TINA PARK

 
 

Tell me about a time God had a purpose in His timing for you.

There was a very identifiable moment for me. After I graduated from college, I planned to go home to Alabama for a little bit. A month turned into two months, six months turned into nine, and before I knew it it had been almost a year that I had been home. The whole time I was job searching, interviewing, and crying out to God—asking Him "Where are you, I thought you had this grand vision and purpose for me." I just felt like He wasn’t there. But if I didn’t stay those nine months, I don’t know if I would be so grounded now. I volunteered to lead the VBS program at my mom’s Korean church and worked at a beauty supply store steaming wigs, selling hair glue and straighteners. I was in contact with people from all walks of life and saw poverty first-hand, a side of the world I never would have seen if I had only lived in NYC. God really used that time to develop me, although I couldn’t see it then.

How can we find purpose in God?

Purpose comes through praise. Through knowing who God is and grounding yourself in the simplicity of that. Everyone has their anxieties of the day, things that they’re worried about. But when you’re speaking out loud that God has everything under control, that He leads you beside green pastures and still waters, it’s like, "Okay, maybe whatever it is I’m struggling with that day isn’t that big of a deal." My purpose is not satisfying me, but satisfying God.

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How do you reestablish that daily?

I listened to a really life-changing sermon from C3 Brooklyn this summer about the structure of prayer, and in it Pastor Brian Zahnd presented this morning liturgy, which is essentially a bunch of different prayers in one package: your own personal prayers tied in with the Lord’s prayer and the prayer of Saint Francis. So a lot of those traditional things that are basically the anthem of the gospel, you start your morning with. It brings me back to my purpose because I’m addressing God as who He is. When I start the day by saying, "God, you are Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. You died for us and rose again, and You’re going to come back again.” When you focus on the pillars of your faith, it follows: if God is so loving and gave His life for me, then my purpose is tied to His purpose—and that is to glorify Him and to spread the gospel.

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What role does trusting Jesus play in fulfilling God's purpose?

You have to believe that His purpose is truly good. If I need to work late but still have to leave the office so I can do Dinner Party, or if I feel exhausted and I really don’t want to serve on Sundays, I really have to trust that God will use my obedience for the ultimate good. Serving with the church has helped me find my purpose. My purpose is not me. My purpose is pointing people and guiding people to God, and getting to do that alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ. Pastor Josh said something along the lines of, "Through your surrender, you’re helping someone see God." Through me brewing coffee or tea for the pm service, handing out water bottles to the band, going grocery shopping before Dinner Party, I’m seeing lives transformed and even seeing changes in myself. It’s easier to be patient, it’s easier to love someone, it’s easier to reach out and ask someone to grab a cup of coffee. That is encouraging to me. His purpose is also for the betterment of you. When I’m giving of my time with a smile, I can almost see a vision of the kingdom come down to Bushwick or Brooklyn. It’s such a beautiful thing.