Learning to Trust God—Again and Again

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understandings.–Proverbs 3:5

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One thing about learning to trust in God is you never stop learning. It is silly, but I think I thought that since I learned to trust in God once before that I would continue to know how to trust Him. However, this is obviously not true. I have come to this realization again and again, but I somehow still forget. It has been a long time since I have written a blog post and it is because of several reasons. One, I have been ridiculously busy here in South Korea and every time I thought about writing a post, I would remember I could not because I had to write comments on how students were doing in my classes for their parents or had a ton of journals, books, etc. to grade. Two, I felt I lost all of my inspiration all of the sudden. I did not know what to write about. I was struggling with handling stress and situations, and then I had the same silly realization: I needed to learn how to trust God again with another area of my life.

I suddenly had something I wanted to write about, but these past four to six weeks have been so crazy, I knew I would not have time until this weekend. If I would even have time this weekend. However, I really want to write this blog post and I know I need to update my life to family and friends, so here I am. This is a much-needed update.

Teaching has been quite the experience. I realize just how much teachers sacrifice their time, energy, and money pouring into their students. I really want to do my best for these kids. Often, I feel I am less than and not properly equipped enough to teach them, but I do give what I have. I adore the students and enjoy being with them even if some days I am tired of them. There are always those days I wish they would just be quiet and listen and not cause trouble.

Grading is a beast that never dies. You are never done grading. After every lesson there is more to grade. I feel I am constantly sitting with a red pen grading some kid’s work. It can become tiring, but usually I do not mind doing it. I still get really excited to teach the kids certain things, and have a lot of fun teaching them those subjects. It is great when the students affirm you by saying, “This is my favorite class!” However, there are those several classes that the students say are boring. It makes me wonder if I am just a boring teacher. Which maybe I am.

Anyways, sometime in October I was able to take a quick weekend trip to the DMZ and Seoraksan National Park. It is definitely my favorite trip so far. The DMZ was interesting, eye-opening, and quite sobering. Knowing you are standing on ground that was a battle-ground, seeing signs warning of mines and littered bullets covering the grass can do that to you.

Seoraksan was breath-takingly beautiful. No words could describe and no pictures could do it justice. I wish I could stay there for a few days longer.

After that weekend, it was back to work. I was able to take a few dance classes which was really fun and it felt great to move my body. However, I quickly became too busy and had to take a break from going to the dance classes. That busy spell lasted four weeks. Four weeks of grading, teaching, test-giving, comment-writing, and parent-observing. It was not until those weeks were over that I felt I could breath again. I feel sorry for all my friends and family back home because I rarely spoke to anyone during that period. The weekends that followed were full of overdue video call dates. My birthday happened somewhere in there too.

One thing I feel I have not had a good break from is feeling sick. I would get sick, get better, get sick, get better, have allergy problems, and get sick again. I am currently overcoming the flu right now. I am quite ready to be healthy and whole and not to feel so tired all the time. I need some energy.

I had been struggling a lot with trusting in God through this period of being in South Korea. I felt a lot of things were going on and I was not dealing with them as well as I wanted to. I realized it was because I had forgotten that I don’t have to carry all of it on my own shoulders. So, the past two weeks I have been focusing on giving God my worries and trusting Him to figure them out. I have also been trying to focus on taking care of myself. Going to bed on time and eating better.

It has not been easy. I have cried more the past month than I have in a long time. Part of it was because of frustrations. Part of it was because of exhaustion. Part of it was because I was missing people and home. Holiday season is a hard time to be away from home. However, I am quite excited about the Christmas season, as it is my favorite season of the year. I love Christmas.

I hope it does not sound like my experience here has been all negative. It is not true at all! I love these kids and they seem to love me too. They tell me everyday they love me. I even had a student tell me I was his favorite teacher. I also had the wonderful experience of finally watching The Lion King musical which was wonderful. And I get to travel some more in a couple of weeks! I am excited to see how God continues to grow me during my time here. I hope things even out soon, and get even better!

