#GoodnightSweetdreamsIloveyou

It’s frustrating to wait. It’s depressing to look back and see how much time I have wasted hoping you were already there. And I am writing this now hoping you are out there somewhere, safe and happy while you are doing His will. One day, hopefully, you will read my blog and know this, that while I am waiting, while I haven’t seen your face yet, while you do not know my name, I am loving you. That amidst all the papers and concepts I have to read, I am thinking of you and praying that you are looking forward to meeting me, too. I am about to sleep now, it’s 3:02 am in Korea. So whether you are sleeping on my side of the globe, or out and about on the other end, I wish you a nice day. May this love I have for you bring you peace, comfort and strength, wherever you are.

#goodnightsweetdreamsiloveyou

Of Life Plans and Surrender

…that the Lord, our God and Father, has a bigger plan for us than what we have planned for our lives is happening in my life right NOW.

The first step of faith was going through with this scholarship, leaving everything, my family, friends, my relationships, and my job behind. If it was not for God pushing me to do this, I would not have gone through it. I wouldn’t have even started. You see, I took this opportunity to study abroad because I initially felt satisfied with what I already had, for me this is a bonus, a gift with no trade-offs. I have even prayed to God that if I should not do this, do not let me get so far with the application process. But even after delays, I got it. I had this clear vision of me graduating with Masters in Business Administration with people I have expected to be waiting for me and giving me a bouquet of flowers for a job well done. But this vision did not last long, from the very beginning, my conviction and faith have been tested. And the Lord knows how ready I was to just give this up and go back to my “normal” life. I was losing a lot of things, the very things that motivated me to take on this endeavor, and I was on my knees, emotionally bludgeoned to bleed until I dry up and die.

Nonetheless, I pushed through. Not because I strongly decided to but because of all the plans I had made, this was the only one still on its place. The first month away was fine. It was a new country after all so there are a lot of new things to see. However, when all the dust of excitement have settled, when my eyes got tired of looking outside, I looked at myself and realized where I was and what is happening. I have exhausted myself trying to put up a strong face that I didn’t realize that I was fading away. I do not know how I got through those days but all I can remember was that I prayed. I cried to the Lord and prayed. I do not deserve his mercy for all the mistakes I have done in my life but I refuse to run farther away because I know there is NO OTHER WAY.

I am now on my third semester of graduate school but I still could not say that all those days of weakness are gone. In fact, I am still as “weak” as ever. But what I have learned from this past year is that God has more plans for me than I have for myself, bigger plans than I have never even dreamed for my life. Applying for a graduate school abroad has been a leap of faith in itself but getting the opportunity to go farther away as Norway is an even bigger leap of faith for me. In South Korea, I have met a lot of wonderful people from different countries but during the ISFIT 2013 I felt like I was walking around the world everyday as I meet amazing people from across the globe.

I have never imagined my life to go this way during this season. When I was younger, I have just seen myself inside an office, working and getting a salary each month, a salary enough to make me go to the beach during summer. What I am doing now is very far from that. I am  just starting to envision my plans again for my life but I know God may still have other plans, again. I can not claim that I am now fully joyful about that, but be that as it may, I pray that I always surrender. That no matter how hard-headed I am, how far I stray, the Lord will always be there to cushion my fall and escort me as I start again.

Losing everything that I lost hasn’t been easy. The first semester broke my heart but what was taken from me last semester was totally unexpected, my Aunt passed away and I wasn’t home. What kept me up was God’s blessing of family and friends. I have also feared that I would be forgotten when I leave, but the Lord knew about my worries. He strengthened my relationships with all these genuine people and even gave me more. For what he was taking away from me, He was giving me back the best.

As for now, with less than a year left in graduate school, I am praying for God to give me an opportunity to serve my country. For all the places He has given me the privilege of visiting and the experiences He has blessed me with, I have always thought of one thing, that I long for my country to experience that kind of development and prosperity. No, I do not want to be a politician but we do not know God’s will. But what I do know now is that the Lord has a bigger plan for us than what we have for ourselves and by that, I also believe He has a great plan for my country and its people. ūüôā

Proverbs 3:3-8

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your pathsstraight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Walking on Water

At the Trondheim Harbor

Step out, even when it’s storming
Step out, even when you’re broken
Step out, even when your heart is telling you,
Telling you to give up
Step out, when your hope is stolen
Step out, you can’t see where you’re going
You don’t have to be afraid
So what are waiting, what are you waiting for

So what are you waiting for
What do you have to lose
Your insecurities
They try to hold to you
But you know you’re made for more
So don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes
And you can walk on the water,
Walk on the water, too

– Walk on the Water, Britt Nicole

Conversation with a Stranger

Stranger: If it’s not too much, can you tell me about it?

Her: I had all the good intentions but I felt it wasn’t being valued at all. I was right there and everything was blowing up in my face. Then it came to a point that I questioned myself, what I was doing there. I don’t know what I did wrong.

Stranger: Sounds like you didn’t do anything wrong at all. If anything, you did even more that what you were supposed to do. You were not supposed to care but you did. Even if it wasn’t your responsibility anymore, you did the part.

Her: And I’m also worried about another thing…

Stranger: What is it?

Her: The things I do in my life. Is it scaring other people? Is it too big? Is it hard to understand?

Stranger: What’s wrong with that? It shouldn’t even matter. You don’t have to do the same things to understand each other.

Thank you, stranger.

Thank you!

I am thankful for everybody who has read my entry about the recently concluded ISFIT 2013! Though I certainly think that words are not enough to convey how meaningful it has been for all of us, I hope you had an idea of what we did there. And if you are a student, you can definitely prepare yourself for ISFIT 2015!

