Monday, February 16, 2015

the stones will cry out.

i can't imagine going through an entire day without showing or telling J how much i adore and cherish him. i think i would implode if i couldn't freely express to him, or the world for that matter, how deep and profound is my love for him. and if this is how stifled and besides myself i would feel in regards to my husband, how much more suffocating would it be if i couldn't speak about Jesus? what if J and i couldn't hold hands, close our eyes and pray for our meals in public like we typically do? what if J couldn't blast "Hosanna" on his iphone and sing along in the showered for all our neighbors to hear? would it make a difference and impact in our lives? would we carry on because no one noticed we were Christians anyways? i couldn't help but feel a piece of God's heart breaking as i read about the Egyptian Christians on ccn this morning. the article said some of them cried out "oh God" and "oh Jesus" as 21 of them were beheaded in Libya. i closed my eyes and pictured heaven and all the angels holding their breath and standing completely still, even just for a moment, as God heard their cries and wept with them. i bet they understood the passage in Luke that says, “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

i realize that praying before a meal, singing worship songs in the shower or blogging aren't huge acts of sacrifice or extravagant displays of affection. but today i'm holding onto these privileges a little tighter and closer to my heart as i have the liberty to worship Jesus on my knees, as elaborately or silently as i please, and so many others do not.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


My Honeybunches & love of my life!
You may not realize this but my mom and dad have been praying for you for over 31 years. Because ever since i was born i know they have been dreaming about the man who would walk into my life one day & ask to hold my hand & vow to keep my heart whole & pure for as long as i live. & that man is you! 박재휘! Congratulation! you are the fulfillment to the promise that God really does restore the years the locusts have eaten. I waited so long for you and you are so worth the wait! You are better than i ever imagined, greater than i could have dared to pray for. God writes the most epic stories & I'm forever thankful & delighted that you are chosen to be my husband. This is my favorite love story. You awaken my heart & compel me to behold Jesus more as you reveal so much of his love for me each day. I'm more beautiful & ravishing because of you. Thank you.
I cant wait for a lifetime of hearty laughs, crazy adventures and celebrating milestones with my best friend. I still cant believe that God entrusts me with this extravagant love but i know i will always treasure & cherish it. Through dark & low valleys or seasons of flourishing, my love & commitment will never fade. Whether we are in lack or abundance i will choose you everyday. This is my vow to love, serve, respect & honor you into eternity & my promise that i will do all that i can to point our lives to Jesus so we look more like him with every passing day, from glory to glory. I love you forever & ever & ever.

Jini, on this special day, in the presence of God and all these witnesses, want to declare that you are the love of my life, my one true love, and I never imagined that I can be as happy as you make me.  Because of you I laugh, I smile, and you make lifemore enjoyable.  You somehow always manage to put a smile on my face no matter what mood I’m in.  You will always be the best part of my day and I hope that I can be that for you as well.Being up here with you today is surreal and there is still a part of me that can’t believe that I am the person that gets to marry you.  I can’t wait to start our life together and develop into the couple that God has envisioned us to be.  With all my heart, I take you as my wife, knowing and accepting your faults and strengths, as you do mine.  I promise to love and cherish you unconditionally, in good times and especially the bad.  I promise to always be faithful, honest, and have an open line of communication.  I promise to constantly contribute to our marriage so that it can get better and better.  I promise to brighten your day when you’re feeling down and put a smile on your face when you’re feeling sad.  I promise to always be respectful of your feelings and never put you down.  I promise to grow with you mentally and spiritually.  I promise to always support you and stand by your side, and I want you to know that there is nothing that I won’t do for you for the rest of our lives.  I promise to do my best to be worthy of your love.  JiniI want to thank you for the sweat, blood, and tears that you put into our relationship.  Thank you for loving me despite all my faults.  Most importantly, thank you for marrying me.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

just in time.

we were sitting in bumper to bumper traffic last friday night on the way back home to jersey. given that i was famished and felt the weight of a long week at work that accompanies most fridays, one can expect that i was cranky and on the verge of losing my temper with each red light and taxi cab that cut us off. maybe i was outwardly a tad bit irritable but it was mostly alleviated by an intense calming joy and peace in my heart. earlier that evening J drove into the city with his childhood friend to make a special purchase and pickup from 47th street. excited and anxious, i rode the subway from my office and made plans to meet him right outside of the store. with J half an hour behind schedule, still numerous blocks away from the destination, and the store nearing closing time, i was losing patience and letting my paranoia get the best of me- again. my crazy imagination ran away with me as i started entertaining all these dramatic and sad scenarios- he changed his mind, he's not coming, i have to go home alone. i kept staring at each passing car, willing the next one to be J's, all the while feeling the knot in my stomach grow. with my gaze still fixated on the road i almost missed J running toward me at full speed, gasping and frantically looking for the entrance to the store, yet still managing to give me a quick smile. while he continued to rush upstairs, i waited outside and laughed to myself as i pictured J running (J hates running) through the crowded streets of nyc to make it in time and keep his word. although my fears quickly disappeared with his arrival, i rebuked myself in frustration for holding on so tightly to my plans and strict timeline after promising myself i'd let go of this chronic habit. time and time again, i'm finding that i need to give up my insistence for control of my life and accept that God and His glorious plans may not fit in my perfectly structured box. J came out of left field when my focus was elsewhere, like serendipity. this time i vow to fix my eyes on Jesus alone and allow Him to lead me through the rest. and when i get off track and need Him to hold my hand and bring me back every once in a while, thank God for His gentle kindness and saving grace. forever changed by His love- one day at a time.

