After ten months of scrambling to find work, I was offered a job at the church where I had interned. The position was tailor-made for me, more than I could have hoped for. As I finally settled into my new life, I knew it was worth the fight. It was the first time I thought, “This is where I’ll stay.”
LA was invigorating. Every person, restaurant, new hotspot was a discovery. And not just for me. It was a new culture. There was too much to see and the city sprawled so we meet friends out, not in. And whether the local barista or your lunch friend, it seemed that people were looking through you. Turns out many were looking to see if a celebrity or their next big break was behind you. Be famous or stay interesting for fear you might lose your short-attentioned audience.
Then I met him. He was different than the rest–a local who had a steady job, was older than 25, and was in the seemingly one percent not looking past you. This was a rare find. After a few dates, I knew. Then, “We need to take a break.” He was urged by church leadership to put things on hold because of his divorce.
A month went by without contact. I journaled, prayed, scoured the Bible, cried and wrestled with God. This made no sense. That was years ago, surely God didn’t mean this! But with everything disclosed, I knew in my gut that God was calling me to obey, even when I didn’t know the end. I hated it. So I laid him on the altar, similarly to Abraham with his son, Isaac. My heart ached. We both knew it was right. For some reason, that made it hurt more. It seemed unfair.
One Sunday, our church was partnering in an event with TOMS. I stood in the back as our pastor called us to donate our own shoes in that moment. My shiny, unsupportive $10 Target shoes glared at me. Arms folded, I forced myself to fight off my swelling heart, moved by compassion. “God, what more do you want from me? I’ve given you the one I loved, I’m keeping the damn shoes.”