Airplane

I was about to go to sleep when I realized I am sitting in between two windows. I looked out the one closest to me, the back one, and all I can see is nothing. Nothingness. Only the moon, the light from the wing and fuzzy grayness, which were the clouds.
All of a sudden, the plane started to shake a little. They made an announcement to fasten seat belts and stay in the seat and I can feel the plane moving faster. I start to panic and I prayed to God that He doesn’t take me Home yet.
Then, I start to think about faith. Do I really believe? What if I were to die now? Can I say, “Lord, take me Home” with complete confidence? Yes, I can. Then I really let God’s goodness sink in. He died on the cross for me and I believe and He takes me to Bologna. I mean, no it doesn’t really work that way but what I mean is that all I did was believe and He planned out my whole life. I am so secure; He is in complete control. I never even thought going to Italy was something that could happen to me. I would have been in complete shock if I got to go to Chicago but Europe?!
I look out the window though and was still scared. “Well, at least I can see the moon and I underatand now when the bible said there was nothing but darkness in Genesis.”

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I was about to sleep through my worries when I moved a bit to get comfortable and I saw colors out the first window. It wasn’t as dark through that window. I can see blue and red and if you look at it long enough, you can see the colors blend and start making new colors. The plane was still shaking but it didn’t seem to matter because it was so beautiful. I even saw a star.

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That’s when I realized that that’s what I’m doing. It’s what I’m doing, what we’re doing. I look out the back window and worry about the clouds rapidly passing by but thinking I’m trusting God cause at least I can see the moon and the clouds passing by. If I just tilt my head just a little bit, I can see colors and stars and know for a fact that the sun is headed my way. God only requires that we trust Him, but we are too busy looking out the window closest to us. The plane was still shaking when I looked out the window but it was a glorious sight to behold, it didn’t matter. When we look to God, He is so glorious that our problems won’t start to matter. Not only that, He takes our burden! He wants us to give it to Him.
I was reminded of a couple of things:

JEREMIAH 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.

Westminster catechism: “What is the chief end of man? To glorify Him and to enjoy Him forever.”

Give Me Jesus – Bethel

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

Give me the One my soul delights in
Give me the One in whom my hope is securely found

Jesus said if we have faith as small as the nustard seed, we can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). Before I typed this, I was praying and thinking how if I just turn to Him, it will be brighter in a matter of hours, maybe even in a couple of minutes and when I opened my eyes, it was so bright! As soon as I trusted Him, surrendered to Him, I saw action immediately. It’s even brighter now as I’m typing this! God is real and He is good and gracious and merciful and abounding in love.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

On Friday, Jan 3, I was on my way to hang out with my friend in union square when the lady walking next to me slipped on the manhole covered in ice. I was listening to music but I heard a thud and saw something disappear from my peripheral vision. I asked if she was ok but she was so dumfounded, like she didn’t even know how she got to lay on the floor. I, and two other people, helped her up and when asked if she was alright, she said, “yes, I think so but my head feels funny” and when she touched the back of her head, there was blood on her hand. She started freaking out and started crying and saying something about her family, her sister, her nephew that was staying with her and when we tried to calm her down, she said, “you don’t know me and my situation.”

I don’t know if you know this but I am afraid of blood, even my own. I nose-bled all the time growing up and seriously thought that I was going to bleed out one day because it would last minutes. So, I’m standing next to her and there’s blood and I am freaking out but she’s more terrified than I am so I calm her down. The other lady with me told her that her dad’s a doctor, that it’s completely normal because the head is the easiest place to bleed (!!! That’s not really comforting at all to me), to put pressure on it, and to keep her head down. She couldn’t do put pressure on her head while bending down so I decided to put grab her scarf and put pressure on her head. As I’m reaching over to put the scarf on her head, a little bit of her blood got on me and I was about to scream but somehow I was able to be calm throughout the whole situation and not even fixate on someone else’s blood on my hand. I know it wasn’t smart or safe but she was bleeding from her head!

What I did focus on was how freaking cold my hand was. My fingers were turning red and about 2 minutes from turning into icicles because I don’t have gloves (Siri: remind me to buy gloves. Oh wait, I have an android). The lady called the cops and said the ambulance were on their way, the man who was with us went to look for cops- can I remind you that this was union square. There are always cops around. Always. But that day, of course there were none. Honestly, I was a little annoyed. It’s been twenty minutes since she called for the ambulance, my hands are cold, I’m late to meeting my friend, I’m hungry because I didn’t eat anything because we were meeting for lunch, and I felt like I didn’t really have to be here because the lady’s dad was a doctor and so she’s better qualified than I am? Also, she had gloves.

After standing there for twenty minutes and the woman calling her nephew and her sister, the guy reminds us that there’s a hospital across the street. Of course, Beth-Israel! I totally forgot. This never happened to me. I never saw anyone slip and slice their head and have blood coming out of it. I often imagined what would happen if I did see a situation like that, if I would help or not (turns out, I will) but never wished it to happen so I forgot that I know Union Square and that there’s Beth-Israel next to Panera, where I almost always am. We ask the woman if she can walk and then slowly walked with her to Beth-Israel.

On our walk over to Beth-Israel was when the most profound thing happened. I was holding her with one hand and still putting pressure on her head with the other and I would hear her pray, “Lord Father, Lord Jesus, thank You for sending me these angels to watch over me. I pray for many blessings for them and their family…” and then “Lord, let Your will be done.” She kept on praying that over and over again, “let your will be done”. I oftentimes pray that His will be done in my life as well but that usually seems to come after something amazing happened to me. If I slipped and slice my head with blood gushing down my neck, I honestly don’t think I’ll pray for the two people next to me helping me or utter those words. I probably will cry and panic about dying, then complain “why is this happening to me? how can you let this happen to me?” and then after they tell me everything is fine, I’ll probably would have said something like “thank you that nothing worse has happened.”

