Zach

Father to the Fatherless

(This is a transcript of Zach’s story.)

I had grown up in church, I’d, you know, done the whole church thing my whole life. But I always just felt like it was just rules, rules, rules, and I didn’t have the right tools to do whatever the people at church wanted me to do.

So I believe the Lord is all about family, and I think if you go back to the very beginning of the Bible, you see that whenever the Lord created the earth, Adam and Eve, and they were in relationship with him, right? That was the most important thing. God’s all about family. God’s all about relationship in family, specifically Him as Father. Whenever the enemy came, he broke up that family, sin entered into the picture, fear hit. And there was a disconnect between God the Father and His people.

I grew up in a family that was broken. My dad wasn’t able to be there for us starting at about the age of 13. And that just left me feeling very alone, feeling very isolated, feeling very broken. As I started to grow up, you know, I just can look back now and I can just see that the enemy really took that opportunity to speak lies over me–lies that I’m not worthy, lies that I’m unlovable, lies that I don’t have what it takes, right? There’s no self confidence, no self esteem, I didn’t feel like I belonged, right. I felt like I was unworthy, and I didn’t have an identity as a son. Right. And I don’t have an identity as a son, that I’m an orphan.

An orphan walks around and he’s scared, and he’s insecure. And he doesn’t know what’s going to happen next, doesn’t know how to accept love. He doesn’t know how to accept help. And the only thing that they’re concerned with is themselves–how to survive, right?

There was this void in my life, right? This void of love, this void of acceptance, void of attention, void of affirmation, and I tried my hardest to find those things. I believe that those are basic needs in the heart of every single human being. They have this innate desire to be loved, right, to be accepted. And whenever a person doesn’t have that they’re going to do whatever they have to do to to get those things, right? And so for me from about the ages of 13, honestly, until my mid twenties, I did whatever I had to do to fill those voids, whether it be finding attention in sports right, finding attention in trying to be the cool guy or the funny guy, being affirmed in trying to strive and work and do everything right so that people see me and they say, Hey, man, awesome job. I accept you because of what you’re doing.

Well, there was this girl that I started to date. I dated her for a few years, and I put everything into her, right? I didn’t have any friends. She was my only focus, and I did whatever I could to make her happy, not because I loved her, but because I was so scared of losing her, right? Well, she ended up breaking up with me. At the time, I thought that it was the worst thing that could have happened to me. I look back now, and it might have been the best thing that ever happened to me because it showed that I was trying to find life in her–trying to find life in a person. Right?

Whenever she broke up with me, I was devastated. And I was depressed. And I was alone. I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t have anyone there to support me because I put everything into her. And I was sitting at home one day and my roommate’s friend walked past me. And he said, “Dude, you look really sad. Why don’t you come to this Thanksgiving potluck party with me?” And I was like, “Nah, man. No, I don’t feel like going.” And he said, “Dude, come on, man. Just go.” For some reason. I went and I walked into this party and I was in a bad mood. I crossed my arms. I made sure that everyone knew that I, you know, didn’t feel like talking.

But this one guy came up to me. And he started to talk. And I was giving him these short answers, you know, yes, no. And he said, “Hey, look, man, we got this men’s Bible study on Tuesday nights. I think that you should come.” In my head. I was like, there’s no way that I’m going to this men’s Bible study. And he said, “Hey, give me your number, and I will text you on Tuesday.” I said, “Okay, fine.” And in my head, I said, if you text me, I’ll go.

Sure enough. On Tuesday, he texts me. And I went, because I didn’t have anything else, right?

And I walked into the door of this apartment. And as soon as I walked in, I could tangibly feel that there was something different, and I felt like it was a safe place. And I felt freedom. I saw these men who were praising the Lord with all their heart, and they were supporting each other and they were crying and they were expressing their emotions and they were doing everything that I believed a man shouldn’t do, right? And it was the weirdest thing that I’d ever experienced. But something about it was extremely attractive. And I went and I experienced it.

