A few months ago I asked a graphic designer friend of mine, Michelle Yejin Kim, to create a logo for me. During the discussion and mood boarding, she asked me, “So…what is Smashed Saint? What does it mean?”
I shared with her that “Smashed Saint” carried the story of my redemption. Of how Jesus truly saved me from existential emptiness and soul-agony. How he loves me and changed/is changing me, and how I could never leave Him now.
Because Smashed used to mean too many sips of jack on ice during a string of too many lonely nights trying to crush the emptiness with fast carnal collisions. It used to mean a soul soaked in rebellion, an existence drowning in the stench my failures and sin; it was unrepentant & unforgiven, a cross too heavy to bear. Smashed used to mean I want to bury myself in dark drunkenness, or better yet, in complete oblivion. Death wasn’t enough, I craved the end of my existence.
In my desperation for an end to my agony, the words, God…if you remember me…help me sighed out in a whisper. He heard me. My mom called me, asking if I’d like to join her for three days at the International House of Prayer (IHOP-KC) in Kansas City, MO. “I’ll pay for everything, just come. I really think God has something for you here. I won’t even talk to you if you don’t want. Just come.”
This was the Hand of Grace, extended. A clear voice said Janet, today, make a choice. Choose Death or Life. Which will it be? (I later discovered this same verse in Deuteronomy.)
One week later, I’m sitting inside IHOP-KC’s prayer room. Tears are leaking down my face; it is a quiet sorrow, a prayer of the broken spirit. In this solitude, I feel the air above my head shift, and it’s like someone cracked open a jar of golden honey that pours down my head and shoulders. I hear the sound of a million tiny bells, the air is alive with joy, and that same voice, the voice of my Father, says Welcome home, Janet. I missed you so much.
His love breaks me, this unquestioning acceptance despite everything. I physically feel the despair, depression, heaviness, and agony lift off from me, I’m so light it feels like I’m hovering in mid-air. I knew from that day forward, I could never leave the love of God ever again. His tangible Love utterly ruins me, makes me literally fall into a deep ocean of love. I’m totally smashed, it’s punch-drunk true Love.
“Saint” came about 2 years later. I was struggling with residues and remnants of an old me, felt trapped in cycles of anger, lust, fear, pride, insecurity. I told God, “I’m such a sinner. I’m such a sinner, I’m so sorry…”
One day, I was quiet enough to hear the Lord’s correction to my cycles of self-pity and self-condemnation. Jesus said, Stop identifying yourself as a sinner. Stop identifying with sin. What you identify with is what you become. You are my child, a new creation. You are pure and holy. You are my Beloved. You are a Saint. Remember to always stay humble, broken, crushed by my Spirit. In this way, like frankincense that has to be crushed to release its pure fragrance, your life will be a pleasing aroma to me.
Smashed Saint thus holds all this in balance–my past, my present, my future all redeemed by the Love and Sovereignty of God. Being drunk on the love of God, and identifying wholly with Jesus Christ. Confidence in Him and who He’s made me to be; crushed and humble before Him, poor in spirit. Weak and strong, broken and noble.
The life of a Beloved, of a saint in love with the Lover, is truly one of total surrender. It’s one of absurd tunnel vision. He encompasses all your sight. Like the Psalmist says,
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
What becomes your first priority is His will, His passion, His Word, His desire that prompts in you such an outpouring of song, poetry, art, dance; you offer your life for the treasure and pleasure of knowing the Lover, in whose presence even the must humble and smallest of creatures can find refuge.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah
I shared this verse with Michelle as well, which lead to the swallow being incorporated into the final logo. Swallows are largely nomadic songbirds who spend most of their lives in flight and can live anywhere as long as they find places to build their nests. In addition to the Lord telling me that I am like a songbird that rises early in the morning, the swallow complements the fact that my missional heart is to travel the nations sharing art & poetry, the gospel, the love of Jesus; hearing people’s stories and building family with them (aka nests), equipping & inspiring worshipers to impact their culture and society.
I’ve already been in a transition toward becoming what I hope and pray and believe is a global artisan-missionary. Then, early next year, my home church Blessed International Revival Center, will send me out as a missionary to South Korea. There’s a lot more to this move to Korea, which incorporates a vision for all of Asia, but I will share about that in future posts, as the Lord clarifies and leads each step.
A lot of this journey–well, all of it–is a step-by-step walk of faith. I don’t have all the answers, and I am not perfect nor perfectly strong. But what I do have is a Good Father who gives courage to my fear, strength to my weak, hope to my empty, answers to my wanderings, confidence to my shakings. In Him, I have the freedom and the safety to explore, create, love, serve, be myself, and build home no matter where I am.
There’s a song I sang a lot a few years back, and it still rings true. Where you go I go / What you say I say / What you pray I pray. For me, this is the song of a smashed saint. A songbird surrendered to its Creator, a child in adoration of her Father, a beloved in love with the Lover.
Please stay connected with me; I can’t tell you how much your prayers and support mean to me as I embark on this next life journey. You can stay connected with me here, on my other blog Confessions of a Smashed Saint, my Facebook page, or through my Snapchat (smashedsaint).
If you want to financially support my missional-arts call, you can by donating through Blessed International (click “Give” link, which will direct you to PayPal. Please make sure to write “for Janet Jun” in the memo so that they know how to direct the donation).
Most of all, please pray for me. I desperately need wisdom, based in a healthy fear of the Lord, and protection/favor.
For the rest of this year, my itinerary is:
7/16-7/18 Washington DC to attend Together 2016
7/23-8/8 Back to Basics Peru Missions
8/26-9/3 Oregon to meet/pray with South Korea prayer & mission partners
9/5-9/12 Mexico ministry/fellowship trip
9/19 – 9/27 South Korea
9/27 – 10/10 Vietnam, & Malaysia: Blessed Worship School
10/10 – 10/15 South Korea: prayer walking & spiritual mapping of Hongdae with a team
10/16-11/14 South Korea
Please let me know how I can keep you in prayer as well. Or any other way I can serve you.
Love you saints dearly,
p.s. thank you Michelle. The logo is beautiful.