He delights.

I’ve flown in and out of LAX all my life, and I always expect to step off the plane, through the gate, and into a world of celebrities and their beautiful doppelgängers. But instead I am dumped into a shock zone of mass chaos sardine-packed with foreign dialects and their respective odors. This time I walked through the airport thankful to have received travel vaccines, not because of the threat of disease in Papua New Guinea, but because I am certain that using the restroom in LAX poses an equal threat. Nonetheless, the vertigo-inducing energy quickly softens as I step out into the City of Angels, the scent of the Pacific subtly reminding my soul, “This is your first home.”

I love LA.

It’s far less glamorous than I ever imagine, and yet in so many ways, it is far more. The dichotomy fascinates this suburban-raised girl, LA’s homeless stack tents down the beach from multi-million dollar ocean front homes. The record-setting drought has forced an emergence of turf grass and succulent landscapes. Traffic mocks the rat race of the city while the ocean breeze compliments the chill of the SoCal vibe. Today I encountered new discoveries - a flock of wild parrots, the Venetian-style canals of Marina Del Ray, grandiose construction projects built into the cliffs of LAs mountainside. All the while engaging the comfort of the home I remember - an oceanside fragrance distinct to its beaches, the rainbow of individuality that is its people, the loving sincerity of family.

This brief yet refreshing pitstop left me basking in the ways He delights in us. His creation bold. His intimacy significant. His love forever-reaching. The timing of my Los Angeles to Sydney connection was determined by the availability of fights, however I now know that the opportunity to spend a few hours in LA was part of His forever narrative, “Ali, I delight in you.”

As I sit at the gate preparing to board my next flight, the melody of Aussie accents filling the air, I swell with gratitude for God’s delight in this California-gone-country girl. What a gift of grace - His overwhelming delight - to carry with me on my travels.

He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory. Psalm 149:4