Sunday, January 13, 2008

Wings to Fly - 22

Memoir Index

Leaving Chicago Home


By January 2007, I was in Goshen studying full time to pass Indiana Pharmacy Law exam. I also needed some time off to recollect my life and I was in no hurry to get back to work. Tom would be in Chicago full time working on the house. He would regularly put in twelve hour days. Tom came home to Goshen on weekends. Our older children continued to live in Chicago.

In May, 2007, we finally put our Chicago home on the market. The preparation to sell this home had taken nine months. We were finally together in one home in Goshen as a family. Now the three of us were coming up to Chicago on Friday afternoons and going back to Goshen by Saturday evenings. I loved it. Each Saturday we were in Chicago, we hosted a breakfast and had visits or bible studies. Sundays were filled with Goshen church friends and activities. I loved our busy weekends. Our lives were so full.

We were discovering Goshen. It seemed unimaginable that I who have known only big cities was here in Goshen. Tom and I started to explore the town. This became a sweet time to rediscover the joy of spending time together. Sometimes after being married for so long we can forget to do simple things in life that builds up our relationship.

We were praying that our Chicago house would be sold. Financially and practically it needed to be sold. It was a real struggle. I did not want to sell it. As our finances became difficult, we had two houses and no income to support them for six months. I reluctantly told the Lord that I would be willing to let go of our Chicago home.

In June of 2007 I got a part time job in Goshen working for Kroger Food and Drugs. Now I was secretly hoping the Chicago home would not get sold. At this time my father’s health was declining rapidly. I was once again glad that we had this home in Chicago. I was practically commuting from Chicago to work in Goshen to be near my dying father as much as possible.

It seems that I am always battling between two choices, in this case, to sell the Chicago home or to keep it. I told the Lord that I was willing to have Him take away the hold I have on our home. Tom wanted to sell it as quickly as possible. He wanted to ease my life of financial stress and that I could stay home more if my health required it. It was not until January of 2008 that my heart was free & clear. My heart no longer had any hold on it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wings to Fly - 21

Memoir Index

Bend in the Road (continued)

Leaving Proevity Continuing Education Group

Also I needed to consider the practical way to support my family while Tom served. I needed to leave my business. It was an education business called Proevity Continuing Education Group (2000-2005). The work fulfilled the yearning of my soul; to achieve, to press on in human life, and to see bigger goal than to work today to live for today. The challenges were so satisfying - in creating the curricula in alternative medicine for the health care professionals as well as the general public. Our goal and mission was to create programs for the healing of chronic illnesses by natural means without complicated pharmaceuticals. We provided seminars throughout the US and Canada with invitations from Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Essentially Tamara and I worked for almost for nothing while wages were available for our employees. Both Tamara and I were working more than full time and did not draw a salary if Proevity had no money. I worried about our current staff of employees, about the possibility that my leaving may cause the company to collapse and they would lose their jobs. It was somehow easier for me to think about them than for myself. It would take a lot of interaction with the Lord to be able to finally let go. My attempt to replace Tom’s income with my company never materialized yet and it was necessary for me to leave this company.

In September I officially said “Good Bye” to Proevity. I got a job as an oncology pharmacist. I had left that same position 12 years prior for Elizabeth’s birth.


I realized that there was a definite catching up to do in pharmacy. I left the hospital job in March of 2006 and studied day and night for three months. One of my memorable experiences during this time is, I was sitting in a library one day in May studying pharmaceuticals. I was experiencing peace and safety of the Lord. Through circumstances, I felt to leave my current job, study, and look for another job soon. I felt the Lord was with me in each step of the way.

In June I got another temporary job for six months until my move to Goshen Indiana.

In August 2006, we bought a home in Goshen. It came rather easily and quickly. We closed in two weeks of our offer and Tom and Elizabeth moved to our new home two weeks later. The fact that our Chicago home was fully paid made buying of second home easy. Yet we were technically jobless.

Tom was in Goshen with Elizabeth by August of 2006. She was starting the one and only middle school in Goshen. All the sixth graders were new to the school. It was a good time for Elizabeth to start this school in this new town. I was working in Chicago and decided that I would work till the end of the year. Tom would come up to Chicago on weekends and work on the house; plastering, painting, renovating, etc.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Wings to Fly - 20

Memoir Index

Bend in the Road

The years 2005 and 2007 would be very challenging years. There were so many turn and bends in the road that I was traveling. My life was sprinkled with sadness, troubles, excitement, freedom, happiness and so many more …what memorable years.