She was so impressive. She prayed about healing a little and the rest of her prayer was about me, the other lady helping her (at this point, the dude is gone), blessings for us and our family/loved ones and God being glorified, His will being done. At that moment, it tugged at my heart and I felt so inadequate? Like I think I know so much about God and I act like I am after his heart always but then this woman is scared for her life, for her nephew and sister, and she’s so selfless and praying about me and God’s will being done. It humbled me and made me take a good look at myself.

We got to Beth-Israel and the security dude said that “this [was] a clinic, not a hospital” so they couldn’t help her (????? She’s bleeding from the head, are you kidding?) and called the cops instead. By the time he finished calling, the ambulance came but to the place we were before we walked over to Beth-Israel. About ten minutes later, they realized that no one there is hurt and turned around and came to us. They took forty minutes to an hour in total. We were so lucky that it wasn’t a life or death situation because if this was any other situation, she could have died. That was a joke.

When the ambulance finally arrived and the EMTs were taking her in, she asked us for our numbers so she can contact us. She got my number and memorized my name and then she left.

Got a call from her today but missed it so she left me a voicemail. I called her back and just spoke with her. She kept on thanking me for my help, kept calling me an “angel from God” and that even though she doesn’t remember my face, she remembered my “soft touch and calmness” and my voice. I did whisper, “Jesus” a lot but most of it was, “ohmygosh, Jesus, Jesus Christ” more than prayers. She also told me she was with them until 8pm (we left her around 3pm), that she had to get stitches, that it was and is hard to sleep but the swelling went down a lot. She said she tried calling me but didn’t have my name so she was worried but when she checked her phone log, there were only two 917s in her phone and knew it was me and Flo, the other lady.

When I told her she was going to be fine, she said, “I am going to be fine, I am fine. God is in control. I am healed right now, I am healed already!” Earlier in the conversation she said, “the devil can touch our bodies but not our spirits or our souls. He is hard at work and lying to us that God doesn’t love us but this is not true.” She was such an encouragement to me, when I was supposed to be encouraging her. I was getting teary talking to her!

I just wanted to share her faith with you so you can get encouraged too. Remember, the devil may touch our bodies but he cannot touch our spirit or our souls. God is faithful and He is good, His love endures forever.

Peer Advisors

Today marked the last day of the summer peer advising job! It was such a bittersweet moment. At first, it was about getting another job so I can save up some money. Then, it was so I can actually do something since my admissions job required me to do basically nothing. It was also really nice to work with people and get to talk to them once in a while. On Mondays, I worked all day as a peer advisors and most of us did, so I would ask around if anyone wanted to get lunch with me and we all got lunch a couple of times and it was so much fun! We slowly got to know each other and then when weird kids email us or ask us weird questions, we kind of bonded over that as well. Slowly, it started becoming about working with these people that I was most excited about. Each and every single one of them. This group of people were honestly the most exciting people I have ever worked with. We poured our everything into working with the upcoming freshmen class and that meant a lot of time spent together. Every single one of my fellow peer advisors brought something fun and exciting and new to the table and I don’t know if I’ll be able to work with such a fun group again. I finally realized why people resist change- this group is so amazing, you don’t want anything to be different! I wish I knew about peer advising last year so this wouldn’t be my last year and I wish we could all get together again, including the academic advisors, because they were the best “boss” I’ll ever have.

I know I complained a lot about the upcoming class or about how beat/tired I am by the time I come home, but I would deal with the kids again, the whole grade could have been annoying for all I care, if I were to get another chance to work with my all fellow peer advisors again.

Ordinary

Just today, after cleaning my room I sat at the edge of my bed and just looked outside the window on the other side of the room and thought to myself, “I wonder if this is it.” I don’t mean in a “this life is it, there’s no heaven, there’s no God” sense but I wonder if however my life is now- ordinary- is going to be it. I’m also not talking about fame, but I meant in the most basic sense, I wonder if I’m going to live life just like this. Is my life going to consist of me cleaning my room, catching up on tv shows and movies, hanging out with friends, reading books, maybe doing Illustration work, maybe have kids, and if I have kids, will I be a stay home mom? Will I get married? Just like this..but for like another 60 years.

Then, my mom texts me that she did it, that she passed the test. She’s an American citizen now! And we ate out to celebrate the new chapter in her life and God spoke to me. Whenever I feel down and wonder “is this it?” God always tells me, “no” and to look towards Him. He makes me feel foolish every time I doubt Him, even if it’s for a second.

The thing is, there is no such thing as an “ordinary” life for a Christian. Just look at my mom. She’s not world renown, she’s not famous, half of my friends haven’t met her and if she were to make a facebook account, she wouldn’t have hundreds of friends but look at how God used her and what He made her become.

She was born into a really wealthy family, she was the only one in her town to have a television- let alone colored tv. She went from being the daughter of a wealthy family to loosing everything, to being raised by a single mother because a horrible car accident took her father away, to getting married to my dad and moving to another country, leaving all her friends and family behind, to getting a divorce and dealing with my sister and I for eight years now, to getting kicked out of houses because we couldn’t pay the rent, to getting our car taken away because we couldn’t pay the mortgage, to eating only rice watered down with seaweed for months because we couldn’t afford anything else, to working odd jobs to feed and clothe and shelter my sister and I, to loosing most of her friends because she didn’t have money, and many more. But at dinner today, she pondered about her life and said she was happy; told me that America has been nothing but good to her. Really? Because some of the hardest times in her life was here, in America. She told me before, and I have to agree a 100% that even though our life was extremely hard, it wasn’t that hard because of God. Because God was there for us and with us, we weren’t alone so it wasn’t that hard. I don’t look back at my life and go, “well, I had the worst childhood ever”. I’m able to have fond memories and even giggle at some of the situations we were in because we were able to find happiness in some of them. That’s extraordinary. My mom’s extraordinary.

