8.25.2013

i will follow

At noon today, I'll be taking off out of the Portland airport and heading toward Beijing once again. I am amazed that this is the third time God has taken me to a city I never thought I would be so familiar with. I can't wait to see the faces I know, to meet the students I'll be teaching, and to experience everything God bring Rachel and I through.

But leaving home isn't easy. For the first time that I can remember, my eagerness for God's next adventure is coupled with a very, very strong sense of what I am leaving behind. Maybe it's because I have been blessed with a summer more beautiful than I could have asked for. From ending a season with 20+ of my best friends in the world, to roadtrip fun with Bennett girls, to visiting cherished friends in beachy California, to making memories with my two youngest sisters, to campfires and deep talks with rainmakers, to friends who fly to Oregon just because I love them, to the smell of apples and pears in the almost-fall air, to surprise coffee dates that turn into aimless adventures, to all those little times in between when I simply stopped and realized what a beautiful life I live. This summer, I was blown away by the blessings I've been surrounded with.

So it makes leaving hard. More than once, I've thought to myself, "Why am I leaving this?" And I've gone back to the Truth that God has a plan. Not only is God's plan the one that will bring me true fulfillment, it is just plain better than mine.

I heard Chris Tomlin's "I Will Follow" on the radio a couple of days ago. I listened to the words of the chorus, realizing that each related to my time coming in China.

Where You go, I'll go
Where You stay, I'll stay
When You move, I'll move
I will follow You
Who You love, I'll love
How You serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow You, yeah
I will follow You
Each line rang so true with me. Until... wait. "If this life I lose?" Okay, that's a little extreme. This trip isn't dangerous. I'm not doing anything dangerous. I'm not risking my life like some are called to do. Maybe Mr. Tomlin just got a little carried away there. Who is really going to be singing "If this life I lose" in our culture?

But then I thought. "This life." I looked around me, out the window of my car in downtown Oregon City, a place full of memories. Maybe the life I'm giving up isn't necessarily my physical one, at least not right now. Maybe the life I'm losing is this one I've grown so comfortable with and so fond of - this warm & cozy, encouraging, safe, and friend-filled life. I didn't want to let it go. I still don't. But right there the song challenged me to ask, "If I lose this life, will I follow You?"

The answer is yes.

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
Matthew 16:25 


Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow...

All your ways are good
All your ways are sure
I will trust in you alone
Higher than my sight
High above my life
I will trust in you alone (trust in you alone)

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow you
Who you love, I'll love
How you serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you, yeah
I will follow you, yeah

Light unto the world
Light unto my life
I will live for you alone
You're the one I seek
Knowing I will find
All I need in you alone, in you alone

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow you
Who you love, I'll love
How you serve, I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you, yeah

In you there's life everlasting
In you there's freedom for my soul
In you there's joy, unending joy
And I will follow

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow
Who you love, I'll love
How you serve, I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow

1 comment:

thoughts so far