2016 ended and without a discernible glimmer 2017 stepped up to bat.
It could be that 2017 stepped up to the three point score line – or went to the middle of the field for the coin toss… Who knows. Time will tell.
Sooner than I can know 2018 will be in the shoes of 2017 and I’ll be writing another blog about how it all went.
– or maybe I won’t. I can’t tell that from this side. It could be that by this time next year I will be worshipping with the Angels -and 2017 will no longer have any relevance to me.
I long for that day.
Anyway 2016 did something special for me. I grew a lot in being able to speak more honestly. I meditated more and I faced more of my issues and discovered more about my triggers and unhealthy habits and today, answering a friend’s email I read what i’d written and i wept.
Finally after all these years I wrote very clearly exactly how things had been for me.
Dear 2016, many times you've frustrated me to no end. But in the end here are the things God taught me through you: There is no striving in His plan. His desire is that we rest in Him. He wants us to be generous without worrying for provision. It is more important that we get to know Him and who He is and for that to affect us and for that to change us than our status in society, or our daily satisfaction. He doesn't want His children to be afraid; but to trust His unfailing love. He knows how to speak intimately to me. He knows the language that only I can hear. He makes divine appointments. He's never surprised and He won't be hurried. God is patient. He is unfailing. He doesn't see my failing as foolishness. He only sees His divine plan and how it is unfolding in my life. I know there's more, but I will end with this: in Gods story for me 2016 is just part of the chapter He's writing. It isn't the end of something and 2017 isn't the beginning of something new. That ending and beginning started in Christ when He made me a new creation!!! So, here I am in SouthKorea and my last 2016 lunch is looking pretty good. So I'm gonna go eat it now 🙂 I praise You Lord! Thanks for showing me you are JehovahJireh!!! #splurgeday #subwaystarbucksandemartcornchips #starbucksgift #thanksNarae
my 2017 instagram post was a little more polished – but my email really showed exactly how it had been. Here is the book I wrote:
Sorry that I’ve been so terrible with keeping touch unsure emoticon I mean, basically I haven’t kept touch at all. It’s been a busy, hard, growing, and very fast year! I was really happy to hear from T– that you guys got my package! YAYYY! You can’t know how many times I wanted to get it sent to you guys but for one reason or another couldnot.
In his email T— asked me how the year has been and for any prayer requests – I’ll share my book with you (slightsmile emoticon)
Wow….so much has happened and in such a seemingly quick time the year is already gone!
It’s a little hard to talk about the past year – actually.
God was so faithful this year and taught me so much that for me in many ways left me feeling foolish and stupid.
I know that that wasn’t God’s intention, but it was the result of where my heart was. And it’s been a humbling experience.
On the surface there’s nothing wrong. Koreas still amazing, of course I’ve changed – I now actually have homesickness and miss everyone. I miss my church family, Hillside, and I miss my siblings – my grandparents – my Aunt and her family….
My problems lay at the core of what I thought about myself – and what I thought about the Lord.
I hadn’t realized how much I depended on my own efforts and my own provision and strength. It’s easy to seem dependant on the Lord when you have no choice or when you have no lacks – but for me, as you know, I came back to Korea to work and get the money for the World Race.
That was my whole mindset – my goal.
My drive – and as always I was making my checklist and I was going to accomplish the checking of it off.
I did everything I could to try and set that all in motion – and God opened the doors.
I saw that as a clear sign that I was moving in accordance with God’s will, – so I came back to Korea fully anticipating that that meant that God was making the way for me to make the money.
In a way, that only God can do, he’s actually used all of this to teach me that He wants to be my provider.
It happened slowly at first – and gradually increased.
What I’m talking about is over the months of me being here God increasingly asked me to help people out financially.
This on top of daily living hasn’t allowed me to save anything at all for the World Race.
Month after month I struggled with this catch-22.
Was God really asking me to be generous? How was I supposed to be generous and save the money?
Each month I felt that it was ok – because I’d start saving the next…
but God kept badgering me again the next month.
To say the least – It was an extremely frustrating year.