And I kept on coming. I went every single Tuesday. Anytime that they had an event I went. And for the next six months, I just poured everything that I had into this group. Because although I couldn’t identify it, these, these people had something that I wanted. They had something that was extremely attractive. They had the love of God. They had the freedom of God. They had this intimate relationship with God. They didn’t see him as this father who is angry and who is controlling, but they saw him as a friend, as a safe place. And I had never experienced that before, and I wanted it. I can look back in my life and the Lord had actually been wooing me for almost a decade, and he had been wooing me through relationships with men starting at about the age of 21, the Lord put men in my life to show me different aspects of God the Father. I truly felt like I was finally building a relationship with the Lord. All of these things that I felt–what I would call an orphan spirit, this unworthiness, this inability to receive love, this fear-based mentality was slowly starting to erode and in its place came sonship–this feeling that, oh, oh, man, I might be lovable. I might belong. It’s not about what I do, but it’s about who he is and what he’s done and that I have an opportunity to become a part of the family. That I might actually start to change the way that I think and change my mindset and get to see myself how the Lord sees me, right. as a son.

On a whim, one of my best friends from college calls me up. I’m a teacher, it’s about to be the summertime, and he says, “Hey, I’ve got this discipleship training school that I’m going to in Nashville, Tennessee this summer. Would you like to go?” I said, “Hey man, I don’t have anything else. Yeah sure.”

An orphan walks around and he’s scared, and he’s insecure. And he doesn’t know what’s going to happen next, doesn’t know how to accept love. He doesn’t know how to accept help.

But I go to this discipleship training school and I’m experiencing the Lord in a whole new way, right? I’m introduced to the power of the Holy Spirit. And at first I felt like because I wasn’t experiencing the gifts of the Holy Spirit like some of these other people in the program that I was like a junior varsity Christian, right? But I had this mentor. This one guy named Steve said, “Hey Zach, just ask. Just pray and ask the Lord.” So I started to do that and I did that for about two weeks do that.for about three weeks, and finally this guy comes to our discipleship training school and I find out that he is extremely prophetic. Now the prophetic always scared me. I always felt that it wasn’t of God, right? But everyone who was a part of this discipleship training school, people who I looked up to, they, they told me that it was actually a very encouraging thing. So although I was very scared of it, I was also intrigued. And I just kept on praying, “Okay, Lord, I’ll take whatever you give me. I just want more of you.” So I walk in, and I’m like, man, this is my chance, right? I might actually get to experience this prophetic thing the first time. And so this guy sits down. And he starts to teach. And he teaches about something in the Old Testament for about two hours. And I’m like, well, this isn’t going how I thought it would go. So he finishes his teaching, and I’m bored to death. And at the end of the teaching, he says, “Okay, guys, we’re done. Why don’t we pray?”

And then he said, “Hey, I want someone to pray. What about this guy right here in the red shirt?” And he pointed his finger at me and I said, “Oh, okay.”

So I wasn’t very engaged. And I just said, you know, this very simple prayer: “Dear God, thank you so much for this time. In Jesus name, Amen.” And as I finished this guy said, “Hey, hey wait, I think I’ve got something for you.” And he said to me, he said, “I feel like you have your button stuck, and I want you to know that the Lord is unsticking your button. That this is going to be the year of reset for you. That this is going to be a year where the Lord retools you.” And then he starts to pray. And I’m thinking to myself, what is this guy talking about, right?

So he starts to pray. He asks for the Holy Spirit to come. And he continues, he says, “I feel like you have the heart of David. I feel like you delight in the Lord with all of your heart.” And then he starts to pray again. And by this time, I’m pretty confused and all the other guys in the program are just staring at me.

After he gets done praying. He says, “I feel like there’s something extremely traumatic that happened to you around the ages of 12 or 13. And what happened to you is generational. There’s this long line of sin that goes back generations. And what the Lord is doing is he is cutting the umbilical cord of that generational sin, Zach, with you. It’s almost like you’ve been in prison. And now you are receiving freedom.”

