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Mental Health

Mental Health

Recognizing that we are in a global pandemic, I accept that the priority is not my mental health. That being said, being locked up in a hotel room for the last seven days has re-traumatized my soul.

Grew up under a heavy handed Father figure. My whereabouts were always accounted for. At 17 years old, after a failed suicide attempt I landed in a psych ward, against my will. 18 years old, after stealing Father’s credit cards, locked up in county for two days. Finally, spent 3 months in a work furlough program to complete my credit card shopping spree sentence. And then this last week after arriving home on island, we were brought to a waiting room, where we awaited a bus to take us to a hotel room, where we were to remain until we were freed by the powers that be.

In each case, the authority figure called all the shots. Determined privileges granted. As well as restrictions employed. The right to freely roam as one chooses, is taken away. The good Lord did protect my soul. Thoughts of these memories eluded me while detained. Only now, am I able to clearly see the parallels.

30 years old, with a young toddler in tow. Immigration office early in the morning. Completed and submitted mandated paperwork. Literally 8 hours later all persons behind the bullet proof counter closed up and left. As the lights were turned off and the last employee made his way out, I asked a third time. “What am I to do? I submitted my documents and no one has called me all day.” I was gruffly told, “Too bad. Come again tomorrow.” Second class citizen. Completely disregarded. Wholly disrespected.

The combination of having freedoms removed against my will, and being treated as a second class citizen holds an impact.

Upside? After recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, I was forced to relax and heal properly. And then I see that The Lord reigns over everything. He is in control. Ultimate and complete control. His will.

I did find myself in desperate need of the peace of Christ. I was more reliant on God this last week than I have been for a while. Perhaps He is calling me back to Him.

Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 1:3

Normal

Normal

Fear. Of being accosted. Real fear. For my daughter. Racist encounters every week. Folks refusing service, for fear of being contaminated. It’s become the norm.

What the hell? How is it that this is now the norm? A young woman working in a coffee house is mistreated with regularity because of the shape of her eyes. Encountering racism is expected every week. It’s the norm.

Trump dehumanized Asians. He used racial slurs with relentless consistency. He made sure the current outcome would take effect. He ignited the latent hatred that some have for Asians. It became the norm.

Do you know what it’s like to be persecuted and hated for something you cannot change? This is the shape of our eyes. How we look is simply how God created us. And it is normal.

What is abnormal, is the violence. The unadulterated malicious sin being cast upon us. We are beautiful, we Asians. We are American. We are normal.

Chronic

Chronic

Living with chronic pain. In a word, exhausting. As each hour progresses, energy diminishes. For work. Laughter. And play. Its looming presence relentlessly induces pressure. No relief.

I cannot walk without electricity. How I miss walking. Listening to music. Praying to Abba. Catching up with sisters. Rather than pray, I concentrate on the physicality of the pain. What I can no longer do. Everything I am missing out on.

Lord God in heaven. Thank you for revealing your will. May I suffer for Christ. For His glory. In other words, make me more like Jesus. Through my suffering. With empathy for my husband. And gratitude for all that God has blessed us with.

I am alive. I am in love. I have all of my faculties. I am beloved. I am saved. Hopeful that resolution will be realized. Confident in the Christ who can do all things.

Wisdom versus vanity…

Wisdom versus vanity…

What is it like to once be hot, and then not. Yep, it was asked. Used to purge everything to weigh in at a slim size 8. Have walked for 25 years 5-6 days a week for at least 4 miles a day.

Keep my food down now. Have for quite some time. Made the conscious decision to not turn out like some fellow aging bulimics.

Have arthritis in both knees. Hurts to walk from car to building. Have gained weight.

Moving from vanity to wisdom. Have young adults seeking out support and maternal advice. Valued contributor to many lives. Beauty is no longer external. Internally attractive.

Trapped inside my body. Unable to do the things desired. God says reach deeper. He says…rely on my strength. Listen to my voice.

More than looks. So much more. Eat what I crave. Keep it down. That in of itself is a victory. After purging for over 30 years, the power to overcome my eating disorder is paramount.

Eventual knee replacements. This is a sobering reality. Aging throws its blows.

