Portraits of Grace: Peter

Portraits of Grace is a snapshot into the lives of the people at King’s Cross Church. As “kingdom minded, kingdom people,” we recognize God’s work in every detail of our lives. We invite you to meet the people of our church.

Photo by Minnow Park

These past several years, I really struggled with loneliness. I think that has been a huge part of feeling the weight of ministry is just that there is a perceived expectation that people have when you become a pastor. One of the first demands are for me “die to myself” for the sake others. I grew to love and give up a lot of my personal relationship so I can devote my life to their growth and maturity. You try to love the people who God brought to you and you extend your life to them. Inviting them to your home, taking part in big milestones in their lives, and being there when times are pretty dark. But I discovered the painful reality of how disposable your relationship to them are. One minute you are pouring your time to drive in the middle of the night to cry with them, to be there when a loved one is dying or hurt, and spending hours praying for them. Then within a moment they leave with little to no notice. I am always perplexed by that. They keep in touch with other folks in the church but not you. Then you see them at a wedding and they avoid you. It is something I still struggle with. It has made me less inclined to love and give but I know that is something God is working in me and I confess, I actually have been hardened by this experience. It has really created a barricade of sorts for me because I used to be able to love very freely but now I find myself taking more and more pauses and in that, it creates a deep sense of loneliness. That is the cycle and I know that it is a vicious one. I don’t think most people know how difficult it is when people just leave. It is not about the numbers in the church it is about the friendships and how disposable you become to the people you love.


Portraits of Grace: Anonymous (2 of 2)

Portraits of Grace is a snapshot into the lives of the people at King’s Cross Church. As “kingdom minded, kingdom people,” we recognize God’s work in every detail of our lives. We invite you to meet the people of our church.

For years, I fought tooth and nail to never let myself be a cheater and a liar. I sought to be perfect–to redeem my mother’s failures, so I won’t be a failure. We fought and by God’s grace, she continued to love and move towards me. By God’s grace I challenged and told her how much hurt I experienced and how much I still need her as my mother. I think I fought to forgive her because I loved her so much too.

Recently I went to my first short term missions trip, and I learned that Christ has redeemed our sin and pain and wants healing and reconciliation. I saw how much God loves us as His children. My relationship with my parents, particularly with my mother, is not perfect. I’m not perfect – I’ve damaged many relationships. But the Bible tells me I can wait with peace because He has already overcome this world with His love and grace. (2/2)


Portraits of Grace: Anonymous (1 of 2)

Portraits of Grace is a snapshot into the lives of the people at King’s Cross Church. As “kingdom minded, kingdom people,” we recognize God’s work in every detail of our lives. We invite you to meet the people of our church.

Many of my early memories were of time spent alone or at the casinos. I remember that ugly purple carpet dotted with pink flowers, the smell of liquor and smoke that wafted through the air, and the jarring sounds of slot machines whirring and turning. My mother was enveloped in gambling. We lost our three story home to debt and gambling and moved ourselves to a one-story flat. I stopped inviting friends over because of the shame that caked our apartment.

I began working at 14 because I wanted to make my own money; I didn’t believe in my parent’s money. I didn’t believe they prioritized me. I learned to “build a tab” at local restaurants to feed us while they were away. My mom would be gone for weeks and we would not hear from her or know when she’d return,

Later on, I discovered that she had another lover of many years. I feared I would turn out to be like her: a degenerate, a cheater, and a bad mother. I hated her. She abandoned me when I was small and I never knew her as a mother that loves her children and will protect her family. Instead, she puts us at harm and risk for her selfishness. I hated her. (1/2)


Portraits of Grace: Alice

Portraits of Grace is a snapshot into the lives of the people at King’s Cross Church. As “kingdom minded, kingdom people,” we recognize God’s work in every detail of our lives. We invite you to meet the people of our church.

Photo by Minnow Park

Motherhood hit me hard after having two kids. I struggled a lot with depression and mood swings. While I love my kids immensely, I also became embittered by the constant lack of support I had and what seemed like the never-ending needs of my children. Steve’s job was another issue as he constantly worked late nights and went on extended business trips that lasted one to two weeks long. I was caring for my kids on my own most of the time and became obsessed with wanting everything done my way. Control became a huge idol for me. It put a strain in my marriage and arguments would ensue whenever something went awry. I grew impatient and exasperated with my kids. Instead of pointing my kids to Christ, I was trying to control them and have them obey me, not God.

I’ve realized over the years through many emotional mistakes and failures as a mother that holding onto my control was robbing me from the joys of motherhood, marriage, and delighting in God. As I slowly learned to relinquish control and allowed God to work in my life, I grew to enjoy motherhood with all its perfect imperfections, finding peace in the midst of life’s messiness and living in the moment. I have a deeper appreciation for my marriage with Steve as God has brought us closer together in confronting our sins head-on. I still struggle with wanting to maintain control but I am constantly encouraged by God’s love and mercy on me to find joy in letting Him lead.


Portraits of Grace: Joseph

Portraits of Grace is a snapshot into the lives of the people at King’s Cross Church. As “kingdom minded, kingdom people,” we recognize God’s work in every detail of our lives. We invite you to meet the people of our church.

Photo by Albert Cheung

I remember freshman year in college, I was attending a praise and prayer session on a Friday night and I got to church about half an hour early. I brought my Taco Bell $5 box for dinner and was having a hard time finding a good place to enjoy my dinner in the church because they really only allowed eating in the fellowship hall. The Korean congregation was eating their fancy home cooked Korean dinner in the hall and here is this awkward Chinese kid trying to sneak past them to scarf down his Taco Bell. I remember feeling extremely lonely at the point in time because I was away from home, I hadn’t made many friends in college yet, and I was eating alone while being surrounded by people who don’t speak the same language. At that moment, two or three of these Korean brother and sisters mustered up whatever English they knew to tell me to save my dinner for some other time or someone else and they shared everything they were eating with me. Now if you know me, I can’t say no to food. I remember eating meal in tears of joy because at that moment I knew Christ loves me and he chose to display this through the overflowing love from his church.