28 nov 2020
“There’s magic in our bones” is a phrase that has been repeating in my head recently. I get it, a lengthy debate on the meaning of the word magic could take place— it’s usually tricks and frills. But, what if we just take the essence of how magic feels like when it happens to us? Like that moment when the light at the crossing turns green just as you approach it or the way each hue of the sunset feels like it’s painted for you. It’s the same sensation that’s got me into doing backstage work. I’m trying to see it everyday, though.
I feel like if we chose to embrace each little moment as an ordinary miracle, there’s a certain exchange of grace and gratitude beyond our imagination. Making true choices has been my challenge October 2020. I’ve learned that there are four types of choices. True ones take place only out of love and commitment to grow, the others are made from fear, denial or just sheer mafan-mentality.
Being born in October definitely wasn’t my true choice but I truly believe I was born in the most perfect month. Autumn’s my favorite. My birthday usually coincides with the Jewish New Year but this year was an exception. Nonetheless, I welcomed twenty-six as a fresh new journal page, expectant of what will be scribbled here.
I’ve had a decent birthday despite the fact that I only know just a handful of people in Seoul. My cousins got me ice cream cake, my parents sang me songs via video call, church gave me a warm cheer, and my favorite people called to give me a birthday prayer. Oh, and I went on a pizza picnic date with this boy. Please gush, I give you permission. Q&A’s can take place via private messaging.
Then the very next day, God gave me his own little version of a birthday gift. Technically, nothing was belated because He has His own timezone. As I planned to doze off into a nap (I might be turning into a hibernating bear, this weather change is something else) God spoke clearly to my imagination. In this scene, I said “I’m staying. Not because this place makes my skin clearer. Not because of the new bridges I’m building. Nor is it because the food is yummy or I love this new found independence. God wants to show me something crazy. He wants me to stay. There’s a reconciliation happening for me. Remember the fences I’ve built around this country? They will crumble.”
As my mind said these things, I sobbed then fell asleep. Peace is joy resting. That evening, I told my parents of my new prerogative from God. They said it is well.
Then came the tsunamis of worrier umma and warrior appa—I let them be as discussions circled around money, housing, and job. Usually our video chats involve umma spewing for a solid five minutes and I nodding at her remarks and appa concluding with constructive suggestions and a prayer. Umma has been crying almost every family prayer session. My parents are a gentle reminder of our Heavenly Father who provides abundantly.
Almost as soon as I decided to stay, the pastor at the church I decided to attend regularly said “Oh yeah, I had a feeling God wanted you to stay. Let’s get coffee sometime, would love to talk to you.” Shocked and at peace, I agreed to meet up with lovely Pastor Sun who shared her hopes, dreams, and visions with me about an upcoming project. She offered me something of a dream job.
A couple weeks back before our meeting, she briefly mentioned this project at church, there was a deep longing within me that I wanted to be a part of this project. I asked God if I should proactively approach her, He said wait. I’ve waited this long in the hallway of closed doors, I can wait a little longer—in praise, in seeking. As Pastor Sun explained deeper into project description and the bigger picture around the project, I knew this was a divine appointment. She even emphasized how she was surprised to hear my name suggested as she prayed. We’ve only known each other for a few weeks so the connection was undeniably a miracle.
Even that week, I heard somewhere that miracles can only happen when we honor the presence of Jesus. I don’t know if I can be so bold as to say I have been an honoring follower. At the same time, I don’t think I can disregard how I’ve braved and praised out the last few months of twists and turns and loop-de-loops. If the first months in Seoul were grace-filled glimpses of what could be; now Jesus was asking me if I was ready to dive right in.
In result of divine connections and little miracles named people, my October was a month of saying yes, failing hard at getting driver’s license, receiving care packages full of winter clothes, and mastering the portion control of cooking for one, and sometimes two.
November meant details had to be settled. I’ve already said yes to Pastor Sun’s offer but because the project is still in very early stages, she cannot fully hire me yet. Then God opened a door through our divine appointment. The lady who will be sponsoring Pastor Sun’s project heard about my situation and willingly offered me a job and housing free of rent and utilities for this coming season, however long it may be. When Pastor Sun’s project needs all hands on deck, I’m free to move on. At first I thought they were joking. They weren’t.
I asked “Jesus?” He said “I’m good, am I not?” I hope I thrive in this environment that was created solely through grace and grace alone. I pray and pray that I won’t be cocky or entitled at this new job. This is a completely new experience of being around Koreans full time and I know there will be a learning curve. I pray Jesus takes my hands and feet, guide my tongue as I learn more about honoring and respecting this culture known as my passport country.
I’m excited, nervous, and grateful. All my pieces seem to be intact, so that’s good. The cold is absolutely no fun—I’m learning the art of layering. There’s magic in my bones. At this current moment that means I’m excellent at packing without stressing out. I’ll be moving out of this tiny borrowed home of four months to the new place in just a few hours. I’m waiting for my uncle to pick me up. The borrowed blankets that has kept me warm in this place are tumbling in the dryer. Here’s to the unknown. Cheers to the borrowed spaces. Let the magic unfold.