"You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Here I stand humbled by the love that You give, 
Forgiven so that I can forgive.
So here I stand, 
Knowing that I am Your design, 
Sanctified by glory and fire.
And now I've found the greatest love of all is mine, 
Since You laid down Your life, 
The greatest sacrifice

Your grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed but alive in Your hands 

Forever I am changed by Your love
In the presence of Your Majesty

Thursday, September 5, 2013

sufficiently loved.

my pastor said in a sermon a few weeks ago that if you fear man more than God it'll lead you to sin. right away i knew this was deeply profound but i didn't really grasp it until just now- after many hours of contemplating and praying for wisdom to understand this truth. it led me to survey my past and reflect on all the times i regrettably fell into sin, all the people i hurt along the way, and the reasons why. in addition to fearing man, i was more concerned about pleasing them over God. it actually makes me incredibly sad to think about how delusional i was for getting it so twisted. i was desperately searching for approval and acceptance that is first, foremost and ultimately only found in God. my quest for love was always diminished by my many failed attempts to find it. i still believe my desires and intentions were pure and genuine but my character and state of mind didn't match up. the main problem was i tragically believed i wasn't deserving of such radical and extravagant love. i settled and i paid for it. i'm probably still paying for it.
i was talking to sis this week about j and how much i don't deserve him or the love that he shows me. she immediately corrected me and said of course i do, but after all the wrong that i've done i thought i was right to feel this way. maybe it was false humility or gratefulness masked in self pity, but the Lord began to speak to me this morning on my commute to work about how i am still believing a lie and it's not ok. He took away everything in me that is so undeserving and unworthy when He died on the cross- once and for all. there is no glory in punishing myself when His blood is more than sufficient to wipe away and destroy all the ugliness inside of me. despite my refusing to take hold of it, He deems me worthy and says i was made for love. this kind of revelation just wrecks me and i'm so tempted to crawl back in that place where i just keep rejecting Him b/c i don't merit His favor and affections. but i'm not going to do that anymore b/c that's what has always led me off track. instead i'm going to joyfully receive and accept His love and thank Him forever and ever.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork,created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:4-10

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

in the company of mockers

every morning i pass by a technical school on my way to work. most days i opt for the sidewalk across the street, or straight up share the middle of the road with oncoming traffic, as to avoid the crowd of sexually charged and very inappropriate men spewing out whatever rendition of vulgarity they can come up with. their lewdness makes me shudder, especially so early in the morning, but i try my best to hide the blatant and instinctive rolling of my eyes as i pretend not to hear them. given that i have no problem standing up to confrontation or speaking my mind, i always give myself props for resisting the strong urges to either throw up in sheer disgust or knee them as hard as i can in the you-know-what.
however, on this particular morning i had too much on my mind to give a second thought to passing through the lion's den. all was well with the exception of one guy who wouldn't stop yelling out "ni hao. NI HAO!" are you freaking serious, guy? does it give you some kind of sick satisfaction by saying hi to me in chinese until i give you a reaction? i wanted so badly to turn around and scream "mother effer!" accompanied by other colorful profanities but spared myself the trouble.
as annoying as this incident was, it led me to reflect on Jesus and the cross. He was mocked, beaten and spit on and not once did He rightfully tell them off saying, "do you know who I am?? do you know who my Father is??"  i can't imagine the unbelievable rage and injustice i would feel if i were in the same position, given that Jesus is the Son of God, the Creator of the universe. heck, i was ready to attack this guy for saying hi to me in another language. and still, Jesus literally and actually died for those scoffers. i can't fathom that kind of love. i don't even know if i could ever begin to understand and be as gracious. what kind of love does it take to be able to stand firmly and boldly in the face of vicious mockers and be fully confident that your Father will always have the last word? that's Christ's love. i will never cease to be amazed.

