The Path of Overcoming

What have I gone through so far? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have been writing about the case of Zoraya Ter Beek, the lady who wants to have herself killed. She has depression, Borderline, and Autism. I can’t speak to living as Borderline, but I can speak to living with the other two. Mainly, I want to write about Autism. I wrote that life is hard for everyone and I have had to overcome challenges so I figured with this month being Autism Awareness Month, why not do that?

As you read this, realize I am only talking about myself. A parent might say “Well, my child is not high-functioning like you are.” Okay. I’m not wanting to undermine anyone else or say “Because I did it, everyone on the spectrum can.” Not a bit.

So anyway, my parents could tell I was different early on. Mainly because I spoke in a way that only close relatives could understand me. Also, my diet was extremely finicky and still is to this day. Not only that, I was unusually intelligent.

The story goes that the first book I was reading was a big white Bible we had. I would look over it every day and they do know I asked about this one word in it. Chapter.

One day, my Dad took me to the mall with him and went to a store, I think Service Merchandise, and sat me down in front of a computer while he went to play a game, thinking I would just hit random letters and numbers. When he returned, there was a small crowd in front of the computer and I was still sitting there. My Dad looked and on the screen were all the books of the Bible in order, spelled correctly, and with how many chapters they had. He was asked if I had done this. He didn’t know and so cleared the screen and asked me to do it again, which I did.

I have no memory of this, but such is childhood.

I was put in Transition, not because I wasn’t smart enough, but for the social skills that I was lacking, which meant I didn’t go straight from Kindergarten to first grade. As I progressed though, I was studying math at a higher grade level and I was the youngest one ever in the Math Olympiad.

My parents meanwhile were still taking me to see specialists and they had their own predictions about me. I would never finish middle school or high school or go to college or drive a car or hold a job or live on my own. Some wanted to see me institutionalized and with my finicky diet, some thought I needed feeding tubes for life.

My mother said no and some of those doctors were never allowed to see me again.

I do remember before middle school, my parents wanted me to go to the school first, especially since it had a hurdle they wanted to make sure I could handle.


There was some anxiety for me, but I remember telling my mother that no, I couldn’t stop. I had to do this. As a lifelong gamer, I wonder if that had anything to do with it. I had a drive in me to overcome challenges. My parents know if someone tells me I can’t do something, that just makes me often want to do it all the more.

Honestly, for the most part, school was easy for me and sometimes boring. I wasn’t challenged. I had my friends also fortunately and there were always people looking out for me. I know when I got to high school I somehow got Most Studious in my senior class, which surprised me since I never studied.

Also in high school, I had to have scoliosis surgery. It was just before I turned 16 and I had a steel rod put on my spine. While most kids were learning how to drive, I was learning how to walk again, literally. Still, I was a fighter. I was supposed to wait until six weeks of school to go back, but I went back after two. I couldn’t stay just being at home all day. However, the whole year, someone else had to carry my bags for me and I had to leave class early so I could have time to go to the restroom and make it to my next class. Why? Because a hard bump from someone in the hallways could send me right back to the hospital.

It was also at that time I went through some personal struggles that led me to having panic attacks and anxiety in a major way for the first time.

Now looking back, remember those people who said I would never finish high school? They were wrong. They said I would never drive a car? Wrong. They said I would never have a job? Wrong.

I wasn’t ready to move away from my parents, but I was ready for college and went to Bible College because the main thing I knew was the Bible. I still get a kick out of Voc Rehab who worked with me trying to tell me to not go into ministry. After all, they didn’t think I could handle public speaking.

As it turns out, I love public speaking, Speaking one-on-one I find terrifying, but in Bible College, I did give a senior sermon to my entire student body including professors. Not a problem.

When I came, I was a bit quiet and passive, but then I discovered apologetics there and it changed. One of my professors noted how I quickly became someone who was sociable and could speak to others and especially with my professors. I had a good friend there who also told me after hearing me speak in class one day about Southern Evangelical Seminary where I could study apologetics more. My path was set.

After I graduated, I decided I wanted to go there, but I knew I would be on my own, so I needed to demonstrate first to my parents I could handle it. I would live in an apartment on my own for a year. While there, I would apply to SES and then move to Charlotte, NC, from my home in Knoxville, TN. I came up with a way I think was highly persuasive to have them let me move out on my own.

I came home one day and they were sitting on the back porch and I went and sat with them and told them “I just put money down on an apartment.”

Like I said, highly effective.

After a year there, I along with my friend David Sorrell from who lived in Missouri, moved to Charlotte together. We were immediately noticed by people and hobnobbing with the president and Dr. Geisler and others. We also heard something about these two guys who showed up at our new church recently gung-ho about spiritual things.

However, we had one major problem in our living situation we hadn’t prepared for.

What if one of us got married?

And shockingly, that was me.

Mark down something else the experts I’m sure thought would never happen.

I have written plenty about my marriage throughout multiple posts in the past, but I didn’t finish school when I defended my then father-in-law and eventually, we moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and we had a new companion, Shiro the cat. I had a firm goal to be an excellent husband, but unfortunately, issues came up and as you know, I am sadly divorced.

That kind of rejection still stings every day.

But I refused to give up. I came back to Knoxville and then set to making plans to move on my own and decided upon a recommendation from my pastor to go with New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. My seminary is over 600 miles away from my parents in Knoxville. It was hard enough on my parents when I moved to a neighboring state. Now I live over 600 miles away. It’s all me.

That doesn’t mean I’m alone at all. Not a bit. I have friends. I have a community here. I would say I am the face of the Post Office on campus. I am known as a cut-up and yes, people do ask me if I affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm. I am in therapy working to learn social skills more, especially since one of the strongest desires of my heart is to remarry.

You know what? It’s hard sometimes still, but life is good overall. Before I left Knoxville, I bought a small Echo for my parents so we can talk every day and I can see them and they can see me and they can see Shiro who is with me now. I am working on learning YouTube to make videos for my channel, writing a book for a publisher on video games and Christianity, and I should finish my Master’s at the end of the year.

I am a research pastor at my church, though I am pushing to have that be Pastor of Apologetics. I am a regular speaker at Defend speaking on Autism and Christianity and Video Games and Christianity, which the latter will likely be my PhD focus. I have about a dozen books or so I am going through and definitely on the Kindle I read some of each every day. The only times I have missed in a long time were in the past month when I was sick and just didn’t want to do everything.

One reason I share my Patreon often is it is still a struggle financially, especially with this month being tax season. If you have been blessed by my blog over the years, please consider it. You can find a link below and there is one right here.

There are still Autism struggles that I have. I can speak sarcasm fluently, but I don’t know when other people are doing it to me. I don’t understand social cues often and I do deal with loneliness often. I do basics of housekeeping, but I pay someone else to come by about every other month to do a deep cleaning. (And with the steel rod, it’s hard to do some of it anyway.)

If anything makes it worthwhile and easier for me, it’s my Christian commitment. That has been strong all my life and has been the foundation I keep coming back to. It is the very reason I am here at seminary. I am thankful to have a community here with people who genuinely care about me.

I plan to write some more on Autism Awareness, but this is to say that you can overcome to. So can your loved one. I always like to remember how years ago the “experts” said I wouldn’t be doing everything I am doing right now.

It is certainly one way I have enjoyed proving people wrong.

I don’t know where the game will take me next, but I am in it for the long haul.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


Support Deeper Waters on Patreon!