I've called Los Angeles my "home" for a year and a half now. Strange to be so far from home, but also feel at home at the same time. That first year was the hardest year of my life, I'm pretty sure...and in particular, those first six months.
I've said it and written it hundreds of times before:
Chanelle and I moved here with no cars. No jobs. No friends. Just us and our faith. And it was really, really hard. And you know, it still is really hard but it's different. It's different because now I have a job. And a car. And a beautiful apartment, and an amazing church and that amazing church has given me amazing friends.
Jessica Hobbs is one of them.
I don't really remember when Jess became one of my best friends. It just sort of...happened. One day she was a friend of a friend, met a few times at community group, and then next she was Jess. Crazy and hilarious and beautiful and sweet and Southern.
And now she's moving back to Georgia for a few months and I know it's only for a little while, but it still makes me sad. The kind of sad you get when summer camp is over and you know you might see these people again, but for all those months in between it's gonna be hard not to miss them all the time.
When I think of last summer and my newness here in LA, I think of times with friends laughing until we peed a little, nights talking and sometimes crying....days spent sitting in a car, eating fast food we really shouldn't be eating, talking about a stupid thing we did last weekend, or that guy who just DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO TEXT AND SUCKS AT IT AND DOES HE LIKE ME OR NOT?
When I think of my life here in LA, I think of Sundays spent next to Jess and best friends, standing in a Hollywood high school auditorium, hands raised in worship, praising God. If I'm being a little honest, I think of snickering inappropriately during church, or getting Chipotle after, or waiting in line with Jess in the rain and freezing for an improv show.
I think of lying in the sand in Santa Monica, listening to music and eating tacos.
I think of our obsession with Gelson's as silly as that sounds.
I think of watching Harry Potter and Parks and Recreation and laughing and crying and laughing again and crying a little more.
I think of these times as perfect. I think of these times and how they wouldn't be if they weren't with friends.
Jess, I am going to miss you SO much in these next few months. Thank you. Thank you for your friendship, for your loving and nurturing spirit. Thank you for all the laughter you've given me ("Oh look at this parking spot....THERE IS A GOD ABOVE!!!!!!!!!") Thank you for your patience and your listening ear and your joy. I am so glad somehow, God brought us both across the country and somehow we'd end up in the same place and somehow we would be friends.
So often we take friendships for granted and so often I don't treat my friends the way I know I should. But Lawdy Lawd, I am grateful for them. When we first moved here, Chanelle and I used to always say how one day we couldn't wait to have a group of friends. We said it flippantly, and laughing, and really probably feeling sorry for ourselves. I never realized God was straight up LISTENING. So hey, thanks God.