From “Hiding Place” to “Get Away Place”

I have gone through amazing transformation over last 4 years, especially over last year. There was a significant event happened to our family that led us to very difficult and challenging time over the last 3 years. But thorough this journey, each of us has gone very deep into  our hearts to work through our hurts and pain to face ourselves to discover who we are in God and search for deeper meaning in life .

As I look back at my journey, I can’t believe how much changes happened in my own life. I grew up as a pastor’s kid since my dad was in ministry back in Korea and then continued in Canada. I grew up living and acting certain way just because I was pastor’s kid not necessarily thinking about myself in terms of who I am as an individual and what I would like to do. Yes, I really appreciated the spiritual upbringing that I received from my parents as a foundation of my faith but also there were so many unhealthy things happened in my life without having an opportunity to wrestle through in a healthy way in my growing up years, well, until recently.

Basically I had to keep all of them to myself and stuffed them deep within my soul. Very first incident that I can remember was around at the age of 4-5 year old and I was sexually taken advantage by someone from my church. After the incident, I came home with a little toy in my hand not understanding what just happened. My parents asked me where I got the toy and I responded so and so gave it to me. But that was it. There was no further discussion of what happened or why he gave it to me. That was not the only time but it happened numerous times throughout my growing up years; at 6-7 years old, 10 years old, 13 years old, 16 years old, and then 18 years old, each time different person in various settings. It all happened with people who I knew very well within the church family and relative circle. I can’t remember exact age (I just guesstimated) but definitely happened this many times.

From what I can see, I basically built up an emotional wall around me to protect myself from people and it was basically my way of coping and surviving from not being able to resolve these issues because I didn’t know any better. What else could I have done when I couldn’t share with anyone about what happened in a safe setting?

But one thing I remember clearly is that I clung to God dearly and desperately because there was no one around me to go to or no one was looking out for me (that’s how I felt). I didn’t even tell my own mom. Anytime I felt scared or anxious, I held onto my faith that God is with me and He is the only one I can go to and feel secure and safe.

I was in a “Hiding Place” with God where I felt safe from all harms and from people.

No wonder, I couldn’t have any close friends in my childhood and youth, even to my early adulthood. Yes, I knew a lot of people and I’ve interacted with people but I had to guard my heart and kept the distance in terms of any deep emotional feelings so  I did’t develop any close friendships with anyone that I could confide in.

No one would’ve guessed that I struggled with frozen (locked) emotion. That’s the best way I can describe my emotional state growing up and even up until recent years.

A few years ago, I noticed myself becoming very cynical and annoyed by people. I couldn’t believe all the toxic emotions surfacing from within. I was shocked at myself. It was definitely not a pleasant feeling and I really had to do something about it.

I had to remove myself from people around me just to get away once a month to have some space and take a breather. This continued on for a while and I finally was able to start being in tune with myself. It took a long time for me to detach myself from all the unnecessary attachment of my duties of “DOING” things for others. Somehow it became so automatic that I was always eager to “DO” things or “Being Busy with Doing” almost automatically and out of habit. I was living my life on an auto pilot.

Through very unfortunate and  significant event happened to our family during the summer of 2016, I started this journey of digging deeper into my emotional state. I felt the frozen (locked) emotional state being thawed out. It was a slow progression but I became more in tune with myself. I started to slow down with “Doing” and started to focus on “Being” gradually. It was not an easy process but it was definitely needed process. At times, it was very confusing and painful but I had to persist and press on forward.

Going through Master Key Experience ( September 2017 to March 2018) really took me down this amazing journey or “Self Discovery” of  finding out answers to “Who am I?” and “What do I want for my life?“.

As I grew deeper into being in tune with my emotions and work through internal issues, I started to feel “Freer” inside and definitely more “Calm and Peaceful” internally.

Also in this healing process, I grieved for “Myself” of being robbed of innocent childhood. I remember crying uncontrollably one night and also feeling surge of deep sorrow. These were the necessary process of releasing that I had to do for myself which I suppressed for so many years. And I realized that this was a mere beginning of a ongoing long journey toward “True Health” and “Wholeness“.

Through consistent training of my mind and filling my mind with “Truth“, I came a long way now to feel this “Freedom and Peace” deep within my heart and sense of “Being True ME” not pretending anymore. What a freedom that I feel and how confident I feel!

