The Member Musings section of our blog is written by church members in the hope of encouraging you to see all of life through the lens of the gospel.
Like many other members at Lighthouse, the announcement about Toyota corporate’s move to Plano, TX was received as more than just a shocking surprise. I’m a senior at UCLA, graduating, interning with Toyota, recently accepted as a full-time associate, and unsure of what my future career looks like. Clearly, moving to a different state was never on my itinerary of what to do after college and still looms over me with great uncertainty. Though I’m not set on what I’ll be doing in a few years, I have been greatly blessed and encouraged by Lighthouse as all of us that have been affected by the announcement find rest and satisfaction in the sovereignty of our Lord. Here is just a short testimony to that assuring comfort.
Work on Saturday was like any other Saturday. I logged into my computer, grabbed a cup of water and got right to work. Usually work is as simple as that, clock in and clock out with nothing too surprising going on.
About an hour into work, my friend who works near my desk asked if I had heard the rumors about Toyota moving over to Texas. Since I’m at school during the weekdays, I told her I had no clue what she was talking about and dismissed the suggestion that Toyota would ever think about making a move so big.
And that’s when all the worrying began. Even though I told myself it was impossible for a company like Toyota to move out of California, I still hesitated with a “what if?” sort of feeling. Needless to say, the weekend became a very stressful time for me with incessant questioning and nagging doubts that I had been keeping to myself.
Monday, I started the same old routine for work, but had noticed an immense lull in the office. No one was doing any work, and it felt like everyone was ok with that. Baffled as to why everyone was so down, it wasn’t till I looked through my e-mails that I noticed a request for a company-wide meeting later that morning. The e-mail specifically requested all Toyota employees in my building to attend a live casted meeting that involved a “special announcement” for the future of the company.
I really wish I had prepared myself sooner for what I was about to see. I decided I wanted to talk to one of my coworkers down the hall about the whole announcement and saw the entire department was in a complete mess. People were crying in the bathrooms, calling their spouses and telling them to frantically look for housing in Texas, groups of angry employees expressing their concerns to the managers, all of it in just a short walk down the hall. There was desperation and longing for things to just stay the way they had always been.
The meeting itself was just as expected. Toyota announced it was moving to Plano, TX and everyone was offered relocation. That still never absolved the hopes of staying in California and definitely didn’t provide any certainty for what I would be doing after college. I felt so entitled to just covering myself in discontentment and so I chose to not talk about the move with anyone at work.
So I suppose the question is, how am I doing now? I’d like to respond to that by pointing out just a few things I saw in the following week of the official announcement.
First, I saw immense joy. When I came back home, my Mom (who works at Lexus and is also affected by the move) simply told me that she and my dad knew that God has been faithful through everything, including actually getting a job offer; therefore there really was no reason to be afraid for what would happen. She even told me how she was using the time to share the Gospel with her coworkers who were stressed and anxious about it all. I couldn’t believe it, my parents who supported our whole family didn’t seem phased at all by such a drastic change. What’s more, they joyfully viewed it as an opportunity to share the Gospel! Needless to say, I was humbled and progressively in awe of how great our God was.
Second, I witnessed assurance and comfort in the sovereignty of our God. It wasn’t just my parents that sought this as a great opportunity, everyone I have spoken to at Lighthouse who works with Toyota has greatly encouraged me in how well they have taken the news. It is evident that they have been so blessed by God’s assurance in the past that it would seem foolish for them to do anything but trust him in a time like this.
Third, the church has been relentless in being true to its name, a family. Whether through the meeting held by Lighthouse for those affected by the move or through simple questions about how things are going, this church has been immensely encouraging and a much greater blessing than anyone could deserve.
So as it seems, we ought to continue to trust in our God as always and to be thankful for his blessings even in news like this. It’s all a big change, yes, but God is still greater than that. That’s how it’s been and how it will always be. Praise be to God.
Justin Lee is a 4th year student at UCLA studying English and has been attending Lighthouse since it was planted. Along with his studies, he serves within the Asian American Christian Fellowship on campus and interns at Toyota. He counts every Sunday a blessing to worship alongside the Lighthouse church family and hopes to encourage other college students to call Lighthouse their “home” away from home.
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