I have about sixty days until I leave South Korea. I had many expectations and plans in my head when I decided to move here. Thankfully God's plan prevailed and not a single thing that I expected to happen, happened. I didn't understand the purpose intially, but I do now and there was not a single tear shed in vain. So I surrender all, from here on out.
This time three years ago, I was impatiently awaiting for my EPIK placement results. By the time I recieved my placement in January 2018, I already knew all of the things I wanted to accomplish while I was abroad. Outside of my job, as a native English teacher, God was clearly laughing at all my plans.
I planned to get braces. HA! This isn't even that deep. I just haven't been to the dentist as all since I've been here. I know! *cringe* I definitley need to go but I haven't made time. I have some vacation time next month so it's already on my to-do list. Of course I won't be able to get braces now, because I'm on my way out. But thank the Lord for savings accounts! God willing, one of my first orders of business when I get home is to head to somebody's orthodonist office.
I planned to get LASIK HA! I did make an attempt to do this in August. I went to Seoul, expecting to return to Sejong with 20/20 vision in 2020! Lies! It turns out I have thin coreas. And what is the enemy of thin coreas? A hot burning laser! There was an alternative to LASIK but it was 4x the price. So I picked up my purse like Annalise Keating and said, "I'll take the imperfect vision for free.99 Alex!" (RIP to Alex Trebek).
I planned to meet my husband. HA! The first problem with that is this: it is not my job job as a woman to be seeking out a husband. However, it is a man's job to find a wife. What role do I play in this? Be a wife. Possess the qualities of a woman worthy and ready to be a wife. I am still in the "wife-hood" trainng course. And I humbly, and patiently walk alone with God until it's time for me to level-up to wife status.
Those are the main three things I hoped to return home with.
But I'm returning home with something far better than all of those things put together: A closer walk with God and a better undertstanding of who I am.
My first year in Korea was a choatic mess. I was insecure, unhappy, people pleasing, and being drowned by self-loathing and negativity. It got better in 2019 because I was determined that it would be better. I got my footing in God again; I opened my heart to God again. It was the foundation that prepared me for 2020. In 2020, God told me that I would be even better.
I just went back to read the note that I wrote on January 3rd. The scripture I wrote was Haggai 2:3-9. Verse nine reads:
"The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts." (ESV)
What stands out now when I read that scripture is the word peace. I know without a doubt that 2020 has been one of the most tumultuous years of this generation and maybe even in human history. But dispite all of the choas in the world, I've been at peace this year. At times I was afraid, confused, bored, and anxious. But when I focused on God...peace. Peace that defies human understanding. Below is actual footage of me in 2020, looking away from the madness and looking to God:
This picture screams Isaiah 26:3! "You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."
At times I forgot God. I ignored him. I turned away on purpose. But my prayer today is for my future self. I pray that no mater what is happening around me. No matter how bad life gets. No matter how painful. I will never hide myself from God. I pray that I will always chase after him; and that I have a continual fire and desire for the presence of God. Amen.
TL:DR I came to South Korea to meet God and meet myself.
I met my self through my circumstances, and even more I met myself through my relationships. I didn't always liked what I saw. I changed some things for the better. And other things I really should have left alone. The greatest takeaway for me is to follow God. God is perfect; people are fallible. I do not exist to compare myself among the people around me. But rather, Jeus Christ is the only example I should be imitating.
Every morning I wake up with a song on my heart. I believe music is one of the ways God speaks to me. And now that I know this, its more imperative that I listen to music that feeds and affirms my spirit. When God woke me up this morning, a series of songs came to my rememberance and I wrote them down, before God told me to write this blog post.
Here they are:
Let's mind the Father's business in 2021 and not everybody elses!