Having a lot of changes thrown my way this past year has made me even more phlegmatic than I usually am, but I still have my own few preferences of what I want in my life. I’ve also surprised myself by how demanding my spirit can be at times when I think I don’t care that much about something I may desire. Over a year ago in my hometown, Flint, Michigan I was becoming fairly miserable around Christmas time. I was bored, hated my job (even though I was focused in my field of study), and wasn’t sure what I wanted. I tried so hard to establish myself back home as an experienced Graphic Designer and Illustrator. I tried to find comfort in taking responsibility for paying my bills; phone, car, car insurance, and those dreaded, monstrously large college loans! But there was still something lacking. I felt like an American zombie and pretty useless. I get a text one day “dude, wanna go 2 korea with me” – TIPTON. I text back “Probably” – BRANDON. I was at a crossroads in life with really nothing to lose.
So here I am in the “land of the morning calm” for a year already going into a second. Willingly I gave up my life back home for a new experience, new opportunities, try out teaching (English of all things..) and blah blah blah.. To take a run-down of my 2009 adventure: spent a lot of time downtown, met a bunch of cool new people, became involved in Dongshin, and branched outside of my ‘bubble’ when it was uncomfortable for me to do so. Many of these experiences and changes I owe to God because it has built my character and I’ve begun to understand who I am a little more each time. I’ve begun to identify better with Christ during the easy times as well as the rough times in these new experiences.
I may not have completely grasped Andy’s main idea from the sermon last Sunday, but the one thing that stuck out to me was he pointed out that the crippled man sitting outside the temple begging for money only thought he knew what he needed (Acts 3:1-11). When Peter saw him, he said “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus the Nazarene, get up and walk!”. The man freaked out from pure joy that he could finally walk again and began to run, jump, and dance around the temple.
My story isn’t nearly as rad, but back in the States I was seeking something that I thought I needed to be or act when my heart was screaming for something else, and God knew it. I just chose to ignore it. I’m not saying that my life in Daegu has been a savior to me necessarily because I still don’t have my ducks in a row quite yet, and I know God works no matter where I am in the world. However, it was a step God showed me to help me realize my potential in Him. Mainly because of the pursuit of my potential within the needs of Dongshin. He has found ways for me to be a servant in ways I didn’t ever expect. It continues to be a daily struggle to see the way He sees. I had also become so selfish and angry with God by not receiving what I thought I needed. In the same way humanity presents ill requests to the Father like spoiled children. Sometimes He’s gracious enough to let us be spoiled, other times He makes us learn the hard way. I’m grateful for either, and I may never figure out what I truly want or need in this life, but I know that a life without my Father is definitely something I don’t need. Without God – without being His son – I can never stand up straight, I can never walk, run, jump, or dance.  –Insights from Brandon Inman