Last week, life was messy. Both literally and emotionally. I didn't feel like myself at all. There is a part of me that desperately wanted to erase last week and be extra rigid for the next; to plan out every hour and fill every white space in my planner, to clean my desk, organize my inbox, color-code something, anything. Fix something. But I'm trying to fight that control freak in me, the part of me that wants to play god, and just embrace the messiness. Embrace it because this is life, too.
I like to blog when life looks good, and blogging is an avenue to express my gratitude and passion for the little joys in life. It makes me believe life is full of cupcakes, flowers, and clean dishes. And it can be, but life is also messy and difficult and tiring, and that's not something to be ashamed of or ignored.
And it's not something to be controlled. It's something to be recognized and acknowledged because it's what makes us human. Life is hard, but it's also sweet. Sweet and human and frail and real.
I think a huge part of this comes from my heritage. Korean culture is very shamed-based one. You only invite people into your life when the house is clean, grades are good, relationships are stable, and blessings are high. So how do people with such a generationally embedded mindset respond to this? They work extra hard, they throw messes behind closed doors, they study day and night, and they put all their weight on these tangible, visible things. Everything else they hide. But this doesn't make people harder workers, it makes us a very fearful group of people. It turns people into a generation who cannot embrace their weakness, or humanness, and forces them to turn away from their identity, hide behind achievements. And I think it's time we talk about it.
This past week I didn't spend as much time with God and I found myself heavy with insecurity, impatience, and uncertainty. Fear was present in my thoughts, and although I couldn't quite pinpoint the reason for it or locate the root, it was there. I could feel its presence swallowing any truth or love that might have once been.
My desperation for love and acceptance was obvious and loud.
I learned that when I am not with God, I search for meaning and identity in things that were never meant to give meaning. Like relationships, clothing, grades, media. I noticed myself eagerly looking for someone to affirm me or give me any kind of signal that I was doing okay.
Henri Nouwen said that we can give the gift of belovedness only insofar as we have claimed it for ourselves. We can only give love to the degree that we believe we are loved. I recognized this truth so much in my life this week, and how important it is for me to receive belovedness first, everyday. People are writing for 31 days. At first,
I didn't know if I had a single topic that could be discussed for such an extended period of time, but as I reflected on this week, I realized there is really only one thing to talk about. That underlying everything I say, I"m always saying the same thing, because I really only have one thing to say. It's about our belovedness, that God loves you.
We can hear it, say it, sing it a million times but it never really hits us the way it should. But it's the only thing that matters. It matters so much that it should transform everything about who we are... the way we think, talk, get ready in the morning, laugh...
It should radiate from the inside out and bleed into everything we touch.
So that's what I want to write about for the next 31 days. I don't have a lot of answers, but I have a lot of thoughts, experiences, and I want to intentionally chew on it for the month of October. If you'd like to join with me on this journey, discover more of what our belovedness means and looks like in our lives, walk with me and we can learn together.