I’m just a vessel

Welcome back, friends…

There is so much going on in my life! So much I want to share with you and tell you about. I hope to find time during all this WEDDING PLANNING to blog (I got engaged on my birthday!) but until I do, I want to give you this brief post.

I mentioned in my last post, God Met Me on OKCupid, that I attend a rather large church. I mean thousands of members. Out of all those people, sometimes members are chosen to share their testimony with the congregation via video that is played during 4 services and broadcast online reaching I-don’t-even-know-how-many people. I knew that some of the staff members had heard about my story and I had been asked to share a bit of it for a promo for our Women’s conference last year. I was still surprised when they asked me if they could tape my testimony and share it with ev-er-y-body. I know the bible calls us to share our testimony with the world because it is by Jesus’ blood and our testimony that others will be saved, but I was believing the lie that my story didn’t matter. (“Way to believe in the bible as the ultimate truth there, God follower!” Ok, ok. I get it.) After they played my video, I received texts, emails, FaceBook messages and hallway stops from people who wanted to thank me for sharing. So many people could identify with or were touched by that little part of my story! I’ve been blessed by testimonies of others that I would have maybe never heard if I hadn’t shared mine. I’ve been able to share other parts of my testimony that are not part of the video with people who needed to hear it. I’m able to reach people because of my past that others simply couldn’t get the time of day from… because I’m a willing vessel to be used by Christ. I haven’t done anything extraordinary, but God is using me to do amazing things in the lives of His children. All I really have to do is say, “I’m here, God. Use me.” Try it – He will.

I went in and shared with the camera the story I told you guys last time (in the above mentioned blog) and I extended it to the part I haven’t gotten around to tell you yet… the miracle of my car wreck. Today I’ll share the video they made with you, and soon I’ll tell the full story.

Here is my testimony video.

I’ll wrap this post up by asking you to comment or email me your own story (meghan@thisismeghan.com), or anything you want to say after hearing this much of mine. I’ll also leave you with a beautiful picture of God’s blessings – my family. I can’t wait to tell you about this man that I’ll spend the rest of my life with after September 20, 2014. I’m getting married, you guys!!

family
Also, can you believe how big my girls are??

What’s next (and how long will it be before you find out)? Stay tuned…

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Filling the gap. Also, the “God thing.”

Welcome back, friends.

I’ve wanted to blog for months now and can’t quite get it together. Do I share the mundane aspects of life that I find amazing because I see God’s light in them? Do I tell the world about the blessings I continue to receive? Do I share the hard times and heartache I walk myself in to, and the amazing grace of God that walks me out? I’ve traveled recently and can’t help but want to share my travels with you like in days past. I want to share all of those things, but I feel like there is a gap between where my blog was, and where I am. I feel like I need to fill that gap instead of asking people to jump over it. I feel like I need to finish the story I was telling before, and connect the dots to today, but there’s a problem. The girl who used to write this blog no longer exists. The sometimes carefree life of hers that is written and documented in these archives is over. I could tell you those stories with perfect clarity, but they wouldn’t be joyful – they would be sad. They would be missing something. Some ONE. The woman who writes this blog NOW has a problem with that.

Here’s the problem… I think about my former travels and I think of who shared them with me. Every beautiful sight I saw, every road driven or (more often) walked down, every flight, every hike, every stamp in my passport, every story contains him. The one I don’t speak of, and try very hard not to think about. You know him (or don’t) as Cali, a.k.a. “The guy with tattoos on his face” a.k.a. “The guy (I) left (my) kids for” a.k.a. the most influential man who has ever been in my life. Most of you don’t know him at all, and some of you thought you knew him but didn’t. I don’t know him anymore, and sometimes I wonder if I ever really got the real him anyway. Regardless of whether or not I knew him, I spent nearly every day within arm’s length of him for a few years. We went on fantastic adventures (this blog has always been named Fantastic Voyage of 2). We saw magical sights, and had conversations I won’t forget ever. We experienced things that most people will never experience. We traveled the United States, and a few other countries. Together. Always together. So many of my firsts, bests, and onlys were with (or because of) him. When I have memories of things that made me truly happy in my past, he is almost always there. I don’t remember much from being a child, and my marriage was a tragedy… so when it comes to memories, the ones that have him in them come up more often than any others. I swam mainstream and popular when left to my own devices before him. I’ve never been creative or fresh, however fun and refreshing I was. I was a following leader. Read: I recognized a trailblazer when I saw one, and went after it, but I took my own group of followers with me. I was popular and “out in front,” but I wasn’t really the one in charge. Middle man, but also face of the campaign, if you will. And so very comfortable. Choosing to follow Cali changed my life. I never said no, even when I wasn’t sure what would come next. I was challenged and frequently pushed out of my comfort zone. I committed and followed through. I received many rewards. I didn’t feel like a failure even when I didn’t succeed. I knew joy and love. I grew. I learned. I taught. I discovered. I left behind and pushed forward. I believed in him and his ability to lead me (us) through whatever came our way. I had faith that every decision he made was the right one, no matter how uncomfortable or upset or confused it made me. Waiting because he said wait was always the right thing to do, even when I wanted nothing more than nownowNOW. Who I was in his eyes was the most important thing I could ever be. Who he said I was became who I really was. I loved him with so much of me… I had a huge hole in my life – my heart – that needed filling, and Cali was big. So big.

