We Are Family

There’s a new hope rising in my heart. The sun is rising outside the cafe, sky is all pink, its innocent face blushing lightly at the appearance of the commercial prince, the M/S shopping center. The buildings here are slightly designed to resemble medieval castles. It’s a fusion between medieval and modern styles. It’s so easy to feel like a princess in this kind of setting. Well, a princess that works at a coffee shop.

It’s a little after 7 in the morning, and there’s four of us girls working. The shop is so slow, and we are focusing on restocking products and whole beans, while chatting away our morning together. We got a beautiful sisterhood going on.

“Do you like my submissive neckless?”

I ask the girls as I show my cross neckless that I made myself. I bought a black leather band that looks like a dog collar and attached my zebra pattern cross pendant. I made it to work like a neckless, and that’s what I wear now.

“Given to you by your Dom?”

“Oh, yes, my Dom, Jesus.”

I am submissive to Jesus, and this is how I express my devotion, openly. I am so glad they get it so fast. I am quite pleased with the clarity of the message my dog collared cross necklace is sending out.

Today, I feel so possessed, and that’s why I sense this overflowing new hope in my heart. Obsession turned into possession, and I feel like I am in a real relationship. Of course it’s always been real, but not this real. How timely perfect because the Valentine’s day is fastly approaching. Something has shifted. I almost feel set apart, segregated, for His special intention, and that’s the best I can do to explain the way I feel. I feel so special, and I really do feel like a princess. His princess. And it wasn’t just because of the mesmerizing sunrise over this fake castle right out the cafe window. I am not that easily fooled.

When I was young, I’ve always suffered from separation anxiety. I cried every morning in fear through out my kindergarten years. I still remember how hard I cried on the first day of my first grade year. I vividly remember the fear, sorrow, longing and anxiety I felt every time I was away from mom. I must have developed a serious attachment to her since my infancy, and never grew out of it until I was way older. My sentiment towards my mom grew stronger and stronger as my dad’s alcohol problem grew more serious. She became the source of my comfort and stability. Then as the years rolled on, we were each other’s helper, defender, and a refuge, against the uproar my dad created with his alcohol addiction. So when I decided to live in a dormitory in high school, it was a big deal. I only lived there for a year. I preferred my chaotic house where I can monitor everything. I may be helpless, but at least, I would be there if something awful happened between mom and dad.

What I did not know then was that the one year away from my parents with only the weekend visits was merely a preparation for my next big separation. In a few years, I was married, and then a year later, I moved to a different continent. For good. Yes, you can visit every once in a while. It’s not that big of a deal. But, for me, it was. I thought it was the end of the world.

Ten years have passed since the day I left Korea for good, but I still see the sad scene we made at the airport so vividly in my mind. I still cry at the memory of it. For example, my dad came to visit for the weekend and drove back to Tennessee the very next day. He was driving back without mom because he came to drop her off. As always, felt the distance between me and my dad, but also the strong love we have for each other. Despite the past, we have a happy family now, thanks be to God. But the occasional awkward atmosphere between me and my dad still exists. We don’t know how to get along, though we are so desperate to get along. Over the short weekend, I am trying my best to be myself around him, and get accustomed to the way he has become. He’s the dad I always dreamed of. He does not drink anymore. He doesn’t get angry, he doesn’t yell. He smiles a lot, and with his gentle voice, he likes telling stories. But I cannot help but recognize the detachment I feel inside my heart. I am so attached to him yet at the same time, so detached.  I had to learn to detach myself from him in my young years. It was the way I coped with the situation.

After dad left in the late evening though, I had a big knot in my heart. I managed to hide my tears as I gave him a hug and said, bye, dad, I will see you soon. Once he drove off for his 10 hour drive into the dark, I could not suppress my sorrow any longer and went into the bedroom to give myself a very good cry. It wasn’t just about this night. It was more than that. It was about my life-time of leaving. So many, and so drastic, and I am only 32 years old. I was seeing myself leaving my dad, my entire family to move to another country. I was leaving them every time I visited Seoul. I was leaving them to move to Hawaii. I was leaving them to move to Maryland. I was leaving them all the time. I left them behind. And it was not easy. I always cried the entire way until I got to my destination. And my crying did not stop with the arrival. Eventually, I left my marriage, too. Leaving was all ever I did.

Today, my dad called to tell me something. He was in a particularly good mood since he just got up from his long sleep. He said, he cried on the way back to Tennessee thinking about me. He said, I had been such a good daughter, and that I led him to where he is today in this beautiful country where he now lives his faithful life in God. Hearing all that he was saying, I did not know how to respond. He was being so open, a bit too open for me perhaps, and I felt— again, a bit unsure about how to react to him, this new person he has become. So I just joked and told him that I am probably the best daughter in the entire world. He laughed.

I found out something.

The more I am at home in Jesus, the more I am at home in my dad, also.

The more I feel one with Jesus, the less I suffer from my separation anxiety.

I feel possessed by Jesus completely and I finally feel that I belong somewhere. I belong in someone’s heart. In a very big way.

And I now know that I’ve always belonged to my dad’s heart. I’ve always been my daddy’s little princess. He just didn’t know how to express his feelings.

He’s always been in my heart, too. I just didn’t know how to express my feelings.

And me and my dad– we both belong to Christ’s massive heart. And He doesn’t shy away from expressing His feelings.

Me and my dad, we are family– here on Earth, and in God’s holy heart.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. reinkat says:

    What a blessing for you to see your father’s healing, and to be able to be reconciled with him while you still have him. I lost my dad 14 years ago, and it wasn’t until after he had passed away that I was able to really understand and know him, and feel close to him. I wish we could have told each other how much we love each other. It is so true, what you have said:

    The more I am at home in Jesus, the more I am at home in my dad, also.

    I feel this will all of my family, as Jesus transforms my heart and teaches me the meaning of forgiveness.

    1. lilyboat says:

      I believe that we communicate in spirit, and I am sure your dad knows how much you love him already! Yes, It is a blessing to enjoy the fellowship with one’s own family members. They are gifts from God! God bless you.

  2. queenlorene says:

    Its never too late until he is forever gone from you. You have a chance now to create memories that will soften the harsh ones. God has forgiven him of his past if he has accepted the gift that Jesus offers to all sinners. While I cannot comprehend the difficulty in re-connecting with a person who caused you so much grief, Paul stated it the best: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me”.

    1. lilyboat says:

      I am so lucky to have a second chance.. I know. I have made a plan to visit my parents and stay for two weeks soon! That’s my vacation! Your bible quote is most adequate. This is all Christ’s work.

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