A lot of emotions coursed through us when we heard that David – the same David a lot of us have grown up with and who has helped us through difficult times with his music and smile – has decided to go on a full time mission, starting the first half of next year. A lot of emotions still are going through us now. Happiness for him, but also a kind of sadness. Perhaps the strongest emotions of all right now is how much we’re going to miss him and already do, because there’s no denying that. David is a huge part of all of our lives, and it’s hard to imagine being without him for two years. But we’re not alone, because we’ve got each other still, and even though David is leaving, he’s going to come back.
It’s kind of hard to describe this feeling now because there are so many different emotions all mixed in together at the same time that it’s hard to untangle them from each other. Immense happiness and sadness don’t quite seem to go together. When I told my mom that he was going, she asked me after a while why I was sad. It wasn’t the only thing I felt, but that was probably the most apparent at the time. The best way I could think of to describe how these two feelings together is that it’s like having an older brother or a son go to college. We’re happy that he’s going because it’s going to be great for him, but also sad because we’ll miss him. It’s bittersweet in every way.
But even though I know I’m going to miss him terribly, I also truly feel happy for him. I’m happy because he’s going to be doing God’s work, and so proud because he is following Him. While it’s certainly hard for us, chances are that leaving – being away from his family – is going to be even harder for David. The thing is that if David doesn’t go now, he will probably spend the rest of his life wondering “what if,” so it’s great that he has the opportunity to go now, whilst he’s ready. It’s more than just the phrase carpe diem – seize the day – but a calling.
Two years may seem like a long time now, and I’m not going to deny that it feels the same way for me too, but it really isn’t. I’ve had braces for two years now, and some days they hurt, but the pain goes away, and I’ll have them off very soon. I got through it because I knew it would be worth it in the end, and so will this. David is going to come back, and we’ll get to know him, and fall in love all over again.
Time goes by a lot faster when we have goals and know what we want to achieve – what we are waiting for. The last one is easy: we’ll be waiting for David to come back. The other two are a bit fuzzy since we’re all different in that aspect. He recently started to sing “Dream Sky High” (click to watch David singing it at the VIP the night he made the announcement) again, and it really feels like it is a message to us; that David is telling us to “ride the chances flying by,” and to make the best of our time.
In the past four years, David has given so much of himself to us. He has shared his amazing gift with us all, and showed us what real music is – what it means to support an artist through it all. He shared himself with us; smiles that lift our spirits, laughs that give us a respite when we’re going through a rough time, and most important, his shining personality that gives us hope. He has given us so many songs, so many concerts – about 150 since 2008 from tours alone – and albums as well. Since his debut album, David has released 3 full albums, 1 EP, an Asian Tour Edition, Glad Christmas Tidings, and a memoir, Chords of Strength, too. Some artists can go for years between albums, so really, we have a lot to be grateful for as fans. We have a closer relationship to David compared to a lot of other well-known people; he comes out after concerts to see us, even though it’s freezing cold, or the sun blazing down. He genuinely cares for us, and shows it all it all the time.
David has given us so much of his time, and now it’s our turn, to give him these two years to do his mission.
We might not be able to give back to David directly, but there are so many ways to show our appreciation. David has been actively involved in charity right from the start, from Invisible Children, to Rising Star Outreach, and so many other wonderful organizations, ChildFund being the most recent. Archies have also become so involved, with Angels For A Cause, work with Stand Up 2 Cancer, and the search for a bone marrow match for Jonah. So whilst David is away, let’s continue on with that, and spread the smiles and hope that he gave us. As he sang from “I’m Trying To Be Like Jesus” tonight, “Love one another as Jesus loves you/Try to show kindness in all that you do/Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought/For these are the things Jesus taught.”
There are quite a lot of worries about what is going to happen when he comes back; if he’s still going to do music. Now, I can’t speak for David, but if there’s one thing I know about him, it’s that he loves music. He has said it so many times, and in his announcement, he said that this decision is “not because he doesn’t want to do music anymore.” David loves music, but he loves God even more, which is an amazing thing that I look up to him for. David is going to come back, and even though it’s going to be hard being without him, “it’s going to be worth it ‘cause that’s what love is.”
Now, before he goes away on his mission, and when he does leave, let’s stay by each other, and make sure we don’t drift apart. Not just for ourselves, but also for David, to show him that we will always support him to the fullest; his music, and his decisions, and that when he comes back, he will have us waiting for him. After all, the journey – his, ours – is only just beginning.
- By Alicia Loh