When I was in a sophomore in high school, I mapped out my four years of college. I took a course catalog from the school I wanted to attend and planned out which classes and electives I would take during what semester. I knew my intended major and minor that I was going to study. I'm a planner- I like to know what to expect and to be prepared. Since I wanted to study video/film, I wanted my final semester of school to be spent at a semester-away program working and studying in Los Angeles. Even as a high school sophomore, I wrote this down in pen, not pencil.
Five years later, as a junior in college, I took part in a spring break missions trip to Los Angeles. We spent the week working on a promotional video for an outreach group that hosted and organized short term mission trips. One of my film professors led our group and in our down time we loved driving around and exploring LA. I remember one evening, my professor looked out the car window and stated "I want a do-over". Even though my upcoming semester in Los Angeles was something I knew would happen and I knew would work out for me, my professor's statement rattled me.
After that trip, I came home and told my boyfriend Trevor and I had to go to LA, even if it meant dating long distance, postponing a wedding, or even going out there together as a married couple. I was scared that if I didn't do the semester, I would look back in thirty years and say "I want a do-over".
Fast forward another year and a half... Trevor and I were two months into marriage and were traveling across the country to live in LA for the next four months. Everyone had asked us what our plans were after my semester of classes and my internship were done- if we planned to stay out there or if we were planning on coming back. We honestly didn't know... One friend told us that she prayed that whatever we were supposed to do, that God would make it clear and evident to us.
As the semester progressed, it became harder and harder to be so far away from our family and friends. It was hard for me to call home, because I would hear my mom's voice breaking every time we said goodbye. Friends and family went through life changes (babies, health scares, job switches) and we weren't there to support them. It was difficult to be so separated from everyone. It wasn't only hard to be away from Michigan... things in California weren't going as smoothly as we had hoped. I loved my internship, but the company I worked for wasn't hiring and couldn't keep me on unless I stayed as an unpaid intern. Since I needed our car to travel to my internship, Trevor was only able to search for jobs that were within walking distance of our apartment. He applied for dozens of jobs a week, but nothing worked out. As time passed, it became clearer and clearer to us that it wasn't God's plan to have us stay in California.
At the end of the semester, we were counting down the days and hours until we could begin our drive back to Michigan. Part of me felt like I "failed" and I didn't know what I would do back home since my Los Angeles dream didn't work out. The other part of me felt absolutely at peace. I was so thankful that God made it clear to Trevor and myself that we weren't meant to stay in LA. I was also at peace because I couldn't look back and wonder "what if?" when I'm older. I am so happy to be so confident that I'm suppose to be in a small town in Michigan instead of a metropolis in California.