After an Eden’s upbringing in eastern Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Tom Zuniga's world suddenly gave root to an alien existence of struggle. Initiated by an 800-mile move from the only home he’d ever known, he started warring in unforeseen ways: isolation at a Southern Baptist church and bullying at a Christian high school, all the while fiercely determined to conceal sexual secrets spanning his entire childhood. It wasn’t until after college with a fresh start in a new state and two pivotal summer excursions that a foreign thread of redemption started spinning among the struggle. Struggle Central tells the quarter-life quest of an introverted Christian’s desperate cross-country search for purpose and belonging, both inside the Church and out. Brimming with tears of heartache and euphoria alike, Zuniga's candid collection of “messy memoirs” follows life’s arduous journey through endless valleys and perilous climbs, reveling in the breathtaking peaks to be discovered along the way.
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If you thought you were alone, think again. So many of us are held back by our fears, but reading about Tom's blatanly puts it in your face that you're not the only one struggling. I can totally relate to all of tom's struggles. It felt so good to read about someone going through the same things as me. Tom completely put himself out there for everyone to see. It's comforting and gives you hope. Tom gives you a perspective of his life that allows you to be vulnerable and also be open and supportive of others' vulnerability, which is the most important part. It's tragic if we can't be ourselves and feel supported in the church. We must help each other carry our burdens. Thank you, Tom.
Most books by a Christian author a barely readable for even other Christians. Too much happy God talk- an attempt to "impress and show off" to others. It comes from fear of being found out as imperfect. No one wants to be that vulnerable- we want to have this life figured out, so we pretend we do to everyone else. All the while, we struggle inside alone, wondering if there's any hope ornif anyone else has ever felt what we're feeling. And that's how Tom's book stands apart. He doesn't stoop to happy God talk- he is open and honest about his struggles. This book is brutal and heart breaking. You will cry and rant and break down by the end- not over Tom's life but over yours. You will see your struggles in this book- your deepest secrets and your hardest battles. And you'll find your first hope being that you're not alone. And as Tom continues, you'll find hope, real hope, building up inside of you. By the end, you'll be able to put down the book and face whatever struggles you have with the strength that comes from knowing that NO ONE IS ALONE. That's why I recommend this book to everyone- beliefs, worldviews, opinions, and experiences aside. Because at our core, we all share this one thing- we struggle.