She’s not extraordinary because she just is. It’s because she held unto God through every single situation, every day, every hour, for help and because God made her extraordinary. When we were going through some of the hardest times, my mom would just cry on her bed and pray. I didn’t get it. The God that you are always praying to didn’t seem to be so helpful now and I thought it was even stupid at times. The faith that I have now is because of my mom. If my mom wavered, even for a day, I probably would have had a hard time meeting God. God heard my mom’s every cry and saw every tear and it’s so evident in her life, and even mine. It’s hard to ignore.

A couple of months ago, my mom told me she dreamt that Obama shook her hands. I honestly, didn’t think much of it, but here we are, my mom an American citizen now. I’m pretty sure Obama isn’t going to shake my mom’s hand when she’s being sworn in but her dream did come true.

To others, maybe even you, my mom’s just another mom, just another immigrant mother who suffered greatly for her children and her family. Nothing else, nothing special. She’s just like the rest, just a regular person. To me, my mom’s life is extraordinary. If you just listen to her testimony, the things she had to go through, the things she overcame- they were all possible not because my mom is the smartest or the wisest person in the world but because God was there by her side, leading her every step of the way, opening doors she couldn’t have even dreamt of, and going before her. Just like my mom, God is with me. He opens doors for me, He lights my path, He goes before me, and He goes with me. I can’t, even if I wanted to, live an ordinary life. Because our God is extraordinary, how can His children be anything less?

grace and forgiveness

The last time I saw my dad was on my birthday, Nov 9 (remember it guys) and it ended terribly. I said (again) that I never want to see him and to never contact me from now on and stomped off the restaurant. After that, I never thought about my dad again until about January when it was New Years and the message was about forgiveness. His birthday was also coming up and I promised God (again) that I was going to forgive him and this time for real. Every time I tried to forgive him, I still harbored a little anger inside me that I refused to let go but the message was so clear and God was really tugging at my heart so I said, “yes, Lord” and decided to forgive him.

I went to my mom and sister and said I was going to forgive him and they all said, “good luck with that” because they knew that I was going to snap on him again but I assured them it was real this time. My sister was a little more resistant but I was all, “but God forgave us so we have to, too” and talked the talk. It was finally his birthday a few days later and I was with my sister at Hillsong. After service, my sister reminded me it was dad’s birthday and that we should wish him a happy birthday. I immediately cringed and made the most unflattering noise. At that moment, I looked at my sister and remembered how I was acting like I heard God’s message clearer than my sister but here I was, avoiding my dad when my sister started off not wanting to but was willing to, more than I, to wish him a happy birthday. I reluctantly called him and after about four rings, I hung up. “At least I tried” I said and never thought about him again until recently.

My mom is trying to get her US Citizenship and she needed to go pick up her marriage license but she couldn’t remember where she went so she asked me to call my dad and find out. I actually never spoke to my dad again since Nov and even though I said I forgave him, I actually never had to <em>do</em> anything to prove it so I was very uncomfortable but I needed to get that information from him soon so I decided to suck it up and called him. The conversation went well. When my attitude wasn’t “Gosh, I hate talking to him” or “This is going to be so uncomfortable”, good things came out of it. He was VERY surprised to hear me and after I got what I needed to find out, we were both in a hurry to hang up. After we hung up, I realized I didn’t even ask him how he was doing so I called back and this conversation went like this:

Dad:”Hello?”

Me: “Hi, it’s me again. I realized I didn’t ask you how you were doing. How are you?”

Dad: “………I’m good.”

Me: “…You sound tired..What were you doing?”

Dad: “Yeah, I’m working a lot.”

Us: …………………………………………………………………

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Dad: “So, how are you?”

Me: “I’m good.”

Us: …………………………………………………………………

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Dad: “How’s your sister?”

Me: “She’s good, too.”

Us: …………………………………………………………………

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Dad: “Well, I have to go.”

Me: “Yeah, me too.”

Dad: “Ok, bye.”

Me: “Ok, bye.”

I could have said that was weird but it wasn’t. For some reason, it wasn’t weird even though it was really weird. That was about late March or early April. I thought this was good and maybe I’ll give him a call on Father’s day to keep up my “forgiving dad” thing.

About two weeks ago, my sister got a text from my dad and she freaked out. It only said, “Hi Sharon, how are you?” but it was the most shocking thing to us. A text? From dad? Our dad? He texts? She texted him back and found out that he got a Note 2 and thought, woah, now he has a Note 2? It wouldn’t be such a big deal if I secretly didn’t think that he was supposed to be growing old regretting everything.

I also realized that I was super jealous. What the heck, why didn’t he text me? And it turns out that my sister had my dad’s number on her phone and he obviously had our number so when he downloaded Kakao Talk (korean google talk), her number popped up but mine didn’t. I added his number and texted him and we talked a bit but then the conversation died when I asked him a question and he didn’t get it. My sister continued to text dad and she said he wanted to meet for us for her birthday and I said I couldn’t; that I had a lot of work to do cause it’s finals week. She understood but didn’t tell dad cause I think she knew that I was going to end up going somehow.

