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  • Writer's pictureElisha Bae

Starting Anew, Again (1st post of 2024)

A hand with red manicure holding a sparkler

Like always, we've stepped into a new year. 2023 was packed with event after event, and sometimes, I felt like I was swept away by the things happening around me and wasn't grounded. I want to make sure that I live in the moment in 2024. In Korea, the year 2024 is the year of the Blue Dragon, which symbolizes new beginnings, growth, risk-taking, and change. To help me have a fulfilling and meaningful year, I put forward a theme for myself, which is Standing in God, Alone.

This encompasses the many areas that I want to mature in, especially being okay with being by myself. I go into more detail in a previous post you can find here. Along with that, I noticed that a lot of my worries and anxious thoughts are because I tried to control situations rather than completely putting my faith in God. Over the past year or so, I thought my relationship with God and the way that I worshipped him was pretty spot on. The fact that I thought that probably should have been a bit of a red flag. The things I did, like going to church and talking about my faith, were oddly disconnected from how I actually felt about God's presence in my life.

My pastor's sermon on the last day of 2023 really touched me. It felt like God was speaking directly to me and how I should reshape my approaches. In the sermon, I was reminded that my path was guided by God until now and that He will be the one that I will walk with till the very end. No matter what happens, I will reach new chapters if I let Him take me on the path that He has set out for me.

John 15:4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (NIV Bible)

The following lists are things that I have compiled from many parts of my life in hopes of addressing the problems that I've encountered. The summer break of 2023 was the start of reflecting on my ways and making changes, and it feels like I finally have a comprehensive idea of what I need to work on for the time being.

Things I Need to Remind Myself:

  • There is no need to try to fill up the quiet times I have.

  • Don't let something or someone else be at the core of my life - that role is reserved for God.

  • If I let go of the things that I'm possessive about to give room for God, He will gift me with abundance and blessings that I haven't even thought of.

  • See how God guides me when I step forward into something new, away from situations where I have control.

  • Find worth in the things I do, even if no one is watching or giving me approval.

  • My faith is 'alive' only when I devote time and effort - intentionally set aside time for God.

  • Even when I'm alone, I am not abandoned. Even when the wait is long, God is always with me.

My Action Plan:

  • Read the Bible and write down the thoughts that are given to me.

  • When I'm waiting (for something, for someone) and become anxious, recognize it and pray for peace of mind.

  • Think of time alone as a blessing instead of something I need to be scared of.

  • Make it a habit again to pray before my meals to connect with God throughout my day.

  • Keep a journal to keep a record of my thoughts, feelings, and reflections.

  • Keep a prayer log to pray for myself and others and see the wonders that God fulfills.

  • Try going places by myself (especially when I'm back in Korea).

  • Avoid 'easy gratification' and instead opt-in for activities that I truly enjoy or help with my own self-development, even if it's less stimulating.

  • Practice being okay with not always having the things I want and letting go of the things that I'm holding on to too tightly.

A List of Things that I Can Do/Enjoy Doing Alone:

  • Writing my blog posts (yeah, this one's a must)

  • Solving puzzles and riddles (more on that in a future post..!)

  • Being creative, like sketching or painting (I realized I want to do something about my love for hummingbirds)

  • Singing and recording songs

  • Bible studies

  • Organizing/cleaning my space while listening to music

  • Writing short stories with interesting prompts

  • Watching videos about the latest gadgets/tech news

  • Reading mystery books (feels like this is the only kind of books I read, nowadays)

I know I can't go forth in my life without someone I can rely on. In the past, I've clung to people, ideals, and things I like, but these were not stable foundations. I want to be able to stand firmly by myself, but it will only be fruitful (or doable) with God looking over me. This is not a burden or a sign that I'm weak - only the fact that I have finally humbled myself and that I came to realize that I cannot, and will not, live without God.

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