Out of Family Chaos

Video: A college student describes his family’s break-up and repair.

My name is Zack Hall. I am a freshman here at Boise State studying music education and music performance.

Coming into college I got back from my orientation and came home to an unstable family. My parents had been fighting and stuff before. I knew it was bad, but I really wasn’t expecting what was about to happen, when I walked into the door and saw things weren’t right.

I talked to my mom and found out my mom had wanted a divorce and my dad tried to commit suicide. My brother found my dad on the side of the road, overdosed on pills.

It’s just, woah. this feeling--it was really dark.

At the time, I knew God was real, but He wasn’t really part of my life. Like, “Oh, God’s over here, but this is my life and this is what I’m doing and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Things started to change when I realized where I was spiritually. It hit me one night.  I really just, with tears in my eyes, I just got down on my knees and said a simple prayer: “God I need your help.”  It was that week, a couple days later, that Billy came and he had connected with one of my roommates before and just asked if I wanted to connect. And as soon as he started talking to me about what we were going to talk about, I knew and said, “Thanks, God.” 

It allowed me to get involved with Cru and see where I was at and where I needed to be and where I could grow.

Things that have been happening lately, I’ve really seen my family life turn 180, all the way around.  You know, the way I saw it, I was watching my family breaking apart and dying. It was horrible for me. 

I was watching my family breaking apart and dying.—Zack Hall

With the same eyes that got to see that fall, God also allowed me to see it be brought back up. I talked to my mom one day and my mom was like, “Hey, do you want to go to church with me this Sunday?” My parents hadn’t gone to church in years.  And I was like, “That's cool.  So you just decided to go?” and she said, “Yeah, me and dad are both going.” She said,  ‘I just felt like I needed to go back to church and I told your dad so that he could watch the kids and he said ‘Well, I was going to go to church, too’” and it ended up being that they were going to the same church, so they happened to go together. At the time they were living in separate houses and that really brought them back into the same house. It really encouraged me that prayer, wow, it’s important and it can help me too.

So I started praying about a lot of things. At the time Billy was talking to me a lot about going to this Cru conference. That financially was not a smart decision but I kept praying about it and praying about it, and God really answered my prayer. In one of the newsletters sent out, there was a family that just emailed back that said, “Hey, I don’t know whether Zack’s going to conference or not but if he needs help financially, we’ll be there to support him.“ To hear that was just like, Wow, God, thank you so much.

When I was at the conference I was able to look at myself and this past semester which was just crazy and I was able to really pray about it and I spent a lot of time praying, especially for the first two days. I saw how engaged not only our campus was but all of these campuses across the world, and that really opened my eyes to what God’s really doing through this organization. It was just so cool, I really felt God put his hand on me saying, “I want you to go, I want you to continue working with them.” When summer project came, I went to one of the break out session and I went to Break Through [session].  When I was there it was this overwhelming feeling of just, “Go.”

With everything that's happened, it’s scary, but with God, that feeling, I’m not going to ignore it. I’m going to hold onto it, and I know good things are going to happen.