3 times is 3 times too many…

Unfortunately, that’s how many of my very amazing brothers-in-Christ unexpectedly passed away during the past several weeks…

And I’m…just…so sad. So very…very sad. But even more so, I feel sorry. So, so sorry…for the families left behind.

It’s times like this that I wish I could do something to change anything. The only comfort I have is that you are all with God right now, but…life is already so short, and it really doesn’t feel fair that you all had to leave even sooner. I have never been very good at expressing my pain to my friends, and I am sorry for not being able to really open up to those who asked how I was “feeling” in light of these circumstances. But tonight, like any other night, I just want to go home and cope with these feelings in the quiet of my room and the presence of God alone. For now, all I can do is say my goodbyes and pay my respects to those who have gone on.

Goodbye, Mr. Allan Tibbels.

You were my first mentor and real-life inspiration to be greater than my physical limitations, a passionate builder of firm foundations and homes for those in need, and a pursuer of excellence in the name of Christ. You were a man I wished to not only work side-by-side with once I “made it” as an architect, but a man I could only dream of one day succeeding. You worked and fought hard for those who were unable to fight for themselves, and you did it without a single word of complaint, even despite the pain from your illness. You showed the world a deep dedication and strength that I pray I can grow to attain. You set the standard for the rest of my life.

Goodbye, David Stevens.

For years at Bridgeway, I had the privilege of knowing and serving with you through worship. You were a powerful worshipper, singing every Sunday with passion and abandon. You showed bravery in ways I would never be able to in the face of the cancer that you knew was taking over. Your bright attitude, your love for your family, your sense of humor, and the peace you emanated at death’s doorstep taught me how life was meant to be lived to its fullest. Your presence will be missed.

Goodbye, Daniel Cho.

So amazingly talented, yet the most humbly introverted artist I had ever met. Your passing was the most shocking and unexpected…When you said your goodbyes before you left to tour with Regina Spektor, I had no idea that it was going to be like this. You had the ability to fill the entire church auditorium with your music, but never did anything to draw attention for yourself. You made us all feel welcome and comfortable, effortlessly supporting the entire team with your abilities and soft smiles. And most of all, between every set, I saw you look for your wife and child so you could sit with and be near them. You loved them so much, that I actually felt energy from just watching your family lovingly and quietly interact during and after services. Though you are gone now, I know you left them with a clear understanding of how much you loved them.

Goodbye.

Goodbye.

Goodbye.

All of your lives, though tragically cut short, have shown me, and all those you’ve touched, what life is worth living for. For love, for passion, and for Him. May God be with your families during this time.

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