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this is not how i wanted my life to be. busy. stressed. overseas. single. 
 
then i turned twenty nine. this is REALLY not how i wanted my life to be. 
 
one to two days before my birthday, i was experiencing intense spiritual battle.  just knowing that i was entering into my last year of my twenty’s with still so many unknowns and questions unanswered got the best of me. i was thankful in my heart but also fearful of what’s to come and not to come. i could feel the evil one whispering in my ears to “slow down” “start taking care of yourself” and “get on with life”. 
 
i dont usually think this way, but it nearing my birthday, one naturally turns more emo and self-focused. i just knew that God was using even “MY DAY” (haha, no such thing) to expose my sins. being busy is life. being stressed happens every now and then. living overseas has its ups and downs. but being single – did i really choose this?
 
my parents seem to think so. they think im choosing to be single. im choosing to hide myself from all the potentials in the world by living in a certain faraway country. im choosing to break their hearts by not moving on to the next stage of life. some other friends think im choosing to be “picky” “unavailable” and too “independent”. 
 
no, what im choosing is to love Jesus and be loved by Him. i’m choosing to walk with him, and follow him wherever he leads me. im choosing to live life, not as my parents and peers tell me, but as my Father tells me. i’m not choosing to be busy, stressed, or single, but honestly, it comes at times as i choose Jesus. am i okay with that? 
 
if i believe God to be sovereign and perfect, that all situations and contexts are filtered through his fingers of love, then i have to be okay with that. heck, i should be more than okay with that ! for not a single detail is missed by him. therefore my being tired, stressed, and single is not a mistake, but perfectly and individually fashioned for me.  
 
so my conclusion after being 29 for about five days now is that although i get older and “singler”, i never, ever want to grow old in my passion for Christ and His church. my prayer for my upcoming years is that i wont stop dreaming big, wont get comfortable or seek comfort, and start to “settle” for far lesser things (i didn’t say people, i really mean just things, situations.) 
 
i am ready to live this year choosing him, over and over again. 

anyone else think that slew is the past tense of slay? well, i did … until i googled it.

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slew /slo͞o/

Verb: (of a vehicle or person) Turn or slide violently or uncontrollably in a particular direction.

Noun: A violent or uncontrollable sliding movement.
A large number or quantity of something: “he asked me a slew of questions”.

Synonyms:
verb. turn – slue – rotate – swing – spin – wheel – swivel
noun. mass – turn – slue

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“Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again. They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. ” Psalm 78.34-35

i see a direct cause and effect here. when God “slews” us, then we seek him. what is it about slewing that makes us seek him? from the definition above, i see it like this:

– sometimes life is going oh so dandy, and then something comes up. your family member gets sick, somebody wants to “talk” to you, you lose your job. that’s slew.

– when you realize you dont have control over your life, or worse people, anymore, that’s slew.

– when things are not going your way, you know, that particular way that you like to have people listen to you, remember you, serve you, love you, change for you? that’s slew.

basically, when things are spinning, swiveling, turning out of control, that’s God’s MERCY on our lives. he is waking us up, and by his grace moving us to seek him once again. (and he will do it again and again)

we all need a reminder or two, dont you think?


came across a song this morning that really encouraged me. as i was reflecting on my life and on those who are close to me, i also wanted a “quick fix” and was getting frustrated with myself, others, and even God. the lyrics of this song really blessed me, and challenged me to see that an intimacy with Christ is the greatest gift that we can have. i highlighted a few things that really jumped out at me.

We pray for blessings We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

** ‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

A few months back when I first got my braces a lot of people asked me why got ’em. In their opinion they didn’t see anything wrong. I think what they really mean is it wasn’t THAT bad. My teeth weren’t so bad that every time I opened my mouth to speak or laugh that it was unbearable to look at. But once I began to explain that well I used to suck my thumb when I was little and so my two front teeth are not aligned with the rest of my teeth, and how it’s so obvious when I look at pictures of myself, then they say okay okay I get the point.

The connection that I’m trying to make here is that sometimes we treat our sins and others’ sins that way too. Yes, I see that something is not quite right, but we shrug it off or even intentionally categorize it as “not a big deal”, meaning we can live with it. (But how can we live with it, if Christ died for it ?? ) We think :

Everyone else struggles with it too, or even worse !
I’ve tried and tried to conquer this area but I have just accepted it as part of who I am.
How can I point this out to others when I’m just the same?

