By Lindsey McDonald
“Follow Me.” I heard you say this morning.
What about financial security, Jesus? What about graduate school? What about family? What about marriage? And community sounds like a great idea, but I’m so independent. I don’t know if it’s for me?
But, Jesus, what about comfort? What about safety? What about my desires? Jesus I want to go. I want to follow you. It’s just why does it have to be so difficult? I look around me, and I see the lives of my peers. They seem to live such normal lives with jobs that actually pay money and happy hours after work, engagements, marriages, and children.
They seem happy and it seems so easy and safe. There is a part of me that wants that right now, yet there is this louder part of me that does not.
There is this part of me, that many find ridiculous, that believes I can actually make a difference in this world; a part of me that longs to free the oppressed, to love the orphan, and to help the widow; a part of me that longs to be like you. I know I cannot be like you, though; until I leave my self behind, and it is no longer me but you. Why is it so difficult for me to forget myself?! Sometimes I think if only you were here like when you were amongst the apostles it’d be easier for me.
Jesus, my heart feels hard. My insecurities and vanities keep creeping up on me. I am afraid of what you’ll make me do. I found this quote the other day, I can’t remember who said it though. ‘ We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.’ This is how I feel. Who are you going to ask me to pray for or to speak in front of or to love? I don’t know what it is that makes me feel as though if I give all of me to you, you will make me speak in front of large crowds or perform miracles, and I don’t know if I want to. As I am writing this, the prophet Jonah comes to mind. I don’t know if I want to go where you want me to or say what you want me to. The difference, though, between Jonah and I is that I want to see the entire world come to repentance. I just don’t know if I want to be the one you use to bring them there.
I am afraid of who I will become.
I am afraid of the things that won’t matter to me anymore, and the things that will begin to matter to me.
I am afraid of falling in love with you and knowing more of you.
I am afraid of falling in love with the people I will meet along the way.
I am afraid of having my heart broken.
I am afraid of being dependent on you.
I am afraid of being dependent on others.
I am afraid of needing community.
I am afraid of being found out.
I am afraid of my character being revealed. The real me exposed with no escape.
I am afraid of the realities we will encounter.
I am afraid of not being physically, mentally, or spiritually prepared for this trip.
I am afraid of not going on this trip.
I am afraid of never knowing love in its purest form.
I am afraid of settling for an ordinary life.
I am afraid of never loving unconditionally.
I am afraid of finding you in the unlovely.
I am afraid of never becoming the person that you made me to be.”
As my thoughts slow down, again I hear your voice, and in spite of who I am and everything I have just said, you simply say, “Follow Me.”
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Lindsey McDonald is currently serving as a youth ministries intern for middle school and high school students in the great city of Houston, TX. She is challenged by simple living and the fight for justice in the world. Since September 2007, she has been serving on The World Race.