Now I know I made a huge mistake (even though the mistake worked out for the best). If you reread the last paragraph and replace “Cali” with “God,” it describes how I strive to live now. How I should have lived all along. How we should all be able to describe our lives. Cali even told me himself after we split up and he began following Christ, that the way I lived for him is the way we should all live for God. Talk about slap in the face… Fact is, I treated a man like a God. It may not have always been easy, but I made the daily decision to follow him according to his rule. His word. I thought about him before deciding anything. I considered him when talking to friends or family. I didn’t speak ill of him (well, nothing I wouldn’t say TO him). I didn’t say anything when he wasn’t around that he wouldn’t find pleasing if he were right next to me. I messed up now and then, but I have never been harder on myself than I was in those times until he forgave me. And he did. Every time. Even when I didn’t deserve it. I did what he said to do. I turned my life over to him. I looked to him for everything… and it wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I thought leaving him almost 2 years ago was the hardest. No. I thought completely cutting him out of my life a year ago was. Still no.

For a while, I thought he hardest thing I’d ever do was to do the same thing for the God I love that I did for a man. Even knowing that every blessing that came from that relationship came from God, and knowing that every thanks I gave Cali was deserved by God, I still have trouble. Sometimes, I get food in my mouth before I think to thank God for it. Frequently, if I get upset I’ll say something I shouldn’t before I stop and ask God for help. Every now and then I find myself in a place I wouldn’t be had I asked God if I should go. I have modified my language and hardly ever swear, but I struggle with finding words that fit some situations better than the ones frequented by sailors. Living my daily life as a Christ-follower is HARD. Remembering when I was a Cali-follower and how easy it seemed to come, has been known to bring me to tears. How could I follow a MAN so easily and have such a hard time following GOD? (I call it easy now, but at least a few of you know I had a struggle or two.) How could I live every day by a set of rules I didn’t necessarily understand, doing daily rituals I may not have time for that I did anyway because it was part of life, being molded into something different from what I was before and accepting it even when the world was against it… and not do the same for God? I’ve never wanted anything more in my life than I want to be a good and faithful servant to the Author and Finisher of my life. I’ve never been as willing to commit to something. I’ve never realized a greatness bigger than God, or a more constant force. But I STILL can’t seem to let go of certain pieces of myself and just be who He created me to be. The pieces that think I know better. .. the pieces that think I can do it by my own strength… I spent a good portion of 5 years serving someone I treated like a God, and now I look forward to spending eternity serving the One who really is. And it’s not so hard. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty tough, and I’m still not super good at it, but it’s still not the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Today, I say the hardest thing I’ve ever done is live for God under the watchful eyes of those who know who I was. Key word: was. The people who were there with me in the trenches of my previous life. The people who “know” me. The people who have seen me commit and quit… Some of those people call my love for God a fad. Some of them wonder when I’ll quit doing “the God thing” like I quit doing the Josh thing or the mom thing or the doctor’s office thing or the Cali thing… Some of them like to call out my past or present choices and use them to prove I simply must be faking. Some of them are REALLY supportive and some have even been inspired by God’s work in my life and have come to him themselves. I thought loving a man with facial tattoos and wearing a skirt in public was hard… publicly loving God is way harder. Hardest ever. And way worth it.

I don’t say any of that to complain. I am so incredibly thankful I went to what I call the University of Cali. I learned so much and grew more than I even know. I came out of that relationship so much more prepared to take on the world and live life. He did so much for me and I will forever thank him and give glory to God for all of it. Good and bad. If I hadn’t experienced that school of life with him, I wouldn’t have ended up in the place of being on my knees at the feet of God begging him to take me. (see THIS Blog for back story – if you’re new to my life you won’t be sorry.) However, just because I can appreciate his place in my life doesn’t mean I want to talk about him or think about him. I’m still hurting and I’m still healing. I do talk about it, but I’m not gonna here. I tell you this so that I don’t have to fill the gap, and I can move on with my blog. Jesus fills the gap, and his work in my life fills the hole in my story. I will share the testimony of how God met me where I was to lead me to my amazing church home (Celebration Church in Georgetown, TX), and took away my fear of becoming who I was MADE to be instead of who I was led to be. Being a willing and fulfilled follower of God is hard, but I’m not scared of it anymore. Following Cali made me unafraid to live boldly for myself – following God made me unafraid to live boldly for Him.