During these years Tom lost his mom and I lost my father. The feeling that our parents will always be there proved false.

I saw Tom’s mom as a simple lady who loved her family. She did not have much personal dreams. She lived her life taking care of her husband and children. In her dying days she was afraid to let go of her husband of over 55 years. She had traveled life’s tortuous ways yet she found security in Gifford her husband and later in Jesus Christ. When she finally was able to release her husband, she went peacefully on January 11, 2005.

My father had fought so many things in his life. He was thrown in the midst of Korean War, to support so many of his extended family. His older brother had died young and left him the burden that was too heavy for a young man of seventeen. He fought for what he could not have, education. He fought to have a career as a self made man in a foreign land. He fought his best to give his children what was elusive in his life, a real success. Yet life was cruel. He watched his children grow up and take on American culture. He knew they were good children yet he could never fully understand them. I watched him become simpler, like a child, as he was dying. I knew he was letting go of lot of bitterness of life. During his last days when he saw me, he asked me to pray for him. He also acknowledged that Jesus waited a long time for him. He went peacefully on October 13, 2007.


In 2005 we already knew that we were moving. We had feeling for Goshen for the last 20 years, but it would require an external & internal push, for us to actually take such an action to move. As long as life was a status quo, we would have stayed in Chicago.

Tom has served the Lord in full time status for our church in Chicago for 8 years. His inner antenna was being alerted for some time already. The ministry we followed from California was dictating decisions and actions from Tom that he could not accept in his conscience. We talked about many options. He had only one desire; To follow the Lord and give his all to serve Him. We by now told the elders in our church that Tom will serve full time yet with no compensation. We were on our own.

Life has a funny way of training a person. My life was in miserable turmoil when Tom just hinted that he wanted to serve God full time in 1987. I told Tom to follow his heart and go for the service he so desired in 1997. All of my programming as an immigrant who cannot stop until human success could be attained was in direct contradiction to what Tom was doing. Why would God match two such opposing persons? Was He amusing Himself? Yet God would come to me with sweet love and security periodically and assure me that building treasure in heaven is much more profitable, only then I would be at peace with Tom. I became a person torn with two opposing persons within me. Yet it required this kind of pain for me to understand who I really was. I learned to be so brutally blunt and truthful to Jesus in my walk and talk with Him.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Wing to Fly - 19

Memoir Index

God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all…
It was a song I loved to sing and I sang a lot as a young saved person.

When God shined His light into our hearts, into the crevices of our hearts, healing ensued. I have experienced this over the years, not knowing exactly how it came about. We had in our church the practice of calling on the name of the Lord. Calling in sincerity, from the depth of my heart, I was able to touch the Lord. Yet permanent change in my being was rare. I learned so much of God’s truth in the Word (we were very much teaching oriented congregation) yet the ability to make that doctrinal truth my own truth escaped me. Best doctrine had very little change in my being.

An example would be, I was insecure if someone disliked me. I knew the biblical truth that God is my security therefore it should be OK even if everyone disliked me, as long as God approved me. That to be a God pleaser is the goal rather than to be a man pleaser. Another example would be my feeling of insecurity because Tom did not have an income earning job. To me serving God with no compensation was to be a slave, a shameful position. His trust in God did little for me. Tight finances made me nervous even though I knew that God will provide. So the truth in the Bible was not my experiential truth. Prayers and calling on the dear Jesus name from the depth of my heart gave me some peace and rest yet so briefly.

Tom and I realized that he did not have those fears because he was programmed differently than me. Also his assurance came because Tom felt that he had God’s calling… For him to live in a successful corporate job situation was to live a compromised life, or a wasted life because too much of his time was usurped by the world. For me that would be the proper and proud way to live. It is mind boggling to realize, in spite of our vast differences, we have accepted each other’s ways.