That brings us to today. We just came back from meeting dad and it was fun. I had fun. It was weird seeing him at first but it got better. My sister was able to walk up to him but I couldn’t. I kept on walking ahead of them or behind them but never with them. For some reason, I couldn’t. He looked really excited to see us and he gave us a hug but I couldn’t smile and show him my excitement or hug him back.

We went to Olive Garden (it was actually good) in Times Square and we got to talking. He asked me what kinds of jobs I can get as an Illustrator, about my study abroad program that I couldn’t go to, Sharon’s job, my work, our schools and etc. I kept on giving him one worded answers because to fully answer his questions, I would have to explain the past four years of my life and it was his fault for missing them. I knew I said I forgave him so that’s why I answered and didn’t snap. I was proud of myself a little bit and the whole time I prayed, “Lord, please”. I couldn’t even digest my food because I was getting stressed out and nervous and anxious. It wasn’t all that bad though. There were times when I laughed and we were able to have a regular conversation. He even showed me a picture of himself when he was younger saying he looked better than Benedict Cumberbatch (I have a picture with him (and when I say with, I mean photoshopped with) as my profile picture on Kakao) to which I replied, “As if!”

When we were eating out dessert, he said to, “You don’t have the peace of God in you” and I wanted to say, “WHAT? I don’t have the peace of God? I don’t? Do you want me to explain why?” but instead, I asked “Why do you think that is?” not to spite him but because I really wanted to know. He said because you still have all that anger inside of you (last time we spoke, he said he made some mistakes but it was my fault for listening to my mom who lied and didn’t tell the truth) and that it was all a misunderstanding. I was about to snap when I realized, this was a God-given opportunity. I know forgiveness comes with or without an apology, but I wanted to know if he was sorry. I was thinking of ways to asked, “hey dad, do you want to apology for everything you did?” but dad steered the conversation in that direction already and all I needed to do was ask. I told him since he was speaking about God, peace, and anger, if there was anything he wanted to apologize about. He said it was all a misunderstanding on my part but he did nothing wrong? I told him that he said he said “I might have made some mistakes” but never apologized for them and he looked at me and told me he didn’t remember the conversation and that if he did say that, he was sorry.

I’m…excuse me, what? He’s sorry? He just apologized…. He just apologized?

When I heard those words, “I’m sorry”, a surge of emotions came over me and I started to cry. I know, it’s so embarrassing crying at an Olive Garden in Times Square no less but I couldn’t help it. He actually apologized. I never thought my dad was going to apologize. I thought that we were just going to continue on from here on like this because I asked God for His strength to help me forgive him and I did. My dad looked at me crying and he just looked out the window. My sister was rubbing my back and asking me if I was alright. No, I wasn’t alright. I was so amazed. God is so amazing.

When my parents first divorced, my mom was full of anger. She said she was going to make them pay, to make them ask her for their forgiveness. Then, she kind of forgave them and moved on but I didn’t. I dreamed of days when I’ll see one of them end up in a nursing home and tell them this was what they got for raising such a shitty son and that God was punishing them for their sins. I wanted to do so well and show off to them how marvelous we are without them. When I first heard the message of forgiveness and that I needed to forgive my dad, I knew that it meant none of the mentioned things so I declined. I knew that God was going to avenge for me but I knew it wasn’t going to be in the way I wanted to be avenged so I politely declined again. I kept declining and declining until I couldn’t ignore God anymore and even though I said I was going to forgive, at one point I confidently said I forgave him and ended up fighting with my dad, but still about 0.000001% of me was still seeking revenge and was filled with hate. That’s what happens when you don’t fully surrender to God. Even if you keep that 0.000001% of your heart to yourself, God’s will can’t be done in you because you are saying to God that you can do better without his help. You can’t.

After wrestling with God about forgiving my dad for 7 years, I gave up on hearing an apology from him and said it was fine. God didn’t forgive me after I apologized, why should I expect anything from my dad? I also knew that God was going to avenge for me on my behalf but when I surrendered to God, I didn’t want any harm to my dad. As much as I loved telling people how much I dislike my dad, I actually didn’t want anything to happen to him. I wanted him to be good, to be healthy, to maybe settle down with someone (I want my mom to settle down with someone too), and be a Christian, not a church-goer. God heard my cries throughout the years, He saw my tears, He saw my heart transforming and trying earnestly to please Him and blessed me with an apology from my dad. That was all I wanted. I wanted an apology from my dad and I would have been happy but he always said he never did any wrong and even referred to my mom as “that woman”. He hurt me so many times and that’s why when he apologized, I cried and thanked God. There was nothing else going through my mind except “God is good, He is faithful” because He is. More than you’ll ever know. If I tried to avenge my mom or get that apology out of him on my own, I may never get it or get it and still have all that anger.

I told him that what hurt me the most wasn’t him doing something to me directly but the way he and his family treated mom, that she was the only one there, the only one who took care of us, and him being horrible to her was hurting us. He continued to apologize, saying that he was sorry for not being there when we needed him the most, that he was sorry for hurting my sister and I, that he was sorry to mom (!!) for a loveless marriage, that he was sorry to all of us because as a leader of household, he failed. I don’t think it was a loveless marriage, I remember good times, but I think that they were selfish and did not care for each other at all by the end; they were not meant for each other (please wait for the person God has appointed for you, it is very important). I honestly didn’t even expect that. At this point in my life, I didn’t even expect an apology. Even in my dreams, I never got past “I’m sorry” from him. When God blesses you, he gives you what you wanted and more- far more than your tiny head could even think/dream of.

