Can I be real with ya’ll? It’s been a really hard 5 weeks. Life got struck with some unexpected bumps and it’s been a slow but steady leaning on Christ every day. I’m not going into details because it’s not the right time. However, I’m praying that this will be a part of my testimony and one day I’ll be on the other side of this struggle. On this post, I talked about how faith is praying as if we’ve already received what we’re praying for (Mark 11:24).
All of my friends know I’m pretty open with my life, the good and the bad. If you know anything about being Korean, you know we’re a shame based culture. There is shame in being vulnerable, sharing weaknesses, and exposing our flaws and struggles. I love being Korean-American but I’m praying that this part of our culture dies in our generation. Shame silently steals our joy, handcuffs us in bondage, and isolates us from attaining true community and freedom in Christ.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
I think Paul said it best when he stated, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 When he was talking about these weaknesses, he was speaking of persecution, hardships, and insults. Being able to expose hardships in our lives allow us to release control and depend on Jesus. It reminds us of how little we are actually in control of life’s circumstances.
During my quiet time this morning, the Lord showed me how he has chosen you and me on purpose to be in this precise environment at this precise time. Isn’t that amazing? It’s because he has a plan for you to bring him glory in this point in history in time. He set his love for you before all of creation and you were intricately designed in his image. You have great worth and value because he is the one that formed in your mother’s womb. (Jeremiah 1:5) Every hair and fiber of your being was with great design. His fingerprints are all over you.
When we’re in the thick of it, sometimes it’s hard to see beyond our pain, disappointment, and brokenness. It’s difficult to see where the road leads when there is much uncertainty. But even in that uncertainty, we can be certain of Jesus. The one who suffered pain, persecution, insults, hardships and betrayal knows our struggles all too real. Turn to him because his yoke is easy and his burden is light. If you don’t know what that looks like, ask him in prayer. Ask him to lead and guide you and one day, we will proclaim just like in Psalm 30:11 says, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.”
So if you’re going through struggles, have confidence in knowing that He is perfecting you and using your story for His grand story to bring glory to His name.The enemy loves to shame, condemn, and isolate us as believers. Don’t be afraid to expose these struggles with others in your community. Let them walk with you, guide you, pray for you and speak words of encouragement into your heart. If you don’t have community, pray for it! Ask the Lord but take steps in your church or in your neighborhood to find it. During hardships, I’m so thankful for family and sisters in my life who send me prayer texts, listen and cry with me, show up with a beautiful plant, hold my hand and offer words of encouragement when the struggle is real and the pain so raw. I’m thankful for a husband who protects me, prays over me, and makes sure I am spiritually fed so that my well doesn’t run dry and I still have enough to give to my family and others.
It’s strange because even in brokenness there is joy. It sounds masochistic to the world but as believers, there is this deep joy in knowing and trusting that the Lord is good and uses all things for his good. Even when the situation hasn’t changed, I can still visibly see the ways in which he is working and how he uses my brokenness to minister to others. It encourages my heart because it’s just another reminder that he is in control and he has a greater plan than what I can see with my own human eyes. If you’re reading this and you’re struggling with shame, hardships, sin, and brokenness, I’m praying that you will experience God’s love for you today. Remember, there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) God is “rich toward all who call on him.” (Romans 10:12) Will you call on him today?
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:18