In the midst of my sister’s ten-day visit from Seoul, my Christmas and New Year went by like a snap. It’s like I woke up from a very active and busy dream taken from several locations (New York City, Baltimore, and regions of Virginia) that featured all my family members. Now my sister woke up from her dream and went back to her Seoul job. The rest of us, here in the United States, also went back to resume our normalcy. Everything remains the same except the giant, big, empty hole left in our hearts. Each morning, Jesus consoles me during my daily devotion. I make a choice to look upon Jesus only, instead of dwelling on my future years with one less sister. I notice a big lump that formed in my throat and I decisively swallow it down.
Big and small events put us down and life can be so cruel. Prepared or not, we must all face the moment of sadness, darkness, and loss. No one is an exception. No one can escape the pain. The only thing that differentiate the outcome of this universal pain is whether one has what it takes to survive. Depression is a combination of numerous factors. It is never a random, isolated event. It is caused by social, economic, genetic factors and all these influences on the formation of a perfect storm, a.k.a. Depression. And if depression is an outcome of numerous factors, then survival, also, requires numerous factors. You must have a certain outlook on life. No matter how dark life gets, you must be able to somehow believe that the way out to the light exists. Certain characteristics are present among people who are survivors: perseverance, resilience, endurance, decisiveness, to name a few. This survivor mentality is not formed overnight. It’s a life-long training we all must pass through. But forget all of those great survivor mentality traits. As I get older and older, I find myself relying solely on God’s Words. And find that Bible alone is enough.
The first morning I faced after my sister went back to Seoul, I sat alone on my table and opened the Bible. The verse for the day’s devotion pointed to Isaiah 43:19.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already began! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Naturally, my eyes traveled to the other page where I had highlighted the verse that had meant so much to me. So much so that I moved to Maryland on the very next day after I encountered the verse. A little over eight years have passed since then and yet here I am still living here, doing my best to settle and take down my root. The verse that inspired me to move to Maryland specifically commanded me to cross the river. There was no chance of mistaking the command.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. (Isaiah 43:2)
God was telling me to cross the river to a far away place that I never desired to live and I obeyed. Now more than eight years later, God is telling me again. This time, He says He will create rivers in the dry wasteland. With the wonderful promise of God, in flooded the rivers of hope through my heart that resembled a dry wasteland. I found myself carefully hoping that, perhaps, it means I no longer have to move again. At least not for a long while. I have grown to love this place I now call home.
I marvel at God’s provision that guided me this far. I came here without knowing the full-view of the future ahead. But I am glad that I decided to cross that river that year. I still do not have the full-view of my future that lie ahead. I do not know if it will include my sister that lives on the other side of this planet. But I find renewed hope in God’s promise that was given to me at the start of this new year. Whatever could He mean when He spoke that He will create rivers in the dry wasteland? Whatever He has in mind, I will just have to wait and see. One thing I know for sure is that no matter how long it may take for this promise to be fulfilled, God will never, ever, disappoint me.