My Year in Korea: Not Just a Detour

The other day, I found a new freckle on my face! Instead of letting this development increase my paranoia about skin cancer, I like to think of it as a cute and tiny sign of the ways I am changing inwardly here in Korea. My perspective is changing. My assumptions about life are changing. I wouldn’t say that I’m becoming a completely different person, but I am getting some new marks.

Just a Detour

I realized recently that I had been settling for surviving this year abroad. I just wanted to have fun, learn some stuff, find a comfortable routine, and then go back to my “real” life afterwards. But I sensed God saying He wants much more for me––He wants to change me.

Something awakened in me at God’s words. I realized that more than anything, that’s what I want, too.

Since then, I can already see my perspective shifting. I’m no longer thinking of this Fulbright year as a detour. In fact, I’m longer sure I will only be here in Korea for merely a year.

Only a few weeks ago, I was pretty set on returning to the US in June, but since then, my mind has changed. It’s not because it isn’t painful to be apart from my family and friends in the US––last week I felt intensely homesick––or because I feel more comfortable here than in the US––I often have to confront just how American I really am at heart––but I sense God might want me here longer . . . we’ll see.

The Winding Path of Life

Regardless of how long I end up staying, I no longer see my current situation as a detour from the regular course of my life. This is simply my life. Where things go from here is yet to be seen.

I am used to having a couple steps of my life mapped out ahead of me, but right now, as an independent adult with no future commitments, my life path is wide open. Anything could happen.



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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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