2011 was all about the transitions. 2012 was all about the deepening. Setting my feet down firmly into the place He transitioned me into.
12 things I learned in 2012:
1. God works in counter-intuitive, keep-you-on-your-toes kind of dynamic matter of a sort. Every time a plan seems to pan out as you expect/predict, He surprises you with a detour, an acceleration in speed, a sudden pause and all sorts of adventurous schemes. Bottom line is, you can never begin to draw a line in which you think you think you know where He is going or what He is doing. You think you think, but at the end of the day even you thinking of your thoughts is trying to wrap your head around how He surprised you yesterday.
2. It is sometimes, oftentimes, most of the time not just about you. It’s bigger than you.
3. Hey Yoon, are you willing? Are you?
4. There is something that my finger can’t quite reach and my words can’t quite formulate to portray what my head thinks and my heart feels. Grace. There is something about grace. That every deepening, ever thickening grace that’ll sometimes even keep you in oblivion. And then you look back with jaws dropped and marvel at that ever-abounding thing. That thing called grace.
5. Family. If you give me approximately 90 extra seconds to dwell upon this, my nose will surely turn red and I will be up & ready to tear. Every. single. time. My expectations and hopes were set about yay high, and they ended up shriveling in shame because of what I saw and experienced only within the first week of 2012. And can I say something? We had more fun, delved into greater intimacy, and grew together as each day progressed. It wasn’t strain-against-gravity kind of hard. It was easy. & that’s when you kind of just shuffle a few steps backward and stand paralyzed in utter awe of His sheer goodness and undeniable love for you. A love that pierces every and anything else through and through.
6. Hope. and I mean the real kind. Real hope is risky and frightening. Real hope has the prerequisite of all of you: your emotions, your energy, your thoughts. And then due to a split momentary lapse of judgment you wonder, is this worth it? And it always is. It always is.
7. Explosions of mini-miracles can happen anywhere. This anywhere includes within the four-walls of a secular therapy room. You bring the Kingdom - not a title, label or an institution.
8. We are such relational creatures. And to have the blessing of relationships (인복) makes 15-hour frustrating study sessions, a burning-hole like stomach pain, and emotional couplings of the former just all okay. It doesn’t make much sense and it doesn’t require much to be exchanged. Just a little bit of sitting over a cup of coffee. It makes it all okay.
9. The physical pain is real, but it’s not truth.
10. Cherish morning rides to school with dad. (So many “I want to stand up in the car and give him a slow clap, bravo, fingers-on-my-nose” kind of moments).
11. 하나님의 일은 평생이니까. 공부하는 것은 과정이고.
12. When in doubt - cook dinner for family & friends, listen to 젝키’s 예감, dance the Seoul-boy dance, go on a picnic, don’t hike 한라산 in the peak of winter in the midst of a blizzard, cry your eyes out at a 설렁탕 restaurant and laugh until your legs wobble.
You love me through & through.
Holding fast unto His promises.
In 2012, my ears opened. It was as if I had noise-cancelling headphones on and I asked myself on a whim one day, “What would it be like if I took them off?” My ears got cold and felt quite bare, empty, loose, a little too light. They felt naked and insecure. But over time, I learned to get accustomed to my ears just being - just hanging on both sides of my face. And one day, with the lack of any barrier and the consequent merging into the very air I was in, I heard something. Something of a mixture of words of some sort that somehow formulated into a promise of a kind. A promise. A promise from One that always keeps His promises. He said it, and I heard it. The words entered into my ears and traveled into my head and were captured by my heart. My ears heard it, my heart touched it, my spirit grasped it.
It’s funny how oftentimes there seems to be a fun (for the lack of a better word, or maybe for the sake of its sheer irony) detour before what is to come, manifests. And here I am, sitting through this adventure of a sort and enjoying this detour. Or trying to enjoy. And that’s how 2012 came to an end.
& in 2013, my ears have re-perked to another jumble of words: Don’t forget what you heard in 2012. Hold fast to my promises. Embrace all of you unto all of what it is.
2013, here’s to the unfolding of His promises.
What a positively difficult and pruning of a season. A positively, compactly difficult of a season that fits ever so perfectly in the continuity of this life-long journey that is written by Him (complementary illustrations included) with a soon-to-be destination called healing (an entire, tangible one). A season marked by a wave of, no - wave after crashing wave of physical pain and academic, emotional challenges that barely had me breathing but still had me singing. That was the irony of this season. I felt like I couldn’t breathe with the restless waves crashing me down repeatedly - again and again and well, why not once more. But somehow I was still singing through it all. Singing song after song - sometimes in harmony with you, sometimes in unison with all of you, and sometimes alone. But even in the moments of absolute alone-ness, even in the wee hours when my voice barely croaked a (off)tune, there was still a song that was leaving my lips and creating some melody of a sort. A melody, a sound that dug pockets for pieces of eternity to fall down and settle in. In the very here and now.
I just wanted to jump to the other side of the table, give her a fat hug and say:
you’re worth it.
There is something very particular and special about therapy. And I’m falling for it. Hard. I admit - I don’t really look forward to the beginning sessions. I am sometimes even happy (horrible!) when my clients cancel. The first few sessions are a bit straining. 50 minutes can easily feel like 2 hours and we are surrounded by a hard, cold aura with an interview-like exchange. I stretch out my hand to my client and for the first few sessions, the most I can touch is maybe a finger or two.