Full disclosure. This bites. Being fat. Immobile. Chronic pain. Yet His grace is sufficient.

Loving myself even with the extra weight and painful immobility. Choosing gratitude. Wisdom over vanity.

Why White’s Only?

Why White’s Only?

This is a series of questions pertaining to my experience in the western US. Why is our entire cabinet one white non-color? Why have the last four territorial leaders been white males? Why have all my DCs, with the exception of one, been white? Why have ALL the Generals been white (only two women) in over 155 years? Why white’s only?

How is it that out of all the diverse officers we have, for the most part, only the white ones get advanced and promoted throughout the ranks of leadership? Where are the brown and black and red and yellow DCs and cabinet members? Why is our army choosing to invest in white officers over officers that are POC?

Why do we claim to be progressive, and then refuse to promote black and brown and red and yellow leaders, both men and women? Why are we behind the curve on this?

Why do ignorant white leaders say they don’t “have to” have diverse advisory boards? How are we ever going to see real change? Where are the black and brown and red and yellow officers, both men and woman? Why are they not on the cabinet, in DC positions, and in seats of real influence over other officers? Yep, important enough to be asked twice.

Why when the field asks why there is no diversity in leadership, are we told that “There is diversity! Why look at our cadets!” They are not in positions of upper leadership. They are cadets, soon to be lieutenants.

Why do leaders say “Not in MY Army” in reference to the LGBTQ community? And why do white leaders that damage officers and employees, continue to be in charge?

I know a call from leadership may come. If there is no POC, it’ll be one of the many white leaders to tell me to take this down. Ok, before you call me…answer me this. Why?

Romans 12:12

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 Been my life verse for Officership thus far. Need it now more than ever.

To be joyful in hope right now? A challenge to be sure. Yet I am confident that my hope rests in Christ Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross, paid the price for our salvation. I rest in the hope that this life is temporary. Life after earth will be with God Himself.

Patient in affliction. This one resonates. March 20, 2020 and my Korean face is frightening people. The public has been fed misinformation, and xenophobia is rampant. This affliction feels awful. Fighting shame and self hate. Be patient. This too shall pass.

Faithful in prayer. Face down. In prayer. Why does my daughter have to be exposed to the ignorant hate of cruel people? Lord, please protect her. I will continue to cry out to you Lord. For you are salvation. Strength. Everything.

Feel for David, hiding in the caves. Running from hateful enemies. I want to hide. But I must praise The Lord in the midst of the fire.

There is hate outside. It feels unsafe. Life itself is in God’s hands. We are but dust.

Beginning of the end…

Beginning of the end…

Love walking. Have for 25 years. Lots of terrain. Mountains of Lake Arrowhead. Suburbs of the South Bay. Beach bluffs of Palos Verdes. I have walked for most of my adult life.

Walking has been filled with miles of music, prayer, beauty, angst, and creative energy. It has empowered and strengthened. It has taken me to places figuratively and literally.

Recently diagnosed with arthritic pain in my knees. It now hurts to walk. And I am deeply sad. Sad that something I have found so much joy in, produces indisputable pain. Part of me has died.

I am at a crossroads. Perhaps I must take to yoga, or the water. I just want to go for a long walk. Only now, it hurts to walk. This sucks. It just sucks.

To know that I will always have pain for the rest of my earthly existence. This depresses the heck out of me. And I think of Eric. And I am humbled.

I now sit with physical pain. I walk with physical pain. I still cannot really believe this new reality. What in the world am I going to do? I digress.

In my newfound pain, I look to my husband for help. I watch him live with back and abdominal pain, on a daily basis. Rarely does he complain. Rarely does anyone even know he lives in constant physical pain.

He serves without complaint. He loves without boundaries. His pain reminds him that he is alive. I am not there. Not even close. I am grieving the loss of my agile body. My pain reminds me of what I have lost.

I’ll get there. It’ll take a breath or two, but I’ll get there.

written word

written word

Are you about people
Or tasks
You may get it done
And yet miss the blessing of true connection

Thinking one’s arrived
From a modest childhood
Using position to judge others
Losing complete sight

Lies and deception
Manipulative tactics
For what
Of course, ego

Pride
Beware
It entices and misleads
Ending in shame and self-hatred

Temptation to Sin to Redemption to Restoration

Temptation to Sin to Redemption to Restoration

A colorful past some would say. Worked for universities and art schools…as a nude model. Entertained many to my liking, mostly men. Saw nothing wrong with it, didn’t know Christ or God for that matter.