He said, “This might be a few years down the road. But I feel like there’s an anointing on your life. This care anointing, this anointing to nurture. That while you’re not supposed to be a pastor, you have a pastor’s heart for people. You care for people deeply,” he said. “And this anointing is specifically in the realm of fatherhood. People are going to look back whenever you’re older and say ‘He really fathered us well. He was the most incredible father.’ I see, Zach, like David, you’re a shepherd, you are a creator. And I just want you to know, Zach, that the Lord finds his delight in you, that you’re a good man, Zach, in that he has a plan for you.”

And as he said that, I just broke. And I felt, for the first time, the love of a father. I felt for the first time that this wasn’t just some far-off God. But this was a God who intimately knows me, who intimately loves me, who wants to be with me, who cares. Who cares! That was the day that changed my life. That was the day that although I had heard about the love of God for my entire life, I felt the love of God, I experienced the love of God. And once you experience the love of God, there’s nothing like it. There’s no way that I could go back. That was the day that transformed my life.

I felt like there was this call. right. to become what I did never have as a father. And I took that. And I started to bring that before all of my mentors. And okay, now that I have this call, now that I have this vision, tell me how I can do this.

Well, I go back to my profession as a teacher and a coach and I’m coaching my eighth grade football team. And one day after practice, I just said, “Hey, guys, who in here is raised in a home where there’s no father figure present?” There’s about 60 guys on my football team. And as I asked that question, about 45 of those kids hands shot straight up. And it was at that moment that I looked out and I knew that that was my life’s mission–that I was supposed to become what I did never have and help father these kids and to help give other men the heart of God, the heart that the Lord has for us to help father these kids who don’t have dads as well. And so that’s my story.

We started a nonprofit in 2011, “Fathering the Fatherless.” We’ve been doing it ever since. And I believe that that is my life’s purpose is to become a father and to stir up in other men the father heart of God. And once we understand the father heart of God, once we come into relationship with him, once that fear and that shame and that guilt and that doubt that started in the garden is done, and once we stop seeing ourselves as orphans and start seeing ourselves as as sons, as a part of a family in relationship with this perfect Father who wants to bless us, who loves being with us–once we understand that, we can’t help but fall in love with Him, and when we fall in love with Him, we can’t help but to do the works that we see our Father do.

So we father to the fatherless by first us, as men, falling in love with the Lord and coming into relationship with Him. And once that happens, fathering the fatherless takes care of itself.

So, that’s my story.

DONATE NOW TO HELP US BRING YOU MORE STORIES

Latest Stories

A Buddhist Hears From Jesus

Growing up Buddhist, Allison sought academic praise and worldly achievements, doing all the right things but never finding peace. In the midst of a suicide attempt, she hears the voice of Jesus [...]

A Friend of Jesus

He's carried a 12 foot wooden cross all over the world, has story after story that movies are made of, and only wants to be remembered as a friend of Jesus. He has given us an invitation to sit [...]

A Really Big Yes

A few high school students say yes to God, and a culture shift happens at the school. Students are changed, revival breaks out and the Kingdom advances.

A Step of Faith is a Step of Faith

A single step of faith begins a journey that takes Danny and his family from India to the United States. Trusting God, even when everything seemed bleak.

A Vision Revealed. A Waitress Consoled.

He loves all of us like that! I thought about it I bet she's been crying out for years thinking her prayers aren't getting any higher than the ceiling because nothing's changing. Then some random [...]

An Answer to Anxiety

I did not want the Lord. All I was wanting was to get this anxiousness out of me. This was bad this was really bad anxiety. I was asking the Lord to help me. He came in and He gave me life. I was [...]

An Impossible Conception

She has battled cancer multiple times and through those challenges is told conception is impossible. But God...After 17 years of infertility, she becomes pregnant.

An Intimate Vision

Seeing God's word as an intimate love letter draws Craig into encounters with Jesus that change his vision of himself and a deeper relationship with God.