He also told us we need to marry a man of God and someone who loves us, that that was the most important thing in the world. I don’t know if he’s Christian because he told me “Christian” messages before he does something stupid but who am I to figure it out if he is or isn’t? I pray every day that he is and it turns out that he goes to Church every Sunday, listens to sermons and praise songs on a regular, and mediates on the Bible on the regular.

It was like my heart was a million times lighter. This weight that I didn’t even know I had was lifted up. After I wiped my tears, we were able to talk. He told us about his marriage and all the mistakes he made and it all made sense. The way my dad acted, the things he said to my mom, why their marriage was the way it was. He was even able to joke about how he was popular with the ladies back then. We went to Cafe Bene after and we thought him how to use his phone. I asked him why he got a Note 2 if he doesn’t even know how to use it (he knows how to use phone, volume, and kakao) and he said, “so I can text you guys.” We also tried explaining to him the difference between text and email was and he thinks that the difference is that you can’t send pictures through texts but can through emails.

He bought my sister a watch for her birthday and we went home together. It turns out that he gives four blocks from us (I know) and we took the subway together. It was weird but in a good way. We showed him baby pictures of us we had on our phones and talked about stuff. We got off and we walked a bit and his house was to the left and ours was to the right. He hugged me and said he was sorry for not being a good dad, that was sorry for everything and for hurting me, that he’ll pray for me, and hopes to see me again soon. He hugged my sister and said the same thing to her and we departed.

I came home, gave my mom the leftover macaroons and told her he apologized to us and to her for everything. She didn’t understand. I told her that he apologized and she asked why. I left out the crying part and just said because. She’s so confused. It’s only recent for her too that she truly forgave him. I told her we really needed to work on forgiving him and meaning that. When we told her that we were going to meet him, she told us to have fun. When my sister spoke on the phone with my dad in front of her, she didn’t mind. When I told her we were with him, she told me to tell him that she’s using the child support money well. God is rewarding her, too. Of course we aren’t doing this to be blessed or rewarded from Him, but that’s who God is. We are His children and He loves us.

I’m still confused, too. As I’m typing this down, I am still wondering if this is real or if he’s going to use my vulnerability against me next time. Either way, God is good. He is really, really, really, really good. Even if dad does something to make me mad, I said I forgave him and I can do everything through Christ Jesus who gives me strength (Phil 4:13). I’m going to surrender to God about my dad, and everything else in my life, constantly and I know I can have a good relationship with my dad, maybe even better than when we were living together as a family.

I’m just so thankful to God for everything. God is so good. That’s all I can say, He’s so good. He’s so good to me.

Persecution

When I was younger, maybe in my elementary years or middle school years, I never understood why people didn’t believe in God. I didn’t understand why people didn’t go to church or believe in Christ. It made no sense to me.

I also didn’t understand what church members meant we’ll be persecuted for being a Christian or believing in Christ. I didn’t get it. I never got bullied for being a Christian, no one ever singled me out or anything. If I didn’t have much friends, it was because of my personality rather than my beliefs. Albeit, I don’t think I evangelized much when I was in 5th grade, but I don’t think I hid the fact that I went to church so I always wondered why people would say things like that or why it would even state that in the bible (1 Peter 4:12-16 among many other verses). As I get older and see and discover more of the world, I’m starting to understand. I don’t think I felt it in high school either, pretty much all of my friends went to church, but as I start college- wow, it’s completely different. I started to see why people don’t believe in God/why they don’t go to church and their reasonings behind it and what persecution means.

Persecution doesn’t mean, “You’re a Christian? I HATE YOU!” or “I’m going to kill you if you believe in Christ” but rather subtle things. Such subtle things, I didn’t even recognize it at first. I have to admit, it is not a nice feeling. I don’t like feeling left aside, like an outsider. I also had to learn that if you do get persecuted, it’s not personal. It’s not you they’re making fun of, it’s actually not about you, but about Jesus. It’s like when someone believes in unicorn. You don’t think that that person is stupid for believing in unicorn, you may think that they’re a “free spirit” or a naive person, but you won’t think that they’re stupid, but that unicorns themselves are stupid.

I’m very lucky that I live in a place where I can public declare my love for my God and that I am mostly surrounded by people who respect me and I them. As the Bible says, if you are suffering, rejoice in that and continue to look to the Lord! Continue to have our eyes fixed on the cross, let’s cling unto Him with everything we have!

Eternal perspective. Kingdom-minded, Kingdom-visioned.

Computer

So my computer is broken so I am computer less for about a week. It’s bad but not too bad. I think God’s saying “DRAW!” I always say I’m going to make art but I don’t know what to do and I get lazy so I end up not doing it but I’m going to. Also, since I don’t anything on the computer (photoshop, illustrator), I’m going to take advantage of the computer labs at school.

My computer is also quite old so they said they were going to fix it and I hope it kind of comes out functioning like it’s new.

God is good!

