I hopped off the plane at LAX with my dreams and a cardigan. - Prof. M Cyrus (pre twerk)
I have to be honest with you, well I don't have to be, I want to be. Lucky you. I've found it difficult to put words to my feelings this last week, which is pretty inconvenient when I have a weekly writing deadline.
Stepping off the plane this time last week was (for lack of a more sophisticated word)... Weird. Going through customs (no, i didn't show them my elbow this time) was... Surreal. Walking out into the Californian air was... Strange. The whole experience was odd... Kind of like seeing your teacher outside of school; it wasn’t that it was wrong or bad… It just wasn't what I expected.
What do you do when your expectation is different to your reality?
I don’t know what I was expecting my entrance into LA to feel like, or if I expected to feel anything at all, but whatever I did expect, I didn’t feel.
For starters, Zac Efron didn’t welcome me to LA, I didn’t drink Starbucks until my third day, I missed my family so much that (at times) it still physically hurt, and the grocery store didn't stock Vegemite! Add to that the fact that I’ve been here a week and still haven’t won an Oscar… But I guess neither has Leonardo Di Caprio (or Da Vinchi, in case you were wondering). So I guess I still have some time.
Given my driven personality, I wanted to hit the ground running, there was no time to waste. Unfortunately I didn't take into consideration the fact that I had no car and a very poor sense of direction. For example, I decided to take (what I thought would be) a relaxing five minute stroll to Starbucks so I could catch up on some emails. Thinking I knew better, I ignored my Google maps, took a wrong turn, almost ended up on a freeway (yes, still walking), and my five minute walk turned into a 40 minute game of chicken with LA drivers, just to get a stupid cup of coffee.... In the LA midday sun... Carrying my laptop... Wearing black... And a leather cap. It wasn't pretty.
After that I gave myself permission to slow my pace for a couple of weeks. I know, how kind of me.
The first few days were a blur. Between arriving at my temporary home, complete with blow up mattress and bright orange sheets (I can’t make this stuff up), filing for a social security number and getting a warning from Kevin (the self-appointed) security guard for talking loudly, opening a bank account, getting an American phone, going back to the social security office where Kevin gave me a second warning, there wasn’t much time to go hiking, write blogs or sip lattes.
Actually, that’s a lie. I drank a lot of coffee. Don’t judge. Jetlag sucks.
In the chaos and craziness of my new home, my already dramatic self has become even more dramatic. I know, you didn't think it was possible right? Alas, apparently it is. When I’m happy, I’m euphoric. When I’m sad, I’m devastated. When I laugh, it’s loud. When I cry, it’s ugly. I’m literally (not literally) on a rollercoaster of emotion. I don’t think it’s ending soon, but I’m thanking God that at least I’m strapped in for the ride!
And yet, in this emotional washing machine that I'm currently in, I’ve never felt more secure in my relationship with Jesus. I’ve never been surer that I am exactly where He wants me to be. I’ve never had so many prayers answered, never had my faith tested so much nor rewarded so frequently.
I’ve never craved to be in His presence like I do right now. Because no matter what my days bring, whether heartache or hope, in His Presence I find peace.
I think being in His Presence allows our human emotion to find Heaven’s perspective. (that'll tweet)
It’s amazing when we’re catapulted into a situation where all we have is God; we are reminded that He is all we really need. I have found myself, on more than one occasion singing, “…take the world, but give me Jesus…” And here’s the craziest part, I think I actually kind of mean it.
Today, wherever you find yourself, however you feel, stop and remember this. He is with you. He has got you. He is making a way.
So is this what I expected? Nope. It’s better. Being where God wants us to be always is.