From East to West
The East Coast will forever hold my past, but the West Coast is my future (at least right now). I am a Maryland girl livin' in a desert-California world, and it's fascinating, scary and thrilling.
On September 4, 2016 I boarded a plane from BWI. It was a one-way flight to California. A place, that I had decided in March, would be my next big adventure. I packed up all my things, books, clothes, knick knacks and memories and I left them at the house that had watched me grow from child to adult.
I brought two suitcases for my journey with four books, and enough clothes to get started. I had assumed I'd find a job in L.A., that I'd be able to afford an apartment on my own and that I would soon send for my long lost belongings.
But life never goes according to the plans we make.
Instead, I found myself couch surfing and crashing with friends, and their families. I found myself closer to the side of "helpless" than "hopeful", and was taken in by people who barely knew me. It was a very depressing time. Instead of being independent and "making it" I was relying on people like never before, and feeling so horrible about it. But these people were willing to extend grace, hope and love to me. They treated me like a part of their family, they invited me in. They gave me pep talks and prayed for me. It was not what I had pictured my "Big California Trip" to look like, but it was something that my spirit needed.
Just taking a step back and looking at my life, I would freak out. I'd have moments of panic, wondering if I was a complete idiot for leaving Maryland, my family, my old life. I wondered if I had made a huge mistake. What was this really about?
But God has a way of working in our hardships, and a way of working in our craziness. My older sister reached out to me (freaking out herself for my sake-I'm sure) and asked me to call a friend of hers. At first, I was so against it. Really? This is what it's come to? I'm relying on my sister's friends now? I felt completely defeated. I had been in California one week, had my first interview and nothing felt "right."
If there's one thing I've learned in life it's to "embrace the uncomfortable." So, I decided to do just that, I called my sister's friend and things began to change. It turned out this guy lived three-tenths of a mile from my friend's house. He was a pastor and super excited to meet me and hang out. He was shocked that of all the places in L.A. I had ended up in this random suburb with the oldest McDonald's, a place that people say no one really leaves and no one really goes too.
I met this Pastor, who is now my Pastor, and my life began to make some more sense. I still didn't have the job I wanted, my own place or any means of "security" in my life. But I had found a community of people who were willing to walk with me.
Right now, my life is in the middle of another twisting turn, my husband and I are planning to relocate to L.A. We are both super pumped to be out of the desert but nervous about jobs and living situation and how it will all pan out. And so, I keep telling myself "embrace the uncomfortable." We have spent countless hours planning and dreaming and brainstorming different options, different jobs, different living scenarios and different financial situations we could end up in. We have pretty much turned over almost each stone in our path looking at ALL our options and comparing them well.
And now, we pray.
We submit to the authority of Christ and we thank him for what we have, for all the ways he has provided for us and made all things work in ways we could've never imagined.
And so, fellow travelers, I leave you with one of my favorite verses, a verse that carried us through last night, amidst the stress and anxiety and worry of our future, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:32 NIV).