Hello, I’m Josh. I’m living in Texas with my wife, I’m 26 (a terrifying thought to be so ancient and decrepit already D: where did the time go??), I’ve lived all over the southern US, and am a former minister’s kid. My dad was a youth pastor for 25 years, then became a public school teacher, then a sociology teacher at a youth detention center in Arkansas, and is now retired on disability due to several strokes.
Due to my father’s ministry I have always been exposed to the ugliest side of internal church politics (a border town pastor we served with briefly was embezzling money and using the church to smuggle drugs across the border, a music leader at another stored child porn on his church computer, and many many examples of leadership covering up abuse or internal schisms). As a result I have always had an immensely difficult time feeling at home among other Christians as my entire life has been one long, sordid affair of awful behavior within the church.
I’ve always struggled with finding community, as, living mostly throughout the Bible Belt, I heard from many good friends who experienced abuses and anguish as a result of coming out as gay, or voting Democrat, or anything deemed “unchristian” by cultural Christians who seemed (by their actions and words) to identify more with politics and cultural trappings than of faith. Needless to say, I’ve had a strained relationship with religious institutions, and I have stumbled greatly over the years, but I’ve been growing more and more daily in my own walk since my marriage.
I’ve had three open heart surgeries since 2010 (aged and will need another within the next year or so. I’m unemployed, and my wife’s insurance is not the best. Lots of anxieties right now about finances, as, if she loses her job (she’s a graphic designer at a marketing firm, so if the economy continues to slide, there won’t be much use for marketing if no one has stable income…), this upcoming surgery will mean bankruptcy. I struggle with clinical depression stemming partially from a long history of childhood sexual abuse, my wife has an anxiety disorder, and every day is a struggle. But we still hold onto faith. Through all my surgeries, Christ saw me through. For all our anxieties and doubts, our Father has lifted us out of the gutter of our own narrow lives.
I found RZIM after searching through apologetics videos earlier this year and came to adore Ravi Zacharias’ ministries. So now I’m here, eager to engage and ask questions, and to grow in my walk with God.