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False Alarm, False Response

by Sammae Gee Biboso (36th Batch)

Hours before heading to the airport, I couldn’t hold myself but cry in the bus while talking to someone who knows me well. I sobbed at the corner. I will miss myself. I cried not because I will be separated from my family, not because I will miss them for a long time. But I cried because I might miss myself again.

Missing myself could cause severe depression to me again. Severe depression could affect my missionary work. I might not endure it this time; my comforters are too far away from me. I left them that I might be left comfortless. I wept for that. I will face a big storm ahead.

“Korean people are just so cruel!” This fearful statement that my Korean partner had just said kept ringing in my ears. I was still on the way and this has already bothered me. Should I have the same attitude, I would surely suffer from culture shock. “Korea is like this! Korea is like that!” they said.

I made a decision. I should be tough this time–an attitude which I never learned to love, so opposite from my being gentle and kind. I suffered like this once. I have to, twice.

I don’t want to be in Korea. It was never in my dreams. I know the hardships that lie ahead. I’m afraid of it. But I’m left with no choice. For some reasons, I don’t want to stay any longer in my mission field, either. Neither do I want to quit.

Oftentimes, I couldn’t dare to disappoint my father. Above all, how could I dare disappoint my Heavenly Father? I hate refusing His call. I’m a missionary. These things kept on bothering me. God’s promises then became clear to me: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) These reminded me. I should go on.

We arrived in Korea. Just as I expected, the moment after we met Pr. Shin, we just went out on our own ways without even any drama of hugging and saying goodbye. That depressed me already. I took a deep breath and told myself that I should be tough. I should be tough enough! This is just the beginning of endless struggles.
 
Days had passed. I kept on waiting for any tough circumstances. Unknown to myself, those thoughts were left at the airport. I found myself wrong! The family who catered me has shown me the truth of being human and the spirit of being an Adventist. Far from what I expected, they are true people. Far from being cruel, they are as sheep.

Staying with them was great. I was supposed to be tough and a perfectionist in their sight, never applying my soft side. But I turned out to be the other way around. They brought out my tender, clumsy, and sweet personality. I never tried to love them, either. But I can’t deny it. I love them. I then began to love Korea.

Korea is not the horror story my partner has told me. It’s way too opposite. God is indeed wise. He proved me wrong. He taught me not to generalize, not to judge, never to hate. I just don’t know the people yet.

Moreover, God has taught me to be true at all times. He taught me not to hide my wonderful self. He let me realize that my partner just wanted me to prepare myself for the worst that I might appreciate the simple and good things of this country. He let me realize, as well, how I just wasted my missionary opportunities in my own country. With God, I could redeem those wasted moments here in Korea. I would be a better person through Him. This is such an opportunity!

Now, though I am living with another family with different personalities and lifestyles, I could understand them. I still could appreciate their goodness.

People are people. They may vary in countries, personalities, culture, and lifestyle, but they are living people like us. Some of them might not be as good enough as you want them to be. But as for the rest, there are those who would prove you wrong. You are among those people. You can disappoint or disprove other people also. It’s up to you then. Which do you prefer? Someone who could disappoint others or someone who could change their tough personality? Someone who could disprove their misconceptions? Someone who could make their judgments faulty? A missionary will choose the latter.

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