"Walk by Faith, not by Sight" by Tabitha Yim

well I’m really excited to be here today Reverend Kim and his family have been such great friends to my mom in our family so it was especially humbling when he asked me to come here to speak with all of you and so I thought I’d Center my sermon or my message on a verse 2nd Corinthians 5:7 let’s walk by faith not by sight and it’s a real central theme in my life and in my family’s life and it really started with my dad so my dad was a minister and when he when he was around my age around 30 you know a constant prayer and I think most of you can’t relate to this was dear God who am I gonna marry who’s gonna be that woman in my life to stand next to me and to go through life with me and so it was something that he often prayed about and he had a dream one night and in the dream God came to him and he showed him a picture of this girl and the girl was standing by a tree and he said this is the girl you were supposed to marry so obviously that image was burned in his brain because that’s supposed to be his wife right well during that time he would go on visitations to pray for families and in those days a lot of families Korean families would always bring out their photo album to share their pictures so that he would have an understanding of who their family was so that when we prayed for them he could be a little bit more connected well imagine his surprise when he opens up the photo album and there’s the picture from his dream that girl standing by the tree he looks up and the girls sitting next to him is the girl in the picture so overcome with emotion he looks at her granted the first time he’s ever met this girl and he says God told me in my dream we are supposed to get married you are supposed to be my wife and she looked at him and she says you’re crazy I don’t even know you get away from me I’m gonna get a restraining order this is terrible so obviously he left and he was really humiliated various because he had created me I’d listen to God and then God had allowed that to happen so his mentor who would come back from Korea each summer kept bothering him and I get this all the time when are you gonna get married when are you gonna get married and so he was pretty herbed at that point and he said you know what if you want me to get married why don’t you go find me a wife so the next summer when he came back he said I found you a wife here’s her picture she’s in Korea why don’t you go fly and meet her and her family so he’s on the plane and he’s praying and he says dear God I was so faithful the last time you gave me that message but it was too humiliating for me and so this time if I’m supposed to marry this girl let her have the dream not me so he goes he meets this girl in Korea and they do not get along at all it is not going well they’re walking in the park and he decides that he’s just gonna end it but they’re making some small top and he says so when’s the first time that you heard about me and she said Oh in a dream so he gets a little flustered he tells her the story but he’s not convinced that she’s the one and so he shares that his birthday is December 12 and she starts laughing and she says you know what my neighbor had a dream and she said she got an invitation for me for my wedding for December 12th and all of these things started happening one after another and they couldn’t deny that it was God’s will for them to get married so after nine days my mom and dad got married how crazy is that and so this is when walk by faith really started in our life because it’s a testament to how they met and growing up it was really easy to get behind this message right you walk by faith God introduces you to your soulmate in nine days you walk by faith you have this wonderful family and this wonderful life so it was very easy for me to understand this message I would say in my very first lesson and walk by faith came when I was in eighth grade I was sitting in a parent-teacher conference with my mom and my brother called he knew we were in the conference so my mom was a little embarrassed and she ignores the call a minute later he calls again she ignores he calls again so finally she answers the phone and she says what’s going on and he said you know dad fell he collapsed in the bathroom and so the paramedics are here so we rushed home and it took him to the hospital and they found out through an MRI that he had some water around his lungs and that’s not too serious of diagnosis they usually just go when you excuse me to go in they take the water