Met a 26 year old virgin. Literally didn’t know any other young adults that were not sexually active. A virgin? Thought it was a line. Turned out to be true. He learned from his father’s sins and opted for purity and monogamy. Surely, a man to marry. And we did just that. The ceremony was private. The vows were sacred.

Nine years into it, my mind began to stray. Preliminarily accepted into seminary, I slipped. Stepped back into my sin, betraying my beloved.

For the first week, no guilt. Just like old times. Second week, a day before my birthday. Sitting in the kitchen, God’s Holy Spirit was upon me. “You are mine.” And I knew. That evening I confessed everything to my husband. He never left.

Everything changed. We moved to the mountains and drew closer to God, therefore one another. Months of healing and restoration.

Psalm 51 became my own. Many a morning spent on my knees crying out to The Lord David’s words of remorse and contrition. My actions affected others. Even though I lived with the mindset that I was on my own, I in fact was not an island.

Took us 7 years to get to a place of solid trust again. Totally worth it. Walked through Christian marriage counseling together. Saturated our days in scripture. Chloe was in AWANA, something that the family fully adopted. God’s Word was woven throughout our week.

Brutal honesty. My weakness was vanity and men. I had historically known worth through the power of seduction. Taught at a very young age.

I recall being tempted a few years back. Husband and I were at a place where we could acknowledge this and address it head on. My beloved did just that. He reminded me that I would grow old, heavier, whatever. My outward beauty was fleeting. His love for me was not. He said to me, “I will still adore you.”

And today, I hear his words of truth. And he does still love me. I am growing older. Playing the role of mother and mentor nowadays. This season is difficult in some ways, and freeing in so many others.

I am overweight right now. I have age spots and greying hair. The power to seduce is about 50 lbs out of reach, and 25 years past my prime. My 20 year old daughter saw a picture of me 15 years ago. She grabbed the photo in disbelief. Being raised to focus on outward beauty first, left me confused about self worth and true identity.

Marriage is till death do us part. This man loves me for more than my outward appearance. He has fallen for me as a person. My inner value. My thoughts and opinions matter to him. I matter to him.

And why? Because I am still a size 6? Hardly. More like 14 these days. Because he genuinely loves me as I am. No matter how old I am. No matter how much I weigh.

My husband has always represented the love of Christ to me. Christ pursued me in whatever state I was in. And God gifted me with a partner that exemplifies that very Christlike love. I am richly blessed.

Love covers a multitude of sins

Love covers a multitude of sins

Been offered this scripture twice within recent history. I have blocked several folks on social media recently as well.

Here is my criteria. If you are a secret friend, you’re not really a friend. If you ghost me in person, and never like any of my posts, not a friend. And that’s okay. I just see that I am under no obligation to share my life with folks that hold no interest in me.

I have grown weary of the elitist insular attitudes within the ranks of the church. We continue on being exclusive, and then wonder why our churches are not growing.

Love covers a multitude of sins. So what that people in the church totally mistreat one another, love covers a multitude of sins. So just let it go. Allow love to cover the sins. Does this mean there is no culpability and accountability? Rather, may we learn from the direct and loving way Jesus exhorted his disciples.

Life has consequences. When someone mistreats me, I have the option of disengaging. I do not have to subject myself to rude and toxic behavior.

Within our ranks, we live in a bit of a fish bowl. We will pass one another on occasion, and perhaps be required to swim alongside one another. Regardless of personality preferences, life will intersect in this bubble of an existence.

So who’s a friend? Someone that always refers to you as friend? No thank you. A friend is someone that supports and responds with a commitment to the relationship.

I have asked God to show me who I can truly trust. To reveal the folks in my life that need to be pruned. And the courage to make change.

I am aware that I am not liked by some. When I chose to be my real self, some were repulsed while others were drawn in. The beauty is that I am no longer living for the accolades of others. I am free from the bondage of fitting in. I am enough because I am created in His image.