The Distance Between the Mind & the Heart

We should handle it the best way we know how and get on with it. That’s what my mind says, I just wish somebody would explain it to my heart.
~M’Lynn, Steel Magnolias
 

This is one of my all time favorite quotes from the girliest movie that I actually love… Steel Magnolias!  The reason why I love this movie so much is because it has so many awesome quotes, tearful moments followed by laughter…. and besides how could you not love anything with Sally Fields?

4play-Heart-vs-Mind2The first time I heard this line by Sally Field’s character after her daughter’s funeral, my heart just sank because it resonates with me so much! I always feels like there’s a long distance between my mind and my heart… Over time, I’ve learned to build my mind to be strong and focused (probably as self-defense mechanism) but I haven’t honed in on building my heart as much. My mind often feels strong but my heart often feels weak. I get hurt easily. I get disappointed easily. My mind says not to mind what other people say or do… but my heart can’t help but to feel sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed, hurt, and unsettled.  I know in my mind what I should do… but I wish somebody would explain it to my heart because it often doesn’t accompany my mind. I often wonder why God made the mind to think differently from the way the heart feels. It would be so much easier if they just cooperated and worked together.

This morning as I was thinking about this quote, I was reminded that my only source of direction and answer is talking to God and turning to the Scripture. I always wish it was “yes” or “no”… but I often don’t get those direct answers from God, but I know that He has given enough truths for me to follow. Besides, I was reminded that “yes” or “no” isn’t what God wants us to have, but  He wants ME to seek Him… and that’s when He grants us clarity! Now, let’s go tell my heart that!

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God knows your need…

This day started out with some big decisions I had to make…  ugh, i hate those moments… and the rest of the day was followed by many other decisions I need to make in the upcoming weeks and months that will have some big implications in terms of ministry, finances, health, life, etc… ugh, i want to crawl into a hole…  all these upcoming decisions is making my heart feel very uncomfortable, unsettled, confused, conflicted, etc…

Strangely enough as I was trying to settle my heart (even in the midst of our 6 hour long staff meeting), God put Isaiah 61:3 on my heart:

To all who mourn in Israel,
    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

Of course, this thought was followed by a song in my head:

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy o’er your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When what you’ve done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I’ve been set free
I’ve been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

On an exciting note, I received a message that the Sports Ministry in South Africa is currently testing “Coaching for Life” curriculum that my friend and I wrote earlier this year… and so far, so good… Thank you God!!!

commitment-phobe…

Wow, it’s been awhile since my last post.  The past month has been a crazy month filled with sadness, joy, celebration, mourning, refreshment, frustration, etc… you name it… i probably felt it!  I went from my grandfather’s funeral in Kansas to a conference in Louisville, Kentucky where I was ministered to by great friends… then onto Toronto for a conference where I went through some culture shock (not because they were Canadians, but because they were all Koreans–haha, I know, go figure…) and a crazy great time connecting with my KidMin friends at Group’s KidMin Conference in Chicago.  Being busy kept me from processing a lot of what’s been going on in my life.  Now that I’ve been back home for over a week, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have experienced and learned the past month as well as where my future is headed… and my insomnia seems to be making its way back into my life–insomnia usually means I can’t turn my brain off… uuuggghhh.  😦

Well, one major thing that has been preoccupying my mind these days is where God is calling me next to do ministry.  I’ve been praying and exploring for the past 5-6 months (i know, a long time…) and it seems to be getting down to the wire now.  I must admit that I’ve really enjoyed the last nine months of not having “church” responsibilities.  But I also must admit that I have missed it.  If you know me, you know that I love talking, thinking, and breathing KidMin!

Last week, as I was thinking about different opportunities that God has set before me, it hit me that I’m a total commitment-phobe!!!  Yuck–that’s a trait I don’t like in people, especially my volunteers…  Sure, I’m up for any spontaneous adventure.. if you ask me to forgo cleaning tonight to go watch a movie or even go on a road trip, I wouldn’t hesitate much!  However, a decision with this much gravity paralyzes me.  The type-A in me starts making pro & con list of what would be the best decision in the long run.  I start playing my own devil’s advocate.  I start imagining what my life would look like in each scenario.  And I… can’t… stop…  because I’m convinced that this decision could potentially change the direction of my life forever…

People that know me know that I take FOREVER making “important” decisions… but once I commit, I’m in 110%!  Many have called me “super picky” on many occasions.  While it is important to go through the discerning process of making an important decision, I find that I get lost in the “what if’s” more than trusting in God to direct and guide me.  The honest truth is, God can and will use me regardless of where I go… sure, one may be a better fit than other options… but I can’t possibly know the outcome of my decision NOW…

Sometimes, God clearly closes doors.  Other times, God opens several doors, and this is where the decision-making gets difficult. Perhaps there isn’t always just one right door to go through, but what matters more is my heart and attitude more so than being preoccupied with choosing the “right door.”

