How Freedom From the Fear of Man Killed My Fear of the Future

Shine, 21, Georgia, USA

[As told to Then God Moved editor Adira Polite]

College has humbled me. As a Korean American studying international affairs, I’m in the minority, both racially and academically. Almost everyone at Georgia Tech majors in computer science or engineering, so I stick out like a sore thumb. Whenever I mention my major, I either get looks of “why’re you here?” or total disinterest. Everyone, even my friends, questions what I’m going to do with this degree and, to be honest, I’ve questioned, too. 

I haven’t completed any elite internships or spent months abroad. I was super discouraged, until God turned it. He led me to see that, because I’ve built nothing myself, I’m unable to boast; every door that opens is a testament to His faithfulness, alone. And He’s been opening many doors, lately!

I recently had a chance to visit Israel with a Christian organization. As if that trip wasn’t enough, the organization later connected me with someone working in a Congressional office in Washington, D.C. I’d never even considered that I could work on Capitol Hill, but I knew this connection was a wink from God.

Soon after, I met another person working on Capitol Hill; she, like me, is a Korean American woman. It meant a lot to meet someone on the Hill who shared my background — and God knew that. This woman directed me to the Korean American Grassroots Conference. I emailed the director and, in his reply, he encouraged me to apply to an upcoming all-expenses-paid conference in D.C. 

The application deadline had already passed, but he told me to apply anyway. This was in the middle of final exams; I had zero time to complete the application essays, so I told him I’d have to wait. He replied only a few minutes later: “Just leave the essays blank for now.” I submitted the form and, the next morning, I got my flight confirmation. That was God.

The entire trip, God poured out His favor. I found an amazing community of people, many of whom are now helping me find opportunities on Capitol Hill — a dream I never knew I had. On my flight back home, a rainbow appeared outside of my window. In that moment, I was reminded of God’s promise to Noah. Unlike man, the Lord follows through on his promises, every time. He holds true to His Word and His Word says this: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

These doors have opened only after years of humbling. As Scripture reads, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:6). I was unable to “acknowledge him” in all that I did while fearing the opinions of my peers; I couldn’t possibly surrender to the Lord while fearing man. Fortunately, God has enabled me to relinquish this fear and, as a result, He is now “making straight my paths.”

Today, when people ask me about my future, I joyfully tell them that I don’t know. And I’m so thankful that I don’t know, because this uncertainty keeps me wholly dependent on the Lord. This, I know: walking with Him will take me so much further than straying and striving on my own. My own efforts are nothing in comparison to His movement! His plan is greater than mine — and all He requires of me is faithfulness. 

“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

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