I still remember how I felt moving to LA like it was yesterday. The feelings of uncertainty and loneliness, while at the same time being excited about the possibilities and in awe of the constant sunshine and palm trees :). I specifically remember one night a few months into moving here where I felt so alone that I started to cry and think about how I wanted to move back to Chicago. That night I prayed out loud “God if this is where you want me to be, I pray that I would make the best friends I’ve ever made in my life. That you would open all the right doors and close all the wrong ones.” And I gave myself a timeline that if I didn’t make some great friends and really love it after a year that I would move back to Chicago. That Christmas I went with my family to a couple’s house that they knew and ended up making friends with their son. He invited me to a bible study that is now known as “The City Church” in LA. I made all of my core group of friends through that Bible study, many of which are still my closest friends today. It definitely took the time to build a life here and for friendships to grow but now I can say even all the tough times helped shape who I am today and I am grateful for all of it.
A few things to keep in mind:
1.Pray To Meet The Right Friends. I can still remember making plans with people and them not showing up or canceling, but I had to make a choice to continue to put myself out there and show up to church and events even when at times I felt anxious.The best part about praying and surrendering relationships to God is that you don’t have to force anything, yes you need to show up and put yourself out there but every great friendship I have happened so naturally and took time to develop.
2. See Yourself Through God’s Eyes. Like any major city, LA can be a tough place to navigate and it’s important to see yourself the way that God see’s you, and to know that what you have to offer is unique. When entering into a new job or relationship understanding that what you have no-one else could ever offer and vice versa. It frees you to be secure and know that whatever is meant to be for you will be, and when negative thoughts come in replace it with the truth of scripture.
3.Trust God’s Timing and His Faithfulness. I think in the fast-paced society we live in today, the need for instant gratification can often lead to huge discouragements in every area of life. When I think back on the past 7 years of living here I am reminded of God’s perfect timing. How even when I would get frustrated about certain things not happening, or not happening in my time I can see how faithful God has been in orchestrating the timing of everything that has happened over the years.
Whatever place you find yourself in reading this post today I pray that this scripture would give you peace and remind you that God’s plan for your life is greater than you could imagine. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, ” plans to prosper and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11