Oh, Korea I have learned so much here and grew so much and changed. I’m not the same person I was when I moved to your humidity-hot July summer three summers ago. The girl who sat in McDonalds for aircon. The girl who was overwhelmed by not knowing the language or the crowds of people. The way you squish people on the subway or how the older people love to “rule everything”… (the road, the sidewalks and the subway). Your awesome opened-air market places and your different smells walking down the street. The pressure to always do well and never take a break. Your fancy dress-up fashion, but also your socks and tennis shoes with a skirt. Your concern of body image and how you look. Kimchi at every meal and of course I can’t forget rice. How you can get wifi almost anywhere and sometimes in the most random places in the country side. Your people are kind, and loving once you get to know them. They have generous hearts. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of love your people have shown me the past three years. Thank you!
My personal life here has not been easy. I had a lot things to that I had to grow in, learn, embrace and most importantly abide in God. Would I want to not have had the past three years? No, but yes… I wish I could have done without the hard (the dramas), but no because like I wrote in my Wildflowers in Valley blog post last week God placed incredible joys along the way.
Thank you Korea for your beautiful quiet mornings (the land of morning calm). The changing of rice fields in each season (summer is my favorite with the green rice plants), public transportation, cheap opportunities to run in races (5k,10k,15k and 1/2 marathon), the randomness at Daiso, bingsue (a yummy shaved ice dessert), kimchi fried rice, shabu-shabu, Korean snacks, 7-11 on almost every street, tall apartment buildings (I have loved living on the 13th floor this year), coffee shops (my favorite by far), the opportunity to stretch and grow me in learning more about your culture and language, sitting on the floor to eat, Korean bbq, friendly older people on the hiking trails who always cheered me on when running, city life, but also nature mixed right in, gorgeous sunrises, pollution golden orange suns and fun days in Seoul. I love your beautiful hanboks and yummy Gong Cha (bubble tea). * And I’m sure I’m missing so many things… but the tears are starting to come…*
But I will not miss the food trash, the smells, someone smoking outside my apartment window, the pollution or yellow dust in the spring, the pressure of excellence or body image or being pushed on a crowded subway.
Oh, Korea!!! God used my time here to change me, to build my confidence, to test my faith, to stretch me and to show me how much He loves me. My time here taught me how to be brave and embrace the moments of being alone. Thank you for being my home for the past three years. And I know that if I ever come back it will be completely different because you are always building and changing and I just can’t keep up. You have come so far and continue to strive for more and better….
My prayer for you Korea as I leave is that your nation would have a radical revival and see your need for God. A God who loves you just for you. A God who doesn’t want us to strive. A God who gives so much grace. May you see His goodness in all things and be satisfy in Him.
Oh, Korea…. good-bye!