The Unexpected Summer Part 3

Chapter 4- The Orchard

Journal Entry 7-8-2018

“I Love You”


Such a weird expression that has been given so much power. So much that it feels uncomfortable for seemingly no reason. But why? We long so desperately for it. Some find it easily, others struggle to scavenge what they can like it’s water in the Mad Max Wasteland. It’s THE emotional currency and, at times, it feels like I’m just as poor as I am in any other currency.

Is it that I don’t feel like I deserve it? Is it that I am truly not worthy of it? Am I not interesting enough? Not similar enough to everyone else? It’s hard enough to love myself, but convincing others to show me affection is near impossible. And is it rude to expect that of other people?

Showing affection requires affection to first be shown, but it can be hard to find sometimes.


We were roughly halfway through the summer. Between the two big trips (Eagle Rock and Camp) our youth group serves the community for Local Missions Week. We would spend the morning helping teach children or doing heavy yard work, and come back midday only to work some more as interns.

Everyone was a little worn out and, while casually discussing Wednesday night, someone jokingly said, “Zach’s doing the message.” And mildly worn out Zach said:

“I’m down.”

Journal Entry 7-10-2018

“Just Right of Passage”

So, now I’ve agreed to speak next Wednesday night and I may have agreed to be in a talent act with the girls. Where did this agreeable spirit come from? Am I simply tired of waiting around?

As it goes, I can see that the next couple weeks will be layered with various different challenges that I must be a running performance for. I know there are plans, I know I can trust You, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not sitting around waiting for this to blow up in my face.

But what if it didn’t? What if I didn’t fall back into the pit? What if this summer doesn’t go to waste? Though change will come, it will not break the streak that has been started.

How would I do things differently? How much of my presentation and effort would change if I knew this feeling wouldn’t end? How much more could I do for these people? For myself?

To Zach 7-11-2018

“Write this Down… “

Time’s a little tight but you need to get this down. You are perfect; flawed, but built as you were meant to be and will strive over the next couple years (you have to catch up after all).

Be aware. It’s easy to get distracted amidst all the reality around you. The reveries can be inviting in these periods. The signs will be clear, but it’ll be easy to miss them if you aren’t paying attention.

Seek to avoid anger as it will seem like the natural option. Anger builds nothing.

Journal Entry 7-12-2018

“A Gentle Question”


Is it possible that I would find someone one day? Not that I find Your plan to be particularly slow, but I would appreciate just the moments that would come from being in a relationship. I’ve been set on this for countless years, but I want to experience the stories, not focus on the unclear promises.

It’s just such a confusing drive, despite how clearly it exists. But are they simply swells of emotions that will fade before I even notice and leave me feeling like I hadn’t been invited to yet another party? Or are they something sincere that I am letting rot because I am too scared that I’ll get myself into something that I can’t promise to be my best at?

I don’t want to hurt anyone, ever. But I don’t like the feeling that I am not meant to find love because I am me; timid, confused, and still fighting for the approval of others.


I didn’t fall in love this summer or anything, so this doesn’t really lead anywhere, but I liked the way it was written, so I decided to keep it in here… just so you could see even more of my wounds.

Journal Entry 7-15-2018

“In Your Midst”

So hide me, deep inside Your heart, LORD

Cover me with Your wings, bring me into safety

Oh, bring me into fellowship with who you are, LORD

Father, Son, and Spirit, this is all I long for

“In Your Midst” by Allie Paige


It’s crazy to think about where I was just over a month ago. Falling deeper into the pit. But that tether held onto my waist.

I’m sorry for my faults, but I know You’d rather I love myself over feeling bad about myself. So I write this with shaking hands…

I am the Adequate Zach. I want to be people’s first choice, not a substitute for a better person than I. I let that job define me because I want a definition so bad. An excuse for my problems. But I am Zach, son of the Most High, Chronicler, Storyteller, full and complete person. I am worthy of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. And so are these people around me.


I was one day away from my big day. The day I got up on stage, in front of a bunch of teenagers, and preached for roughly 15 minutes. I was acting how you’d expect...


Journal Entry 7-17-2018

“False Hope”


I’m stressed. The mental divide between me and the world is growing again, which stresses me out even more. People I need to work with are grating against me, which complicates my cooperativeness. Tomorrow is, of course, stressing me out; fear of putting myself out there, that it’ll piss people off, or potentially ruin people’s view of me.

And, of course, the end of the summer. The return to the life I so desperately never wanted to see again. Potentially, a return to the life of empty purpose and loneliness.

I want to become belligerent so badly; burn it all down and accept the hate. But I’m coming to You, instead. Help me.


Journal Entry 7-18-2018

“In the Orchard”


Obviously, I have a lot of focus on tonight and how You plan to speak through me. I’m thankful You have provided me with this prep time but I know it all comes down to what’s on stage. I look to the rest of my life. I’m about to speak of the necessity of fruit in our lives but I’m admittedly frightened of the end of the season that is coming upon us.

[I felt the urge to write] “After all this, you’re gonna worry I can’t pull this off?”


Journal Entry 7-19-2018

“Thank You”


Thank You for being present last night. Not that I doubted You would be (aside from my natural anxieties). Thank You for this whole summer honestly. Thank You for pushing me to live in reality. Thank You for giving me the confidence to speak into the lives of these students.

Thank You for the times, even when everything seems like it should be bad, that you adjust our perception to see that this crazy, complicated, hard-to-love world is GOOD.

I know we have a lot of CAMP stuff to still get done, and I know I feel like I could do a few more victory laps, but I also want to ensure that we can make this year something special.

Thank You even for the things You have yet to deliver on.