Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return…


Finally having a bit of silence and quiet time. Lately, I have been avoiding these rare moments when I could finally sit alone with myself. I could sense the deep longing and sadness that only God could heal, lurking deep inside my heart and I knew that the moment I allow my heart to open its door, the highly sad emotions will flood in and I will lose my control. That weak moment came today when I was alone at my parents’ apartment. I left my home early this morning to catch my parents for a short time before they both went to work. I normally step out with them, drop my mom off at her work, and then go to the mega bookstore with my toddler. But today, I felt like staying in. I took a shower- the city water pressure is so much appreciated by a country woman who uses well water like myself- and my toddler got to watch her favorite show Peppa Pig on a big screen TV through my dad’s computer -she doesn’t have the luxury of streaming movies and TV shows thanks to our life in the countryside with no fiber-optic internet provider in the area. Then we went to visit the playground right next to my parents’ apartment building. It was well into the late afternoon when we left my parents’ home. It felt strange to be there without my parents, and yet, strangely, my daughter and I had a uniquely good time. I think we both missed some city elements.

At some point today, I think, while my daughter was lost in her little world of Peppa Pig, I finally had a moment of solitude. I normally do my best to minimize her TV time if I let her watch anything at all, but today, I felt like just letting things be and give myself a little rest. I went to my mom’s bedroom and lied down. I was borrowing my mom’s home dress that I found in her closet. I immediately recognized it as my grandma’s. On that bed, in my grandma’s home dress, with my guards down, it suddenly struck me. It just hit me all of a sudden, and I was not ready for the attack at all. The snapshots of my grandmas, both ill in Korea, just waiting for their very imminent deaths, my middle sister who just a few weeks ago was sleeping in this very own bed with my mom but is now in Korea, and the friends I have deeply loved but now are out of touch because of our geological difficulties, and the healthy and youthful faces of my now-aged-parents…. the snapshots of memories were flooding my mind. Where have all the times gone? It just all flew by so fast and now I lie here wondering if all those past events of my youth really happened.

I cried for many unknown reasons. But then I quickly gathered myself together, perhaps the thoughts of my little girl happily watching her Peppa Pig gave me a strength. I spotted an old Bible that my mom owned and I opened a random page. I know you are not supposed to do this. I heard more than one pastor warning about reading Bible in this way like searching for some quick answer. After all, Bible is not to be equated with fortune cookies. But still, I find myself doing it every now and then when I feel desperate. Of course, I don’t get my magical answers in that fashion.

However, when I opened and my eyes fell to these words, I felt the last bit of my self-control being defeated by the power of the Holy Spirit allowing me to rest in the sweetest surrender. I wept silently but very deeply.

 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return;

      renew our days as of old

                                                – Lamentations 5:21


My homesickness that governed my mind and body since the day I left my home country was calling me to face him. The faceless one that manifested in so many different symptoms was finally, openly, and blatantly being revealed and I was weeping in the strong embrace of God. If I were alone, with no toddler to be responsible for, perhaps I would have enjoyed a whole day of a good cry, but I had no such leisure. But that quick moment of release was enough. It was a moment of magical healing.

Tonight, the autumn rain shower is bringing with it a strong surge of wind. I left the windows and my kitchen door opened to let the cool autumn breeze renew my existence. A deep sense of restoration and hope fill my hollow void. It was as large as the size of Korean Peninsula. It’s as deep and intimate as my many lost families and relationships of my past. I miss so many things and so many things. Then I got to think: God must have really missed me during my first twenty seven years that I spent without knowing Him. He loved me every single day of my life even though I had no idea who He was. And so, He had to take me away from my world, my small world that I so deeply loved or tried so hard to love. It was taking all my energy to find happiness in my own way in that corner of this broken world.

And so, He had to strip me of the world I knew so that He could rebuild everything inside out. It was His invitation to the all-out love.

And I am so, so, so, grateful for God to have brought me here to this new world.

I still miss my old world. Every day. Enough to make me sick beyond my power to control. And I hope that God will do something about this deep pain of my loss. But still, He blessed me beyond measure and He has given me everything. Because now I know Jesus, my savior, my new world.


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