I’m a worrier. I’m someone who likes my comfort zone. And I’m someone who doesn’t like taking risks. I’m also a christian, which means Jesus is a big part of my life…and if you know anything about Jesus you know He calls you to lean on him and not to worry, He challenges you to step out of your comfort zone, and He encourages you to take risks (while trusting in Him). Oh boy. As you can imagine, that was always a struggle for me (and is still a work in progress). But 5 years ago today, I made the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever made, and it reminded me why trusting in God and following through on all the things He calls us to do is always in our best interest.
It was Memorial Day weekend 2014, and a series of unlikely, once in a lifetime events somehow led my siblings and I to take a trip to LA. Looking back on how those events unfolded I truly believe they were solely part of God’s plan to get me to LA. I had never been, but was definitely excited to visit the West Coast. We spent 4-5 days there and did everything from rollerblading along the beach in Santa Monica, visiting muscle beach in Venice, strolling through rodeo drive in Beverly Hills and grabbing some dinner on the boardwalk in Hermosa beach. It was an amazing trip!! I’ll never forget the irony though of a conversation my brother had with me while we were rollerblading on the beach in Santa Monica (well I was rollerblading…he was just trying to stay up on his feet haha!). He randomly said, “Missy you should move to LA. I think you’d love it here!” I smiled and kinda laughed it off, thinking to myself “that’d be cool…but no way I’m moving across the country by myself.” So there’s that. Now here’s the ironic part. Fast forward a week later, I’m back at work in NYC and my boss walks into the office and announces that the company’s LA office is hiring and asked if anyone would be interested in relocating. After my recent trip there I was definitely interested but I was way too scared to actually take that step, so of course I kept my mouth shut and didn’t say anything. I spent that entire week thinking about it and every time I came close to convincing myself I should do it, I’d go ahead and think about all the cons..it’s on the other side of the country, no family or friends there, no idea what life would be like there, what if I hated it? I went back and forth with myself for over a week until eventually I built up enough courage to reach out to my boss and tell him I was interested in the opportunity in LA. I remember that night he called me to give me more information on the position and told me he’d fly me out to interview with the manager of the office out there. Next day my flight was booked and I’d be heading to LA that next week! Welp, that happened fast. No turning back now. That’s when I really started to second guess myself. Is this really what I wanted?! Was I making the right choice? Yeah I enjoyed my vacation in LA, but would I enjoy living there? So of course I started to panic. Wondering if I made a horrible mistake. Maybe NYC, although I was certainly not happy there, was where I was meant to be. It was my comfort zone. I’d lived there the last 3 years, I had friends there, I had 3 siblings there, and the rest of my family just a few hours away. There were just so many things running through my mind convincing me this was a bad idea.
But that night I prayed a prayer that changed everything. A prayer that goes against every natural instinct of mine (refer back to the first three things I mentioned). I pray every day, but I will never forget this prayer from 5 years ago, because it changed my life. I was scared, I was nervous, I had SO many doubts, I was ready to call my boss, profusely apologize and tell him I’ve changed my mind and didn’t want to go. But that night, I forced myself to trust God. I was laying in bed, eyes open, staring at the ceiling. I said, “Lord, you know how worried I am about this. You know how many doubts I have running through my head right now. But I’m willing to push those feelings aside if this is what you want. I pray that if it becomes so abundantly clear that it is your will for me to move to LA, that I will, without a doubt, say yes and confidently move there. But above all, I pray that there’s a purpose in this. I pray that I meet my future husband, or have some life changing experience there. I pray that this will all be worth it.”
