By Linda Yung
눈 내린 산
아픔이 쌓이고 쌓였네
Snow Covered Mountain
Pain falls and piles up high
(A Korean poem that I wrote while I was working on one of the Empower homework assignments)
Empower? No, thank you!
When I first heard about the women’s Empower class, I decided right away that it wasn’t for me. I liked the idea of reading books, but attend an all day Saturday class after a long week of work? No, thank you! Stay up late writing papers like back in college? No. No, thank you! Be in a mentoring group where I risk being vulnerable to share about my life? No. I think I’ll pass.
I have to do my part
It was a Wednesday night Concert of Prayer and I was praising God. I felt His presence and longed for more of Him. I thought about how as I entered my mid 40s, life has settled into a comfortable pattern of work, family, and church life. I was thankful for this contentment, but I feared becoming a “crunchy, old Christian.” I prayed a simple prayer, “God, l want to hunger for You.”
A few days later, as I was spending time with God doing my morning devotions, God spoke. “You want to hunger for Me. But you expect Me to spoon feed you. Daughter, you must do your part. I have prepared a banqueting table for you, but you have to get up and walk to the table.” I reflected on this and asked God, “What is my banqueting table?” The closest feast around me was the Empower class. I did not want to take the class, but I felt this was the table I needed to walk up to and He had a feast ready. This was His answer to my prayer. I registered out of obedience and kept an open mind.
Surprise, surprise… I’m never done
Over the years, I have been to many conferences, been through memory healing, participated in prayer ministries, and Pastoral Care School. So, I thought I should be “pretty healed.” But as I worked on my assignments for Empower, I was surprised to find myself struggling as I faced some more painful memories of the past. The different approach the Empower class took me in facing my pain was shaking me and I realized that I am not done, that God still has more for me.
A similar surprise waited for me at the Empower weekend retreat in January. I was given a mirror and a pen and the assignment was to soak in God’s presence, writing down all the false statements I believed about myself onto the mirror. I remember doing something very similar over the years and I didn’t think there was anything new. I quickly wrote out some false statements and I took a nap. A few hours later, it was time to bring the mirror back to the session and it was a very powerful time where each woman declared the false statements off and broke their mirrors.
During worship, God revealed a false image that I never thought I had. He showed me that I carried an image of shame and worthlessness because I am from a divorced family. This hit me so hard. At first, I wanted to deny it, but it was real. After I broke the mirror, I met with my mentoring group and shared what God showed me. As I shared, more pain came over me. My group prayed for me and I received the word that “I am not tainted because of my parents’ divorce, and Jesus makes me clean and whole.” I broke even more as prayers matched what I was going through and I received in faith the wholeness of Jesus. Indeed, I am never done…
Because we don’t want to be “crunchy, old Christians” who become stagnant and fat
Because God has more for us
Because we are never done
Because it is His banqueting table!