Three times a week, I work five minutes away from home and have gotten into a habit of going back for lunch instead of buying grease-ridden fast food to eat by my lonesome in the office. The benefit of all of this is that when my mother is back from traveling as a nanny, I can enjoy her most delicious cooking and spend some time getting to know her. For some reason, my mother has become gung-ho about learning English and at her age, the mind is definitely not a sponge. During our impromptu English lessons, there has been much screaming with impatience, hysterical laughing from Korean accents and mispronounced words, and quite a few slaps on the forehead. But the thing is, even though it has been driving me crazy, it has definitely boosted the quality of this relationship I have with my mother which I had strongly felt like I was still healing from. To see my mother’s eyes light up every time she pronounced something correctly or constructed the right sentence has brought within my heart a surge of joy that I never felt quite before. I’m confident it’s very similar to a mother’s pride, because I’m starting to feel more and more proud of her for trying to challenge herself to do new things.
If I reflect back on all the years I attended an educational institution, there was always someone who gave up on me. I admit that I was a rambunctious handful for any teacher or professor, but it really is unfortunate that they didn’t have any more fuel to give me a chance to thrive. When I graduated college, got into graduate school, and even scored my first set of A’s at the conclusion of my first semester, I was beside myself with absolute ecstasy. The semesters of failing classes, being put on academic probation, and the detentions/suspensions I dealt with had definitely made a mark in my heart, leaving me to believe that I was just academically inept. But the recent accomplishments made me realize that I really did have it in me to succeed in school, and I had that same joy my mom displayed with greasy meat bones in her hand (view video at end).
I’ve been having a tough time this semester at school. I don’t know what it is — the two jobs, the sudden addition to my household who I have to now care for financially, the different and new responsibilities on my plate that affects other people, but whatever it is, I’m slowly reverting back to my old pre-graduate-school self who didn’t give a flying crap about her studies. I truly started to believe that God didn’t want me to go to graduate school and that my calling was elsewhere – I just needed to leave school and look for it. But after much praying and talking to friends who were wiser, I came to the conclusion that obeying God does not always result in happiness. You don’t choose to obey God in things you know will make you satisfied and happy with life. You do it because He’s your God, your Father, and you trust Him. I would like to believe that even though I feel like what I’m studying now is not benefiting me in any way or that I can be having other great adventures in other parts of the world, God put me here at CSUF, in Orange County, in California, at this time of my life, for a very purposeful reason. That purpose and the tools God will equip me with from this experience is ‘to be announced,’ but at least I can be confident and say that God has my back and I am a child being led by my hand through the darkness. I obey to follow, obey to face my own complaining, begrudged heart and tell it to man up – or GOD up – and don’t give up.
It’s no wonder that “Trust and Obey” go together so nicely. It’s a perfect harmony.
Have a glimpse at one of our ESL lessons, featuring my mother and some meat: