Existential Thoughts

Some days I find myself filled with existential thoughts.

There have been quite a few of those days recently. Whether because of my recent visit home, the contract I signed last week to teach English another year, the recent passing of a wonderful person I had the privilege of knowing, or the convergence of all those things with the start of a new year, I’ve found myself looking at my life with a bit of a critical eye lately, asking myself why.

What is the point of my life?

I’m not sure how other people answer this question. I suppose some by finding meaning in the day to day, others in a big overarching life goal. People put their energy into relationships, accomplishments, or the discovery of beauty. I’m sure there are many ways. But for me, all those answers eventually come up short.

I find meaning and joy in lots of things. Relationships. Family. Music. Nature. The beauty of the city at night. Experiencing new cultures. Connection. Kindness.

But it would all be meaningless without something else.

Someone Else, to be more precise. The Someone Else who knows me through and through and for some reason, still loves me. The One who draws close and says things that are too good to have imagined, things so good, I can only cry.

Without Him, it would all be meaningless. That’s my conclusion every single time.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to explain my life to people. They don’t understand why I choose to live a world away from where I was born, from where my family is, from the opportunities for advancement in the field that I love. People would understand if I had settled down here and started a family. They would understand if I were making a ton of money or breaking ground in some impressive specialty. But I don’t have anything like that to point to.

So I find myself talking about causes, convictions, and feelings, but that doesn’t capture the essence of it at all. I’ve realized that’s not it. This life I’m living isn’t about championing a cause or chasing a feeling or ultimately even about pursuing a lifelong dream. It’s about following a Person.

He has led me here. And He says my presence right where I am matters.

I’ve chosen to live for Him, and I choose it daily.

To be moved by Him. To be restrained by Him. To walk into unknown territory. To wait until He says it’s time.

That means sometimes not understanding all the why’s of everything that happens, not being able to draw a straight line from this point to that point of my life. Because I am not the one who has planned this course out. He is. What I do know is that in the end, I will see Him face to face. I will behold Him and be in awe of His beauty. I will hear Him say the words, “Well done.”

And knowing that is enough for me.



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After living in South Korea for over 7 years, Elizabeth is back in the States finding a new normal. Currently in seminary, she is enjoying unpacking questions of faith in a new context. Amidst the tension of brokenness and conviction, she continues to find grace. And above all else, she continues to pursue the God who inspires childlike wonder.

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