“Why Saba?” Is the question that greeted me upon landing at the Princess Juliana airport in St. Maarten with my husband, parents, three cranky kids, and over 500 lbs of luggage. Regret punched me in the face as I shuffled to the baggage claim, wondering how I thought this was a good idea. The man helping us with our bags began to number off the highest ranked Caribbean medical schools (according to whom, I don’t know…”world’s ‘best’ cup of coffee” right?) excluding Saba altogether, and including the university on St. Maarten at #2. He looked at us like we had made a really dumb decision. My spirit sank even further.
We are SO screwed!!!
Two months ago I had a dream. In this dream we made the move to Saba, and the word HYRAX kept flashing across the screen of my subconscious as I set up the kitchen in our apartment. I woke up believing there must be some significance, so I whipped out my iPad and googled the word. I vaguely remembered a Biblical reference to the “hyrax making its dwelling among the rocks” thinking it was some kind of animal. African Wildlife Foundation assured me it was a desert rock badger indigenous to African and Middle Eastern countries, including the area of Sheba, translated Saba (turns out there are two Sabas; one in Yemen and one in Dutch Caribbean). The animal is not much to speak of, save the wisdom and tenacity they possess to inhabit difficult places…hmmm…we are on to something now.
I held onto this word the next leg of our journeyas every dip and sway of our 90-minute ferry ride from Simpson Bay to Saba’s shores tested the steel of my stomach. After a less than peaceful night of sleep with three children sardined between my husband and myself, and a class five migraine splitting my brain in half, I figured I could handle this claustrophobic roller coaster. Instead, I found myself wondering once again, “why Saba?”
maybe we can transfer??
We disembarked and were met by the warm smile of the school’s Housing Coordinator, handing us the keys to our Mazda Atenza, and a taxi van that would carry our cumbersome belongings up to our cottage. The glorious journey to our neck of the island stunned us with colorful vegetation, azure vistas, cozy cafes, and sheer cliffs. We pulled up to our new home in Hell’s Gate and breathed a sigh of relief.
We made it.
We have found that as we follow God deeper and deeper into His purposes for our lives, people look at us like we are crazy. It doesn’t make sense to do what we have done and to believe how and what we believe. The ways of God are more mysterious, more exhilarating and always beautiful. He is completing works and laying foundations, generation to generation. He is softening obstinate hearts and rescuing desperate souls, awakening destiny and lighting passions.
I can be about that.
So I say “yes” when God gives me curious orders. That’s why I live on a tiny Caribbean Island with one winding road akin to scurrying atop the Great Wall of China, tending my children as my husband pursues his MD; where ocean breezes sweep through the jungle and rocks, rustling the fruit trees on their way through my little cottage, out my patio, carrying the worries of the day away because they are abundant, but so is the peace. Oh the peace of this place, steady. Quiet. Slow. Inspiring. Friendly. Rooted.
I can make my dwelling here.