Since coming to Korea, I’ve gotten a new freckle––one of those dark dots that I would call a mole except I’ve been told that technically moles aren’t flat. Anyway, I doubt anyone else would notice the change, but I notice it every time I look in the mirror. Instead of letting this development increase my paranoia about skin cancer, I like to think of it as a representation of the ways I am changing on the inside here in Korea. I wouldn’t say that I’m becoming a completely different person, but I am getting some new marks.

A couple weeks ago during a prayer meeting, I realized that I had been settling for surviving this year abroad.

I just wanted to have fun, learn some stuff, find a nice, happy routine, and then go home to my “real” life. But during that meeting I sensed God telling me He wanted much more for me; He wanted to change me. Something awakened in me, and I realized that more than anything, that was what I wanted, too.

Since then, I can already tell that I have been changing and growing. I’m not sure I can articulate much of it right now––as I process, I will share more––but for one thing, I’m no longer sure that I will only be here for 10 months.

Only a few weeks ago, I was pretty set on returning to the US in June, but since then, my mind has changed. It’s not because it isn’t painful to be apart from my family and friends in the US––last week I felt intensely homesick––or because I feel more comfortable here than in the US (I am often reminded of just how American I really am at heart). I just feel like it’s possible the Lord could have me stay here for longer… we’ll see.

Regardless of how long I end up staying, my attitude about my life here has shifted.

Instead of seeing my situation as a short detour from the regular course of my life, I am seeing it simply as my life. This is my life, and where things go from here is yet to be seen. I am used to having a couple steps of my life mapped out ahead of me, but right now, as an independent adult with no future commitments, my future is wide open. Anything could happen.

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Elizabeth is an American living in South Korea who believes in destiny, miracles, and living life intentionally. She holds to simple faith in a complex world, values the beauty of the everyday, and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is always learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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