And at times I just lay in the valley of emotions and felt like a total fool for even dreaming about the World Race. For leaving my church. For leaving my grandparents. for leaving for this foolishness.
On the other hand, when I got to Korea I immediately began fellowshipping with a Church that I’d visited a few years before – before I’d left Korea the first time.
The fellowship has been AMAZING – and I couldn’t have asked God for more blessings of fellowship and discipleship than I got!
I spent every weekend in deep bible study community and church. I learned so much about myself and God and made deep impactful relationships. I am SO grateful for that – and its priceless to me. To have met these siblings in Christ and learned so much and been corrected, and rebuked, and prayed for – mentored and discipled. I am so grateful. Coming for this was SO worth it.
But for a driven person like me – for me the foolishness of my endeavor and the lack in attaining my goal has hung very heavy on my mind.
The church has a word that they always pray for for the year – a year that they sow into with their prayers and fellowship – and see how God will reveal himself in that way for the year.
This year was the year of rest.
One of my bible study friends when listening to me talk about my frustrations asked me, “Do you think maybe God’s trying to show you something and it’s so simple you’re missing it?”
“NO! there’s no way I’d miss something simple! He knows me! Whatever he wants from me I’d do it – big or small!”
Then near the middle of November God spoke softly to me one sunday morning and it broke me.
“This year was the year of rest,” he said. “C- , I saw your exhaustion and how tired you were with your grandparents and I brought you back to Korea to rest.”
The messages were all around me. Looking back I could see clearly that he had been telling me all year but I was too busy trying to achieve my goals.
“You strove all year to do what you thought I wanted you to do when all I wanted was for you to rest and trust that I was going to provide for you! I want to be your provider. I want to be the one who is your source of strength and provision. I wanted to bless you with rest this year.”
Wow! That really put me in a puddle of tears.
It’s still hard for me to write this. To say that this year I didn’t achieve anything financially. That I came and I totally failed at saving anything. Deep down I’m struggling with the foolishness I feel.
Another thing that he confirmed by the end of the year was a message I’d been getting all year: the message to take a leap of faith and let God provide for me.
Everything inside me nodded happily – – in total resistance.
I have two hands! I wanted to make the money to do this thing I think he wants me to do!……….why? Cause I could!
I decided to take a leap of faith though and prepare to go on the World Race Fall 2017 instead of in 2018 (my last chance date).
Around that same time in october/november I had some rediculous conflict with my coworkers (meaning it was really silly) and my manager said that the budget had been cut and they couldn’t extend my contract another 6 months (I was hoping/planning that in 6 months I could STILL skimp and save almost all the money I needed)….
Its been a difficult two months of totally mixed messages – a lot of korean conversations “behind my back” which I can totally tell are about me – so frustrating….mixed messages that imply it is or its not because of cut budget….so frustrating – but still trying to just trust God and act like I have no idea what they’re saying….
I feel like Gods telling me to trust Him and that He’s going to provide for me this next year…
I feel like Indiana Jones standing before the chasm, about to leap to my death in an attempt to reach the HolyGrail….
My contract is up at the end of February – and unless God changes something I will be back in the States – although due to many family situations I am not sure where I will be living/how me being back in the states will look unsure emoticon
Time is flying and it’s almost time!!!
So now that you have the book of my life this year I will ask for prayer.
Please pray that my faith is steady and that I hear all the Lord wants to tell me for this next season.
That I would have eyes to keep on the road of his will for me right now.
Pray that I would have opportunities open for me in the states and that I’d be faithful until the fall and that He would open the doors for me to beable to go on the World Race in the fall.
Pray for my shaky heart.
This is all pretty much terrifying me.
I don’t like “failing”
and I don’t like letting God provide financially for me….
i feel uncertain and honestly kind of awful about it….
I like clear paths where everything is certain and I know exactly what I am supposed to do and I know how to do it – achieve it – get it done – get there….
I like being self sufficient and able.
This feels like failure and foolishness to me….
I’m leaping – trusting that He’ll provide,
What’s up with you?