I am hoping I can write more posts! We shall see….

—The Adversity Rose—

Kaitlyn Rose

DREAM. PURSUE. EXPERIENCE. GROW.

This blog will cover travel, personal growth, and life in general.

You Are Capable

If you can dream it, you can do it. –Walt Disney

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Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

You are capable. You are capable of doing all those sweet dreams deep in your heart. Maybe you do not believe it now, but I hope you will one day. Today, I want to talk about loving yourself and self-confidence. I mentioned this for a brief moment in the last post, but I want to expound on it more since it is so vital to our journey of change. In order to chase dreams, you need to know that you are capable and you have an amazing purpose in life. Not everyone may believe in God, but I do—and I believe that when He created us, He created us with a purpose and placed dreams inside our hearts. I believe they are there because we are capable of doing them—with His help of course. However, we do not need to worry about His helping us. We need to focus on taking steps and persevering and going hard after those dreams. Only then will God meet us half-way and you will see impossibilities become possible and a supernatural favor.

So, I reiterate. You are capable of changing and fully capable in achieving your dreams.

When I was thirteen years old, I went to Thailand on a mission’s trip with my mom. I truly believe it was in that moment when the dreamer inside of me awoke. However, even though I began to feel those secret desires begin to manifest, I did not believe I was capable of achieving them. I was super shy when I was a kid. I could not talk to strangers, and I could barely talk to people I knew. I wanted to help people, wanted to move to Asia even if temporary, and wanted to do so much, but if I thought about actually doing them…It scared me out of my mind. I remember praying every day for years for an inner boldness because my greatest fear was that I would be too afraid to chase my dreams.

I did not believe I was capable. Even with God’s help I was afraid I was not capable.

Around the same time I began having those secret dreams that I never voiced to anyone except for maybe my mom (until much, much later), I also began to fall into self-hatred. I hated myself for being too shy to talk to others, I hated myself for being too shy to do something I wanted to do, I hated myself for not going after my dreams (because I was so sure I never would), and I hated that everyone else knew I was shy too.

Constantly, I was told that I was quiet and shy, and constantly I felt people trying to pull me out and tell me to be bold and speak up. And I tried. I really did. But it was disheartening when I did make the effort to say something, I only heard the same things I heard before. They seemed to not see that it just took everything in me to say that sentence or two.

It is pretty funny to think about it now. Honestly, saying a sentence or two in a group setting was a lot of talking for me. Of course, they would still see me as quiet and shy! I just did not realize at the time. It caused a lot of discouragement and dislike for myself. (Disclaimer: I do not want this to sound like people from my past caused this, because I know they saw some things in me that I did not. They were trying to draw it out. And it is likely they did not know the effort that went into saying what I did say or they did and were trying to draw out more.) Anyways, this timidity and discouragement and self-hatred continued with little change until a little more than a year ago.

Yes, I did keep trying to push myself. Yes, I did not give up. Yes, I kept trying to step out of my comfort zone. And yes, I did get bolder. I knew this, but my self-hatred only grew rather than lessen. I was not even aware that I hated myself. I see it so clearly now, but back then all I thought about was working hard to step out. And focusing on the jealousy that was taking hold of me.

I know jealousy really began to be a problem for me in high school. I was jealous of anyone who was bolder than me and was entrusted with what I considered to be positions of boldness. I knew they would do great things. Everyone told them so. I told them so—and I believed it. However, I was jealous of them because I felt like I could never be like them (which is true, I can only be me) and I hated myself for being jealous of my friends. I believed I would continue to be behind everyone else and never become the person I wanted to be. When I slept, my dreams would be full of action-packed adventure where I was helping others and was bold and fearless. It was (and is still) who I wanted to be with every fiber of my being. I was never the damsel in distress in those dreams (though, I do love the idea of some knight in shining armor saving the princess—I think there are times we cannot do everything on our own and more frequently than we think).

