Portraits of Grace: Andrea

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 Lucy Song

One of my greatest joys in life is also my biggest challenge- being married to the Asian Brad Pitt, Jordan Zhu. There have been moments in our marriage where dishes have been thrown, a couch became a bed, and there were feelings of being trapped. Just recently I wasn’t sure if our marriage could handle another baby; but here we are at the best place our marriage has ever been. Even though we sometimes fear our marriage isn’t strong enough to endure the hardships in life, God continues to be in control despite how complicated life gets or incompatible we may be.

Abigail asked me last night who I think she should marry. I told her someone who loves Jesus, because He’s the glue that will hold you together in good times and bad times.


Portraits of Grace: Anna

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

The first six months after I graduated college were some of the hardest in my life. That summer, my parents discovered that my little brother is gay. He didn’t come out to them, but they figured it out and it was absolute chaos. I really love my brother, and my heart broke for him in those weeks. A month later I moved to China and shortly after the move I started experiencing major abdominal pain. I was hospitalized (in one of the poorest provinces) for five days. The whole experience there was a medical nightmare: they didn’t have IV ports, so they changed the needle every time they changed the IV bag; once they missed my vein entirely and my arm swelled up; eventually my veins were so tired that they wanted to put a needle in what I think was my jugular. Eventually I was evacuated to Hong Kong, where I was diagnosed with a stomach infection which had caused 4-5 ulcers to develop. Recovery meant six whole months of eating absolutely bland, boring food. Around this time I got more news from home; my brother had told my parents he wasn’t a Christian. He had been faking it the whole time. That was really hard. I felt like I didn’t know him at all somehow and I wasn’t sure how best to love him moving forward. I know now that he had been afraid, which is why he lied before, but at the time I felt confused and betrayed. The next month, my dog died. That might sound stupid considering everything else, but I really loved her. Finally on Christmas Eve my grandmother, who had suffered from Parkinson’s dementia for 10 years, died. By this point, I was overwhelmed, a little numb, and somewhat falling apart.

I wrestled with God a lot during this time. I was so angry and raw; sometimes I would start crying in public for no apparent reason. I’m not naturally a very vulnerable person to be honest; I hate being a burden, and I think that’s why it’s always been difficult for me to share hard things with others. But I think through all of this, God was breaking down my walls and my pride, and showing me the importance of sharing my life in a healthy way with the body of Christ. Through believers around me, I experienced so much compassion, care, and love. They didn’t try to fix things or prescribe solutions; they were just there with me in the mess. Looking back, I can see how God used such a difficult time to bring me closer to Him, to show me His care for me and to comfort me personally, through the love of His people.


Portraits of Grace: Andrew

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 was very insecure growing up. That along with being bullied made me associate self-confidence with the way I looked and carried myself.  Public perceptions shaped my thoughts and actions.  When I lost weight during college, I started to be more confident because people respected me more, and gave me praise for drastic transformations in looks and demeanor.  This confidence would carry me towards bigger roles in the church, a first relationship with a significant other, acceptance into grad school, etc.  I was starting to subconsciously correlate my confidence to these successes.  It was when I lost the grades in grad school and failed in my relationship that I started to question my significance in the grand scheme of God’s story, something I never asked myself previously.  My confidence was back to its lows.  By God’s provision (of His Word and community) I started to realize I wasn’t relying on the grace of Christ for my worth and identity. By redefining my knowledge of the Gospel, I understood the intricate relationship between grace and confidence, and that the latter stems from and is a response to the prior.  It’d be a lie if I said that the problem has been solved; one of the reasons why I feel like I force myself to go to the gym so often nowadays is because my insecurity still creeps out from time to time. I’m always reminded to look back onto my post-grad years and thank God for revealing my idols.


Portraits of Grace: Lucy

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

I once read somewhere that circumstances don’t cause sin in your life, they only reveal. New York City was something of a rude awakening for me in that sense — I found that living in this city unearthed a whole lot of nastiness in my heart that never saw the light of day in suburbia and the relative comfort of the Midwest/South. Frustration became a constant, unwelcome companion: no matter how hard I tried to stay positive and maintain a healthy perspective, it seemed that I was perpetually at my wits’ end, wondering why life had to be so unnecessarily difficult and nonsensical here when it was so much easier everywhere else I have ever lived.

In a meeting with our friend Pastor Macky, I griped about my frustrations with New York, and I remember him listening patiently and then thoughtfully musing, “Perhaps your expectations for this life are too high.” I was at once stunned and humbled — and made aware of what an idol I had made of comfort.

As we wrap up our time in New York, I leave with a sobering realization that I am so incredibly weak and in desperate need of my Savior at every moment…even to do the most mundane of tasks like driving around in search of the ever-so-elusive legal parking space. “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” – Timothy Keller. I am grateful to our King’s Cross family for helping me to reorient my heart and remember the only true Source of hope in this life — and beyond.