out and the persons fine but because he fell in the bathroom they decided that they wanted to do some CT scans to see if he having a brain trauma or fractures in his neck or anything like that so he goes into the CT scan and he begins to have seizures and they find out that it’s not water around his lungs it’s actually blood and an hour and a half later he’s gone and he died of a heart aneurysm so we go home that night and it all happened so quickly my brother and I were with my mom in her room and we’re sitting on the floor and we’re crying and more shocked and we looked at her and we said what are we gonna do you know it happened so quickly how are we gonna get through this how are we gonna do it without dad and with so much courage she looked at us and she said we’re gonna get through it we’re gonna be okay because we’re gonna walk by faith and for the first time that verse and that phrase was so scary and so uncertain you know my dad’s big dream for me was to be an Olympic champion we talked about it all the time you know we’d have a million conversations on the dress to the gym just how he really wanted that for me and so after he passed away I wrote him a letter and I promised him that I would get there that I would do everything in my power to train as much as I could and dedicate my life to making this dream come true for us so I didn’t do a normal high school career I did some homeschool I did regular school and an independent study junior college to try to focus on training and I would go for 5 days a week for 6 hours every single day and things were looking pretty good I made the national team and then I got to represent the United States on the world team was able to win a medal and then I even earned a spot at the Olympic Trials and it was right here in Anaheim the Honda Center at the time is called the Anaheim pods that’s where the competition was and so my whole family and all my friends they got to come watch me and I truly believed that it was God’s plan for my life to allow me to go the Olympics I felt like I deserved it because he had taken away so much for me that this was the moment where I could make the Olympics I could share the story and share his glory through that moment so I competed the Olympic Trials best meet of my life I hit all of my events and I finished fourth and top six make the Olympic team so there is one more step this camp that I had to go to before it was all set in stone so the very next day in practice I’m feeling really good excited I have one week left before the Olympic team is announced and I’m tumbling and I feel my foot give up and in the middle of the air I realize that I ruptured my Achilles so I can show you guys a scarf so they do the test where they squeeze your calf like this and usually your foot won’t move mine didn’t move at all and so I knew in that moment that my Olympic dream was over and I felt really alone in that moment like nobody could even fathom to understand the confusion and the pain that I was feeling and so as my coaches carried me into the car I had to put my foot out like this and I slid back into the back seat and as the door was closing my brother ran out of the gym and we looked at each other and we both started crying because he knew he knew exactly how I was feeling in that moment because my brother and I were like best friends so when I look at him he doesn’t have to say a word and I know exactly what he’s thinking right before he does anything I already know what he’s gonna do that’s the kind of relationship I have with my brother and I think you guys know what I’m talking about because I used to teach high school science and my students used to come up to me and they’d say hey miss this this is my bed right or this is my wifey or we got a bromance going on it’s that person in your life your very best friend who you know like the back of your hand well I don’t know about you guys but that’s the type of relationship that I want to have with God I wanted him to be my best friend because I was so confused about where my life was going I wanted to know what he wanted for my life so I was like how do you do that how do you create that type of relationship with him and it occurred to me it’s just the same way that you do it with your best friend you invite him into your life when you need advice you

ask him when something great happens in the day and you’re celebrating you share it with him and something’s really tough you share that with him too you go through life together the ups and the downs and you do that right I really think that prayer is like your text message it’s your snapchat to your FaceTime to God and when I grew up I always heard my way homini praying and it was this very formal thing right hon a new mama G come sahami dog i followed by like a 20 minute prayer well i think that’s good in certain circumstances but what I learned is really you can have a more casual relationship with God where you just talk to him and you let him know what’s going on your mind and you wait to hear your response to you and I used to think my mom is crazy because she tell me things like Oh God told me that you’re supposed to do this Oh God told me I’m like what are you talking about like God came down and he spoke to you and it never made sense to me but I can say that when I started thinking about it in these terms things started happening when I’d have a bad day suddenly a Bible verse would pop into my head or I’d randomly start singing a praise song and the message kind of related to what I was going through or a person would just magically appear in my life and so the first time it happened I was actually right after that clip that you just saw I was getting on the plane and I was taking an online math class calculus and I was supposed to you know keep up with all my work online but I kind of cheated my way through it because you know you just it’s ABC and so then I’d get them all wrong but at number eyes the answer it was and then fill it in after well your whole grade depended on at the end of the year you took a final and I was not ready for that final example and so as I was getting on the plane I was very worried about how I was going to get in the school tomorrow and take this test so I’m sitting on the plane a little bit panicked and I’m a pretty outgoing person so there’s a guy sitting next to me and he’s Asian so I’m like oh I’ll just start talking to him so I strike up a conversation and it turns out he’s a math professor and so I couldn’t believe the irony of it all and I said this has got to be God working in my life and so I struck up a conversation with him and I said we got a five-hour flight I have a math final tomorrow can you help me and no joke for five hours who tutored me he made worksheets for me watch me do it all I learned the material and got an 89% on the phone amazing and the most amazing thing about it is if I had gotten a C in that class which is what I probably deserved I wouldn’t have gotten into Stanford so I have no idea who that math professor is but I think him daily and minded prayers because he had a huge impact on my life the next time I got one of these messages I’d say was when I was in Boston I had just graduated from college and I was working at a Starbucks because I wanted to teach and so I taught part-time and I thought this is my way to make an impact on the world and then I’ve got a job at Starbucks because I said this is a way for me to pay my bills and so I was standing there one day and a customer came in and the way it works at Starbucks when somebody comes in you have to say hi welcome to Starbucks how are you doing today usually everyone says great good well today this woman looked at me and she said horrible I was kind of surprised because people usually don’t like that and so I asked her what’s going on and she said you know I was trying this thing today have you heard of it sack simple acts of care and kindness while I was leaving my building and I decided to do that so I held the door open for the person behind me but he just brushed right past me shoved me into the door and I hurt my shoulder and so that is what happens when you try to be a good person she was really upset so I was heating up her scone and I saw a few free samples that we had out so I snuck them into her bag and then I gave her her to go back and when she was leaving she ran back to the counter and she said you messed up my order my boss was standing pretty close by so I told her like I put those in there as a special surprise and gift for you she stopped and she said why are you doing this for me and I told her you know I just wanted you to know that sometimes good things do happen to good people so I really hope it turns your day around and she started to cry and I think she must have been having a really hard time and it was surprising to me that that one simple act had such a big

