Nami is a Korean-Canadian makeup artist, YouTuber, believer, and post-teen mom. She had her first child at the tender age of 17 with her long-term boyfriend (and current husband), Michael. It was an unexpected pregnancy that the Lord used to change both of their lives for the better.
Prior to this incident, Nami confessed that she was incredibly unstable and ill-equipped for healthy relationships. In a vulnerable video describing her traumatic childhood abuse and heartbreaking immigration experience, Nami unraveled her past sense of worthlessness, anger, and confusion while holding back tears. She was only a small child when her father exhibited abusive behaviors towards her mother. It was during this time that Nami became easily stressed at daycare, crying nonstop at even the slightest triggers. Nami remembers how the daycare admins forced her to cry in a dark closet rather than comforting her or calming her down. She would burst into tears when it became time for her mother to hand her over to the daycare administrators. These painful, temporary goodbyes have left deep emotional wounds in both Nami and her mother. Up until a few months ago, Nami's mother still felt jolts of anxiety and guilt whenever she heard the sound of babies crying. Eventually, the mother and daughter pair fled to Canada to start a new life.
After staying in Canada for a few years, Nami's mother got reconnected with her first husband, who tried hard to connect with Nami but was unsuccessful because of their cultural differences. Nami, now accustomed to Canadian culture, did not feel comfortable connecting with her Stepfather in Korean ways. Her half-siblings were also much older than her, which made it difficult for the estranged child to feel at ease. Because of all of these relational chasms, Nami was internally barred from making healthy familial connections. This lack of healthy, meaningful connections contributed to her teenage depression, self-mutilation and suicidal thoughts.
At 14, she fell in love with Michael, who was five years her senior. Nami recalled being attracted to the 19-year-old boy because he was emotionally stable, calm, assertive, and relationally healthy-- everything she desired for herself but didn't have the necessary tools to achieve. In the beginning of the relationship, she exhibited codependent, controlling, and abusive behaviors towards Michael. As time went on, Michael influenced her for the better, but Nami's past wounds and unhealthy relational habits were still present. Her heart didn't truly change until the birth of her son, Galahad.
I'll let Nami tell the rest of her story in this vulnerable and powerful testimony:
Although the video was thorough, transparent, and even hard to watch at times because of how real her struggles were, it left me with quite a bit of questions. I wanted to learn more about this amazing young girl and how she came to Christ after a whole lifetime of trauma. So, I reached out to her. In my exclusive interview with Nami, she shares her favorite books, words of wisdom, and incredible insight on her testimony. Enjoy! ❤
Me: I understand that you've been exposed to the Christian community since you were a child. At what point did your faith deepen?
Nami: I came to accept Christ the summer before 8th grade. One of my friends had invited me to her church summer retreat and the faith of other youths at the time really opened up my eyes to what faith was, in comparison to my at-the-time corrupt and dry church. I really experienced God's realness at the time when He audibly told me during one of the prayer nights that He had been waiting for me and asked me if I was ready for new life with Him.
Me: Your main platform consists of cosmetic art, but your YouTube reveals a much more vulnerable side of you. Why did you start this transparent YouTube journey?
Nami: I think it is very important to be open and vulnerable in order to change. My desire for my viewers is for them to grow and learn, and become more and more beautiful and wonderful than they already are. If I want my viewers to change every day and become a better version of themselves, as I want for myself and my friends and family, I must first be open and vulnerable with them in order for change to take place in my life, along with their lives, as they become more open and vulnerable with each other and me.
Me: How has God been healing you these past three years?
Nami: God has really shaped and changed me these past three years. I think He is allowing for a lot of dialogue to happen for me to learn more about myself and my personal history; why I am the way I am, how I became who I am, what I need to do to become who I want to become. I think He is slowly showing me the objective reasoning to my past emotional pains and helping me process these things with close friends and family. Processing through difficult times with people you trust allows for deep healing to happen, while learning more about yourself and more about where it is you want to be.
Me: What are your goals for this year?
Nami: One of our tangible goals is to move out by the end of the year! I am also going to be transitioning to teaching makeup from a part-time to a full-time basis and hope that my relationship with each of my three boys will flourish and blossom.
Me: You have such a deep well of wisdom for someone so young. Do you have any book recommendations for us?
Nami: In all honesty, I haven't been doing much reading since my first year of university! Also, my well of wisdom is still so shallow!! I feel like I still have a lot to learn and a lot to grow and I'm excited for how Michael and I will continue to change and grow in the next decades! In my high school and university years, I gained a lot of insight from Dr. Emerson Eggerichs's Love & Respect, Nancy Leigh DeMoss & Dannah Gresh's Lies Young Women Believe (and the truth that sets them free), and Gary Chapman's Love is a Verb!
Me: If you can give three tips to young mothers who feel scared, confused, or abandoned, what would it be?
Nami: Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged! Keep pushing through. When the winter passes, there will be so many new joys and fruits and things to learn. We all reap what we sow and the more we sow, the more we reap. I always like to think of Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood's "Equivalent Exchange." When one thing is given, one thing is taken; everything in life is a trade off. If you are a young mother and you feel scared, confused, or abandoned, keep doing your best and as much as you push through, you will grow and experience many blessings. Seek out those who will support you and help you work through the difficult times while rejoicing in the little joys of life. Everything is a blessing, even the struggles and pains in our lives. Let's keep working hard!