Really Being Here

After almost two months, I can truly say that I’m starting to feel adjusted.

I have days that I miss the sweet sweet south, but as of late my days have been filled with joy and just marveling at what the Lord is showing me.  I can’t believe I get to go on this type of adventure.  I know my life won’t be the same after this.  I already see myself, and other people in an entirely different light than I did two months ago.  This place is so full of captivity, yet so full of freedom.  It’s dry here (spiritually), but I get this sense that the rivers are waiting to flow.  Religion comes up a lot in my conversations randomly, and I’ve been able to tell my testimony.  Even people asking me why I moved here sometimes leads into me giving my testimony.  This place feels like my personal mission field.  It’s void of Jesus at times, and then other times I’m so encouraged by what’s going on.  I’m marveled by the presence of God in the landscape here, and how much beauty surrounds me.  I get to spend every weekend doing something fun, exploring some new beautiful place.

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I have friends now. I have people to call if I want to do something.  I know my roommates, and they know me. I enjoy coming home to them, and home feels like…home. And I still have my old friends and our every Sunday skype bible study that leaves me feeling like much more a part of their lives.  After I talk to them I am always filled to the brim, so thankful that I’ve made friends to literally do. life. with.  That no matter how far away I am, I will still be growing in my faith with them, they will still be praying for me and upholding me, encouraging me and growing me.  I’ve learned that people still love me the same way. I’m not forgotten and replaced.  I can still have the same people, and be loved in the same way from thousands of miles away.

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I’ve learned that LA isn’t some big scary place, where everyone is mean.  People here are so welcoming, and friendly, and let me tell y’all everybody loves somebody from Georgia.  Seriously they think i’m adorable, it’s great.  The best thing about LA is that everybody here is from somewhere else, for the most part.  Everyone is chasing a dream.  Everyone is in the same boat as me.  Everyone is away from home. Everyone had to find a way to plant their feet here. Everyone knows what it’s like to be the new girl who just left everything she’s ever known to live somewhere completely different.

I keep trying to explain the differences in culture to my friends, and I can’t even find the words.  People here are freer, in the sense that they don’t have jobs they don’t like, they don’t care what you think about what they are wearing, they genuinely love being outside.  Then you have people who are to cool for school, who literally don’t care about anything, who can’t even have a real conversation because they are so out there and spacey.  Another thing is that the foundations of LA, the underlying rhythm of life is just totally different. The core that southerners are made of, the things that are implicit about us, those things aren’t present here.  While the east coast, and especially the south have a very European backbone, California is made up largely of Mexicans, Asians, and Transients.  The European influence is just not here.  There is beauty and history here, but it’s of a totally different breed than that which exists in the south.

And lastly, I’m learning that I’m changing.  What I was willing to settle for is changing.  What I want is changing. How I think is changing. How I feel is changing.  God is showing me more than I could ever articulate, but one of the main things He is showing me is to trust myself.  Trust the strength that I have in Him, and to trust Him.  The first month I was here, I was terrified and lonely and wondering if I should go back tomorrow.  The second month, I’m eagerly anticipating everything He has in store for me, and I’m sensing the changes in myself.  I’m confident in my ability to do and face anything.  I’m confident in stepping into anything that the Lord has for me because the joy and freedom that I’m experiencing here is unlike what I could’ve imagined. I’m separated from the things that broke me in Georgia. I’m separated from this feeling that I was trapped by my old relationship. I’m separated from never feeling good enough, I’m separated from the feeling of on-going rejection.  I can look at it, but it’s far away.  It’s removed.  It can no longer regularly affect me unless I let it.  I feel free here and new here and excited here. I feel like when I look back on my life, this event, me moving here, I will see as something that shaped me in so many ways.

You can have no idea what you’re capable of, how much courage you have, how strong you are, until you do something that seems crazy, that makes no sense, that sends you barreling out of your comfort zone.  You always see quotes about how the best things always come when you move outside of what you’ve always known- you can’t imagine how true that is until you’ve done it.  I have no idea what my life will look like even 2 years from now, but I know that the person I am and the person I will be, is better for this decision and for this experience.  It’s scary, it’s weird, and it doesn’t entirely make sense to me yet, but I know this is where I’m supposed to be.  I feel like I am really living.

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I don’t know what my future looks like. I don’t know what two days or two months or two years from now looks like.  I imagine that I’ll end up back in Georgia, or South Carolina, or North Carolina, because that’s where my heart is. But I don’t know that for sure. I don’t know that I won’t meet a world champion surfer and be forced to stay in California, and that my life is destined for here.  I don’t know where I’m going except I know that it’s some place good.  I am marveling at the adventure that I get to be on, because that’s what it feels like.  It feels like a field trip that I needed to take to the other side of life.  It feels like this season, this time of me living in Los Angeles is meant for my growth and for my good, and that the Lord just wants me to sit back and take it all in.  It feels like this is a time of provision. It’s a time of challenge, but at the same time, ease.  I wake up some mornings feeling far from home.  Most mornings I wake up with light in my eyes, an eagerness to be awake, and see what the Lord is holding for me in that day.  The wander and marvel in the way I see Jesus and His shaping of my life right now, is only growing.  As strange as it is that I’m in an alien place, this is truly a sweet time.  It is almost like God lured me here to get me to Himself, to show me beautiful things, and make me more in love with Him.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her.  I will give her her vineyards from there, and The Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, As in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt  [Hosea 2:14-15]

I look forward to each day, anticipating marvelous and new things from my maker. Coming to Los Angeles was right.


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