impact on her and it made me realize that it’s not just teaching me where I can make an impact and for us in our daily life it doesn’t matter where you are it doesn’t matter what you’re doing God can use you to spread his love the next time I had a message it was not a message that I was so happy to get I was sitting in a church from Boston and honestly I still clung on to this belief that God was going to give me this fairytale ending right everything was gonna work out for me how I wanted and the minister that day was sharing about joke do you guys know about joke he’s one of God’s most faithful servants and the devil told God that he was only faithful because God blessed him and so God decided to start taking everything away from Joe he took away his house he took away his ten kids he made him a leper so that he lost all his friends and was completely isolated from his community and still in that moment of distress he said God giveth and he taketh away praise the Lord and so even in that moment he still praised God and since God was so pleased with this he blessed Joe double gave him twice as many houses twice as much money gave him ten kids again and I thought yeah that’s me but I’ve been faithful this is gonna happen for me I just have to wait for my time and then the minister said but it’s important to remember we’re not all gonna be like joke God may not choose to bless you two times over on earth because our blessing comes when we meet our Heavenly Father in heaven and it hit me I had been walking by faith in this whole time hoping for some earthly reward and maybe that wasn’t gonna happen for me and I had to be okay with that so it’s so much easier said than done right walk by faith even if things don’t go your way that’s okay just go with it because we want what we want hey you want it your way and you feel like you know method best because it’s your life well this happened to me with my brother he was working at the Clippers and he was a video intern at the time and he would literally wake up at 5 o’clock every morning to drive from Irvine to LA through all that traffic and then he work all day and be the very last one to leave at midnight and he was feeling really angry that day because as hard as he worked as much as he did he wasn’t getting paid he was volunteering all the people at the Clippers organization were super rude to him and they were not thankful and they weren’t grateful for anything that he was doing and so he ended the phone call with me and he said you know what all I wish today is that the Yankees win because my day is so horrible that’s the one thing that I hope happens today so when we got off the phone and just started praying for the Yankees like come on God he’s having a terrible day just let the Yankees win and I had heard that if you pray very fervently that God would listen to your prayer so man it seems silly but I was like fervently praying and I to a god I don’t even know how to fervently pray but that’s what I’m doing right now so please bless my brother and the Yankees were leading the entire game so I felt pretty good about it in the ninth inning on the last play the other team hit a home run and they won and I was so angry like really you couldn’t do this one little thing for my brother and I like I know how upset I was about this and how unfair and unjust it was and then I’m scrolling through Instagram and I see this picture and it’s this little girl and she’s holding a teddy bear and God’s standing in front of her and he says give it to me and she says no God but I love it and behind him he’s holding a teddy bear that’s this big but she can’t see it and I realized that if God was gonna bless my brother he wasn’t gonna bless him with a Yankees victory he was gonna bless him in his way two weeks go by and I get a phone call at work and my brothers in hysterics he was offered the head video coordinator position for the Portland Trailblazers now I can have a whole separate message about my brother in his journey to the NBA but this does not happen usually people serve their time five years as an intern before getting an opportunity but because he worked so hard the person who

used to be the head video coordinator in Portland recommended him for the position and so when we talked to him he had talked about going to Philly or San Antonio and here was Portland out of the blue and it became clear God can bless you more than you could ever hope dream or imagined and so if I think about all these stories that have shared with you I would say walking by faith sometimes it’s easy sometimes it’s I’m full of fear full of uncertainty sometimes God will bring someone to where you are to help you out and other times he’ll use you right where you are to share his love with people around you and still he might take you somewhere full of obstacles and challenges somewhere you do not want to be and yet other times he might take you to a place that’s better than you can dream or imagine so I can tell you walking by faith the one thing I guarantee it will always be exciting he will always have your back and it will always lead you to the greatest reward that you’ll receive in heaven so how do we get started with this how do we start walking my faith and going down this journey well I think that focuses on the second part of this verse walk by faith not by sight so there’s this picture that you can look up and it’s JFK do you guys know who JFK is former president of the United States did a lot with civil rights and he’s on the Air Force one and he’s walking down the steps of the plane and you see his three-year-old son running towards him really cute picture right well the true story is that after that picture was snapped he comes down from the stairs he opens his arms and he kneels waiting to embrace his son and his son runs right past him to the plane and I think this happens to us sometimes God is standing right in front of us with his arms open and he’s waiting to embrace you and instead you run towards those earthly desires that you want that you need to have that phone that girlfriend that boyfriend that college those shoes let’s change that so when you’re in that moment and the world in front of you looks really easy or even when it feels scary or when you don’t know how God’s going to use you or who this person is that came into your life or when it looks like there’s nothing but challenges all around you or even when you see nothing but great fortunes lying in front of you choose to run towards him open your arms embrace him hold on to him as you walk through your journey and choose to walk by faith and not by sight