When we look at the world we live in, it’s easy for us to simply perceive things to be just as our eyes see them to be. People who are “troublemakers” or “drama queens” will never change because they continue to create problems everywhere they are present. Places like Las Vegas are called “Sin City” for a reason so it only means you’re asking for trouble when you step foot into a place that promotes gluttony, lust, and addiction. Things like money are “the root of all evil” and we’re better off not desiring to be rich because we will only become more greedy and selfish when money is thrown our direction. Ideas like romance are considered “hopeless” because passion dies, and it eventually leads to broken hearts and unfulfilled dreams. So it’s better to play it safe or make compromises when it comes to finding our future mate. Although there might be some truth to each of these, I believe a shift in our perspectives and hearts will help us to not fear conformity but rather redefine the things of this world. It’s about finding the gold and value in the crummiest circumstances and celebrating even the smallest things set before us.
After spending too many years being stuck and unknowingly going around and around in circles, I finally had reached a turning point and I had to make a clear choice…change or be left behind. Change and transformation needed to take place in my life. I needed to look deep within myself and be real with the person I had become over the years. Instead of pointing fingers at others, I needed to point the finger inward. I became the jaded person who often had one too many drinks when I partied with friends. I became the guarded person who ran the other direction when drama came my way. I became the selfish person that only wanted to spend money when it benefited me or horded my possessions because I didn’t want to share my wealth with others. I became the clingy hopeless romantic that found my identity in relationships so I didn’t know my self worth. In other words, I spent way too many years numbing my pain with other means, and I had mounds of unresolved problems and issues because I continued to brush them under the rug. In addition, I figured looking pretty and focusing on having a reputable career was enough to be marriage material because finding my "Prince Charming" was important to me, which has and continues to be my heart’s desire. I had lost sight of my true nature and the person God designed me to be. I needed to redefine Sarah Jung and rediscover all the hidden gold within me.
As I chose to pursue a life of transformation, I soon discovered it was going to be a painful and arduous journey. I needed to let all parts of ME die in order to be restored and renewed the RIGHT WAY! So it meant I had to surrender and give up all things I loved and build a firm foundation with ZERO dependency on people or possessions. The only truth I held onto was the everlasting love of my Heavenly Father and being saved by His grace. I am so thankful for His abounding grace and understanding because I found myself making mistakes and falling on my face A LOT, throwing tantrums at God when things didn’t go my way, and sulking when things got tough. But there was a glimmer of hope breaking through as I continued to take steps forward and faced the GIANT in my life…unresolved pain and wounds. Today, I am learning to live a balanced life loving people, myself, and God with authenticity and vulnerability. I’m understanding that it’s not only important to know how to love generously but to receive with openness, and most importantly, have NO EXPECTATIONS in return.
As I was redefining my identity, I started to view this world through a different lens. I started to understand the importance of being a light in a dark place because hidden beauty and treasures were waiting to be uncovered. I needed to be in the midst of all the action and not be fearful of conforming to the patterns of this world but redefine the struggles and challenges I encountered. I now found myself gravitating toward “troublemakers” because they carried unique authority and power but only needed a recalibration to achieve promising greatness. I wasn’t supposed to run the other direction when drama came my way. Instead, I was supposed to run into their arms and love on them without holding back and accept them just as they are. Then there are places like Vegas, which I spent many months avoiding, but now understanding that there’s more than meets the eye. When you look past the towering casinos and enticing food buffets, you can go on hiking adventures to Red Rock Canyon and fishing excursions at Lake Mead. However, I believe when one can exhibit self-control as they walk the Las Vegas strip and rise above all the sin and temptation surrounding the city, they are setting themselves apart from others. In 1 Timothy 6:10 it states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Money is not the cause of problems but rather the LOVE of money that drives people into dark places. Wealth is a God-given gift, whether it’s from family inheritance or hard-earned living. Therefore, it’s important to steward it with wisdom and a heart of gratitude. Money can be positively powerful if we are driven and motivated to use it with clear purpose and vision. Then there’s romance. I was having a conversation with a friend and I described myself to be a "hopeless romantic", and she immediately corrected me and shared I was actually a HOPEFUL romantic. Redefining romance helped me to wholeheartedly believe God will fulfill the desires of my heart in His perfect timing. I trust I will one day meet THE ONE God has reserved to be my BEST friend, running mate, and life partner. I await in hopeful anticipation to meet my God-chosen husband who shares similar vision, lives life fervently and humbly serves others, and loves and accepts me just as I am.
The once jaded and selfish Korean American girl is now choosing to celebrate what’s right with the world. I am breaking free from fear, pride, judgment, expectations, and discouragement and replacing them with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
From my heart to yours #4:
If you’re willing to choose change because you’re desiring to experience breakthrough, allow yourself to look deep within and face all the things that have been hiding in the little crevices of your life. What are some practical and actionable methods you can exercise without feeling overwhelmed or defeated? I believe starting off with modest goals and working toward influential goals, while celebrating each accomplishment, will lead to favorable change and shifts in perspectives. Do you want to join me in discovering gold and celebrating all the goodness around us?
I'm using this space to simply share the meaningful things that burn my heart and the random things that run through my mind. Simply desiring more vulnerability and authenticity in my life.