Sunday, January 23, 2011

ok, i said that i would be absent during the time i lived in seoul, but i seem to be posting more often than i usually would. hahaha. funny how that worked out.

i'm gonna just throw this out there & say that total immersion is not the easiest thing i've ever experienced. when i lived alone in cheonan, i could hide away on the days when my love/hate relationship with korea was leaning more towards the latter. i could create my little english bubble and meet all my white-faced american friends and eat spaghetti or hamburgers and pretend for a few hours that i didn't live 8,000 miles from home. THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE. these days, i long for that safe little english bubble. omma has made it clear that even my little brother should use only korean when talking to me. (a rule we always break when she isn't around!) i can feel my english level worsening by the second. but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right??

last night was an interesting experience. i hid away in my bedroom to skype with my parents back in the states and was surprised when omma followed me. she came back and forth a few times and was unusually chatty. finally she brought appa in with her and they planted themselves next to me for 40 minutes. my 2 sets of parents had been introduced on skype before, but that mainly consisted of hello's and thank you's. this was hardcore. both sides were asking about the other's health, questions about america, questions about korea, looking at pictures of me as a young'un. after translating the conversation, i was SPENT. to all you translators of the world, i salute you. i thought my brain was going to explode before it was all said and done. mom took a few screen shots of the chat: as if that wasn't enough to exhaust me, i was up past 3am chatting with my little brother. he came home late from a night out with his friends and when he came in to say good night, it ended up being a 3+ hr long conversation. it amazes me how we never seem to run out of things to talk about. our chat was one that i will remember for the rest of my life - when he told me about what it was like to grow up in korea & a lot of things about our family that i never knew before...things that really helped me understand the diverse personalities & behaviors that i see today. he told me again how much he always longed for an older sister growing up & how our initial meeting in october was an absolute dream come true for him. we laughed and we cried as we shared information about our pasts & saw how all of those things were perfectly coordinated to bring us to our 23-year reunion. it was one of the most beautiful, precious moments i have shared with any of the members of my family.

beyond our freakishly-similar looking faces, almost identical personalities, and a million other similarities, i would say one of the strongest ties that bind hyun-bae & i together is our shared faith. the only christians in our immediate family, this is something we desperately cling to & dearly cherish. when sharing meals together, we take turns saying grace - he in korean, & i in english. raised in a christian home in the states, this is something i always took for granted until my year in korea. i will remember these moments so fondly.

as we ended our late night chat & i began dozing to sleep, something that hyun-bae said kept replaying over & over in my brain. his exact words were - "noona, after i meet you, i can know my jesus really loves me." this goes down as one of the most beautiful things i have ever heard. what he can't understand is how much of a gift he has been to me...that the feeling is mutual. in the short 3+ months we've known each other, my little brother has been one of the most brilliant examples of Christ's love i have ever witnessed. may i learn from him & be a gift to others. may i live a life worthy of "after i meet you, i can know my jesus really loves me."

for consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. therefore, as it is written, “let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."
- 1 corinthians 1:26-31, english standard version


The Byrd's Nest said...

What a beautiful example of God's grace. How wonderful that you have found each other:)

The Armitage Family said...

Wow, I am SO inspired by your story! I can't stop reading! This is so motivating to me and my journey to finally meet my birth family. I would love to get in touch with you! But, it sounds like you are super busy! Feel free to e-mail me if you ever get a chance and I would love to talk!

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