An Order to Prophecy

Knowing God is a God of order, Pierce prays for and receives immediate confirmation regarding a prophetic word. He shares it with the entire church. I am not what I would consider someone that is [...]

Awakening to God’s Love

God's reckless pursuit of Seth, despite his anger and drug use, comes to a head as his parents' deteriorating health leads Seth to his knees and an awakening to God's beautiful love.

Break Through

Addicted to drugs for over 23 years, God uses what should have been a fatal car accident to break through the noise in Todd's life and draw him near. "I don't really have an explanation. Every [...]

Co-Laboring In Love

A shared love for hair and Jesus finds two stylists co-laboring to bring the beauty and hope of the gospel to their downtown salon. The safest place is in His will. And, the revealed will of God [...]

Courageously Weird

Stepping out on a limb for God but not wanting to be seen as weird, Molly pushes through her own fears to be courageous in the Lord. These are the stories--- these are the ones that encourage me [...]

Daily Desperate Dependence

When life's challenges become too great, Joe discovers the only thing that will get him through is a daily desperate dependence on the Lord. I began connecting with the Holy Spirit, but I didn't [...]

Dance with Me

And so I just leaned my head forward. And for a moment, I felt like there was a chest that I was really putting my head on, and I just danced with Jesus and cried and experienced something with [...]

Defined by the Father

Trying to live up to his father's expectations, Colin was depressed, hopeless and lost. At a conference Colin encounters the living God, he is healed physically, spiritually and now his life is [...]

Don’t Give Up. Rise Up.

On a mission trip in Nigeria, Ayelen contracts Ebola. Upon returning to Argentina, she is hopitalized and left for dead. As she cries out to the Lord for help she hears the Lord say, "Don't give [...]

Dreams. A Glimpse of the Father’s Love.

I realized all those things that I dreamt about, that those were gifts that He gave me. Gifts. Just like a glimpse of His power for me and His love for me. That He loved me so much that even [...]

Facing Mental Affliction

Years of mental affliction was destroying Anthony and his family. He encounters Jesus through love and inner healing and is instantly healed.

Father to the Fatherless

There was this void in my life, right? This void of love, this void of acceptance, void of attention, void of affirmation, and I tried my hardest to find those things. I believe that those are [...]

Freedom Behind Bars 1/2

Sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn't commit, Gene finds Jesus and true freedom behind bars as his pleas for mercy are denied by the courts. "Unshackle him, release him from his [...]

Freedom Behind Bars 2/2

After 34 years of serving the Lord behind bars, Gene is released. Looking back he shares some of the supernatural God moments in his life. He said, "Seriously, the Holy Spirit told me when we [...]

Give Jesus a Try

I had constant suicidal thoughts, like, on the regular, I always thought about wanting to kill myself, because I never thought I was ever good enough. And I always thought that, and I found all [...]

God Has the Final Say…Not Cancer

Doctors sent him home to die. Sure that God had the final say and not cancer Jeff maintained, prayed without ceasing and the cancer ravaging his body was healed.

God is After You

Joseph needed more than religious do's and don'ts to comfort his broken heart. A new friend told him "God is after you!", which led to him hearing from God and his healing.

God Speaks a Better Word

Two of her three boys are diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome but God speaks a better word to Jeffie through the Holy Spirit prophetic words, and the Bible.

Going All In

"When I was born on May 4, 2012, I was already fighting for my life. Just like everyone here, God had a purpose for my life. After spending three weeks in the NICU at birth, I finally came home [...]

Hal-Le-Lu-Jah

Born with severe sleep apnea, 21 month old Landon receives a tracheotomy and doctors say he will never talk. His parents pray for complete healing and receive a miracle with one word, Hallelujah. [...]

Healing in Unbelief 1/2

An ambassador for Christ, Lee finds himself faced with Camille's unbelief despite his certainty that God is going to supernaturally heal her. If I could teach anybody, anything, [it would be] the [...]

