Monday, June 13, 2011

My Story

Hey beauties!

I'm really excited about my new series Her Story. I'm praying that the Lord will give courage to you ladies so you'll share your wonderful stories, and that all our hearts and minds will be open to making new friends, and learning a bit from each other.

And so I figured, I'm the "Her" behind this blog, I should go first.

So what's my story?
If there's one thing I'm really praying for from this series, it's that we can relate to each other on a seriously real level.

So my story.

I'll tell you the one that really broke my heart.

My mother dragged my little sister and I up to church one Sunday morning, while we were in matching 'camp' t-shirts. We had the badges with our names on them, and might have well had "we're the new ones" stamped on our foreheads.

Should I mention that the night before I had snuck out of my house to go hang out with my boyfriend (that my parents had already forbid me to see)?

Needless to say I was not excited at all about "Jesus Camp"...that's what the boyfriend called it.
He wasn't much of a church goer.

The week {I thought} had changed my life. I realized that God loved me, and that I was making some really horrible mistakes with my life.
I made new church friends, and slowly started to have a church family form right before my eyes.

I should mention now, that I always see the good in people. Everyone. I would say 95% of the time that's really great, but sometimes I need to look at the truth.

When I got home from camp, instead of staying away from that boyfriend, I tried to convince myself that I could change him. Silly me, I didn't know then (what I know now) that God is the only who can truly change people.

That year I started to get involved at church. I volunteered for anything and everything at the church. Fundraisers, the middle school program, attended the high school program, came early, stayed late, became an easy "favorite" to the youth pastor, and gave off the demeanor that I had turned my life around.

That was every Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday; sometimes Saturdays.
Too bad that left four other days out of the week to be the real me.

I had slowly but surely become a master at living a double life.

Sure I was another butt in a seat Sunday morning, but something...the important something wasn't sticking.

By the following spring that boyfriend and I were madly in love.
So in love that at the ripe old age of sixteen years old, we made love for the first time.
Or so that's what he called it to make me feel better.

I should mention now, that my parents still were forbidding me to see him. I had become a master with them at hiding phone calls, sneaking around, and 'staying late to study' with friends.

The next summer at camp I was for sure going to start doing things right.

By that Christmas, also my birthday, I was smoking more and more weed everyday.

Please don't forget that I was there Monday, Wednesday, and Sundays.

Let me piece this all together for you:
boyfriend I wasn't allowed to see but saw anyways.
drugs I shouldn't have been doing but did them anyways.
went to church and acted as a 'student leader'...cause hey, if they didn't know, who cared.

My grades were never stellar, like they could have, my parents and I fought more than ever imaginable, and yet people at the church didn't seem to notice.

But how could they not have?

Looking back now, I was crying out for help from church leaders and no one seemed to have heard me. Sure there were times when a small group leader would ask 'hey I saw that picture on your myspace, whats that about?', but they wouldn't ask with a concern for me...oh no, they wanted to know how my weekend went with that boyfriend I wasn't supposed to be seeing went.

Fast forward a couple years.
That boyfriend that 'loved me' and I broke up. I was smart enough to finally break up with him...only to move on to another boyfriend, and another boyfriend, and another boyfriend, and another boyfriend. Each one loving me so much.

Are you getting all this?

And then a little over two years ago it clicked. I swear God didn't just make Sonny to be my husband but he made him to be an angel for me. The big muscular ones with manly wings.

Sonny was the kind of person who quoted Scripture and wasn't afraid to say: no that's not what the Word of God says.
Something I wasn't used to.
He did things like fast, lift his hands in worship, and pray before every meal...things I wasn't used to.

His faith was real.

It didn't just show up Monday, Wednesdays, and Sundays.

When I was 18 I got my first tattoo.
It's a cross on my hip with Ephesians 2: 8. I had found the piece of Scripture at camp one year, but didn't really know what it meant. Keep this in mind.

The Lord used Sonny more than I can ever try and explain; he challenged me to go further in my faith.
Which is what I did.

My eyes started to open up...really big in fact to the things that were going on in my home church. Things those who call themselves Christians shouldn't be doing.

Why does the church always mess things up?

I should really mention now, that sometimes, I talk too much.

With the new pair of eye balls I acquired, I voiced my concerns and opinions. I had realized that being a luke warm church is never a good thing.

Actually, it was through an email to one person, but it quickly got spread around to those who had no business reading it.

Yet again: why does the church always mess things up?