My jealousy pinnacled in college (at least so far—definitely have not fully defeated the jealousy beast). Junior year of college was the hardest year I’ve experienced because of several things, but I’d say 40% of the reason was because of jealousy and self-hate. I mention them both because I believe the two are tied together. I am only jealous because I do not see my own worth and do not love myself. I came to that realization I think in April 2017 when a friend told me that I have worth and that I was not a bad person for being jealous of my best friends. Man, did I need to hear that. Those words healed my hurting heart and if I had not heard them in that moment when my heart was crumbling, I do not know where I would be today. She was a literal God send, and I knew it.

After that day, my heart was more open for healing and love than it was before. My friend basically told me that I need to learn to love myself and accept the love of my Heavenly Father in order for the jealousy to go away. I was amazed how much love and acceptance I felt in the next three months from God and from others. I went to Japan from May 2017 to June 2017, and by the time I returned from the trip my heart felt more happy and whole than it had in a long time. I realize now the importance of loving yourself, believing in yourself, and moving from a place of love.

I do not know if this speaks to any of you, I hope some part of it has, but I want to encourage you that you ARE loved, you ARE capable, you HAVE worth. You can chase those dreams in your heart. I shared this only because I remember and still occasionally deal with the hurt and pain of self-hate. It sucks the life out of you. It consumes you. It stunts you. It haunts you. You make decisions out of that fear and hate. You do not see your own potential. But God does and so do I. Maybe I do not see YOU, but I know you are capable because I know I am capable too.

How can you begin to love yourself?

First, you must FORGIVE yourself for all your failures, mistakes, and wrongdoings. You must forgive the people who did not see your worth. You must forgive yourself from the future you thought you were going to live. Forgiveness is so important to living life without bitterness. We cannot let unforgiveness fester inside of us because it only makes us depressed, angry, and bitter.

Second, you must be merciful and gracious to yourself when you feel like you have failed again. No one is perfect, not even you, so do not expect yourself or others to be so. Change takes time and consistency.

Third, you must accept yourself where you are at right now. Not where you are going to be, not where you want to be, but where you are right now. You must love yourself for who you are today. God loves YOU. Not only the person you will become, but the person you are today and He believes in you.

Fourth, realize you are fully capable of growing and changing. Some exercises that can help is to write out some words you want to believe about yourself and then speaking them out loud every morning. You can stand in front of a mirror and speak them to yourself as well. Also taking time to write a phrase you want to believe about yourself over and over again. Example:

I believe I am fully capable of achieving my dreams.

I believe I am fully capable of achieving my dreams.

I believe I am fully capable of achieving my dreams.

I believe I am fully capable of achieving my dreams.

I believe I am fully capable of achieving my dreams.

When you have created negative pathways in your brain of self-hate over and over, we need to purposely work to change those pathways and it’s not always easy. But remember to have grace and mercy for yourself when you feel like you’ve failed.

Speaking out verses from the Bible have always helped me. I’ll attach a recording of spoken word (gathered from Bible verses and sermons) at the bottom of this post that a friend of mine created a few years ago which has been great encouragement to me and have been speaking over myself ever since. Even if you do not want to speak verses over yourself, I encourage you to listen to this recording at least once to see if there is anything you might want to add to the confession that you write for yourself.

To help with forgiveness, you can try to write a letter to yourself or to the person you wish to forgive and share why they hurt you and then tell them why you will forgive them but never send it to them (unless it is you—HAHA). This may be difficult and may not work for everyone, but it is worth a try.

To summarize:

  1. Forgive yourself and others.
  2. Have grace and mercy for yourself when you feel you fail.
  3. Accept who you are right now.
  4. Know you are fully capable of growing and changing.

Focus on the things that you succeeded in and the challenges you have overcome to remind yourself that you are not a failure. Failure only happens when someone has decided to give up. Do not give up on yourself. You are capable and remember, if you can dream it, you can do it.

—The Adversity Rose—

Kaitlyn Rose

P.S. here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyAftxWpJQ4

DREAM. PURSUE. EXPERIENCE. GROW.

This blog will cover travel, personal growth, and life in general.