Pain to Purpose

Pain ➡️ progress ➡️ plan ➡️ passion ➡️ purpose ➡️proclamation➡️ provision ➡️ peace + promise.  

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I dedicate this post to my parents. Their sacrifices in coming to this country allowed us to be here today, celebrating our heritage and the richness of our culture. It’s because of them that I can proudly embrace who I am.

Today, on June 1st, we also recognize the start of Immigrant Heritage Month. As we transition between these important celebrations, let’s take time to explore our own heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of America.

Everyone has a story, and I hope this can be a source of encouragement for anyone going through a tough time right now and needs a confidence boost. God doesn’t waste any experiences. From a young child to who I am today, I’ve always chosen to see the world not for what it is, but for what it could be. This journey has taught me courage, kindness, and the importance of faith over fear. Your painful past may hold unexpected purpose for your future.


Talking about past pain can be a struggle. It forces us to revisit uncomfortable memories and unearth the roots of our present. I can certainly relate. My own journey has had its many moments of pain – from childhood bullying and misunderstandings to the recent rise in anti-Asian sentiment within communities.

Microaggressions, like kids getting teased for their lunch or having their hair touched without permission, chipped away at my sense of belonging. These experiences, alongside the emotional pain my children faced, triggered my own unprocessed childhood wounds.

It was, and can be, overwhelming. 

But amidst the hardship, there’s a powerful promise from the Lord. As Revelation 21:4 reminds us, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


Life has been a journey of countless tears, from moments of deep hurt to the solace of healing. Through it all, God’s presence remained constant. Looking back, I can only offer praise for where I am today, a testament to His unwavering plan, even when the path seemed obscured.

The Lord’s patience mirrors our own as parents, waiting for a child to grasp a concept that takes years to understand. He extends the same grace to us as we grow in faith.

Perhaps you’re wrestling with letting go of anger, bitterness, or resentment. Maybe you’re redrawing boundaries with a loved one who continues to cause pain. Forgiveness, for others and even yourself, might be a current struggle.

But remember, the Lord offers solace through Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

He is constantly refining us, as Philippians 1:6 reminds us: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”


As a recovering Type-A planner, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: while we can meticulously map out our lives, the Lord ultimately guides our steps. Take, for instance, when David received a job offer as Creative Director in Orlando, Florida. Six months pregnant with our baby girl at the time, a quick “no, “I don’t think that’s a good idea” bolted out of me. Sacramento, California, felt like our anchor – our family, our friends, everything familiar. But amidst my anxieties, the Lord whispered, urging me to trust and take a leap of faith. He’s got us!

After fervent prayers and seeking God’s direction, a profound sense of peace and joy washed over me. Unexplainable joy. So much so, that our daughter’s middle name became “Joy,” a constant reminder of that pivotal moment. In my limited vision, the Lord orchestrated a perfect plan.

We may resist letting go, clinging to the fear of losing who we are. It’s a burden many of us carry. Yet, we find solace in Proverbs 16:9: “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”

His plans, as Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us, are for our prosperity, not harm. He promises hope and a future, even when our own roadmap seems uncertain.


Passion – it’s the fuel that propels us forward, especially when the road gets tough. As a good friend says, “Faithfully Fumbling Forward”.  For me, this passion wasn’t always so readily apparent. Growing up, I was a quiet soul, the kind who readily followed the lead of others and rarely spoke up, for myself or anyone else. It wasn’t until I discovered a powerful calling to help those in need, those who struggle to be heard, that a fire ignited within me.

God instilled a newfound confidence in me during college, a boldness I never knew I possessed. Now, I’m constantly pushing myself to use my voice, to advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves. This journey of self-discovery is ongoing, but with each step, I feel the unwavering strength of my passion guiding me. Perhaps, like the words in Esther 4:14 remind us, “Perhaps you were born for such a time as this,” we all have a purpose waiting to be discovered. Maybe your voice is exactly what the world needs to hear right now.


It’s truly amazing how a single experience, a new environment, can spark a hidden fire within us. This village, once foreign, has become a home, revealing facets of myself I never knew existed. Here, I’ve begun to see familiar things with fresh eyes, a newfound perspective that’s ignited a sense of purpose.

