It is God who knows us and our destiny. We don’t even know ourselves.
My story here in America starts the year I failed Kindergarten. My dad had just gotten stationed in Washington State, and our family made the big move from South Korea to Fort Lewis, an Army base just outside of Tacoma and Seattle.
I remember the moving trucks helping us put our boxes and furniture in our new home. I can still remember the rain falling as I would walk to school with my little brother. Sometimes on our way home, we would actually climb trees to try to reach the heights and end up with sap all over our arms, legs, and clothes.
My kindergarten teacher was kind. I think she was my first one. I remember getting an award from her in art. I remember making a beautiful shadowbox from lollipop sticks out of everything we collected from the Redwood Forest we called the backyard of our school. I learned the term “jack-in-the-pulpit” that day, a type of flower. Not bad for a girl who couldn’t speak English.
I failed kindergarten that year because I couldn’t say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. The truth is, I couldn’t speak English, so they probably knew I wasn’t ready for first grade. The pledge was probably the litmus test that I wasn’t ready.
It’s ironic looking back. Because today…I know the value of that pledge. I have always loved it.
Fort Lewis was beautiful. Sky-high, thick-bodied Redwood trees greeted me in the mornings behind the school on our playground. My friends and I used to play hopscotch there. The first guy I ever fell in love with used to get beat in tether-ball there almost every day. I skipped or side-galloped to school some days instead of walking just so I could beat Shane in tether-ball, too. He was so cute!
Well, eventually, the chapter of the beautiful Pacific Northwest came to a close, and we all moved to the farmlands in Illinois.
Surrounded by the corn fields at Union Center, my siblings and I would board the bus to go to a small town public school in Casey, IL. There, I would take speech pathology to learn better English. I was in 4th grade then. I would learn words like “colander” instead of spaghetti strainer. And, that year my parents would divorce, and I would hide behind my long hair by pulling it all over my face. I didn’t want to see the world, and I definitely didn’t want the world to see me. But, in speech pathology somehow I would remember that learning my “p’s” and “f’s” were important.
Skipping over chapters, I will now fast forward to my high school years because I am trying to make my point that God knows us better than we know ourselves.
In high school, history was my most boring subject. But, I loved English. In history I never paid attention, not even when everyone wanted to spend all semester talking about JFK’s assassination. So, I didn’t understand why my junior year I would be chosen to attend Illinois Girl State to learn how to run for office. It was my high school boyfriend who helped me do well in my senior government class. I honestly didn’t understand or care about the concepts. I never thought it would ever apply to me.
But, God has a way of knowing us better than ourselves.
In college, I got mostly A’s. But, I got a “C” in my U.S. history class at the U of I. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I could never get interested in history.
Then, something happened.
My 6th year in teaching, I was reassigned from teaching freshmen to teaching juniors. I was to teach them American Literature. In order to do that, I had to read Founding documents and study about the Founding Fathers.
When I did, my eyes were opened. I found Jesus there in all the secular school book pages that covered America’s development from the times of the Pilgrims all the way through contemporary America.
Little did I know that one day God would use those four years of teaching American Lit as a catalyst for moving me towards getting a Master’s degree in Government.
Sometimes when we look back, we see God’s hand on our lives in ways that show us He is always with us, and truly He knows the plans He has for us.
Last January when I made the leap of faith to move here to Virginia, I had a sub job. Interestingly enough, it was for a junior American Lit. class. God reminded me that He was with me. Today, I teach English at the school where I subbed then.
Tonight as I was studying, I came across in my readings “The Third Charter of Virginia.” and “The Mayflower Compact.” It is so incredible to me to actually be living here in Virginia where so much of our Founding history began. Again, I am reminded that God knows the plans He has for us. He also knows our hearts, He created them. At any given moment, He knows what is inside them.
I am blown away tonight by the ironies and consistencies of my God. To Him, it doesn’t matter that He transported a half-Asian girl across the globe and gave her a heart for America. To Him, He had it all planned. I’m the one who is always amazed at how FAITHFUL He is to me.
I have heard some friends share that they don’t have the knowledge I have about history, etc., and I just feel really humbled because I know my beginnings. It is GOD ONLY who has made any of this possible in my life. And, one thing I am very aware of is that He is NOT a respecter of persons. The story He is writing in my life, He is doing the same with yours, you only need to be open to seeing Him writing the very unique and special story He has for you; He has one for each of us. It says so in His Word. ❤
I hope this encourages someone tonight. It encouraged me to look back. God is GOOD.
God bless you and your family!
Psalm 139:13-18 (TPT)
13 You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside
and my intricate outside,
and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.
14 I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking.
It simply amazes me to think about it!
How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
15 You even formed every bone in my body
when you created me in the secret place,
carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something.
16 You saw who you created me to be before I became me!
Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
the number of days you planned for me
were already recorded in your book.