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Safe to Be Broken

Not going to lie, it’s difficult to find too many girls who are into golf, and to be completely honest, in my earlier years, I didn’t care too much for it either! But growing up, I loved my dad, and I knew he loved to play golf, so I joined the team in high school to share a commonality and spend more time with my dad. Being that my dad was so good at the game, I thought I might somehow naturally adapt some of his skills because I’m his daughter (I know, it doesn’t make sense). Obviously it took a little more than genetics: turns out, I was actually pretty terrible at the sport during the greater part of my freshmen year. Nevertheless, I somehow managed and in due time, scores finally improved. With pride, I (…just barely…) made it to varsity and was excited to continue to improve for next season.

But all this changed over the summer. Although I had figured out a system that works for me, turns out, it wasn’t the proper way to swing a club. With my future potential in mind, my dad spent hours on hours with me at the golf course, correcting my unsustainable swing. There was a way to play that went beyond the numbers, and it was only in learning the correct format that I would be able to enjoy the game and play my best rounds. 

Of course, I didn’t understand that at first. It frustrated me when my dad changed my entire swing format. Instead of straight shots, I was now slicing, hooking, toping—and let me tell you, these balls were going everywhere. I felt as though I was starting from ground zero, and I was frustrated and even mad at my dad for changing my previously working system. In being upset, I forgotten why I even joined the team—to grow closer to my dad! Half reluctantly, I took his advice and let him redesign my swing according to proper technique, one element at a time. I trusted that the reconstruction of a proper swing was a worthwhile investment to produce its worthy results, though unseen right now.

And it finally did. The principles my dad taught me were tested, tried, and true, and after hours of both failures and successes, they were finally imprinted into muscle memory. I carried them with me on the course, now correcting my own swing during golfing matches, and obtaining great satisfaction in understanding the principles and mechanics guiding the shot. From here on out, I learned to trust that starting from ground zero was for my benefit, and not for harm.

The bible teaches us that, “Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.” Also, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives.”  (Proverbs 19:21, 16:2). Just as I didn’t realize that I had a swing to fix, without God’s counsel and wisdom, our spiritual state is left to our ignorance. When asking God to change your life, don’t be surprised when you start to notice blemishes in your character, motives, thoughts, and feelings. You may have grown up a good Christian, never going down the “deep end” or whatever that means. Perhaps you had a good swing set up for you, and might be slightly discouraged when realizing that by welcoming Christ to work in your life, it seems like you’re taking 10 steps backwards. What a big mistake, right? It may feel like it at first, but trust that though you are being broken down, the process of reconstruction will increase your love for God and that understanding the reasons behind His excellent ways will be worth everything.

But just as I didn’t obtain my dad’s golfing skills through pure osmosis, we don’t inherit the will to follow God’s ways by simply claiming to be a child of God. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) In my high school golfing years, every correction and lesson presented was an opportunity for me to humbly accept and practice it. Knowledge of the Truth does nothing if we resist Applying it to our lives. In the same way, when we act on the opportunity for self-denial and obedience to God, our spiritual muscle memory is reinforced.

An upward Christian walk isn’t always paved with glamorous testimonies and miracles; you don’t have to hit rock bottom for your life to turn around. Often times the life-changing miracles happen in our quiet day-to-day choices. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him…” (Colossians 2:6). Has your heart and mind been submitted to God in your actions, expressions, thoughts, feelings? In golf, even a slight deviation in grip can change the course of a swing (trust me, I’ve been there many times).  Needless to say, it may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but our day-to-day life choices are like the grip that determines how the club-face hits the ball.

Although I often got annoyed of my dad’s instructions, when I look back, I saw his patience, wisdom, and most clearly, his love for me as his daughter. After all, I had joined the team so that I can spend more time with my dad, and looking back, how priceless those times were! To share in joys, frustrations, tears, and laughter, our Heavenly Father, too, walks so intimately with us in the midst of our refining process. The training, the struggle to overcome sin and self… all of these experiences are also part of the bonding that we experience with our Heavenly Father. He’s not calling out to us from the finish line; He is lovingly walking with us: slowing down when we need to, and pushing us to speed up as He sees our potential. “For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:12). So when or as the Lord breaks you, don’t forget that you are safe to be broken because even in being broken, you are still in His loving Hands.

Tatiana Kim is a clinical dietitian at Riverside County Regional Medical Center and Loma Linda University Medical Center, and is originally from New Jersey.

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