Eugene Cho

entering middle school: O.M.G.


Today is the first day of school for public schools in Seattle and as such, all three of our kids are back at it. Our youngest is in 1st grade, our second is in 4th grade, and as much as I’m having a hard time acknowledging, my oldest is beginning her journey into something called…[wait for it….] Middle School.

Everyone scream!!!


The picture above is our eldest child – when she first entered something called Pre-K many years ago. Wow, time flies.

So, go ahead and comfort me or scare me. Middle school…

What was the experience like for you personally and for those that are older wiser parents, for your kids?

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9 Responses

  1. gar says:

    I remember one of my most humiliating life moments was in middle school. I saw a cute girl from one of my morning classes (that I of course secretly liked) standing with a group of her friends in the hallway. We made eye contact, and *ring* I hear the bell sound to get to class. While still looking at her, I started to move from a walk to a jog so I wouldn’t be late…

    …that’s when I immediately slipped and fell HARD on the hallway, feet completely flying up from under me, and landing on my back. I wish I had fell face forward so I couldn’t see her and her friends laughing hysterically at me as I laid there dazed on the ground.

    Nobody helped me up… either they didn’t care or was too shocked by seeing me fall. Everyone around me just laughed and walked away, leaving me on the ground.

    And I was late to class. Gah.

  2. Matt says:

    middle school was the first time one of my friends got shoved into a locker and locked up.
    middle school was the first time a couple kissed in the hallway.
    middle school was the first time i slept in class (and continued that trend through college).

    heh. middle school…

    good luck! 🙂

  3. Matt says:

    btw, your daughter was absolutely adorable, and I’m sure still is! make sure you get your Ultimate Fighting Christian face on to ward off all the boys!😉

  4. lin says:

    I have a 6th grader now so I know what you’re going through. It really seems like only yesterday that I walked her into her kindergarten class. Now it’s a quick hug and kiss and off she goes to her friends.😦

    I personally loved middle school. It is when I met my husband (in 8th grade)🙂 so we’ve known each other for 24 and married for 14🙂

  5. Dan S. says:

    I just started sending my eldest to pre-school so I can’t imagine him going to middle school someday. Just the thought of it freaks me out.

    You have my empathy.

  6. your friend says:

    Middle school: My classmates were sleeping around, some were trapped in alcoholism, one committed suicide right there, while being with us. It was anti-Christian and even teachers made fun of me since I was one of the very few Christians!

    In short: It was the worst time in my life.

    BUT THAT IS WHY I UNDERSTAND SO MUCH DEEPER WHAT IT MEANS WHEN ONE IS LAUGHED AT, REJECTED BECAUSE HE/SHE IS JUST DIFFERENT! I got healed from the scars and scares in middle school (much later in life) and now, looking back, I know God used it for teaching me valuable lessons.

    This is NOT to scare you, but to confirm that I AM PRAYING FOR YOUR DAUGHTERS AND SON.

  7. Jasmine says:

    I loved my middle school so much, I went back to teach there! I had the best time. Yea, dumb stuff happens. But, as a general rule, (and speaking as a teacher), the involved parent usually produces a great experience for the kid. ^_^

  8. RjL says:

    I got saved in Middle School… so hope is not lost.

  9. Eugene Cho says:

    @your friend: thanks for your prayers.

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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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