A personal essay that’s really just a request for more personal essays

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I never thought that I would seriously contemplate buying my mother a gun, but here we are. With much of the rise in Asian hate crimes being targeted towards vulnerable people, my mother fits the perfect description for an attack. I can’t believe that I find myself worrying about her now. She lives in the suburbs, but apparently, even that’s not safe anymore.

It’s traumatizing to watch footage upon footage of older adults randomly getting attacked by strangers in broad daylight. …

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Verb: To move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal

Photo taken by Alice Lee

I was never really a rebellious kid, nor was I a goody-two-shoes that had to follow every rule in the book. I definitely had to do things my way, but I never wanted to cause trouble or unnecessarily rock the boat.

A classic depiction of this is when I was a junior in college. I desperately wanted to study abroad in a country that I probably would never have the chance to visit outside of a study abroad program. …

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Noun: a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction

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Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Almost 2 years ago, I had written about my relationship with doubt. With all that’s happened, 2019 feels like such a distant memory. I’ve re-read some of my articles that I had posted around that time, and I was so… naive. Who could have anticipated the amount of stress, heartache, and trauma that the following behemoth of a year would bring?

2020 has left us ravaged by overwhelming challenges…

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Noun: mental suffering or distress

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Within the past couple of months or even the past couple of years, I’ve been feeling like I’m losing more and more words. With the recent events of the killing of Duante Wright, the released footage of Adam Toledo, and the Indianapolis mass shooting, I spent days struggling to find a single word, even though the pressure of the emotions and feelings inside me was about to burst.

As a part of the Asian-American community, I feel like I don’t even have time to grieve over the lives lost in the Atlanta shooting because so much has happened since then…

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Adjective: fully focused on or involved in what one is doing or experiencing.

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Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. (1Kings 3:9–10)

I’ve always wondered if Solomon’s request for wisdom was the “right” thing to ask for. I know that “it pleased the Lord” (1 Kings 3:10), but with Israel’s demise looming in subsequent chapters, it never really sat well with me that Solomon asked for wisdom. …

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Adjective: take delight or pleasure in (an activity or occasion)

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The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV)

I have always been insecure about my creativity.

In the workplace, I’m usually seen as an independent, self-starting, and reliable employee. Once I get settled into a job position, you can usually find me trying to find the most efficient way to get my tasks done and improve existing systems. My creativity in this sector of my life is confident.

However, when…

It’s okay to be interested in yourself

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For most of my life as a Christian, I felt stuck in my relationship with God. No matter how many times I read the Bible, listened to sermons, or served at my local church, I was left feeling so unsatisfied. I thought I was doing everything that I was taught to do to grow as a Christian, but my relationship with God wasn’t as personal as I had hoped for, and I felt like I had hit a roadblock.

It wasn’t until I had a random encounter with a Biblical counselor that I discovered the reason why I was stuck…

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Noun: a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.

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And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 34:6–7, NIV)

Do we have a singular view of God?

This question has become vital to my relationship with God because it becomes clearer with each day that my view of God pretty much determines everything else…

Verb: Abandon oneself entirely to (a powerful emotion or influence); give in to.

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

I’ve been wrestling with the word surrender for some time now, and over the years of grappling with this word, its meaning and significance have morphed with each round.

In the beginning, surrender meant giving up more of my monetary and material possessions and comfort. It meant choosing to forego a latte and putting that money into the offering plate…

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Noun: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end

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The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. (Deuteronomy 1:30–31).

I’ve been in a season of wandering in the wilderness for years, and for quite some time, I have been obsessed with just trying to get to the next destination.

When I speak of the wilderness, I speak of a phase that is marked…


I love creating safe spaces for honesty and curiosity. | website: www.jjesskim.com | IG: @j.jesskim

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