Fast forward to the next week and I’m in LA in my hotel room getting ready to head out for my interview. It was 2pm and my interview wasn’t until 4pm, but I gave myself 2 hours since LA traffic is very unpredictable. My plan was to get there an hour early and just sit in my car and wait. Right as I’m about to head out the door my phone rings. It’s my boss. He’s fuming! Starts yelling at me over the phone and tells me I had missed my interview!!! The interview was at 1pm, but when my boss had sent me the calendar invite (back in NY) it showed up on my calendar as 4pm because of the time difference. I hung up on my boss after snapping back saying “I’ll fix this!!” No idea how I was going to fix this. I then frantically opened my computer to double check to see if I really made such a stupid mistake! Yup, I did. On top of that, I see an email from the LA manager that my boss must have angrily forwarded to me that said, “Melissa no-showed at today’s interview. Please cross her name off the list. I’ll follow up with you next week to discuss other candidates.” My heart dropped!!! Like, what the heck!!!! There was a good 2-3 mins that I just sat on the windowsill in my hotel room, frozen. I was in complete shock and just couldn’t believe what just happened. My company had spent thousands of dollars on this trip for me and I completely screwed it up and wasted their money. At this point, I was even worried about my current job in NY, after hearing how upset my boss was the thought of me getting fired once I got back seemed to be a real possibility. Finally I built up the courage to call the LA manager. She answered the phone and I of course repeatedly apologized and explained the unfortunate mix up and asked if there was any way we could still meet. She didn’t seem interested and just said, “I have a meeting now and then I have to leave by 4pm because I have a hair appointment, so that won’t work. But let me give you a call back in about an hour when I get out of my meeting.” So I hung up with her, and again, sat there frozen and in complete shock that this happened. So I did what I always do when I need business advice. I called all my siblings. I started with my sister Stephanie. She worked in HR and was familiar with the interview process and what not so I figured she was a good start. I told her what happened and she made me feel a little better by saying my boss should’ve sent me a separate email stating the exact time (PST) not just sending me a calendar invite. Okay phew, not really my fault! So then I moved on to my brother, explained the situation to him and he agreed it was an unfortunate mixup, but made it clear that I should’ve done my due diligence in confirming the exact time. Ugh, okay back to feeling terrible, but appreciated my brother’s honesty. Then I call my sister Pam. She felt bad, and said “I’m sorry this happened baby girl. Let’s just hope she’ll meet with you at some point.” Her sympathy definitely lifted my spirits a little. Then I called my sister Chrissy..no answer. I take my shoes off, and sit down. At this point I had no choice but to just sit and wait for the LA manager to call me back. It had been about 20 mins since my boss had called to let me know I missed the interview. 20 mins of non stop panic felt like forever!! Then my phone rang. It was Chrissy. Again, I explained the situation, but before I even finished my story Chrissy interrupted me and said, “why are you still at the hotel? Get in your car and drive there. I don’t care what the manager said, I don’t care what your boss said, just get in your car and drive!!” Get in my car and drive to see this lady who clearly wanted nothing to do with me? That thought sounded terrible, but I listened to her advice anyways and got in my car and drove. It was a 45 minute drive and the first 35 mins I was a mess..an absolute mess. I had no idea what would happen. No idea if this lady was going to laugh me off and reject me the second I got there. But as I got closer something happened. I vividly remember this moment because the second I had this realization my attitude and the feelings I had completely changed.
I remembered that prayer I had prayed a few nights earlier. I specifically remember me promising to push aside my feelings and let God show me what His will was. I knew more than ever that if I was meant to move to LA this was the moment that God would make it abundantly clear. And then I relaxed. Like completely, 100% felt this wave of comfort and peace just pour over me. It’s so hard to put into words, but within seconds I went from complete panic mode to happily singing along to the music on the radio with a huge smile on my face. I knew at that moment that if God meant for me to move to LA, nothing would get in the way of His plan. Then my phone rang. It was the manager. She had called me back, like she said she would after her meeting, to tell me she couldn’t make time to meet with me. If she had called just ten mins earlier I probably would’ve just accepted the outcome and turned the car around. But it’s like her words had zero impact on me. I was SO confident. I responded respectfully, but firmly and said, “I didn’t fly across the country to miss my interview. I know I made a mistake, but I’m ten minutes away from your office, and I don’t care if I have to interview with you on the side of the street, but I will interview with you today.” After a few seconds of silence on the other end she laughed a little and said, “well I guess you’re not giving me much of a choice. Give me a call when you get here.”
She let me in, she interviewed me, and she offered me the job on the spot! Later that day I called my boss, who earlier was ready to rip my head off, and he said “I talked to her, she had nothing but good things to say about you and really respected your persistence. And after everything that happened, you know what, we all make mistakes. But it’s not about the mistake, it’s about how we fix them. And you did that. Great job! Now go enjoy the next few days in LA!”
2 weeks later I moved to LA. 4 months later I met my husband. And boom…Jesus drops the mic