In Asian culture, it’s usually customary not to speak highly of yourself, and even more so, to speak highly of your spouse.
In this case, I can’t help it. In fact, I have and make no apologies. I think it’s more than appropriate to celebrate a special person in my life – my partner, wife, and best friend. I am amazed and encouraged by my wife, Minhee – even more so after 15 years of marriage – and mutually seeing all of our collective flaws and blemishes.
And there are a lot of flaws and blemishes. More with her than me…but I digress. This is a tribute and not a roast.
This last week, we celebrated Minhee’s graduation from Seattle Pacific University as she completed her graduate school degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. To say that it has been an arduous journey is an understatement but she is finished!
In our marriage and family, people naturally see me because of my visible role in numerous capacities. If I am the face of our family (and not a pretty one at that), she is certainly the heart.
And oh, how she beats…
Not only do I love her but…I know her – and I respect her deeply:
She left all that was familiar and comfortable in Korea to trek to the United States to begin our new life together – at the difficult adult age of 26. She left family, friends, her native language, culture, her job, etc. She left everything out of love and covenant to begin our lives anew in a new and foreign land.
She loves Christ. She is devoted in her faith. She pours her heart into reading and studying the Scriptures. She prays for so many. She is my pastor. I am moved by her faith.
She took a mountainous step of faith in agreeing to leave our former church 10 years ago to plant Quest Church with me. That decision meant agreeing to be without salary and health insurance in the first year – and she was pregnant with our second child. Thanks for your courage.
The last couple years have been the most trying time of our lives but she held true to our commitment and conviction to give up our year’s wages and start One Day’s Wages and launch this grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. That decision was costly on many levels including a stretch of couch-surfing – perhaps the most difficult decision we’ve made as parents. I have been moved by her investment and care for the numerous foster children she counsels through her work as a therapist. Thanks for your compassion.
I admire her wisdom and her commitment in our partnership in loving, nurturing, and raising our three children – including honoring our joint and prayerful decision for her to be a stay-at-home mother until all of our kids entered the public school system. We made an intentional decision knowing first hand that we’d go into heavy debt but we saw this to be one of the most important investments we could make. Additionally, there was a particular sacrifice for her to put her career and dreams on hold…Thanks for your wisdom.
She deals with me. Enough said.
At the age of 38, she decided to go back to school and pursue a second Masters degree and study Marriage & Family Therapy. She got into the program years ago but after receiving the joyous news of the pregnancy of our first child, we decided to wait, wait (after our 2nd child), and wait even more (after the arrival of our 3rd child). In fact, she waited thirteen years.
When she went back to school three years ago, I have to be honest and share that I had my doubts…but she received stellar grades, earned a scholarship, and was a true model to our children. She persevered and remained true to the dreams and vision God placed upon her heart many years ago before I ever met her. Thanks for your vision.
Minhee is not perfect. Truth be told, she’s far from perfect – just as I am far from perfect. But in her weakness, I see, witness, and experience the substance and sufficiency of God’s grace and it is truly beautiful.
Congratulations to Minhee as she marks and celebrates this milestone of her graduation. Can’t wait to see what the next chapter unfolds…