Saturday, December 27, 2008
Tonight, I went out for a drink with some girls that I have not hung out with in a while. They also teach English here in Korea. They do not know the Lord, and while we were at the pub, they started making lists about guys that are "doable" in Daegu. Then, then they asked me for my list, and they both know that I have a relationship with God, but that tells me they really don't understand what it means. I told them after they insisted on me having a list, that I have never had sex before, and will not having sex with anyone in Korea unless I get married here (slim chance of that). I said, I am saving myself for my husband. They said nothing, they did not mock me, they did not say good for you, they just sat there for a second, and went back to their own lists. It did not hinder them from being any less open with me, but then again, they were both drunk. They did repeatedly say after that that I was probably wishing I wasn't there with them, and I would say no I am glad to be here with you. I figured this day would come eventually, and I didn't know how they would respond, but God gave me a peace right before I told them. I knew in my heart that I had to tell them, that God wanted me to. Be praying for them that God would open their hearts.
Monday, December 22, 2008
It is the day before Christmas Eve, and my heart is filled with joy and great anticipation. Being so far from family really brings you to embrace the reality of Christmas. Not the presents, the commercialism, or even great company (aka family and friends). I am faced with the greatest love story in the world. God in all His gracious love sent His Son to Earth. He left perfection to join the dirty grunge of this sin ridden world. He walked it for 33 years and lived through so many things that we experience such as betrayal, grief, and loss. We do not have an unsympathetic High Priest. He chose to start His journey as a helpless child and live in the family unit. He could have come down as an adult, as a King, but He came so humbly. He brought us hope that night, the hope of the world came. All who were living in pain, sorrow, and a hopeless situation were given an alternate ending to their stories. He brought us peace that night. He would grow to crush the head of the serpent and defeat the thing that causes us so much strife. He is our peace. Love came that blessed night as well. For how could there be any greater love than from the One who came to die for those who were willing to put Him to death. In two days, we celebrate His birth. Let us rejoice and celebrate well, because is the best news we will ever have! Merry Christmas friends and family! I love you all.
P.S.- I am now going to Seoul for my vacation, God answered quite quickly. God even cares about our vacations. = )
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I never thought the concept of vacation would be depressing, but I have just arrived upon the realization that this year's "vacation" could be vastly depressing. I do not have enough money or time to go home and see me family. I do not even have enough money to go to Japan, unless I take the 14 hour fairy, no really, it is 14 hours long. My church friends do not have the same time off as me, and my friends in Seoul are not responding to whether they will have time open on those days. I really hate this. God knows because I am constantly talking His ear off about it. I never thought that I would be praying so much about my vacation. I am fine with my situation here Daegu, I have peace about these 12 months, but I am freaking out over figuring out what to do for my 5 day weekend. A vacation should be refreshing, not stressful. I really don't know what to do, so I guess I will keep talking to God about it.
On top of the vacation drama, I am starting to get my first case of the Christmas blues. My family will all be together in Italy as of this weekend, and I will not be with them. I hate that fact. Today, my coworker, Chloe got a package in the mail for Christmas from her family and had to hold back the tears. I know that the reason for the season is not family or friends, but sharing the beauty of Christ's birth with them is something you take for granted until you don't have it. I am praying that the Lord will be my comfort, and fill my heart with joy despite all these things that are happening right now. I will still probably call my bosses Scrooge because of this all year long.
Monday, December 15, 2008
You know how there are those things that always happen in your life. They are inevitable, and your reaction is consistent each time they occur. I wish my reaction was not so consistent, I wish that I would change, and there are things around me saying, "you can change." It is so hard to believe that after 23 years of handling something the same way. In "Breaking Free" by Beth Moore, she talks about being free from things that enslave you and hold you in bondage. One of her points is that we must believe God, I find myself not believing Him a lot of the time. Especially when this issue arises. Have I given into self-defeat and demise? No, I am slowly beginning to realize that the road to freedom is a long one. It takes time to be free, to change 23 year long habitual reactions. Coming from the generation of convenience and comfort, I want my life to change NOW. The road is long, hard, and painful. Many good things in life that are worth something do NOT come quickly or easily. How sad it seems to me, that I am still waiting for Him to put the pieces of my heart back together even though it has been 4 months...In this moment, I am having a fantastic realization, maybe these 4 months He has been put the pieces together. If there is anything that I know, it is that God does things differently than I expect Him to. I am praying for a change. Maybe over this year God will break me of these things that could kill me.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Today a passage that I have been clinging to since this past May came more alive for me. Since the wave of hard times began, I have been enthralled by these words. It is still one of the most beautiful things to my ears.
"But to those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction. He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food."
At Bible study this morning, one of the girls brought up that "being wooed" is a choice. He is wooing me from the jaws of distress, but I have to let Him woo me. I have to accept His love, His chivalry. Essentially, I can choose to be stuck in despair about my affliction, or I can accept His "wooing"/love. Choose to see past myself and look towards what He is doing for His glory and namesake. Chivalry was never dead. = )
Monday, December 8, 2008
"I will lead the blind by the ways that they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."
A dear friend of mine sent me this verse today, and it touched my heart. I realized that it is a testament to who the Lord is, and what He has done for me since I first got here. He lead me blindly to South Korea, I had no idea I was coming until June or July, I can't remember which one. Then I got here, and it was all so unfamiliar, yet He guided my every step. Over a time of loneliness He brought me a church, and a community. He also is teaching me some really hard, but invaluable lessons that bring more of His light into my life. I just found out today that my new Korean co-worker is a believer! I asked her how her weekend was and she said that it was good because she went to church. I have never been so excited to meet another believer! I am no longer the lone believer in my work place, the Lord is making my rough places smooth. She wants me to visit her church with her one Sunday and hang out, I told her that I would love to do both. Praise the Lord! He has never forsaken me at any point of this journey. He gives me grace to face every day that is before me.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
This is from my devotional today. God is so literal sometimes that it shocks me, because I am expecting Him to always speak in some coded mysterious way, and then He lays it out so plainly.
"How can we say. 'It could never be God's will for me to be sick.'? If it was God's will to bruise His own Son (Isaiah 53:10), why shouldn't He bruise you? What shines forth and reveals God in your life is not your relative consistency to an idea of what a saint should be, but your genuine, living relationship with Jesus Christ, and your unrestrained devotion to Him whether you are well or sick."
Note the mention of "unrestrained devotion", it really seems funny to me that you can be restrained by your physical body, but at the same time, in your relationship with God, you can be unrestrained/free from all burdens. I think I allow my physical restraint to effect my spiritual state more than I should. For what more does God desire than my whole heart?