Several months ago, I felt sudden sense of loneliness and sadness so I went by the bay near my home just to take time to be in tune with myself and seek God’s direction. I observed my own emotions and reflected on my thoughts and it took a while but I sensed such a peace and comfort as I heard the words of this hymn in my heart.

I come to the garden alone,

While the dew is still on the roses,

And the voice I hear,

Falling on my ear,

The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own.

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.

This familiar hymn was ringing in my ears and moved my heart. I could feel my God’s intimate love for me and the surge of comfort in my heart was so endearing.

As I reflected back at my journey, I saw a picture of “my little girl” who was hiding away on the corner of very high walled “Hiding Place” now moved to “Get-Away Place” in the garden with my God all alone with full of love and confidence not with fear or loneliness. What a contrast that I could so vividly feel! What a beautiful picture of how God brought me through this lifetime journey of becoming who I am today.

I am forever grateful to my God who has been there for me and with me all through those horrible times of unfair things done to me and dark times of being locked up emotionally. You know, it’s not that I had to confront those people one by one to get my innocent life back but it was more of releasing each one of them from my locked down emotion so I can be freed from it, instead of being bitter and resentful toward those experiences and against those people ruining my life but rather being filled with abundant love and vibrant life within me. What an amazing feeling it is to be free from “Hiding Place” to “Get-Away Place” to live my life to the full potential!

I am still growing healthier and stronger by taking one day at time and one thing at a time to deepen my experience of this beautiful healing recovery and renewing journey. I realized that the healing and recovery journey is definitely one step at a time. There are so much deep hurts and emotions that I have to sort through and I can take only so much at a time. It’s is by God’s Grace and Love, I am learning to live moment by moment and celebrate a small step at a time.

I am praying and trusting God that He will use this experience for me to help many others who might have gone through similar experience and who need to be freed from “Their False Self” to find “Their True Self” and to live their life with “Their True calling and to the Full Potential“.

Through this recent journey of MKEMMA (Master Key Experience Master Mind Alliance), and continuing work internally, I was also able to identify my life purpose as “I am a resilient Peacemaker” and “I am a Inspirational Faith Builder“!

As good as my recent journey has been, I also realized that I have been just scratching the surface of the stuff buried deep within me and felt the desperate need to go even deeper. I love how my God directs the course of my life journey. The Spiritual Formation program is something that was brought to my attention a few times but it is evident that I am so ready to go through this journey for myself at this point in my life.

I started the “Spiritual Formation Certificate” program offered by Nancy and Ray Kane through Moody Bible Institute’s Distant Learning Program in January 2019. I am super excited for this opportunity to go even deeper into my healing journey for myself first but my hope and goal is to be able to help many others by “Spiritual Direction” to point them to God for them to experience this amazing freedom of inner healing that so many people desperately need. 

It took a long time for me to work on this blog but finally I am ready to release as I am taking the next step of digging deeper into my pain and hurts to be healthier emotionally, spiritually and physically. I can already feel this “Spiritual Formation” program is leading and directing me to more intimate walk with my God but also to experience the power of “safe community” of believers coming together to open up and share our lives and hearts. I believe without a doubt that through this process, each one of us will grow so much deeper in our own spiritual journey but it will spill over to all aspects of our lives.

Please stay tuned for more to come in my journey of digging deep into the painful memories and emotions that I have been avoiding for so long and finally facing it head on in a safe environment with God’s direction and with fellow human beings who all have hurts and pains in their hearts. Who knows how painful it will be but I am ready to embrace this part of my healing journey!

Thank you for your patience in reading this very long blog!

May you be open to what you can start experiencing when you say “Yes” to the challenge of opening up your heart and mind in honesty and humbleness to God and others! But especially to yourself! We owe it to ourselves to be “Who we truly are and live a life to the full potential”! The choices is very individual. No one can do this for us but ourselves need to say “yes” to this challenge and call!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kala says:

    Thank you for sharing your spiritual journey Esther. Your courage is inspirational.


  2. Miriam Papke says:

    Easterbae, thank you for sharing some of the depth of this sacred journey in your well- written post today. The pieces you’re sharing are tools to help me and help many toward freedom, peace and authenticity. Blessings and love, Miriam

    Liked by 2 people

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