2012-2013

This year has been an amazing year for me. I learned so much, I grew so much, I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunities that I’ve had, and everything was just really amazing. So, I decided to jot my entire year down (to the best of my memory)

  • I ended last year with GKYM. It was my first time and it was amazing. I learned so much about God, the Great Commission, and about missions. I hope to go on missions soon. At the end of GKYM, we had to pray for a group of people who doesn’t know the Lord and fast for them, once a week and I’m so happy that I am still doing that. I’ve missed only three times and oftentimes, I did forget why I was fasting, but God reminded me and I was able to pray for them. This was so humbling because I only used to pray for myself and maybe my family but now, I’m praying for people I don’t know, my church, my sisters and brothers, my friends, my entire family on both sides.
  • Because Jan 1 fell on a Sunday, I was able to attend New Years service and go to Times Square to see the ball drop for the first time! I never had the chance to go because I would attend service but God is good! Although I didn’t get to see the actual ball drop but rather, the reflection of it from a building made of glass (thank God for those), I am so grateful that I was even able to see it, that I was with people who were all really excited about the new year and what it holds, and considering that I went there at like 10pm, so grateful for my view.
  • Anderson Cooper wished me a happy new year as soon as it turned 2012 and smiled at me, to me, for me and I believe this is why my year has been so amazing so far.
  • Giants won!
  • Valentine’s day was a bummer but ew, boys are gross so who needs them, right? GIRL POWER!
  • Went to the Temper Trap concert with Coral! Coral found a VIP ticket on the floor and we freaked out like crazy! We didn’t think it was going to work but it did so we were able to meet them and get a picture with them. Coral’s so awesome.
  • Games of Thrones came back!
  • KRAFTWERK with Andrea!
  • Went to the The Shins concert with Gabby! Sat on the floor (cause we’re so old and our backs were hurting) of the balcony and I swear, if I just extended my arm a little bit I would have been able to touch the dude with the curly hair’s hair.
  • My sister graduated high school so goodbye Syosset, hello Woodside! Surprisingly, finding a new home wasn’t too hard. We met a very nice broker and he poured his heart and soul into finding us a home within our budget. Even after we moved in, he still helped out! Praise God for him.
  • I moved into the apartment before my mom and sister did so I had the house to myself for ten days! It was awesome- but I didn’t have a bed or anything really so… but it was still awesome. Judith came over to keep me company and we ate subways and spent basically the whole time trying to find wifi that wasn’t locked and waking up every ten minutes because the airplanes (I apparently live very close to La Guardia.)
  • Epiphany came to visit!
  • Sister and I went to 92Y with Amy Poehler. She’s so tiny.
  • Went to the beach with Coral twice and got to hang out with her family. I’m in love with her mom, she’s so hot, I can’t.
  • JESUS CULTURE! I got to volunteer with a couple of friends and made new friends along the way and what a blessing it was. The sermons and testimonies I heard from the conference resonated with me and still resonates with me. I am constantly reminded of the sermons and God’s grace from the conference. The praise was amazing. It was so amazing to praise God with soooo many people from all over the country, with multiple nationalities coming together to praise our Father, our God, our Savior. Out of the whole conference, the thing that pastor Carl Lentz said really stuck with me. We, Christians, always work on people and then give up because of whatever reason. We always say, “I almost could have been there for him”, “I almost could have cared a little more” and pastor Carl said, “What if God almost saved you? What if He almost bankrupted Heaven and earth to save you but didn’t? He could have, but didn’t. He almost did, but didn’t.” and that slapped me right in the face. “What if God almost saved me?” That means He didn’t save me! That means that I would have been still cut off from God, still in my filth, entrenched in my sins. The thought of that gives me the shivers and reminded me to never, never stop preaching the Gospel. My prayer is to see the people who God has highlighted for me. I can’t see everybody but to be able to see the people He has pointed out for me. Also, Kim Walker-Smith is the most beautiful woman I have ever met, her talking voice even sweeter than her singing voice, and she just glows, literally, her face shines when she’s praising. It’s such a beautiful sight.
  • Our EM summer retreat with pastor David Yi as our guest speaker! It was so much fun learning more of the Father and spending time with my sisters and brothers.
  • My EM Women’s Bible Study! I was so hesitant to go at first, really felt judged by the questions I was asking so stopped going and decided to go again and I am so, so glad that I did. I love every single one of you ladies. I’m so glad that I became close to them and really worship God together, that I am able to call you sisters and lean on you. When I have trouble, I know I can count on you to pray for me.
  • The Dark Knight Rises – three times baby!
  • Korea being 3rd place for the London Summer Olympics!
  • This semester starting!
  • This semester ending!!
  • The professors I have met until now at Parsons. I am so blessed to have had them as my professors. These people tell me what I’m lacking in, what I need to get better in, what I’m good at and help me in the direction I want to go. I am so lucky to have them, to count on them to help me as an illustrator. God placed these people in my life for a reason and I’m so thankful for them.
  • Been given the opportunity to even apply to study abroad. I honestly always wanted to but never even thought about applying but it was because of God that I was even able to even dream and push forward. God has been with me the whole time, even when I decided not to go because of financial issues. I believe God was testing my faith. Going to Italy has been my everything for the past months and everything became second. I am so proud that I was able to look to Christ and be reminded of His blood and His promises, that He does all things for the good of His people and that He will get me something better and bigger than Italy :)
  • I was able to be not so upset about Italy because of a very special sister and friend, very dear to my heart. When Sharon was still in youth group, she joined the church’s volleyball team and I went to one of her tournaments. I got on my friend’s car and on the car ride, she just asked me how I was doing and for some reason, I said, “not good” even though I was completely fine! Honestly, really, I was so fine but I answered not good and we started talking. I told her about my frustrations with my art, my dreams and aspirations, and she said the most shocking thing to me ever. Don’t make fun of me, but my dream my whole life (ask my mom and sister) was to be a model, a singer, an actress, and an artist (illustrating and fashion designing fell in that category). My whole I dreamed of that and I always got discouraged and mad because I’m not 6 feet tall. I always looked to Kate Moss as my inspiration because she’s tiny and she’s still a supermodel! My prayer requests always was for me to grow and my prayers and my notion of God was always one-sided. “God made this whole world in 6 days, He can make me grow 3 inches” was my saying. When she heard me talk about this and my frustrations, she asked me if it’s ok, if I would be ok