hello wonderful children of Jesus! welcome to a space where i speak on what’s most important to me and that being Jesus Christ. As the new year began, I had one goal in mind: to boldly proclaim the name of Jesus without fear of carnal culture. this is simply what i plan to do with this vulnerable piece — how i came to know my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. with the introduction in place and the stage being set, enjoy reading how the Lord has become a focal point in my life. may God be seen before i am. 

to begin this testament of God’s grace and mercy, i want to introduce myself. my name is zach and i reside in the mightiest state of texas but now i’m a college student at moody bible institute. it hasn’t always been like this though… i grew up in northern Vermont, loving Jesus, going to church, and attending the usual youth group. but it didn’t feel like it was my faith because i felt forced to go by my mom and that was what it was for years afterwards. a repeated cycle of trying to satisfy what my mom wanted for me—her kids to attend church, so we appeared to be this picture-perfect family, but that vision was shattered one Christmas Eve in 2005. my dad passed away from a sudden heart attack, and i didn’t know how to react because i was only 7 years old. with this tragedy in my personal life, i began to question the importance of worship in my life. it wasn’t until i made the sudden move to texas for my sister’s wedding that i stopped truly finding the Lord as a focal piece of my existence. 

at the age 12-13, i was trying to navigate the next part of my life, which was junior high in a new environment. thatsimply wasn’t easy because i don’t adjust well to new surroundings and trying to find that belonging wasn’t the easiest. I struggled immensely with bullying because i put effort into trying to “fit in”, but it just didn’t work, so i decided to stick to myself, which made me an easy target for getting picked on. I recall the torment that was heaped on me, the names that were hurled at me, and the shattered attempts at making friends with the people around me. this caused a downward shift of my emotional state, and i became the textbook definition of that “kid who sat alone at lunch.” i didn’t know Jesus and i felt lost in the dark of finding somewhere to belong.

tw: sensitive issues will be discussed here, so if those aren’t of interest to you, feel free to opt out of reading. 

as i ventured off to high school, things weren’t looking up for me. i still didn’t know many people, and a new struggle entered the picture in my life– my mom married a new man, who became my step-dad. to this day, i’m still unclear why, but this man did not like me. he’d degrade me to the point where i’d question my own self-worth. and this would be a continuous cycle of degradation, emotional abuse, and questioning myself worth. another layer added on top of this was the issues going on at my school, so this snowballed into one of the darkest points in my life. i felt destroyed by the words of my peers, by a person i thought i could “trust” due to marrying my mom, and now feeling completely alone — i turned to an unconventional method of “stress relief,” which was self-harm. i wanted nothing more to relieve this pain i felt deep inside, but nothing else worked, so i dove into this for almost 5 years. writing this now still seems unreal because i never thought this would occur, but my mind was filled with negative emotions of despair and hopelessness.

but it didn’t end there. 

one of the prevalent moments in my testimony was that of a suicide attempt back in 2015. i had no friends, i didn’t have the closeness of my family, and i felt broken by the pain of loneliness and darkness. one night in January, i decided to take some advil near my reach. i didn’t remember the amount, which is irrelevant, but i knew i wanted a way out in some capacity. with this inside my body, i started to get sick and i broke down in tears because this is where my life has come down too… a 16-year-old boy was questioning who he was and where he belonged because everything else fell away. but as i sat there, i prayed a small little prayer to a God that i felt was so very distant to me… i remember that prayer to a T and it went like this :: “God, if you’re up there and you can hear me, i pray you can help me.”

i mean here i am almost 7 years later and the biggest blessing was the Lord intervening in the midst. i still remember those memories of the most vulnerable moments in my life, but i’m in utter awe of how the Lord brought me home. Jesus.. my Comforter, my Restoration, my Beautifier, and my Joy–You were present on that day. these dark moments from my past give me great reminders of God’s great love and His great grace. i will no longer be alone because Christ is in me. i no longer have to seek desperately for cultural approval and for friends because Christ is offered freely to me. i know what it means to be brought low, i desperately needed something before, but Jesus? all things work for the greater good for those who abide and worship Him. OH BOY AM I THANKFUL FOR THAT TRUTH!!! i am FULL every day and no longer crave anything else. i am full because Christ is in me and my hope no longer wavers because He is my purpose, my joy, and my belonging. 

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

— Phillipians 4:12-13

to conclude i’d like to offer some subjective advice straight from my heart : ) if you’ve been in this place in your life or have some similarities within my testimony, know this — Jesus is for you. He desperately wants to have a relationship with you, but that begins with your first step of surrender. surrender your pain, your emotions, your hurt, and anything weighting down your achy heart. a reminder that we ultimately serve a God who’s omnipresent and omnipotence over your life, He’s in control and loves you more than you can know. i’ll pray you never forget that.

from despair to newfound hope.. from dark thoughts to the fullness of Christ’s thoughts… from being that of less importance to being the focal piece… thank you Jesus for letting me taste your forever goodness.