Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.
Nine years ago, on a perfect June Day in a small chapel in the middle of a beautiful campus dedicated to healing hurting children- I spoke these words to Ervin – and he to me – cementing our vows to stick with each other through thick and thin.
At the time, I thought it was beautiful to speak words directly from The Bible as our wedding vows. I loved the symbolism of using ancient words to form a modern marriage.
I meant those words with all my heart when I married him nine years ago. I was so in love, so smitten, I really would have followed him anywhere.
I think during the first few years of marriage – I took those words very literally. We moved a few times. It wasn’t huge moves. Just changing houses and zip codes across town. So where he went; I went. Where I lived; he lived.
Marriage is easy! We’re going! We’re lodging!
Today, when I read these words, I realize they mean something so much more than what we said nine years ago.
Today, it means this…
I will go with you while you chase your dreams. I will stay up late nights and help you edit papers, and stand on the sidelines while you go back to school. I will juggle a small child and unending weekends while you work to establish a new career in the middle of your life. I will adjust my schedule and expectations when you become an RN in the ER, because it is your calling.
I will go with you when you throw yourself into ministry. I will support you when you pour all of your love and hope into children who aren’t ours. I will love you when you are depleted and don’t have anymore to give. I will volunteer in your ministry because it matters so much to you. And I will pour love and hope into these kids who aren’t ours. I will juggle a little boy countless weekends while you go to speak, share, and raise awareness, because it is your calling.
I will go with you even when the path is dark and seems hopeless. I will go with you when I want to give up, when you want to give up. I will go with you in sadness. In despair. I will go with you through your dark times and heartache. I will go with you when we don’t know what the next step is – when we are afraid to take the next step. I will leap into the darkness with you knowing we will either be given something solid to stand on or find our wings to fly.
I will go with you in rainstorms to comedy clubs. I go with you to our youngest one’s first day of school and our oldest one’s last day of college. I will go with you to doctors appointments – to sit in the waiting room for 5 hours – just so you know I’m there. I will go with you into a million houses until we finally walk into the one we call home. I will follow you through a thousand ordinary days to create one extraordinary life.
Where you go, I will go….
On our wedding day the song Bubbly by Colbie Cailliat was our recessional. I loved it because I felt like it spoke to exactly how I felt on the day we said “I do.”
How he made me feel bubbly and silly and tingly. And – oh – how he still does.
I heard the song on the radio for the first time in a long time just the other day. It made me smile – but it struck me that I had never noticed – the last line of her song is:
Wherever, wherever, wherever you go.
Our wedding started and ended with the same promise: Where you go, I will go.
It’s just as simple today as it was back then. It just means more now.
Wherever, wherever, wherever you go.