Eugene Cho

my biggest fear

My biggest fear is waking up one morning and realize that I’m on my death bed.  And as I reflect on my life, I have regrets about my family – particularly with my children.  Or simply, that it all went by so quick – and I missed it.

There are days like today when I cannot believe how big my children are and how fast they are growing.  Minhee and I feel so privileged to be the parents to our three children.  And today, we celebrate our 2nd child’s birthday.  TC turns eight years old today.

We obviously love all of our children but TC has a special place in our hearts because she was born at the lowest point of my life.  We had left our previous church months ago with the conviction and call to plant a church but we had no idea how difficult the new year would be:

  • I was unemployed and had been looking for work for several months
  • we became financially broke
  • the kids were on foods stamps and the WIC program
  • I felt like a failure for letting down my wife and kids since I felt like I couldn’t provide for them
  • the job I eventually got was working as a custodian at a retail store
  • I had grown increasingly frustrated about not being able to get Quest Church off the ground

Mostly, I was angry because I had “lost” control over my life.

When TC was born, it was like a “miraculous” birth.  She was born in about 4 minutes after Minhee laid on the hospital bed.  There were no drugs, no epideral, and no doctor.  She experienced sharp pain, pushed several times, and the next thing you know, the nurse and I – in panic and frenzy – saw the crown, then the body, and then Minhee and I cried like we’ve never cried before.  We sensed God speaking to us so intimately:  

I love you.  I am with you.  I have not forgotten you. 

Enough of my existential ponderings and angst.  No need to live in fear but to live in joy, contentment and to enjoy God and all of life’s blessings in the here and now.

Thank you God for the gift of our children.  Minhee and I want to treasure, nurture, and enjoy them. 

Happy Birthday TC!

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18 Responses

  1. amanda says:

    what a beautiful story. and two wonderful pictures! happy birthday!!!

  2. westcoastswing77 says:

    i am saying a prayer for you and your family, that you will preach the word until you get very very old. may God give you wisdom to run the race

  3. JB says:

    So dang cute!!! I love that photo! She’s a special kid, and I know just how you feel.

  4. chad m says:

    i actually thought some of these same things about my daughter after reading your post on dong yun yoon the other day. i can’t imagine losing my wife and daughter. i cherish my time with them…blessings and peace to you and you family!

  5. Phyllis says:

    wow. thanks for posting that… happy birthday to your little girl!

  6. Man… can I relate to parts of your journey. Thanks for your vulnerability! Birthdays have such a potential of bringing great memories to mind… and hope for the future. I hope yesterday brought both for you and your family.

  7. keren says:

    oh happy birthday, tc! what a lovely father you are too…you’re totally making me cry.

  8. that was very touching and encouraging Eugene. Thank you for that.

  9. sis says:

    Happy Birthday TC from your aunt in Korea
    It was so good to spend some time with you this summer
    I love you

  10. Jim Chen says:

    Happy b-day TC!

  11. Scooter says:

    Children are so precious! Great post man! The huge challenge is keeping them ahead of the demands of ministry. So easy to justify ministry activity trumping them by telling yourself God’s work is more important. It’s a real easy lie to believe. Being an involved father has to be one of the greatest things any man can do to move God’s kingdom forward. God bless you Dad! Give all your children your B.E.S.T. every day!
    B- BLESS
    E-ENCOURAGE
    S-SHARE
    T-TOUCH

    love to all

  12. Wayne says:

    I know this story so well, almost point for point we identify… ‘cept for the happy ending. ours ended differently and while sad we can’t complain.. he is Faithful.

  13. Ben C says:

    I’m a fan of the Cho family.

  14. Pastor, thanks so much for sharing this. My hubby and I are broke right now, so this is an inspiration. Blessings to you and your kids and wife today.

  15. Well, for what it’s worth, I doubt there are many parents out there that don’t have some regrets about how they parented their children. Even people who have seemed to me to be excellent parents seem to be able to find flaws in how they went about it.

    Our kids are in their teens and early twenties. I was watching my three youngest laughing and walk along together when we were all out at the mall the other day and was struck again by the fact that they are not babies anymore. The thought just pops up every now and then. I have the feeling I will still be thinking that years from now. I guess I’m trying to say get used to it, the sensation doesn’t seem to go away.

  16. TC,

    i don’t know you or your family, but here’s wishing you a Happy Birthday!

    Wishing you joy in your childhood and a deepening bod with your family.

    Blessings and peace,

    Adele Sakler

  17. Joonmo says:

    Pastor Eu,

    She is beautiful.

  18. g. says:

    happy bday tc!!!
    love, uncle george…

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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