I am also very thankful to everybody who has been reading my entries. It’s not a lot I know, but I have this huge drive now to continue this. I am in a not-so-easy phase in my life right now and it is only here that I could say it “out loud”. Drop a comment if you would like to share something about what I write. It is very much appreciated. I haven’t been thorough in explaining stuff but if you can relate, it would be nice to know that I am not alone. ūüôā

I will be going back to South Korea soon for my second-to-the-last semester. Yay! I have never been this excited to graduating but I really miss being at home, being with my family and going out with my friends. I am looking forward to making the most out of this last year that I am out of the corporate life.

Today is where your book begins, the rest is still UNWRITTEN. — Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten

http://addicted2success.com/quotes/images-56-inspirational-picture-quotes-that-will-motivate-your-mind/

Where I Am Supposed to Be (A Short Reflection on Being an ISFIT2013 Participant)

Have you ever been in a place or time in your life where you have been truly hopeful and happy? It may not be a permanent thing, which makes it all the more precious, and it shouldn’t be about money or any material thing. It’s an experience of being with people or being in a place where everything is right, just right. Has there been any time in your life where you have said that, “At this point in time, in my life, I am sure that I am where I am supposed to be”?

Photo by Ingrid Stor√•s Thorbj√łrnsen, WS05 Market Leader

Being young gives us the opportunity to make decisions on where our lives are supposed to go. On one side, it is crucial to determine what we stand for and on the other, if you have already decided on your values, it is a time to enjoy and make the most out of life. One pastor in our church once said, “Who we listen to determines our success or failure.” And I just feel so humbled that I have been led by God to join the International Student Festival in Trondheim. For 11 days, February 7-17, 2013, the student city of Trondheim, Norway became a melting pot of cultures as represented by over 400 students from around the world. In my workshop alone, we have 27 students from across continents and 5 workshop leaders from Norway. And yes, I could say that those were one of the most memorable 11 days of my life. Meeting students from around the world gave me perspectives on how people think, live and even eat around the world. I have met intelligent people from well-developed and developing countries that inspired me to take part in global issues.

Photo by Ingrid Stor√•s Thorbj√łrnsen, one of the amazing workshop leaders of Market :)

Moreover, the festival taught me how to listen to others and that wherever we are in the world, we are the same. We all want peace, a comfortable life, education, freedom and equality. We all want to be respected, whoever we are. In a span of 11 days, I have gained friends that I will never have met in my lifetime, if not for the festival. And these friends, these young people I have met, have shared with everyone their ideas on how we should change the ways of Global Trade. We are pretty idealistic but what’s wrong with that if being idealistic means being right, just and fair. We are trusting ourselves to fix the screw ups of the generation before us.

Photo by Mathilde Skylstad, another amazing workshop leader of Market :)

And yes, on one decisive moment in the festival, I smiled to myself and told myself that, “despite everything happening in my life right now, in spite of my doubts, fears and apprehensions, this is what I am sure of, at this point in time in my life, I am where I am supposed to be.I am with the right people, from all walks of life, that inspires me to stand up for what I believe in, to enjoy life and to take responsibility.”

 If all these sounded too serious for you, then let me tell you about some of the awesome and crazy stuff we also did in my workshop:

Image

We went snow diving after we all quit trying to ski! (for those of us who don’t know how to ski.)

Photo by Ingrid Stor√•s Thorbj√łrnsen, one of the amazing workshop leaders of Market :)

The parties were AWESOME but the pre-parties were LEGEN..wait for it..DARY!

Photo by Mathilde Skylstad, another amazing workshop leader of Market :)

We spent Valentine’s day goofing around, eating chocolates and goofing around!

We even made up our own word: MABYE! We had a Hee-Ha-Hoo Championship. We flash mobbed the bars with the Pony Song. We had a pretty intense Market Game that mirrors the current global trade situation and a LOT more!

There were also more activities for all participants that are too many to mention that I feel 11 days were not enough. We were all overcome by emotions when it was time to say goodbye.

As one of us said (and that’s Amy from Germany) before we parted ways, we now have 32 people from around the world to push us on when everybody around us just tells us to quit trying to do the impossible.

To everybody in my workshop, it was a pleasure to meet all of you and I hope to meet you again.

Check out!

(I can go on and on about everything and still not have enough time and words to express my feelings about the 11 days we spent in Trondheim. So let me just say this, it’s something you have to experience for yourself!)

I’m on My Way

It’s been almost a year since I quit my job and first left my country with no idea on what to expect or what to do on the next end. You see, I received a scholarship to study abroad a year ago, a blessing I never imagined would come to me. But the road has not been easy. From the very beginning, I have been on the edge about leaving and living on my own. Well, I would be staying in the university dormitory but I have never left home before. Last year, I did plan to open up a new blog to tell my stories about living and studying in another country. I actually did open several blogs about it but never got to maintain one because I wanted everything to be perfect. I wanted a single theme, I wanted it to be fun, to be happy.

That was a year ago.

Today, I realized why I never got to sustain those blogs, those were not me. I have always expressed myself openly in what I write, happy or sad. And so, after closing my very-honest-high-school-to-college-blog a few years ago, I decide again, to be honest with myself and just write. I still have a whole year left to tell you what happens and what happened to me during the time I failed to write.

So about my stories, the boring ones, the crazy ones, the funny ones and the tearful ones, just wait on me. I’m going to tell you all about it.

I am on my way. 

“But blessed is…

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8