Wednesday October 8th My new husband and I set off down the 5 in a 14 foot U-Hual truck packed to the brim with Crate and Barrel boxes, our grand parents furniture, and Jeremy’s motercycle nicely tucked in and covered with quilts to prevent my parents from noticing (unsuccessful). Around 5 p.m. after a tearful and prayerful goodbye with our parents, we began the Journey of Jer and Auj to Los Angeles California, towing our new Jetta TDI sports wagon behind us. We left an incredible community, the best of families and friends, and our beloved Oregon countryside to face the cement jungle of skyscrapers, smog, dog pee, and billboards.
I had never seen our new apartment because Jeremy found it this summer when he was still in school in Santa Barbara and would drive back and forth to LA searching for our new home. I trust his sense of style and safety too much to doubt I would love it. As we journeyed south we were struck by how grateful we are for what we were leaving behind. It seemed almost silly that we were leaving something so good, and yet something in us told us that this is where we are to go. That God has something for us to DO or BE here, and reminding us that he is a God of provision and his past faithfulness demands our present trust. Because of his past faithfulness to provide for us, we have no reason to undermine Him.
We drove through the evening and night with no planned stopping point in mind. Finally, Jeremy was starting to fade so we decided to make out first stop in Ashland. We stumbled upon a darling and cheap inn called, “The Palms,” that had one more room still available for the night. It’s fun to be able to travel together and stay different places together. We’ve never experienced that before but we are quickly growing to love it.
(mapping out the road ahead with a nice breakfast of polenta – my favorite – and almond waffles)
The next morning we woke up and walked to the darling and delightful breakfast restaurant down the block. We devoured the goods and hit the road to get an early start! We drove (well Jeremy drove the whole way actually) all the way to Templeton, CA where we meet up with our friends Shaun and Skyla who live out there, and their handsome little baby Montana. We meet up for dinner at an old country saloon, and then headed to their house for the night. We rose early morning to catch the sunrise over the hills and eat Shaun’s famous pancakes.
As we were making our final push to LA, I was read Hebrews 6:19 where it says “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor for the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain where Jesus has gone BEFORE us as a FORERUNNER on our behalf.” I was comforted by this reminder, and as a pondered its truth, my confidence increased and I felt more sure of the steps ahead.
My siblings and I all grew up downhill ski racing. In ski racing they have what they call “forerunners” that ski the course (as if they were racing it) before the athletes compete. The purpose of this is to test the course and snow/visibility conditions. When the forerunners complete the course they give a thumbs up or thumbs down to the finish rep, signifying that the course complies with race regulations. In addition, if all the forerunners blow out (crash) on the 9th gate, it is likely that the course needs to be modified.
With Christ as our forerunner, He goes before us not only to test the conditions, but to make the changes necessary before we head down the ‘slope’ to which he has called us. Even more than that, we have a direct line of communication to Christ our forerunner. On the contrary, ski racers aren’t able to communicate with the forerunners for tips on how to ski the course. But we get to do just that with Christ! Therefore, our confidence should be unwavering, our hope should be steadfast, and we should ski boldly and courageously!
We arrived in LA in the late morning, and by the grace of God found a place to park the U-hual in front of our apartment building. We began the unloading process hoping that the Lord would provide some help moving all the heavy items in. I texted a few people… that connected me with a few other people…who had friends that live in LA… basically the Lord provided help in our time of need.
15 minutes into unloading the truck I rolled my ankle hard on the curb while helping Jeremy carry in our mattress.
Oh the familiar feeling…. Sigh…
Jer helped me up the stairs to our apartment where I sat holding my ankle and dying for ice and Advil. I was out. Soon after this unfortunate event 5 people showed up to help Jeremy finish the task. Praise Jesus! They also brought me ice. After we were all unloaded and the truck was empty I drove (barely able to use my right foot…) to the urgent care to get an x-ray. I know my body pretty well from all the running injuries I’ve endured. This wasn’t just an ankle sprain. Jer was going to come with me, but he had to return the U-haul before they closed. Both our phones were dead (we had no power in our apartment to charge them) and we parted ways out into the city unknown with a plan to meet at home. A couple hours later I crutched up to our front door and was met by my exhausted husband who stood in they stairwell with a questioning face.
I started to crutch up the stairs. Right before I reached the top I fell into his arms in tears, and through sobbing breaths I said, “It’s broken.”
I just couldn’t believe it. Day one (hour one) in a new city, new home, new marriage, and starting a new job in 3 days and I fracture my 5th metatarsal. What the heck? The frustration, worries, and sadness overcame me. Not because of the injury as much as the fact that it happened. I thought I left the walking boots and crutches behind when I completed my collegiate running career. “The injuries will plague me no more!” I thought….
I HATE crutches. Not because they make my arms sore, and my wrists ache, and make me terrified of slipping on wet ground, and draw so much attention, and every conversation you have with someone begins with explaining your injury… but mostly because of the heartache that is attached to the months I’ve spent crutching. It was never the injury itself that brought on the most pain, but rather the loss, disappointment, and discouragement that came from it. And when I have those metal sticks under my arms I can’t help but be reminded of the loss, disappointment, and discouragement that they symbolize for me.
The Lord provided yet again, and we were able to stay the night at our landlord’s guest-house because we had no power, hot water, or internet at ours. I spent the night cuddled in Jeremy’s arms with wet eyes and an aching heart, fearing that tomorrow would be a harder day.
In the morning Jer left early for a job in Ojai, so I was left at the apt alone with no where to sit, no power, no food, no internet, no hot water, no ice for my foot, no one help, and unable to drive or walk. I called my work to report the news, and I was told that I wont be permitted to start my job until I am cleared to drive and am able to lift heavy cases of wine ect. Sooooo three weeks. Ugh.
As evening approached, I searched for hotels nearby for us to stay at for the night. Everything was booked in our area because it was a Saturday, so I had to drive with my pathetic foot out by the airport to the cheaper hotels with rooms available. I waited there longing for Jeremy to come home, which wasn’t till around 12:40 p.m.
We ended up staying at the hotel the next 3 nights because of an electric and water heater issue. We would drive back and forth to our apt (about 30 min) every day to unpack and move in while we had daylight. Finally, on Tuesday morning our apartment was livable.
We spent our first night in our new home on Tuesday night, after attending a bible study/community group in Culver City that we caught wind of. We meet our first friends, and God provided for us in more ways yet again. His provision is so abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. #alwaysmore
I posted a photo to my instagram during all this craziness, where I shared what the Lord was speaking/is speaking to me through all this.
He whispered, “Don’t let satan get a ‘foothold.’ I am writing your autobiography. It’s a book of relentless stories, and I am gifting you with a voice to share them in My name.”
Ok Lord. I will.
This whisper came from Ephesians 4:26-27. “Do not let the sun go down while you are angry, and do not give the devil a foothold..”
May this blog, and these stories be honoring to you. May Your voice and Your name always be louder than mine. You’ve definitely given me an abundance of stories, I hope that the good ones and the bad ones can bring glory to You.
May the LArchives, LA archives, begin.
*(By the way why when I typed out “satan” in Microsoft Word it underlines red, signifying it is spelt wrong. In spell check it says the “S” needs to be capitalized. But when I type God with a lower case “g” nothing happens… Satan you have no power! Not even in Microsoft word! I rebuke you in the name of Jesus!)
I made us pumpkin waffles with honey-vanilla-cinnamon yogurt on top, for our first meal in our new home. Nothing is stopping us from the season of fall despite the sunshine and blue skies in Los Angeles.
Sneak peak of our work-in-progress apartment… more to come;)