The road to this purpose, however, wasn’t always paved with sunshine. Perhaps, like many of us, I carried the weight of a painful past. Those experiences, though difficult, may have unknowingly been shaping me for the role I’m called to play today. As Romans 8:28 reminds us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

God, in His infinite wisdom, can weave even the most challenging moments into the tapestry of our purpose. The vulnerabilities, the struggles, the lessons learned – they all become tools He can use to equip us to serve others and bring about positive change.

Events like this aren’t meant to merely bridge pre-existing divides. Their true power lies in the potential to spark hope, the belief that what seems impossible today can blossom into a glorious reality tomorrow.

Perhaps your purpose, like mine, is waiting to be unveiled in an unexpected place. Maybe it’s hidden within the unfamiliar, waiting for a fresh perspective to ignite its potential. And maybe, just maybe, the challenges you’ve faced in the past are exactly what God needs to equip you to fulfill that purpose for His glory and the good of others.


It’s easy to get caught up in the noise of the world, the expectations and pressures that try to define who we are. But the Bible reminds us in Isaiah 61:1: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”

This verse serves as a powerful call to action. We are called to proclaim God’s goodness, to bring hope to those who are hurting, and to shine a light/be a light in the midst of darkness.


Life can be a rollercoaster, filled with exhilarating highs and moments that leave us breathless. Through it all, one thing remains constant: God’s unwavering provision. It’s a truth that resonates deeply within me, a comforting melody that plays even when the world feels chaotic.

Sometimes, provision arrives in grand gestures – a dream job landing in your lap, a sudden financial windfall at precisely the moment of need. But more often, it manifests in the seemingly ordinary: the strength to rise each morning, the unexpected kindness of a stranger, the love of family that carries you through thick and thin.

The Bible overflows with stories of God’s provision. In the wilderness, He provided manna for the Israelites, a miraculous daily sustenance. In the face of giants, He gave David courage and a slingshot to topple Goliath. His provision knows no bounds, taking countless forms to meet our needs, big and small.


Following a journey of discovering purpose, trusting in God’s provision, and navigating the ups and downs of life, there’s a profound peace that settles within us. This peace isn’t merely the absence of conflict. It’s a deeper sense of calm, a knowing that transcends understanding, even in the face of challenges.

The Bible beautifully describes this peace in Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This verse reminds us that God’s peace is not contingent on our circumstances. It’s a gift freely given, a constant presence that anchors us even when the world feels like shifting sand. Knowing your purpose in God’s plan can bring a deep sense of peace, a sense of being on the right path. Remember when we first moved to Florida and that peace came that I couldn’t explain? That’s the deep peace that only the Lord can give.


As we reach the final chapter of this journey, let’s turn our focus to the most magnificent promise of all: God’s promise of renewal and a brighter tomorrow.

The Bible, in Revelation 21:5, declares, “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” This promise resonates deeply, especially when we see the world around us in need of change.

Weaving this promise into the themes from above: 

  • Purpose: Discovering your purpose fuels your desire to be a part of making things new, to contribute to a more positive future. This purpose can be deeply connected to your heritage.
  • Provision: Trusting in God’s provision equips you with the strength and resources to be an agent of change, drawing upon the rich cultural traditions and resilience of your background. 
  • Peace: Experiencing God’s peace allows you to approach challenges with courage and perseverance.

This AAPI Heritage Month, my story takes on a deeper meaning. Witnessing how cultural barriers are breaking down in my children’s school lunchroom, with diverse foods being celebrated instead of mocked, is a testament to God redeeming time and paving the way for a more inclusive future. This shift reflects the very essence of AAPI Heritage Month – the beauty of embracing different cultures and traditions. As an Asian American myself, I find my purpose in fostering understanding and celebrating the rich tapestry that is our world.

A message to the next generation:

To the next generation, this promise is for YOU. You are the heirs to a vibrant cultural legacy. Your voices matter, your dreams matter, and your courage to be kind matters. Remember, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Hold fast to God’s promises. Let them be your guiding light as you navigate life’s journey. Together, fueled by purpose, empowered by provision, and anchored in peace, we can all be a part of making the world a little more new, a little more kind, a little closer to the future God promises. May this AAPI Heritage Month be a time to celebrate our unique identities and the positive impact we can have on the world, united in faith and purpose.

Cheering YOU on and faithfully fumbling forward, 







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