if I don’t ever become a model, a singer, and an actress and I immediately went “NO!” No way, there is no way I am not becoming a singer, a model, and an actress. This is who I was meant to be. This life, this crappy life, this life where I can’t even go to watch a movie with my friends because I don’t have money- this is not what God wants from me. This is not what a princess, God’s chosen, His beloved, His daughter is supposed to live like. This is not my life, and this will certain not be the way I live until I die. Then she said if being a model, singer, actress was more important to me than God, if I would sacrifice losing God and my relationship with Him to be a model, actress, singer and what my reasoning behind wanting to me those things were. To be honest, my reasons weren’t always so selfish. I was going to glorify God with my talents but I thought about it and I felt so angry. Why would God put me in this situation where I have to choose between Him and my dream? All those oscar speeches, all the inspiration quotes, all those interviews and poses I practiced- what was I to do with them now? I thought about it and I said no, God is more important and she told me that God doesn’t want me to not be happy but I have to listen to Him, that I was telling God this is the best life for me and that I know better than He does. I realized I needed healing, I was so broken, and when I went home, that I was going to sacrifice my dreams for Him but it was so hard. I cried so much. As stupid as it sounds for me to be crying over becoming a model and whatnot, it was my dream, it was literally my everything. Why did God allow me to go this far with my dreams and allowing me to think that something was going to happen if this is how it was going to end? I cried for many days, I couldn’t lay it down to Him and after brutal, intense healing sessions, I was able to surrender everything to Him because I finally understood. My life isn’t mine, it’s another one of God’s vessel to bring glory to Himself. That I would be so lucky to be accepted as His daughter, that Christ died on the cross for me and forgave my sins- I should be so honored and privileged. A life of a Christian is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever and to surrender everything to Him, to follow Him. I was telling God to follow me because I know what I need in my life. Even if my purest intentions were to bring glory to God, who’s to say celebrities aren’t glorifying God?, I was still telling Him to follow me. I had to surrender my pride, my everything to Him and to take up the cross to follow Him. If God does end up using me as model, a singer, and an actress, then let it be but I will follow Him. He is worth everything, nothing in this world can replace Him or be better than Him. Nothing in this world could possibly offer anything than Christ. My life isn’t mine, it’s God and if my whole life I don’t have money, if my whole life I never travel to Italy, or visit my family in Korea every ten years then let it be. God does all things for my benefit, He promised and His promises never fail.
  • Since I don’t get to go to Italy, my mom promised me a puppy so look forward to many puppy pictures!!
  • Going to the Daily Show with Sharon, Judith, and Anna with guest J.K. Rowling!
  • My BBVIPBFI Gabby got me a ticket to go to the Big Bang concert for my birthday present because it was on the day of my birthday and it was God saying GD and I are meant to be.
  • My 21st birthday!
  • So grateful for my family, friends, and church members. When I think about the love I receive from my friends, my hearts is overwhelmed and I feel so extremely blessed. I haven’t received a present for my birthday since 7th grade so that I have a friend willing to spend money on me to bring me 4 hour of happiness is such a blessing to me. I also met up with friends I haven’t seen in such a long time, buying me dinner and educating me on wine. God bless you all.
  • THE HOBBIT! IT’S GONNA BE DA BOMB DOT COM
  • My awesome Christmas sweater.
  • Hirah leaving for missions for a year. She’s such an inspiration and a blessing to me. That she would take a year off school to go preach the Gospels to those who don’t know. It makes me really re-evaluate myself, to be the salt and light, to be God’s vessel, His instrument. For Him to be glorified through me, that my life would be transparent. I love you!
  • For my family. I oftentimes take my family for granted but they are so amazing and am really glad that my life is the way it is. I wished so much that I could have been born into another Christian family, one whose parents aren’t fighting all the time, one whose parents aren’t divorced, where my sister wasn’t my sister, where I was rich but how horrible and evil that was. I love my family more than anything in the world. I love my sister so much. When I see her growing in the faith, when I see her react to her surroundings, to the horrible situations that befall upon her, I just want to cry. A smile just automatically comes on my face and my heart melts and I can only imagine how big God’s smile must be when He looks upon her. As a sister, my heart is pounding, giving thanks to God with every beat, I can’t imagine what my mom or God feels when they see her. I’m also so glad for my mom more than anything. There were so many times when I get frustrated and mad but I am so lucky that my mom is my mom, especially for her faith. Yes, it was God who chose me even before birth but it was my mom who lived out in faith through every situation, every day and I was able to open my heart up to God and even be excited about going to church because of my mom. Her first response to everything is praying. I’m so lucky that she’s such a great woman of faith, that I have someone to look up to and someone to model after when I become a mom myself. I’ve always had spiritual talks with my mom and most recently, I saw my mom in a different light. For those who didn’t know, my parents are divorced and it’s been very hard on my mom because she had to play the role of being my mom, my friend, and my dad. After the divorce, I told my mom multiple times I wish she would remarry, to find someone who really loves her, to really know what a Godly, holy marriage is because I would see people get married to the person that God has set apart for that person and it broke my heart to think that my mom hasn’t experienced it. She said she saw a picture of my aunt linking arms with my uncle and she commented on the picture and my aunt said that she loves the sight of growing old with my uncle and that her heart breaks thinking that my mom hasn’t experienced it and my mom said not to feel sorry for that because that’s unnecessary, that she has God and two daughters who would jump over hoops for her, that she’s not lonely and that broke my heart. How dare I, to think that my mom was lonely just because she doesn’t have a husband? This isn’t about feminism, “we don’t need no men” crap, how dare I think that my mom was alone? I thought about myself. I don’t have boyfriend, I wonder if people look me and pity me because I never had one. I also thought about the many times I complained to God how it was unfair that my mom gets to suffer like this, that my dad had a girlfriend but my mom is alone, that she doesn’t ever want to marry again because her view of marriage is totally distorted. How dare I to think that God didn’t have a plan for her, that He didn’t love her way more than I do? Yes, my mom doesn’t have a husband and maybe my mom won’t ever remarry but that doesn’t mean she’s alone. It doesn’t mean that she’s lonely. She’s a woman who has found full contentment in God and His blessings and that speaks volumes of faith to me. I really, really wish to be like her. That I get to call myself her daughter is the proudest thing for me.

