: Waihi Beach sunrise, Bay of Plenty, NZ. 30 June, 2016.