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

Friday, August 16, 2013

the waves will break every chain

i'm the type that needs instant gratification and immediate results & my biggest pet peeve is waiting around for anything. i'm positive i'm not alone here. especially when it comes to intangible and uncontrollable things such as a broken heart, the lurking stench of apathy or hopelessness, or unfulfilled promises, i'm particularly impatient. it's as if i literally can't wait for whatever is next & i'd do anything to get there. i'm not only this way with my own outlook but i've come to realize i share the same unrealistic expectation on behalf of those i love and care about. if there is even the slightest hint of hardship or discord in their lives, i always look for a way to rescue them from the pain as soon as possible. i would trade places with them in a second if it meant they didn't have to endure the discomfort themselves. talk about a savior complex. and although i'm no stranger to it, i never face adversity, for myself or others, with confidence or faith. it's like, hello? haven't i learned at all to trust the Lord in all circumstances? has He ever given me a reason to doubt Him? no.
the fleeting and petty desires in my heart have always come and gone very effortlessly for me- much to my misfortune. i became spoiled and ungrateful and my heart was quickly hardened. i never sought what was worth waiting for- the things that will last. looking back on the past few years, the Lord has taught me that there are no shortcuts and no quick fixes for His perfect plans and timing. no matter how much i cry my eyes out, i won't have the answers or figure it out on my own. which begs the question, whoever said i have to save myself anyways? did i ever stop to consider that Jesus may be using this time to prepare and mold me? maybe He has something to say. thank God for His faithfulness that He carried me through the valleys and dark seasons to realign my heart with His and whisper that He's still with me and He's scheming for my good.
although i still cringe when i think about the weight of despair that i sustained (and prolonged due to my slow learning), i'm utterly thankful that He made me wait. i kicked and screamed along the way but He allowed it because His ways are always better. i could have never dreamed of this given my limited perspective and lack of wisdom or imagination. everything is going to be alright. not just alright, glorious and epic if we'd only just let Him.

But a certain sign of grace is this
From a broken earth flowers come up
Pushing through the dirt

- David Crowder, Wholly Yours.
Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
What a person desires is unfailing love;
    better to be poor than a liar. 
The fear of the Lord leads to life;
    then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 19: 20-23

That feeling that doesn't go away just did
And I walked a thousand miles to prove it
And I'm caught in the crossfire of my own thoughts
The color of my blood is all I see on the rocks
As you sail from me

Alarms will ring for eternity
The waves will break every chain on me
My bones will bleach
My flesh will flee
So help my lifeless frame to breathe

And God knows I'm not dying but I bleed now
And God knows it's the only way to heal now
With all the blood I lost with you
It drowns the love I thought I knew

The lost dreams are buried in my sleep for him
And this was the ecstasy of a love forgotten
And I'm thrown in the gunfire of empty bullets
And my blood is all I see
As you steal my soul from me

Alarms will ring for eternity
The waves will break every chain on me

Ellie Goulding- My Blood

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

not afraid anymore.

i remember when i first heard this song hand me down and i swore rob thomas was singing about me. the song got stuck on repeat as i sulked in my own self pity but i felt powerless and unmotivated to do anything about it. when i look back on where the heck my head was during that time, it breaks my heart that i allowed myself to wallow in that state for as long as i did as if i was in a trance or something. i can still recall all the mornings i woke up so unsettled and anxious, desperate to appease my restless appetite for wholeness in my soul. there was so much fear and worry in me and even though i always professed to believe in true love, i was so afraid i was beyond repair. (just read through my past blogs and you'll see what i'm talking about) i was such a poser. it was exhausting and entangling and i knew deep down inside that this wasn't the way it's supposed to be- not even close. it took years of wasted striving that amounted to nothing and a severely wounded spirit to finally break down and cry out to God b/c there was no other option. as pathetic and unfortunate as it was, it was so necessary and surprisingly pretty liberating. i must have wailed in that upstairs room in martha's vineyard for hours until i realized i don't know God at all. if i truly knew God- who is the Creator of the universe and the King of all Kings- as my Father, would i still live in fear? if i had faith that my Father is good and loving and would never forget about me, would i obsessively try to take control of every matter in my life? no, i don't think so.
i can't explain in words what happened to me after that meltdown- all i know is that i'm not afraid anymore. this past year can be simply summarized as intense detox and rehabilitation by God's love but i know there's so much more to the story. He's been pursuing me and after my whole heart my entire life, waiting so patiently throughout my countless mistakes and stubborn attitude. i guess i finally reached a dead end where i was forced to gazed at Him long enough to realize He was offering everything i was always longing for. i just had to let go of everything else. there is stillness and rest in my soul and my heart is overflowing- there is no more room for fear to dwell.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

Someday they'll find your small town world on a big town avenue
Gonna make you like the way they talk when they're talking to you
Gonna make you break out of the shell cause they tell you to
Gonna make you like the way they lie better than the truth
They'll tell you everything you wanted someone else to say
They're gonna break your heart, yeah

From what I've seen
You're just a one more hand me down
Cause no one's tried to give you what you need
So lay all your troubles down
I am with you now

Somebody ought to take you in 
Try to make you love again
Try to make you like the way they feel
When they're under your skin
Never once did think they'd lie when they're holding you
You wonder why they haven't called
When they said they'd call you
You start to wonder if you're ever gonna make it by
You'll start to think you were born blind

From what I've seen
You're just a one more hand me down
Cause no one's tried to give you what you need
So lay all your troubles down
I am with you now

I'm here for the hard times
The straight to your heart times
Whenever it ain't easy
You can stand up against me
And maybe rely on me
And cry on me, yeah
Oh no, no, no

Some day they'll open up your world
Shake it down on a drawing board
Do their best to change you
They still can't erase you