Sunday, March 29, 2015


I commit myself to the harvest at any cost.”
(Matthew 9:35-38)

Charly wrote this commitment in the back of his Bible on 5/31/90 during his summer as a counselor at Eagle Lake Camp between his sophomore and junior years of college. Just below that he wrote:

If God would have me marry, I commit myself to
marrying a godly woman who is walking with the Lord.”
(Ephesians 5:22-27)

My sister Windy and I transferred from UNC to the University of Missouri just a few months later and Charly and I met that fall. The two of us got to know each other better the following spring. And we officially started dating after Charly's exploration trip to China the summer of 1991. Then Charly boarded a plane for 2 years of language study in Tianjin right after he graduated from MU in 1992. 

Charly and his sturdy Flying Pigeon

I guess he must have left me with his Bible that had these two commitments in the back. Because today as we were discussing Genesis, I saw that I had highlighted Genesis 24:55-58 with the date 1-10-93 in the margin of his old Bible. In that passage about Rebekah's decision to leave right away with Abraham's servant and marry Isaac, a man she had never met, I had underlined her courageous words “I will go” and had written “willingness” underneath.

What was going on in my life then? I reflected back to that window of time when I had finished my first semester of medical school at MU. Charly had called me (back when China-to-US phone calls were really expensive!) during that Christmas break and shocked me with the question of whether I would consider not finishing medical school. He told me that God had made it clear to him in his first semester of language study that China was where God wanted him to be. He was not asking Charly to return to the US and wait for me to finish medical school/residency/and paying off my debt.

Charly was committed to the harvest whatever the cost, especially where the workers were few. And his desire was to marry me as well. But he was willing to give up our relationship if God wasn't leading us together to China.

I wanted to be a doctor and I wanted to marry Charly.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

The real desires of my heart I realized, as I sought God's will during those difficult months, were to be a Mom and to minister together with Charly in China. Practicing medicine was clearly less important to me, and God gave me the willingness to sacrifice that to Him. A decision I have never regretted. 

engagement in Hong Kong: August 1993
Today God reminded me, through showing me what I had highlighted in Charly's Bible, that Rebekah's step of faith to leave her family without delay to marry Isaac had inspired me to take a similar step.

Our family was talking this morning about the importance of having memorials in our life. What can we do to help us to remember the milestones? The turning points? The commitments?

What helps you to remember what God has done and what He has impressed on your heart?

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