But when that moment comes when they hold my hand. And we have an exchange that is so real, so raw, and so very tender. The air softens and they now grab my hand and usher me into their lives, their hearts - the corners of it they were never able to share with anyone else. It’s a powerful exchange. And they begin to trust me and hold unto my words. My words that I long to be clothed with His truth, life, and love.
21년 전 오늘
우리 윤희를 저희 가족으로 보내주신 것
사랑 받기 위해 태어난 아이처럼
항상 밝은 웃음으로
주위 사람들에게 행복한 마음을 주고
가끔 빨개지는 코까지도
하나님께서 저희 가족에게 주시는
사랑의 선물이라는 것을
윤희와 저희 가족에게
하나님의 지속적인 사랑의 표현으로
따뜻한 마음을 주시고
올바른 정신을 주시고
명석한 머리를 주시고
예수님을 사랑하는 마음을 주신 것
얼마나 감사 한지요
아빠는엄마가 공부하느라고 바빠서
윤희와 같이 보낸 시간들이
애국가 노래에 맞추어서 길에 있는 간판 모조리 읽기
“사랑하는 당신이 울어버리면
난 몰라 난 몰라
나도 같이 덩달아 울어버릴까
난 몰라 난 몰라
아니 아니 울지말고 달래줘야지
그대는 내사랑 당신이니까”
이 노래하며 뮤직칼 하기
쇼핑가서 헤어졌다가 한 시간 후에 만나기
스피드 범프에서 속력내어 롤러코스터 기분내며 “줴라나모~~” 외치기
소중하고 행복한 시간 주신 것
윤희를 예쁘고 착하게 잘 크도록
사랑으로 보살펴 주신 것 감사 드립니다
배가 아파 힘들어하는 윤희
하나님의 선하신 뜻이 있다는 것
그리고 가족간의 사랑을
더욱 느낄수 있었다는 것
하나님의 사랑을 무기로 견디는
직접 만져주시고 회복시켜 주세요
어제 하루 윤희가 한번도 아프지 않았다고 하여
얼마나 감사 했는지요
윤희를 많이 많이 사랑하시는 하나님
윤희 생일 선물로
건강의 회복을 주시기를
사랑하는 예수님 이름으로 감사 드리며
This is a prayer my father wrote for my 21st birthday.
In 2009, it was a desperate prayer.
Today, at the end of 2012, it is an answered prayer.
Today I wondered about Amy.
Some Christians try to go to heaven alone, in solitude. But believers are not compared to bears or lions or other animals that wander alone. Those who belong to Christ are sheep in this respect, that they love to get together. Sheep go in flocks, and so do God’s people. — Charles Spurgeon (via dressedingrace)
These days, my mom has been sharing her spiritual hunger & desire for more and my dad has been sharing his heart and his testimony. My days start and end with mini heart explosions.
Recently. And I mean very recently, God has been illuminating the difference between then and now. Now being the very here and now. The very now in which I sit snuggled in my warm bed after a whirlwind of presentations and midterms and such. A very now after a startling whirlwind of physical whoknows with an emotional coupling and such. A very now in which He is illuminating why it’s different. Why I am not back there, but actually - right here. Beforehand, I spoke it with my mouth and wanted to believe it with my heart and set 70% of my mind to it. I spoke it with my mouth but lacked the belief and 30% of my mind was centered elsewhere: a much more familiar and comfortable place. A niche I had developed over the years in my head and my heart. But with all that has been as of late, there is no more corner in which I label “reserved” as a cushion. A cushion to alleviate the fall of disappointment because of the sheer familiarity. Just in case - as it has always been the case. Because my hope was interwoven with maybe a few words here and there but underneath what I called hope, it was shallow. There wasn’t much. And maybe I mouthed hope but my heart yelled defeat. But as of late I have realized that there is this hope built upon this truth. And this truth is deep. And this truth is unmovable, unshakable, and absolutely for me. This truth that is His flesh. I stand upon His truth, holding fast to His promises with His unquenchable hope stirring inside of me.
& I will never, ever, ever let my father’s words fall to the ground. Even if what I feel is of that familiarity, where my mind is set upon is of His truth. And His truth says that I am healed.
“…just meeting Him in that deep pain. Waiting on Him.”
‘Tis the season.
& in this season, I strain against gravity, against all my natural instincts, familiar emotions and thoughts to be still. Just still.
In that stillness, He has showered me with the beauty of His people. The beauty of His body. The beauty of knowing to my very bone that I am not alone. The beauty of Him taking me deep, albeit not always enjoyable. The beauty of me knowing that years from now, I will look back at this very season and know that it was the very season, the very hour. The beauty of having so many questions and complaints hushed immediately by one word, one conversation, one prayer.
One day, the very testimony of my healing will birth the testimony of yours.
The pain is real, but it isn’t truth. It isn’t who I am, nor will it point or create boundaries in where I will go. The pain is heavy but only temporary. It isn’t here to stay.
Sweet and deep, bitter and painful, uncomfortable and raw, but so very true so very good so very my God doing His work.