Hearing God’s Voice

A string of bad choices leave Baylee broken and homeless. Desperate for help, her hope is restored by the prayer of a stranger and hearing the voice of God.

Heart for the Homeless

Circumstances in her own life gives Karen a deep understanding and heart for the homeless that leads serving in South Dallas faithfully for over 23 years.

I Give You My Life

Fourteen years old and struggling with insecurity and feeling weak, Chethan plans his suicide. He cries out to God, "I give you my life" and is overwhelmed by the presence and power of the Lord. [...]

In Need of the Gospel

Through missional outreach, Jesse realizes we are all in need of the gospel. He is burdened with the weight of sharing and living for His Kingdom. There are people that are, that are confused, [...]

Inmates Pray. Cancer Healed.

The doctor walks in and he says, “Mr. Edson, I don't know how to explain this, but there is no cancer in this biopsy.” Immediately, I showed them a band that I wear around my wrist that says, [...]

Inner Healing and Deliverance

Kelsey thought inner healing and deliverance was weird until she experienced it for herself and truly understood the gospel at a deeply personal level. I think, until we as Christians really [...]

Just One

Despite the challenges of running a group home for troubled teens, Tiffany and her family discover it's all worth it if they can save just one from the system and introduce her to the love of Christ.

Keeping a Promise

Diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age in Mexico and ostracized from her family for her faith, Tethe keeps her promise to the Lord. In 1997 I had no hope to live. I didn't even know that God [...]

Knit Together

Ultrasounds revealed and confirmed, in utero, that Ashley's son August had polycystic kidney disease in both kidneys. After months of prayer, God knit together a miracle for family and doctors to [...]

Leaving Everything for Jesus

Searching for fulfillment and satisfaction in what the world offered left Lance broken and longing for something real. When he encountered the reality of the righteousness available in Christ [...]

Made to Worship

Learning to pray to the Lord through singing, Aiva became connected to God. It is in worship that she found His comfort, peace, nearness, and more in the midst of tragedy. I've walked up [...]

Not Ashamed

Her heart is for women caught in sex industry and life on the streets, but Nadia shares how Holy Spirit directed her to share the Father's heart for a pimp.

Power of Hope

Living in abundant hope, faith and power, Caroline refuses to let her diagnosis of infertility define her faith, her purpose, or the goodness of God.

Power of Prayer in the Storm of Addiction

Just over and over again, when I would get in a bad place, [I would say] “God who is my daughter? Who is my daughter?” And I would declare it; “She's a princess warrior. She is God's Angel. She [...]

Precious Pain

Paralyzed by the pain of arthritis, forced to rest and unable to care for her family Sayo hears clearly from the Lord. Her illness becomes precious. I sensed God telling me, "You know, this is [...]

Prompted by Holy Spirit

Kyle is prompted by the Holy Spirit to "bless the feet". Later that morning, his feet are blessed so that all ministry expenses can be paid in full. He also details an encounter of sharing the [...]

Provision for the Journey

They sold everything and set out on a journey, not sure where the Lord would lead them. They've learned to trust Him every step of the way. To get rid of excess, and get rid of things that we [...]

Purposefully Homeless

Led by God on a purposefully homeless journey, Rachel leaves her job, home, and modern day comforts to find the one thing money can't buy. I wasn't raised this kind of understanding of faith. I'm [...]

Radical Love Extravagant Provision

God's radical love causes Kyna to leave drugs and alcohol behind as her daily provision becomes the extravagant love of the Lord. I want to walk in radical love and radical obedience and radical [...]

Reclaiming the Past

Unable to trust God after the loss of his sister, EJ looks for answers and is able to reclaim the past when he has multiple encounters with Jesus. I think fear will keep you from your destiny. [...]

Reconciling Race

A purposeful engagement and wedding become the catalyst to reconciling race through the union of marriage and the grace of God. My definition of racism is like a hatred of the other race. I think [...]

