Imminent Departure

It has been weird saying goodbye to everyone these past few days. It’s hard for my brain to comprehend how long ten months really is. Sometimes I feel sad thinking about all the things I will miss when I’m in Korea. And then I think about how much I will miss Korea when I come back home. It’s almost enough to make me not want to go.

What is the point of having these great experiences when they all eventually come to an end?

When I left Korea two years ago after a six-week trip, my first-ever visit, I cried on the way to the airport. I don’t usually cry when I say goodbye to people, but maybe it’s different when you’re saying goodbye to a place. Looking out the taxi window at the majestic mountains, I knew I might never return, and that thought broke my heart.

I can’t help but wonder: What kind of heartbreak am I in for this time?

God is the only one whose answers satisfy me. When I bring my questions to God, He flips them inside-out. Yesterday, I was lying on the floor pondering all this when I sensed God ask me, Would you be willing to go off to a foreign land by yourself without any assurances if you knew that your time there would bring you closer to Me?

Yes, I would.

This morning, I felt deeply joyful while singing in church. Not only did this increase my excitement about Korea as I anticipated the jubilant worship services I will experience there, but my thoughts were taken to a farther off day, to the day when I will discover what true celebration is. Sometimes when I am worshiping God, surrounded by His people, I get a foretaste of the joy of that day, and it reminds me that not all good things end. Some continue on forever.



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Elizabeth is a teacher, preacher, musician, and writer. She has a Master's of Divinity and a Master's of Music, which represent her two great loves: Jesus and the arts. A half-Korean, half-white American, she spent seven years in South Korea teaching English. Elizabeth is a perpetual learner, a deep feeler, and a pursuer of beauty and truth.

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