Next thing I knew, I was being asked to step down as a leader, and was told that I wasn't going to be able to go to youth camp that year.
The year that I had finally figured things out, the year that I couldn't wait to spread Gods love to youth. Yea, that year.

It literally turned my life upside down.
I didn't know what to do. I wondered how in the heck had they all taken that email of mine and twist is to much that it started to sound...evil? Surely I did it all out of love...and here's what may have done it: I was trying to hold other leaders accountable.
I've learned that adults do not like it when young people tell them what's up.

As usual, like any human, I got angry with God.

This was the church...why was this happening? Why and how could anyone feel shunned?
It was miserable.

There was no explanation, just the boot.
No one wondered where my whole family went. Just silence.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. James 1: 12

It was a really rough season of my life. I questioned so much, including God.
But I wouldn't ask God to let me go back in time to do it differently. I stood that trial, and am now victorious because I learned to lean on Him.
I may have tried to fix the situation on my own, but once I realized that, that season of my life was over, I found refuge in Him.
There were many a tears lost over those people and that church. But I made it through because of Him.

For it is by grace that you have been saved, and this is not a gift from yourselves it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8

I was saved by a God who knew all this would happen. Each day His grace pours out on me because I trust in Him.
He has made me understand that the 'walk' I thought I had was just on the outside, and that He requires so much more, He requires my full heart.

My God is mighty to save a wretch like me. Oh so mighty.
He didn't give up on me.
He stood there waiting for me to come to Him, while ever so gently holding my hand and pulling me towards Him.

So that's my story.
He has saved me.

{authors note: this was really hard to write. but so wonderful at the same time.}


Delaney said...

this was beautiful to read. It is comforting to remember that god calls us to be into his family and we may not have the perfect track record but he sees us as such because of Jesus. Thank you for being honest and open! I really appreciate it :)

annie said...

I've no doubt this was so hard to write, but thank you for finding the courage to be so honest and genuine with your story. Thank you, too, for being brave enough to see past the imperfections of the church (which, I agree, can really make a mess of things) and for choosing to find a personal relationship with Christ, even in the middle of a messy situation. This really was so well-put; thanks again for your honest. His grace is so good.

Emily said...

this made me cry! I love you Megan!! You are such a blessing. Thank you so much for for sharing your story. It is sure to touch many sure has touched and encouraged mine :)

Gennean said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. It it spoke not only to my heart, but to my story, as well! I am so grateful that there are so many godly women like yourself out there, willing to share who they are (including the messy stuff!) in order to encourage others like myself while ultimately glorifying our incredible God! Your blog has quickly become one of my favorites :]

Megan Elizabeth said...

girls I can't tell you how wonderful it is to hear from you! your encouragement means the world to me! I'm so blessed to have you in my life, and so happy my story was relatable :)

I'm looking for guests for this series so if you'd want to guest post please email me!

Annie said...

i love that you were brave enough to step out and share your story. this is the biggest reason that compels me to write: everyone has a story, and they should be given the chance to tell it. i loved reading your testimony. it is a beautiful manifestation of God's grace, love, and strength that you are who you are today. thank you so much for sharing with us.

Kelly said...

I've never been into church as an institution (I just never had good experiences there) but I believe whole heatedly in faith. And this is so inspiring to read and feel like I can connect and understand just what you mean. You're beautiful and your life is on track and I just love it.

Jennifer Rod said...

hi megan. im so glad you found my blog because it led me to yours and this beautiful story of God's redemption and love. i am so encourage to see how god has taken your life and transformed you. i am encouraged by your passion for him. and i am encouraged by your honesty in sharing your most inner and private things of the past. thank you for sharing and being an example for us. and of course for using it to glorify Him.

im following now too! :)

Pam McCoy said...

I bet that was a least a couple of tissues! Thanks for sharing. I think we all go through these times.

I have been struggling with God's presence in my life this year, too. I discovered this blog: which encourages you to select a word to focus on for the year. I have picked the word "faith". With faith, all things are possible.

Thanks again for sharing!

Jennifer said...

oh man Meg! I just love you! SO glad you shared this! I wish I had known you more in the earlier years of high school and I really wish we could have talked about all this more when we were close senior year. I am so happy for you and SO incredibly glad that God is using you and your story to change people's lives! There is a reason for everything my friend and as hard as it was to share your story, if it makes a difference in one girls life it is worth it! Love you! :)

Ashley said...

Thank you SO much for sharing this :)

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