Ohana is a hawaiian word which means Family. And Family means togetherness. Nobody is left behind or forgotten.
If you read the last chapter of this book first (like I did), it is tempting to think “Well, that’s what everyone has been saying in the world”. Well, then I started the book at the beginning, and what I discovered was the missing link to the desires that have been so long in me, yet always seemed just outside my reach.
I was 12 when my parents asked me the question: would you like to attend boarding school or local public high school? Of course, having independence and a life outside my parents constant supervision was more appealing than eating the same lunch that I had my entire primary school career (the classic peanut butter sandwich, with peanuts and raisins as a side). Yet, I never knew how deeply this decision would affect me. I made the same choice again 2 years later when the same question was posed. This time round, I would reside with a local SDA family and return home only during the school holidays which was every 3 months.
There were the endless goodbyes, seeing my family every 2-3 weeks as they would occasionally visit, and my own room only every 3 months. During this time my parents moved every 3 months and very rarely did I return to the same room. There was the seemingly endless new homes to adjust to, old furniture set in new spaces, and the jumping between 2 families. I felt torn. I wanted to enjoy time with both families. My natural “fear of missing out” was tested to the limit. Then I headed off to university. And I started to study a medical direction that deals with the intricate psychological aspects of the human mind, existence, and perplexities. Again, I felt myself in a tug of war: which of these aspects of psychology fit into the Biblical understanding of our human, sinful nature? I jumped the fence, adjusted the parameters, tried to make both sides fit into one another. Yet the feeling of “not fitting in”, “I am just not good enough to make this work”, “I am just not smart enough to figure this out” was constantly reminding me of my past.
I wanted to go Home. I wanted stability. This created the desire within me to work hard and make enough money to have my own house, where I can have my own family and go to the same home every day. I wanted My Own Family. I wanted to belong.
At a crucial point in my career training, I picked up this book. And in it I was handed the keys to belonging, acceptance and stability. A few chapters into the book, it clicked. I kept thinking “This is it! This is what I have been looking for!”. You may ask the question, “Well, did this book unlock the door to being a Family, to being knit together in love and enjoy being together?” No. It did not. That door was unlocked, years later, when I got married to my wonderful husband who promised that he would cherish, love and care for me, in sickness and in health by God's grace. I experienced the outworking of the principles found in this book. I found it in a relationship; a daily experience of togetherness. And what I found was only the channel to the Source of All Good Gifts. My Heavenly Father and His Son. The only two Beings who heard my cry as a young teenager, when I felt the sting of peer rejection, endured the pain of good byes and accepted a feeling of being “lost” as my ever present companion.
Life does matter. My life does matter. And so does yours. Our Heavenly Father and His Son specialize in placing the lonely ones in families (Psalm 68:6), and who takes us up when our earthly parents are removed from us (Psalm 27:10). The keys are handed to you in this book. It will unlock your own individual experience to the relational kingdom. And that is what will bring the physical and emotional healing that we all have been looking for.
Marié - USA