Is God Messing with Me?

Ever feel like God is messing with you?  I don’t mean to sound heretical.. and of course in my head, I know that God doesn’t do that.  But that’s how it feels.

For the past four months, I’ve been asking God for direction.  And I’m very thankful that opportunities have been presented to me… and while each one of them sound amazing, there has always been a huge “BUT…”  I’m trying to seek God’s will and calling for the next phase of my life, and I don’t want to just settle into a ministry out of convenience or comfort.  But the past month has been a crazy one… just when I think I’m close to making a decision, something else pops up and throws me off-course!  There’s been so many curve-balls thrown my way this past month that it almost feels like God is totally messing with me.  It makes me feel like I’m going crazy…

As I read through my devotional, I haven’t been able to get past this page:

Taste and see that I am good (Psalm 34:8).  The more you experience Me, the more convinced you become of my goodness.  When adversities strike, the human instinct is to doubt My goodness.  My ways are mysterious, even to those who know Me intimately.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways and thoughts higher than your ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).  Do not try to fathom My ways.  Instead, spend time enjoying Me and experiencing My goodness.

I know that God is good.  I know that His ways are better than my ways.  I know, I know, I know… and I believe… but it doesn’t stop me from going crazy trying to discern where God is leading me… I keep telling myself to just enjoy my time with Him… but much of my days are consumed by thoughts of trying to think through where God wants me to go next… this is ONE tough journey, and I know that when it’s over, it’ll have been an amazing one… but right now, it feels like it just kinda sucks!

Be Silent…

“Be silent before the LORD, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.”  – Zechariah 2:13 (NLT)

I was encouraged to watch TV when I first moved to Kansas in elementary school.  I had just immigrated from South Korea, and I didn’t know any English… so Sesame Street, The Brady Bunch, Superfriends, Scooby Doo, and Three’s Company taught me how to converse in English every day after school.  Soon, the sounds of television became my safety blanket.  Fast forward 30 years later, and I still rely on the sounds of TV for comfort.  When I walk in the door, I turn on the TV within the first 30 minutes, even if I’m not watching…  I just like having that background noise…

I’ve been trying to spend some time listening for God’s voice… and I found that it’s often cluttered by noise. I’ve never been good at this silence thing  (funny cuz it doesn’t bother me when I’m in small group or something… but it bothers me when I’m alone).  I thought turning off the TV would help… I thought getting away from Starbucks or other crowded places would help…  but I finally realized that the clutter was noise of my anxiety and lack of faith…

Today’s devotion from “Jesus Calling” says:

Thank ME for the conditions that are requiring you to be still.  Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again.  Some of the greatest works in My kingdom have been done from sick beds and prison cells… Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to Me.  Quietness and trust enhance your awareness of My Presence with you.  My Strength and Power show themselves most effective in weakness.

I am super grateful for this time that I’ve had to just relax, sleep, catch up with friends, go out to eat, and sleep some more!  But as I start praying for the next phase of my life, I had started to fill up with anxiety, which often leads me to lose trust and faith in My Strength & My Power.  uuuuggghhhh….  why does this feel like an endless cycle?

I’ve been feeling like a BIG chicken the last couple of days… I had been so comfortable the last few years that now I’m so scared to face what God may have planned for me next.  And everyone thought I was the fearless, adventurous one…

Yesterday, my friend reminded me that nothing is impossible with God. From the same devotional (I hadn’t read yesterday’s devotional just yet when she pointed this out to me), she read:

When anxiety attempts to wedge its way into your thoughts, remind yourself that I am your Shepherd.  The bottom line is that I am taking care of you; therefore, you needn’t be afraid of anything.  Rather than trying to maintain control over your life, abandon yourself to My will.  Though this may feel frightening–even dangerous, the safest place to be is My will.

Thank God for His Word, and amazing friends!!!  What’s written above is nothing new, and yet it’s so profound because I just don’t learn…  I’m learning to be silent… and I’m learning to let go of my worries… and I’m learning to trust…

It sure is a lot harder than it sounds (and I teach this stuff to the kids…)