When I was 24, I was given the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream: live in South Korea. I had dreamed of living in South Korea since I was a kid. Just for a year. Just to experience a different part of the world, the world that my mother grew up in and that had influenced half of my DNA. Just to have an adventure before I settled down.

So I said YES to a Fulbright Research Grant to study piano in Korea. And I said YES to my friends’ suggestion to start a blog so they could follow my experiences abroad. In 2011, this blog began, as did what turned out to be an almost 8-year stint in South Korea. I went to Korea ready to learn about the culture, study music, and hopefully also grow closer to God.

I had no idea what was in store.

I experienced something profound during my time in Korea. A rejuvenation of my faith. An experience of the Spirit that I had been hungering for for years. I felt empowered, equipped, more clear about who I was and the purpose for which I was created. I learned to be BOLD in my faith. I embraced much more JOY in God and in my life. I ended up becoming an English teacher and worship leader, and moving cities as part of a church plant. I thought that God was calling me to Korea for the rest of my life.

It all came crashing down in April, 2018 when the co-lead pastors of my church were removed because of spiritual abuse (a term I had never even heard before). I had known something was wrong for awhile. I had been questioning and wrestling with aspects of the church culture for years. But how could something so good, a church that had transformed my life for the better, also be something so terribly bad? Which parts of my journey of faith had been healthy growth and empowerment in God and which had been over-confidence, misguided zeal, or blind obedience to corrupt leaders and a corrupt institution?

It didn’t fully compute. It was overwhelming to process. The one thing I knew was that I needed to leave. Leave that church. And leave Korea. I needed space to gain perspective, to reflect on my own, and to heal.

So in January 2019, my life took another unexpected turn. I moved back to the US. Broken, but hopeful. I took nine months to rest, and then I started seminary in Los Angeles––a new city I had never had any previous desire to live in. I had been planning to go to seminary for awhile, but now? Here? I was no longer sure I could be a part of the church much less ever work for one, but I decided to trust. With the faith I had left, I decided to take the next step God had made clear. Seminary.

For me, seminary was a space where I was allowed to openly wrestle and disagree. It was a place where I was taught how to lament and grieve. It was a place where I met thoughtful Christians with whom I could process my experiences and where I was able to take informative classes about relevant topics like trauma and abuse. There were times when I felt overwhelmed, triggered, and fearful about the future. I only blogged a couple times during those three years because I needed privacy to wrestle with God, myself, and the past without the pressure of needing to articulate clear answers to the questions. It was a messy journey, but looking back I have to say that I am amazed at how God led me through a healing process. A journey of restoration.


I used to be in a rush to arrive. Where, I wasn’t exactly sure. Nonetheless, I felt certain I was behind.

Now I find myself a little more patient. It’s okay to be exactly where I am. Unfinished. Uncertain. But still walking with the Shepherd of my soul. (Or sometimes being carried.) One step at a time. That’s how the journey goes. Sometimes we take a wrong turn or have to stop and catch our breath. Perhaps we collapse from exhaustion or get stuck in a ditch and don’t know the way out. Perhaps we arrive only to find we aren’t ready, that we make mistakes difficult to face.

Yet God.

In the most unexpected ways, God shows up. In persistent, beautiful, quiet ways, God appears.

There is always a way forward, though it sometimes requires going back or stopping for a moment to breathe. If we listen, if we ask for help, if we humble ourselves to submit to God’s process, good is on the other side. As I reflect and share here on the blog, from where I am somewhere in the middle of the journey, I hope you are encouraged, reassured, and inspired. To give yourself more credit. To take another risk. To give yourself permission to slow down. 

Most of all, may you be reminded of the Love that is pursuing you, the Love that never overlooks you. Hard days are not the end. And good ones are meant to be celebrated.

Here’s to treasuring the imperfect, unpredictable process that has made us who we are today and continues to form us into who we will be tomorrow. Here’s to the One whose ways are higher than ours, to the One whose heart we can spend our whole lives searching out without reaching its breadth or width.

Here’s to awe and wonder and the Love that never lets go.

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