Joel Chon is an 18-year-old senior in high school and attends Liquid Church's Morris County Campus. After losing his father at a young age, Joel experienced a resurgence of grief during the loneliness of the pandemic. That's when he discovered writings by his Father that his mom compiled and titled "A Man Who Loved Jesus." His Father's writings opened Joel up to the deep belief his father had that everything, including cancer, has a purpose. Filled with hope, Joel recommitted his life to God and now sees meaning in every trial. This is Joel's story of life after loss.
After losing my Dad at five years old to stomach cancer, life was very difficult for my Mom who had to take care of three of us kids by herself. Reflecting back on this time, I can’t imagine how she must have felt after losing him. How could she possibly play the role of two parents: work a full time job, and raise us, all by herself?
MEMORIES OF LOSS
I still miss the weekly Dunkin’ Donuts runs my Dad took my brother and me on, and his amazing guitar playing. Being five years old at the time, I couldn’t really grasp what was going on during his time battling cancer. My most vivid memory is of him breaking down in tears sitting on the side of my bed. I sensed something was wrong, but couldn’t understand what that was.
After he died, and often being alone during the pandemic quarantine, I started to miss him more than ever. In times of distress, I imagined him coming into my room and washing away my worries. I sometimes thought to myself, “How could life be so cruel?”
A MAN WHO LOVED JESUS
However, one day, my Mom gave me a copy of a book of all the blogs my Dad wrote titled “A Man Who Loved Jesus.” His blogs made me realize how important it is to trust God with my life. My Dad saw a purpose to everything, even if it is something as terrible as cancer. He saw cancer as a way to save souls and build his kingdom. He wanted to use his final years on Earth as a time to help others grow closer to God. He knew that God had other plans for him.
Two weeks before my dad passed, he said, “[God] surely has a greater plan than what we all can see. In a way, I can’t wait to meet people at the new place and see what God wants me to do there. Clinging to the Cross.”
EXPERIENCING LIFE AFTER LOSS
Both my Mom and Dad inspire me to live my life for God. I even took my next step to get baptized last October here at Liquid Church. To this day, I still always think about my Dad. However, I am still grateful for the life God has given me. My mom once told me to take life one day at a time. After my Dad passed, my mom trusted God with the rest of her life. There is no point in worrying what tomorrow, the next week, or the next year would bring. No matter the circumstances, God can help us through anything.
I wanted to get baptized and I want to share my story today because I really do trust God with my entire life. He is the reason I always try to see the positives in any situation. He always reminds me that he has a purpose for everything in life and I just need to be patient. Although I don’t have an earthly father anymore, I will always have a Heavenly Father.
If you were inspired by Joel's story of life after loss, we encourage you to check out this additional content from Liquid Church:
- Easter At Liquid: Are you hungry for hope? God promises there is hope after the heartache. This Easter, we invite you to join us for one of our 3 ways to worship - learn more & view service times at LiquidChurch.com/Easter.
- ARTICLE: Dealing With Grief As A Christian - Grief and loss seem to come out of nowhere and interrupt our everyday lives. But as Christians, we can look to the example of Jesus to learn how to deal with grief and loss in a spiritually healthy way. Click here to read the full article on The Liquid Blog.