It is Time to Move on : Subin Kim
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (NIV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
My father passed away in the fall semester of my freshman year in high school. It felt surreal hearing it that one morning. I didn’t really know what to make of it. Perhaps I felt the way I did because my parents weren’t in a good place before it happened, and I have resented my father for causing pain and hardships toward my mother, even though I don’t think he did it intentionally. He was often frustrated because he couldn’t help the family the way he wanted to due to the language barrier and lack of jobs available. I remember one night my parents were arguing and my father asked if he should leave because he didn’t want to bring the family down.
Once I got back home after hearing the news of my father passing, I got on my bed and started crying. I heard someone come to me and tell me, “I know it must be hard for you but stop crying. Your mother is suffering too, and she loved her husband a lot, perhaps more than you had loved your father. You’re the man of the house now, so man up, stop crying and take care of your mother.”
As I heard this, I felt my heart hardening, not towards God, but emotionally. That afternoon, I went out to an internet café with my cousin because I didn’t want to be inside the house anymore. It made me feel uncomfortable and I felt like I should be sadder, but inside I didn’t care at all.
As time passed, I remember I would have anxiety attacks from time to time for reasons unknown to me but I didn’t really think much about them. Instead, I just completely ignored them. I still attended church, and I thought that my faith was unaffected by my father’s passing. I was moving on with my life and that I was trying to mature in my faith – repenting, learning, and worshiping God more and more.
I knew God taught me so many things, but He had yet to restore my brokenness. That was because I was unaware of my own brokenness. I couldn’t bring it before God for healing and restoration because I never knew the root of my depression and suffering. In the past, there was someone who was a huge part of my life for a bit, and he revealed to me that there was a deeper root to my sins – something that causes me to sin that is deeper and more than something like plain lust or jealousy.
Around year 2017, I understood and realized that I was not completely okay with my father’s passing. I realized this because I started to miss him. It wasn’t anything like the times God revealed to my heart what I had been struggling with. I had really missed my father’s presence.
In the summer of 2018, I attended my second Kingdom Series Conference. We had a night of prayer on the second day, and someone in my group shared about how he was facing some struggles with his father, and how he wished his father was dead. That reminded me of how I was right before the moment my own father passed, and maybe even a little after he passed. Then a rush of emotions came over as I shared. I talked about how I wished I could have told my dad that I loved him, and how I could have done better. And maybe if I did something differently, he would still be alive and able to come to my wedding in the future, and play with his grandchildren and finally have some rest from having to work hard for his family.
As I came to realize this, I asked God for healing more fervently. But at the same time, I went in to a state of depression once again. There were rare occasions I even had suicidal thoughts, but I knew that was only my vain attempt at being rid of all my responsibilities and duties.
With this state of mind and heart, I attended last summer’s Stand Up retreat. There, God once again spoke to me through a person and reminded me that He loves me, and that He is with me. He is in pain with me, and was with me through all the times I had suicidal thoughts, all the times I cried myself to sleep, and all the times I looked at a photo of my father and got heartaches and thought a bunch of “what ifs”. He had been wanting me to see Him next to me, to remind me that I was not alone.
God has brought me peace and restoration through His grace and mercy. Even now, God continues to amaze me with His patience for me. Even though I carry this burden, I know my God calls me forth to lay it down before Him, that Jesus died to wash this away for me. I find joy in surrendering myself to Jesus because when I do, I’m set free and the burden lifts off from my shoulders.
For Your Reflection
Someone once said that to be human is to have regrets because making mistakes is a universal experience. This is to say we all make mistakes and therefore live with regrets.
How are you handling your past regrets? We can’t just deny or repress them because that would only lead to more regrets. We can’t just stay in our sadness and keep thinking about “what ifs” either because it will consume our lives. The ultimate solution to our mistakes is to trust in God’s love for us, lay our faults at the feet of Jesus, turn from them, and let Him heal us and restore us. Let us move on from our regrets by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who loves us and has forgiven our sins.