Staying in Korea (Indefinitely?)

I am becoming more and more sure that I am going to stay here in Korea.

For exactly how long, I have no idea, but at the moment I’m thinking at least another year or two past the end of my Fulbright Grant in June.

I may have alluded to this idea in past posts, but I would now say this is more than a possibility.  It’s more of a…plan.

Not just because of my discovery of the F-4 visa (a visa that would allow me to live here indefinitely). Not just because of all the unexpected networking I’ve been doing lately. But because of something deeper, too.

south-korea-flag_MyfqqP_uKorea has always held a place in my heart––

I dreamt of spending time here since I was young––but after only two months of living here, I have started to care so much more about this country and this people than I ever expected. My heart breaks about so many things: the divide with North Korea, the stifling expectations put on the youth, the pressure to conform to unreasonable standards of beauty, the high suicide rate, the dysfunctional family dynamics. And my heart is in love with so many things as well: the sense of togetherness, the simplicity of certain gestures of care, the tenacity and humble strength of this people.

When God gives me visions of what He wants to do here, when He whispers ideas of how I could possibly be part of what He is doing, something in me knows: My time here is not done.

When I was young, I heard people say they “had a heart” for a certain nation,

and I had no concept of what they meant. I would hear people say they were “called” to a certain place or occupation, and I assumed it was a experience reserved for only a small minority of people.

But now, I think I know what they were talking about. I would say it feels like love. It feels like clarity. It feels like being fully alive.



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Elizabeth holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is currently pursuing her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, so when she isn't busy writing academic papers, she is usually out enjoying the LA sunshine. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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