I straight up resented my family growing up. 

My parents were broken people and I swear the devil or the anti-Christ had manifested as my brother…he just hadn’t realize it yet.

But even when we had horrible moments, we would celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years with great grandeur and happiness and I held on to those memories as some of my greatest treasures. Until suddenly, all those celebrations ended before I reached high school.

 But it wasn’t about the holidays… it was about how imperfect and broken my family was compared to others. And those holidays were now a constant reminder of that.

In high school, I spent most of my Thanksgiving and New Years with my youth pastor’s family and was allowed to be a part of their family traditions. As much fun as it was and as I secretly waited to be invited every year, there was always a deep sense of emptiness…
because no matter how much I could play pretend with another family…

They were not my family.

When I came to LA, I experienced a deeper sense of family and belonging through the friends God provided and their families. At one point, I even thought God had finally answered one of my deepest prayers and desires.

Until one day, that was gone too.

And as I sat alone in the presence of God,
those negative emotions came back…

But God had a plan for me. A plan greater than my current situation and emotion. I’ve always prayed to God that he would change my family. But He was working the past 27 years to change me.

Last Thanksgiving (2018), my parents called me saying that they were going to Las Vegas to celebrate their 30th Anniversary. And what was supposed to be an exclusive trip for two, I ended up going to Vegas with them.

It had been years since I would spend 3 whole days with them and a lifetime where we as a family did something for Thanksgiving.

During this trip,

I saw on my mom’s arms dark, long burn marks caused by the dry cleaning machines. My father was limping and in constant pain because he tore a tendon in his leg from working so much. I saw the wrinkles on their faces and their bodies thinner than before. My dad wore socks with holes in them and my mom was putting on moisturizer that you can get as a sample from the Korean stores.

As much as I tried to make this experience one of the most luxurious experiences for them, my father kept asking me throughout the entire trip, “Are you happy? Are you enjoying this trip?”

And as we were walking on the Strip one night, I had a moment where I was walking behind them and realized…

These people dedicated and sacrificed everything so that my brother and I could have everything and be anything we wanted.

I have been dreaming of an ideal family… chasing after someone else’s family as my own while abandoning the one God had already given me.

And for the first time, I was not only extremely thankful but also very humbled…

It amazes me how God uses my parents to remind me of God’s unconditional, sacrificial love. I always thought because I had a relationship with God, I was the one who was the most ” Christ-like.”

But the truth is, my parents are the ones who are the most Christ-like because of the way they love.

All my parents wanted was to spend time with me. They didn’t care for the expensive buffets or the costly spas. They wanted to shower me with everything even if it meant they wouldn’t be able to buy stuff for themselves any time soon.

Because for some reason,
my brother and I are worth sacrificing everything for.

“For God so loved the worldHe gave his One and Only Son…so that WHOEVER believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Because for some reason, to God,
YOU are worth sacrificing everything for…

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