This year has been so amazing to me in so many ways. I feel so blessed to have had this year. I don’t think that I have ever honestly been thankful for a year before. Even last year, I dreaded it and couldn’t wait till it was over. I’m praying that 2013 is going to be as amazing as this year. I can feel it already, 2013 is going to be amazing! I’m writing this on Dec. 13 so hopefully, I would have better news to update this post with (like a dog!)

—-

EDIT: (12.14.2012) THE HOBBIT WAS REALLY THE BOMB DOT COM! (preceded to watch two more times afterwards)
(12.17.2012) I got a puppy! 5 months old Bichon Frise!
(12.24.2012) 언니 결혼한데!!!!!!!! 왠이리야!!
(12.29.2012) 깔순이 went to a better home, where she will get all the love and time that she deserves. It kind of breaks my heart, especially to see my mom so devastated, but I know this is the best for us and for her. It really is awkward to leave the door open and not have her come into our room and under our beds but she’s with a loving home. The guy who came to pick her up didn’t even care about what we had to say because he just fell in love with her and couldn’t even take his eyes off of her. That makes me feel so much more better.
(12.30.2012) It’s 1:43am and already New Year’s Eve. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I’m going to buy a vacuum and clean this entire house, do some sketching and knitting, and I’m really excited for that.

God is so good. He’s so wonderful.

Florence, Italy

It’s been a week since I found out that I can’t go to Florence because I didn’t win the Gilman scholarship, the one I was very heavily relying on. Since everything was going perfectly, I, for sure, thought I was going to win Gilman and be able to go. But it turns out, I didn’t and I need about $9,000, close to $10,000, to go.

When I found out, I was very sad. I cried a lot. My family didn’t know what to do or what to say and tears just kept on coming out of my face. I wasn’t very sad about Italy, I thought in the back of my mind that there was a possibility that I won’t be able to go, but felt empty, like everything I’ve been working for and looking forward to has just shattered through one email. I felt like I missed an opportunity that was handed to me and I felt very sad because of that. As a joke, my mom always said she was going to get me a dog if I don’t go because everything was going so well my mom also thought for sure I was going but I think there’s going to be a little doggy running around my house soon.

The day after, I went to my study abroad advisor and my financial aid advisors and it was so easy to enroll back into the system. One email to my study abroad advisor and another one to the school in Florence saying I can’t go due to financial reasons and boom, it’s done. Just like that. That also made me feel very empty.

Even though I’m not going, I’m fine. I’m ok. I know that God has bigger and better plans for me. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, DECLARES the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The Lord has plans for me and I am ok that Italy was not a part of it. I thought of many things:
A) I heard a sermon from Pastor Carl Lentz and he said that sometimes satan lets things build up so the fall can be harder. It may have been from the very beginning God saying no. Satan thought if everything went smoothly and according to plan, I would curse God and say “WHY?!” but I am glad that I am victorious!
B) God could have allowed these things to happen so when things do fall apart, I can know to really trust in Him. My qt for the past weeks has been on Job. Job was a righteous man but lost everything and yet never once cursed blames God. God wanted to test his faith and after, God gave Job everything back and more. I have been so grateful and joyful for everything for the past weeks that when my qt asks on the bottom “would you be able to be thankful even if you lose everything?” I answered “yes” because everything was going well and didn’t think I would need to trust in Him in that sense. I am also glad to say that I am victorious in this scenario, too!

I had a talk with one of my sisters over the summer and she asked if everything I dream of – all my dreams, goals, aspirations – if none of them happen, would I be ok with that. I answered no and I had to really spend time with God and evaluate my heart, I needed healing. After a couple of weeks, I realized how important He is and how desperately I need Him, every single day of my life and decided that yes, even if this is how my life will be forever until I die, I am ok with that. And since then, I have been living with that attitude and God is revealing more of His glory and plans with me. When I found out I couldn’t go, I wasn’t mad or angry because of this experience I had to go through. I am ok because God is much more important. Pastor Carl, in another sermon, also said, “Even if He doesn’t do a single thing in our lives, He’s already done enough” and I totally concur with that.

Praise God that He loves me. Really, praise God.

sylviajun:

Adventure Time master post!

Originally posted on Nwii KYA mm's space:

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Billy’s Bucket List!

I have re-uploaded the episodes with better, WEB-DL version!
Yup and I hope y’all enjoy the episode well hehe!

Also since it’s March 20th, it’s my Birthday!
Yippie! Yeah and I haven’t watched this episode yet so i’m gonna enjoy it well!

It was a long run but finally Season 5 of Adventure Time is coming to an close. Yup hehe!

Season 6 however is already planned, ready and will be premiering soon on April 21, 2014! So until then, Adventure Time will be taking a break so prepare the dates for April 21st! Yes indeed I will be uploading all of Season 6, 7 and beyond until the very end!

So see ya guys until then!

Personal Note:
Recently, my main computer has broken down so there’s a reason why it took me so long to replaced the HD version and upload the rest…

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