Jeremiah 17:5 This is what the lord says: “Cursed are those that put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.”

Jeremiah 17:9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”

This cross is heavy, and sometimes I have a hard time picking it up. I get weak and want to follow my heart… In those times, I get to show and tell the world how strong my God is, and let Him guide my heart.

I’ve had people tell me it’s a miracle I’ve made it through my life in as good a shape as I’m in, and they’re right. It IS a miracle. A series of them, actually. And if people look at my life and see miracles, I know they are seeing Christ whether they recognize Him, or not… and I’m more than ok with that.

Stay tuned. Stay classy. Be blessed.

Tested

I’ve felt down since yesterday and I’m not sure what’s going on. It’s an old familiar feeling that doesn’t belong in the new me. The only thing I can think of is that I’m being tested. I’ve been doing so well in my walk with Christ that it is about time for me to be tested, I suppose. Since my wreck, I’ve been awakened. I have realized just how blind I’ve been. I’ve seen God everywhere and felt his amazing works in me and my life (and the lives of those around me). Since yesterday, I’ve felt alone and angry. I feel like things are all going wrong. I turned in my car, I was denied by my bank for a loan for another one, I’ve gained back some of the weight I lost… I feel overwhelmed by life right now. I can’t focus. I’m disinterested in everything. I’m so busy all the time but feel like I don’t accomplish anything. I know this feeling. I feel depressed. I don’t want to take my medication again and poison my body. I guess the low-carb way I’m eating could have something to do with my feelings, but why after 3 weeks? I’m concerned that thoughts of “feeling better” will start to take over. I don’t want to be who I used to be… I’m a new creation in God and I can’t forget that.

 

I need to make more time for God. I need to read my Bible more. I have GOT to be sure that seeking God is the number one thing in my life so that all other things will work together. 

Rocky

I’ve only ever seen the Rocky movies once. Spent a whole day watching them all in a hotel room. I’m at a friend’s house, and the tv flashes to Rocky II. In that instant, I was back there in the hotel room. For a moment, I could have sworn I was actually back there. I’ve never been transported in memory so strongly or swiftly… the experience has left me feeling a bit rocky myself. (see what I did there?)

What’s been going with me, you might ask… Stay tuned.

The land of OZ

Welcome back, friends. I did not catch up my US blog before We left, and while my heart is broken-I’m over it. I will finish…jut no yet.  Besides, We are in fricking AUSTRALIA now so I’m having trouble being excited writing about last year. Ya dig? Good.
So We arrived in Apollo Bay Australia around 7pm Wed June 8, 2011. We boarded a plane in San Fran which took Us to LA, then one that took Us to Auckland New Zealand (13 hours), then another to Melbourne where We went through customs and headed for the Gull busline. We got on the Gull bus ($30 a ticket) and rode to the Geelong station where We waited 3 hours to take another bus 3 hours to Our hostel. The driver said it was too cold for Us to walk from the bus stop, so He drove Us to the door. 🙂 very nice. We arrive, pay, get acquainted and find out that We have gone to the dorm location and not the private room location-so the manager drove Us to Our room! We are bunking in a shared cabin (private room, shared bathroom and kitchen) with a french couple. They have been traveling the world as well for a few months.  Both are my age and they’ve been together for about 7 years. Super cute. They will return to france after Bolivia 🙂 After We put Our heavy ass backpacks in Our room, We bundled up and walked to the grocery store for food and wine. Word to the wise-Australia is VERY expensive. About 2-3 times the cost in the US…so plan for that. We had spaghetti for dinner and hit the bed. We had been traveling so long already that sleep was a welcome thought. The time change and excessive flying made me feel as if I were on a boat when standing still. My head was swimming, my balance was off, I was groggy. When we went to bed at 9pm here, it was 6am in TX. 6am in the past!! Thats right folks…I’m in your future, like it or not!
We woke up this morning, had a quick shower and a cup of coffee with some “morning bubbles” (rice krispies) and left for the info center. Since We aren’t driving, We are walking everywhere and its DAMN COLD. Its in the low 50sF. Boo. Speaking of driving, they drive on the left here which is odd to see. The driver sits on the right side and you drive on the left? Weird. The exits are on the wrong side, the fast lane is to the right…Looking into cars next to you and not seeing anyone in the “driver” seat is freaky. So yeah, We showered and went to the info center which was very very helpful. They gave Us all the info we needed for the walk, called local businesses with Our questions, supplied tons of info and directed Us to a coffee shop with free wifi just up the road. Success.
That brings me to now…sitting in “Wickens provedore and deli” drinking coffee (tiny cup, no refill, 4.50$) and talking to you. Checked facebook, uploaded some pics, checked email (catching up on Lisas fabulous life blog is a highlight) and made some more travel arrangements. This is a trip of a lifetime and I’m getting to do it with someone who cares about me greatly and truly enjoys having me around-even when I’m a poophead.
We are having fun, We are being safe, and We are loving each other…you all should do the same.
Stay tuned, mate.