It is wonderful to understand who I was and why I was. The want of security I strive so hard to obtain only to realize I already had security. Yearning for love only to recognize the love was already there. Pain of insecurity, loneliness, desire for love, the need to be approved and liked, all of these were filed away in the deepest part of my heart until life triggered the corresponding emotions to rise up and cruelly scorned and laughed at my sufferings. Now I treasure the confronting of those moments with God and watch Him free me.

I love long drives. It is here that I have no interruption. Whether it is 90 minutes or 3 hours, that time is spent in dealing with my heart. I start to talk to the Lord. “Lord, where should we go in digging out some unwanted things (garbage) within me. As things would rise up my conversation would be like, “I am so sorry Lord for being such a mother. I felt I did not give my all to my children. I did not love them the way they needed to be loved.” As I continued to talk of the love not properly given to my children, I would sense His response, “It’s OK. Love them. I love you.” Often tears would stream down my face. That little car was filled with God’s love and I was swimming in the love of Christ. After this I would no longer torment over my lack of love in mothering. I would experience so many of repentance, forgiveness, then His speaking along with a change in my person.

Working in pharmacy triggered lot of things for me that caused me to think that my profession and I did not match. Slightest error on my part caused me to freeze up with panic, that something is wrong with me, I am not worthy, I am useless, I will be fired, I cannot face anyone … on and on… Logically I recognized that it is not the end of the world for this mishap, yet the emotion of panic nevertheless would surface and taunts me.

Not too long ago when I was working in Chicago, I got a job in a very prestigious hospital in oncology department. I was hired after 10 years of leave in the same Pharmacy. The use of technology, the speed required for the calculations required, the new therapies, were overwhelming me. There was one senior pharmacist whom I will call Stanley and he disliked me. I was learning too slowly for him. I could hear him bickering about me to other pharmacists. If there were things he needed to train me, he did not and complained about how I did not know how to do a certain thing. This kind of situation would totally unnerve me. One afternoon, he called me and told me to do some errand in a very demeaning way. I felt futile, useless, unwanted, worth less, stupid…oh the list went on and on.

Such incidence was my opportunity to interact with God in healing. Instead of seeking the Lord to raise me above the situation, only to experience the same thing at another time in another place, now I was out to resolve the situation for good. Then that same trigger would not bring up the same panic. “Lord, we have a big job ahead of us. I need to resolve and understand why I fall apart in this scenario. Lord, take me to the place of origin where I first took on the belief system which is causing this reaction.”

This may take several days or weeks. Understanding would eventually come to me. My child world was not a secure one. My father was absent in his responsibility to take on all of his family, his parents, six siblings, their spouses, children and then there was his immediate family. My mother was too busy in practically running such a large home where she was the main cook, cleaner, and caretaker. I was lost in the midst of many relatives. I learned that it was not safe to be not approved or accepted by those surrounding me. At all cost I must behave well and liked by those who does not really care for me (aunts and uncles). In a world of insecurity, I longed for safety, acceptance, and love. The desire was so strong in me all through life. With this understanding I continued to talk to the Lord. Once we (the Lord and I) completed the issue, I was changed in that area. To experience the same trigger and to have different response coming from me was beyond my belief. He always replaced for me the troubling emotion with the truth, which would be His love, His security, etc.

Back in Oncology pharmacy, Stanley continued to be very difficult person to work with. Yet I was changing. I would come into pharmacy with a big smile, “Good morning Stanley!” Now I looked forward to our interactions. He did not know how to respond. Same bitter treatment towards me would wash off of me like a raindrop on a glass. His attitude no longer would cause panic for me. As I changed one step at a time I saw the shift or renewing of my mind. And Christ became ever more real to me.

I started to see human beings differently. When I meet a person, I realized what was ticking for him, what bondage they held, what were the walls they have created to protect themselves, how everything they saw had to first go through the filter of their understanding, how they were judging according to the world that they understood. As the Lord began to free me, I understood people more, as I understood people more, they opened themselves up to me readily.

I am thankful that Ed Smith’s ministry was introduced to me. He showed me another aspect of Christ in my relationship to Him. It is called Theophostic (Theo – God; and Phostic – light) ministry. We can learn to bring Christ to the depth of our being and watch His work as he heals us systematically and frees us … the way we saw so many people healed in the Bible. I think this aspect is often overlooked in our pursuit for Christian theology, ideology, and pursuit of knowledge.