In my Book, there exist two versions of me. One who was hostage to the World and by it Dead. And one who is living through identity in Christ. To be detailed, there exists one version of me when I was lost, confused, and depressed. My whole existence was so separated and distanced from everything around me. What little there was of me, was just a pathetic pile of rotting trash. Then came one version of me, revitalized with God’s electrifying energy. Through this energy, I climbed out of the fissures of sorrow and into the wide-open arms of my Father.
This revitalization recovered the lost parts of me and added much more than I had asked for. Through the empowerment of Jesus Christ, I became a soldier on fire with the full armor of God fighting the battle’s which I was pulled towards. My newfound identity became a symbol of hope and a harbinger of His love. Now, I fight with passion for you.
To fully understand how a transformation like this could have taken place, we need to rewind way back to where my soul started to split and I became sorrow and sadness. I was saved a year ago. Three years before my saving was my crash. I fell deep into the pits and spiraled out of control. Due to my belief that I had full control of my life, when I spiraled out of control there was no one there to slow my trajectory down. I went down and it was fast.
Twin Cities :
Three years before my saving I was just a freshman at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. I had complete control of high school life because everything was easy for me. Academics, mind, emotions, friends, and living were completely under my control. I assumed I would be in control of them when I would start my collegiate years at Minnesota. My college plan was set out for the next eight years. Although I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I was given gifts to do the many possibilities. My ambition and motions were nonexistence. I didn’t know what I truly wanted, I just wanted to live the college life really bad.
My freshman year is difficult to talk about because it all seems like a blur to me. I was lost and the stereotypical college experience was what I desired. Long story short, it was a lot of partying and it was a lot of depression. I’m not sure why, but my living-learning community just liked getting together, drinking, and then talk about sad stuff. When you are surrounded by this and consistently partaking, even the most joyful soul can be extinguished. It didn’t take long for me to avoid classes. I couldn’t sleep consistently and that’s where my insomnia developed. After a tearful metldown with my mother, I told her I needed to get out of the city and just restart. Mentally, physically, but most especially emotionally.
La Crosse :
I transferred out of the Twin Cities and to the University of La Crosse. I’m not really honestly sure why I transferred to La Crosse, but I created reasons for myself to believe. There was my best friend from high school who was there and would support me. There was the fact that it was quite smaller than the Twin Cities as well. I thought being closer to home was going to make it easier. All these were lies I told myself but what did I know? I was at the lowest at that point.
I had tried to kill myself at the Twin Cities. There was one man, put by God, who intervened. His story is for another time, but his name was Scott and he became the saving grace that showed me that happiness, though seemed far away from me, was abundantly possible and it was only a heart away. The time at La Crosse wasn’t all that much better than my time at the Twin Cities. I was damaged and I never went out to party.
I got addicted to gaming and my roommate and I spent hours a day playing. It was the only “happiness” I could find. Not even alcohol, drugs, or love could fill it. I just felt so empty and like a ghost, I was sucking on anything that could give a little bit of happiness. Are you wondering what about the friend that I thought was going to support me? Well, no surprise he completely changed and he became a social animal and he loved going out. Now, not only was I sad but I felt great regret and rejection. Here I am expecting something earthly to cure or at the very least nullify my depression. Foolish, I was.
I started being prescribed all these drugs and going to therapy. I am going to write a post about depression, suicide, antidepressants, and anxiety soon but it is a complex and sensitive topic that I’m familiar with but I do not have the necessary attention span of my readers to write about it all here. In short, the drugs made me emotionless and like a zombie. Going to bed and waking up was a hard battle itself and if I ever got out of bed within 5 hours, it was a victory. Truly I tell you, there are many who understand what I’m talking about.
I left La Crosse and came back home completely torn apart, ripped, and damaged to the core. There was nothing about me that wasn’t ripped apart. My spirit especially was weary. I had lost hope. Hope, is a complicated topic that also will deserve its own post as well. The ultimate question was, what can you do with shattered pieces? What was once a heavenly masterpiece just seems too broken to put together now. A sad hollow vessel carrying not even a soul to live. To breath the stale air, and then to exhale lifeless air was my existence.
I felt useless and worth nothing. I had failed the world, and most especially I failed myself. No longer was I the confident boy who had everything under control. The control I perceived I had, was there no more. It didn’t help that I had an uncle who kept telling me how stupid and wrong I was for even going to Minnesota. I just couldn’t fight anymore, and I accepted it. The world took the opportunity to beat me down and I accepted it because my spirit was too weak to fight back. I lost who I was, and most importantly I rejected my name and my past. My existence became and I accepted entirely the failure that I thought I was.
I took a break from college. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I for sure knew I wasn’t who I was previously. He was long gone and every time I went searching for him, he could not be found. With this feeling, I took a job at Costco. I just needed some consistency in my life and I thought a job would be perfect. It would distract me and I could make a little cash on the side. Who was I when I went to work for Costco though? I rejected who I was before, but I wasn’t familiar with who I was now. The person who I became, his name is Can, pronounced Khan. I took this name and this name represented the pathetic mold that I was. It became a part of me that showcased the beatings done by the depression and sadness.
Hi, my name is Khan. How may I help you? This was my new way of greeting. I didn’t know who this Khan was but this name became a part of me that reminded me who I wasn’t. It reminded me that I had lost myself to this world and now the world had its grip on me and I was lost in the maze of the sad world. My given name is Zhong Can. In Chinese, phonetically, zh is a j, o is a long o, and the c is a weird combination of t and s (ts), and short a after. Zhong Can. I took Khan over Can because I hated just the sound of Can, soda can. It was terrible! Zhong Can is the name the world gave me and it means brilliant. It’s silly how my name became an oxymoron. I went through this season believing the exact opposite.
This Is Who I Am :
My parents, the gifts from God, cannot speak Chinese at all and they butchered it when they tried pronouncing my name. It came out as Donton. You must understand that this name was the heavenly name given to me by the gifts that were my parents though! Without them I wouldn’t be alive, so I loved this name because it represents life new life given to me. When the whole world had rejected me at birth, it was these people who gave me this silly name but the silly name came with a fresh and loving life! Sadly, this was the name that died. I had rejected my righteous name.
My name is not Khan. Khan is the name that represented my weakness. It represented my inability to fight the depression and how I allowed myself to reject my former name because I didn’t think I deserved it and I thought my former was dead. It is the version that was ignorant of Christ’s salvation. Khan is now the name I see of my former self and I laugh at it. I am in awe at the sheer power of healing which God has done in me. I am grateful for the sheer amount of will He provided to overcome some of the worst doubts of depression. Khan now gives me confidence and I do not mind it anymore because it doesn’t represent my rejection of my former self. It represents how the world attempted to drag me down, and how I persevered. Khan represents how close I was to suffering eternal damnation and fire but now I am living in eternal life.
My Identity :
My name is Zhong Can, also known as Donton. I am saved and God loves me. It took me three years to finally accept my true identity. It wasn’t my control that led to me finding myself again, it was Jesus Christ and never again will I reject the name that was a blessing given to me. If you are my friend, call me Donton. Call me Donton knowing who my true identity is. I am proud of this name and this is who I am. I am a loving child of the God Almighty and Jesus Christ is my savior.