we go from glory to glory to glory. we’ll never be the same, we’ll never be the same.
I guess I have been changing pretty radically. I think it’s safe to say that these past two years of college, I’ve changed a lot.
it first started slowly, but it eventually accelerated to the freeway that it is today.
I really don’t ever think I can ever go back to how I was. No matter if I trip and fall, get lost along the way, lose sight of the goal sometimes; I just don’t see myself going backwards.
Looking back on my past spring quarter of sophomore where I was radically changed by Jesus and radically longed for him, I can see now the fruits of my prayers.
I just read an article about the unexpected answers of God, and I realize that my prayers were probably answered in the most radical way possible. Typical Creator of the Universe.
I think it’s safe to say that right now, I’m not in a particular good, glorifying spot. I’ve hit a rut; a maintenance stop, on the radical highway in my pursuit of Jesus.
I was going so fast.
God was like,
my loving daughter, slow down.
you’re doing a good job. I’m proud of your pursuit of me. But here, let me show you some things that I really want you to experience. Because I love you.
So here I am, Day 42 of being in Japan.
So what have I been doing here? What’s been happening?
It was all part of His plan…after all…
Day 1 of summer vacation. I was totally content and excited for the season ahead of me. In my talks with God, I was totally content and satisfied in spending this summer worshipping Him; in the addictive way that I had been for the past spring quarter. Playing guitar and singing with no worries in the world, going to remote places just to be in His presence, talking about nothing but His name and His glories. As soon as I hit Japan, China, Korea, etc., I would grab a guitar and just praise His name all summer long. Loving Him.
HOW SELFISH! Wait…just as I was preparing to type something else, it just hit me right now…how selfish I was. How could I plan to spend this summer doing nothing but praising Him just for myself??? I see, I see, LORD. I see, I understand now. You sent me here not to keep You for myself, but to share Your sweet mercies to others.
I prayed for wisdom and discernment, and this is how the LORD answered. I was really, totally confused on why I dreaded coming to Japan so much, how I longed to stay in America for summer and spend time with my new church friends, how I longed to get plugged into my loving church, how I longed to spend time worshipping the LORD in freedom and in independence in America. I spent the days everyday thinking, oh, how I long to go back to America and worship God freely. After 42 days, I think I’m finally getting some wisdom now. After all this time of mulling, God is starting to make it a little bit more clear. I came to Japan to experience the feeling of spiritual silence. Of not being able to keep Jesus for myself, but being forced to tell others about God, because He is my everything, and I just can’t explain my identity without Him. Of not being able to worship and praise as freely as I could in such a privileged place like America (thank You LORD for blessing me). Of sending me out into the wilderness, so I may run and hunt and search for the deep wells, the oasis, the falling manna. Where no one was going to share with me their victories in Christ. Where no one was going to share with me their newly discovered amens in the Bible. Where no one was going to share with me their mission testimonies. Where I had to desperately seek a community of Him and realize that the Christian community is scarce. Where I could realize that the world is depraved of Him. I needed a boost. I needed to be sent. I needed some trials. I needed some growing. He really loves me.
He really blessed me tremendously. He loves me as His daughter. I went through a lot of character development. I am now going to start talking about my very deep character flaws; many which may be offensive. Please bear with me.
As an intern of a program of an English Camp, I had 44 several interns from different colleges across America. What I didn’t know before this program, was that the internship only recruited the brightest and the best of American college students. My fellow interns are from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Stanford, Dartmouth, John Hopkins, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Brown University, and more. So these interns are from the best schools in America; in the world. I was really humbled. I really think I’m from one of the least academically excellent schools among this list. It was so unique and obviously the first time for me to be in such an environment; surrounded by such bright, passionate, and fun-loving people. After being with this group for a while, I realized that I could actually get along with these kinds of people (what does that mean). I always viewed smarter people as unreachable; or unrelatable. But guess what. I have like 30 new friends now. Being with this group has been amazing for me. It’s destroyed a lot of the stigmas I had believed about academically excellent peoples. I realized intelligent people loved to drink and party; just as much if not double the amount as average academically gifted college students. In fact, I also realized that I was extremely susceptible to peer pressure and the want to fit in; I’ve drank so much alcohol this past month while being in Japan. Haha. This program also helped me realize that alcohol is not the devil. It’s us who drink too much and get drunk who are the sinners. My sister was right, sometimes you just have to drink for social purposes. How else could I bond with these people and let them know more of me and my life without sharing the same activities? Being with this group also improved me so much as a person. I just realized how apathetic I was. Especially with just coming out of academic probation and all. Being with the nation’s brightest, I realized that these fellow interns who were so passionate and worked hard and played hard were doing such amazing things. They were out to change the world. It made me realize that I wish I had strived for a better school. I hope to strive for academic excellence. Because it is a truly amazing feeling sharing about your victories and successes. And it is amazing physically seeing how you can make a difference. God created us to strive for excellence for a reason. And I realized that I had totally been sinning because I had been so apathetic. I need to strive for excellence, to glorify God. This next season of my life, I plan on expanding my horizons. I want to achieve good grades. I want to do amazing things. I want to be surrounded by people who want to change the world. Who are passionate.
They also were not Korean at all. Which is actually a huge change for me. Funny story; I’ve grown up my whole life in a community that has no Koreans. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I was the only Korean in my class. I never hung out with Koreans, until I started going to church. Then in college, something mysteriously shifted, and I only could make Korean friends. I really wanted to have different friends, but I could only bond with the Koreans. I didn’t really like it. But this internship; I was the only Korean, once more. I had to make friends with these interns, because we would work together for two months. And I did. And it’s been wonderful. I feel totally fine. Before the internship, I kind of was really worried, because I hadn’t made a non-Korean friend for the past two years of college. But thinking now, wow, it’s been great. I don’t feel weird at all hanging out with non-Koreans. In fact, it feels totally fine. I don’t feel any of that judgment that Koreans typically do to each other. There’s no obvious money disparity like there always is between Koreans. I have nothing to prove, because I have no one to compare with. I feel great being unique. I missed this a lot. In this new season of my life, I want to make non-Korean friends. It’s extremely unhealthy for me to be so Korean-centric. God really sent me into the wilderness and gave me this gift of returning to society. He really loves me.
And there’s so much more wisdom to be sought and written down. I am still reflecting; still learning. And I still have two weeks of this internship left; albeit I wrote everything in past tense. Look, even my vocabulary increased significantly. All my friends (<–the interns are my friends!!!) speak so eloquently! I love it! I love the growth I have gained here. Even if my ministry opportunities were scarce, I gained so much as a person. It was definitely a good season.
These days I tell my friends, guys, we only have two weeks left! Everyone responds by saying, don’t say it, or, no, I don’t want this to end, or, I’m sad. And as much as I am excited to go to Korea and play guitar finally, and then go to America and be at peace (hmm, is it really), I will miss these friends. They are truly funny, and pleasant to be with. And they are planetshakers. They will change the world. I truly hope that we will all meet again. I truly hope that we will stay friends. I will truly cherish these next two weeks.