Resource Room of Heaven

Financial plans crumble, car totalled, Clint feels he is being punished by God. He has an encounter with Jesus and learns about the resource room of heaven.

Running With The Gospel

After multiple confirmations of his calling, God anoints Peter's feet to run with the gospel. When a father affirms a son, there's nothing more powerful.

Simple Prayer of Faith

Wade shares how a simple prayer of faith and following Jesus' example of laying hands on the sick has lead to supernatural healings and salvations. The ultimate goal is to follow Jesus. Sometimes [...]

Spiritual Roots

After years of unexplained medical issues, Renee hears that her symptoms have spiritual roots. At the end of her rope, she considers the supernatural. Renee's faith is challenged and deepened in [...]

Stop Rejecting Me

He spent his entire life rejecting God until kidney failure went from dialysis to a nearly fatal organ transplant, causing Chris to stop running from the only One who could save him.

The Father’s House

When things don't add up, God's miraculous provision provides further confirmation for missionaries to create a discipleship house for lost sons –The Father's House.

The Forgiveness of an Adulterer

A broken past leads to lies and adultery as the foundation of their marriage. Through God's incredible grace and forgiveness, hope is found and a marriage is restored.

The Forgiveness of an Adulterer

A broken past leads to lies and adultery as the foundation of their marriage. Through God's incredible grace and forgiveness, hope is found and a marriage is restored.

The Gift of Trust

Faced with infertility, Rod and his wife choose to trust God and His plans for them through the gift of adopting a child with Cerebral Palsy. God has supernaturally revealed himself through the [...]

The Height of Grace in the depths…

Abortion leaves many in the depths of despair, it is only through the heigths of the Father's love and grace that Brooke is able to forgive herself.

The Risk of Faith

Looking for opportunities to celebrate God, Daniel goes out expecting God to show up in a moment and his faith is increased with every risk he takes. For me, it's all about Jesus. It's all about [...]

The Story Behind The Unseen Story

His love surpasses knowledge; it's a peace that surpasses understanding. That means it's beyond, what God does, has to be beyond our intellect. If we can understand God, then we would be God.

The Story Behind TUS Q&A pt. 2

Brooke, Adam and with the help of their CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) Meredith answer listeners' questions on their stories, ministry challenges, and what's next for The Unseen Story.

Through the Wilderness

A seasoned hiker loses his trail and is lost for seven days. Desperate for help and ready to give up, Josh hears a Voice that guides him through the wilderness, giving him peace in the midst of [...]

Two Words from a Stranger…

Jeremy prays for an opportunity to share God's love. He receives a word of knowledge for a stranger. Those two specific words change both men forever.

Unbelievable Expectations

Does that mean that I was saved? I lived like hell for 45 years after that. So does that mean that I was saved? I don't know. I got to the point where I was I was drinking, you know, five double [...]

Vehicle for the Gospel

Rapping and preaching the gospel all over the country turns out to be quite difficult when you don't have a vehicle. Moses prays and fasts for a month asking God for help. The Lord shows His [...]

Voice of God

The appearance of perfection was important for Craig as a Pastor's son, but when he hears the voice of God everything changes. I heard the voice of God in a way that I didn't know was possible. [...]

When All Seems Lost

On suicide watch all seems lost when JD loses nearly three quarters of a million dollars in three days. But faithful obedience pays off. I thought God was going to bless me. And here I am all of [...]

Whoa, God is Here!

John begins each day with expectancy of what the Holy Spirit will do. Lead by the Spirit, he gets to share in some incredible supernatural experiences with God and His children.

Your Life Is Not Your Own

Rosie has attempted suicide twice since losing her son and is planning a third attempt the very day that she meets Tyler and Andy who share that her life is not her own and God has a plan for her.

Dance with Jesus | Supernatural TestimonyCourageously Weird | Powerful Testimony

Send this to a friend

Hi, this story is AMAZING! Please take a moment to listen: Father to the Fatherless!
link: https://theunseenstory.org/stories-posts/father-to-the-fatherless/