Most Christians would publicly agree that “they are bad” (which is why they first accepted the Gospel) but also silently applaud themselves in not being “that bad” (and now the Gospel doesn’t apply to them anymore). Let’s not settle for “not that bad”. As I’m keenly aware of my physical imperfections, I hope I can be just as aware of the imperfections in my heart and seek perfection. And by Perfection I mean Jesus Christ, seeking repentance and forgiveness from Him. (oh, so we do need the Gospel again …)

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the sin of omission and the sin of commission. I first learned this concept my 2nd year in college as I read “The Life You’ve Always Wanted” by John Ortberg. Very simply put, sin of omission is when we sin by not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, while sin of commission is when we sin by doing what we’re not supposed to be doing. I go back and forth between which sin I’m more guilty of. An example of sin of omission is this: you feel like God has laid it on your heart to start praying about something regarding the future. However, because you fear what that future will look like, you put it off and don’t pray or even think about it. Instead you continue on with your busy life, all the while feeling the Holy Spirit nagging at you. I think that falls under the category of sin of omission because you are deliberately choosing to not do what God is putting on your heart to do. Okay, that’s just an example. Continue reading for the real example(s).

The sin of omission that I’ve observed many women (me, too, I’m a woman) guilty of is not confronting one another. Whether it’s to clear up a miscommunication, address a sin issue, or even just apologize, so many women would rather put it off than be bold enough to do it. The problem that I see with this is that it causes you to sin even more ! While you are just “putting it off” you are also not loving the person, being fake, being selfish, and possibly even talking about it with other people. (Now, it becomes sins of commission!) I realize that there’s a deeper issue beneath the “putting it off”, and maybe what God wants is a deeper transformation in you than just learning to confront.

The sin of commission that I often see in women is lying. White lie, fib, exaggerate, denial, or just staying mum, whatever you wanna call it, it’s NOT THE TRUTH. We are all guilty of it, and it’s no easy task to break out of this either. There are soooo many reasons women (and men) do this and it’s worth digging into it on your own. I’ve been trying to tackle this in two ways. One is by praying that God gives me a heart that truly fears the Lord, to really know that while he is a merciful and loving God, there will come a day when I will be kept accountable for everything that I think, say, and do with my life. The second way is by praying that the Holy Spirit gives me a greater sense of self-awareness so that when I do think/talk/react, that I will realize more of what it is that I’m actually doing.

But this is soooo hard to do, definitely impossible without the grace of God and guidance of the Holy Spirit, so don’t try to tackle it on your own!

Everyone has a desire to be known.

And as long as we’re known for something, we feel safe, like we have a place in the world, in society, even church. That’s why we have things like a “Hall of Fame” page in high school yearbooks that showcase “The Class Clown”, “Most likely to be the President of the United States” and “Most Popular”. Never mind that it’s probably not true, but it makes those selected few feel absolutely awesome, and the rest absolutely depressed. Why? Because the rest of us don’t feel known!

Then a whole trail of questions follows …

“Well, why am I not known?”
“Is there something wrong with me?”
“Why can’t I be a little more like her?”
“Doesn’t anyone see all that I do?”

My journey in Indonesia has partly been about this, and I’ve asked all the questions above. Coming to a new place where nobody knew me fueled the insecure girl in me to want to be known even more. The past 17 months have been a grueling, I mean refining, process of God un-doing and de-programming me from my self-centered and build-my-own-kingdom tendencies to learn (and learn over and over again) that only one thing really matters. I’m known by Him.

One summer night, my friend and I caught glimpse of a little girl and her dad. The girl and the dad were face to face holding hands, and then in the next second he threw her up in the air. He kept on going- tossing her higher and higher. We were at first really worried for the little girl. But the shrieks and squeals that soon came after reassured us that she was absolutely thrilled. I think we stared at them for a good few minutes.

Do you think it mattered that people were watching them or were even around them? Do you think she cared whether people knew who she was or not? No, because only one thing mattered. She was known by her dad.

But the [wo]man who loves God is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8.3

Girls, let’s pursue this journey together.