Headed West! or Goodbye Y’all…

Dear (you),
We’re at it again! I had my last day of working at the Sunshine Cafe April 29th, and it was amazing. So much love given to me by the Sunshine family of regulars and newbies. I love the place, the people, the FOOD! The owner, David, has always been good to me and has become like family since he hired me 6 years ago, as have his wife and kids. My kids and I returned on May 1st to have Sunday breakfast with the “Sunday crowd”, and I was presented with a homemade lemon cake with chocolate frosting (my favorite). I miss that place. Mucho. Also on May 1st, We emptied Our Lockhart house and headed to Austin for the week.
The first week of May was spent saying goodbye to Austin. Squeezing in lots of Sammy time, seeing La when she had time, getting clothes made, shopping etc. We had dinner with Amira, moments (not enough) with April, Danzig show at Stubbs, my birthday party, some Jen, Jesse, nother Jen, and some other stuff. I know I’m leaving things out but you get the point.  🙂  Lauren had school all the time so not much time with her :\  but there was alot of Sammy time which makes me happy.
I also spent my last weekends with my babies and saidgoodbye to my fam 😦 My girls and I had fun together and talked about being sad and happy at the same time. We also celebrated my big girl turning 9 with a dinner at Melting Pot. We surprised her with it- its her favorite- and fun was had by all.  I’m not going to detail my special time with them here, that’s mine :), but at the end it was decided we are going to miss each other and can’t wait to be together again. I cheated and said goodbye to them at a petting zoo equipped birthday party to eliminate tears. (mine and theirs) I miss them so.damn.much.

On May 9th, the friend I’ve had the longest, mah jazzypoo, and her hubby (!) invited Us over for an amazing birthday dinner. She made pizza from scratch, yes- dough too, and made rasberry creme brulee!! OMG it was sooooooo gooooooood! One reason We had stayed in TX so long was Jasmin getting married on April 1st. I can’t express how happy I am for them. Insanely happy.

Later on the 9th, We waited for Ammerfaces flight to get in so We could say bye, and headed to Victoria, TX- home of Calis BFFF Cheryl. Being with her and the fam for 6 days was food for Our souls. They talked, we talked, there was hugging, crying, churching, bible writing inning, and enchiladaing as well as fishing, storying, swimming and driving among other thing…s. Cheryl and I have come a long way over these 3.5 years, and I’m thankful that we have. I love you.

We managed to pack ALL of Our things and stuff inside Our packs, including the stuff that will normally be on the outside. If you’ve never made your backpacking equipment airplane travel ready, you don’t understand this accomplishment, but accomplishment it is! There was some leftover odds and ends that are travelling with Us in the United States but not over seas that needed its own bag.  Altogether- a backpack each, a small bag, the camera and Our “satchels”. That’s everything We own 🙂 Cheryl drove Us to the Houston airport on May 16th so We could say goodbye to TX and HELLO Nemexico! This goodbye was also managed without tears.

We were scooped up by Lisa and DJ at the Albuquerque, New Mexico airport and whisked away to her super cute apt and Miss Mary Poppins. There was lots of laughter, some Stephen, some drinks, lots o snacks (thx girl!), and too.much.fun. I have been missing the Lisa in my life since We were last here and I’m taking in as much as I can until We leave!

We took a long walk this morning, just to get moving, and then I showered and got ready to go.  I’m writing this blog from a greyhound bus en route from ABQ to Las Cruces to see Alicia, Dorian and Aidyn!! (Remember the angel and then the daughter and the tattoo shop and they have a baby now and *squeee* I get to squish a baby!…) I will be there in about 2 more hours and will be with them for tonight and tomorrow/night. I haven’t gone anywhere without Cali in quite some time and its an odd feeling.  One I’m not likely to know again for a while after I return 🙂
I guess that’s all for now.

I must mention that I am MORE than excited about going to Las Vegas next week. If I don’t hug and love my Angela soon, I might die. Same goes for seeing LLE smile! ❤ While my birthday has been celebrated in Austin, and Lisa and I spoke of an ABQ celebration, Las Vegas is my hearts desire when I turn my years over- and I am on my way.

Love,
Me