Heading Back to the Land of Kimchi

Leaving for Korea in the morning!!

I cried a lot more last year when I thought I was only leaving for a year; this time I haven’t cried at all. But I guess that makes sense, because this time I know exactly what I am leaving for… AMAZINGNESS. (Seriously, I have missed my church and friends and life in Korea SO MUCH.)

At the same time, however, I can’t say that I feel like I spent “enough” time with my family. And I’ve also realized the past few weeks that valuable friendships are alive and well from every period of my life thus far, friendships that I hope shall continue into the future in some form or other despite the physical distance.

What has actually struck me the most during my time home, though, is how much I really have changed during this past year. All my family members commented that I got prettier, and while that might partially be because I lost some weight, etc, I honestly think it’s mostly because of the emotional/spiritual changes that have happened. I have so much more inner peace! My former roommate commented that I seemed more “mellow,” and I knew exactly what she meantㅡI feel much calmer, less easily annoyed, less easily offended. (My driving was a prime exampleㅡI drove with so much less rage!)

Basically, I am much more confident and grounded in my identity.

As a daughter of God. As someone who is loved, safe, and beautiful at all times. Circumstances and minor setbacks have less power to move me, because my mind is more securely fixed on the things that never change.

That confidence has allowed me to be so much more open and honest with those I loveㅡabout both the little and big things. I actually voiced my real preferences during this trip instead of saying I didn’t care (and had a more enjoyable time because of that). And I had some hard conversations, too, ones that would have involved a lot of emotional turmoil in the past or that I would have avoided altogether.

Because of that honesty, my trip was so much more meaningful than it would have otherwise been. If you don’t ask honest questions, how can you expect to hear real answers? If you don’t express honest opinions, how will you ever feel truly known? (And isn’t feeling known a big part of feeling loved?)

So I can honestly say, I love home and all the people that make this place “home” to me, and I’m so glad to have had this time to spend here. But I leave tomorrow without angst or regret, because I know that my future is in Korea. And it’s going to be a glorious one.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Heading Back to the Land of Kimchi

  1. It was really nice to see you yesterday. I also noticed that you seemed to be very content and happy :) I really like what you said about what a difference it makes to voice your opinion. During the past few years, I’ve been going through a similar process of finding out that it’s not selfish to say what my preferences are, or how I’m feeling…and I don’t have to be afraid of what others may think about it. It is freeing to be able to express yourself in that way and I do agree that it makes the situation more enjoyable :)

    I hope the long flight goes smoothly for you tomorrow!!

    LovE, Joy

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