Pittsburgh skyline at night
With the year soon ending I have to admit, this has been quite a year. Where last year felt like a workout with a terrific result, this year has been test after test in good and difficult ways. The main test I’ve gone through is moving away from my friends and family in California—all the way out to Pennsylvania.
- Three of my friends have gone Home to be with God, leaving me unable to say goodbye.
- Spending my first Christmas, Thanksgiving, and birthday without my family, and I don’t get to see my old friends in person anymore—and I still deeply miss you guys.
- The shootings in both Squirrel Hill (PA) and Thousand Oaks (CA) hit me hard, as did the fire in Paradise, CA.
- I still haven’t had the time to cosplay yet as I had to get used to so much change. Cosplay is the art of dressing up as a fictitious character in public.
- I had the chance to say goodbye to Grandpa in person before he went Home in September.
- I have never encountered such welcoming people before. My new friends have not only been wonderful, but the good people of Oakmont are so generous and eager to make me feel at home.
- I ended up not being alone for my birthday or Thanksgiving, thanks to Bob, Marie, Samuel & Liza Lewis, their wonderful kids and Tara, making me feel like a new person.
Some of my new friends
The amazing thing about Oakmont/Verona, PA is that I can actually walk home at night without needing to fear gangs (don’t worry I still carry mace on my person), and cars are fairly considerate towards pedestrians, which I don’t really get from L.A. Plus, I’m a lot closer to reaching my dream of working for Sight and Sound Theaters than I was last year. And of course, I can’t forget my sister Dusty’s wedding back in California last month!
- Oh my gosh . . . the older I’ve gotten, the more I cannot deny anything that’s happened or God’s constant presence! In the beginning of the year, I didn’t even have enough money to come out to Pennsylvania (much less mail a box). The previous year God showed me the flight date (May 19), and in between January to May He taught me to trust Him. Then I was given more than enough to survive, and I left on the date He promised. He speaks to me, guiding me where to go next and His word was always true. Whenever I felt alone, instead of telling me to silence my feelings, He would relate by sharing how He felt when He came in human form, whether homesick while preaching or missing His earthly father gave me a new appreciation for Him coming into the world.
- I looked for a job and I was hired on Day 1 before the interview was even finished. Plus I was upgraded from my previous experience as a courtesy clerk to a cashier! While working, one thing I asked God for was not only the ability to concentrate, but to never be passive towards my customers. He granted me that as well as gave me back my joking sense of humor. I am learning that my abilities are not my own, but His.
2019, come at me. Let’s see what God has in store for us this year!
Winter comes to the house where I now live