Why I Miss My Eating Disorder

Sometimes I miss my eating disorder.

It’s been a couple years now since we spent extended time together. There have been moments where I considered calling, or texting or just having a quick catch up. But, I’m too afraid to go back there; that relationship was too dysfunctional.

Sometimes old pictures pop up on Facebook or Instagram and I start to reminisce. I’ll laugh at the “good times” and slowly start to forget the bad. But I try not to get too nostalgic.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking I miss the attention. The comments of “wow you look so good, what have you been doing for work-outs, I wish I looked like you.” Or the three consecutive flame emojis and #goals posted under an Instagram photo at the beach and the side-glances from cute boys on the way to class. Maybe you think I just miss being skinny. Sure, I miss all of those things, who wouldn’t? But, you know what I miss most?

I miss having control.

The majority of my relationship with my eating disorder was a secret. My closest friends and family barely noticed and I liked it that way. We would sneak around and a lot of times that was exciting. No one ever had to know because I believed I could eat and not eat by my own choice. Eventually people found out, but that was only because I needed help. It wasn’t as exciting anymore and it wasn’t healthy for me, I knew that. But even after we officially broke-up there were so many times I’d go back and try to make it work again. Lying about where I was going and what I was doing, I was a master at not getting caught.

I thought I was in control. I’d tell myself it wasn’t even an “eating disorder,” rather I was just at controlling my diet. I could manipulate what people thought of me. I could make people accept me before they rejected me. I could make people like me; I could make people think I was enough.

But while other people’s approval became my oxygen, I couldn’t get enough of it and it was slowly suffocating me. It was never enough to sustain me. I would get high off the attention and as quickly as it was gone, I sought out another way to get it. I would run more miles and push my body past the point it was telling me to go. I would eat even less, and I would do more crunches. I could numb my body to pain by running harder and faster or by making myself so hungry I couldn’t feel it anymore. I could also afflict pain on myself by working-out too hard and making myself sick. The rest of my life may have been out of my control, but I could control how my body looked and felt.

That was the lie I believed on and off for eight years: I was in control. I was never so skinny that I needed to go to a hospital or to some kind of rehab clinic. I seemingly had it under control or else something drastic would have happened.

It was a false sense of control. I actually had no control over it at all.

It had taken control of me.

Control is a funny thing, because no matter what it is—your body, your job, your relationships, your life—we really have no control at all. But oh how we fight for it! We grasp and cling with white-knuckled fists to any sense of control we can find. We struggle and wrestle with God for control, and if we are honest it’s because we really don’t trust Him. We think we know better. We can’t see Him, so we lose faith. We believe He is there and He is “in control” of the universe, but don’t’ think He’s doing a very good job of being in control of our individual lives. So instead, we think we are helping God out and try to control at least one part of it ourselves.

Some part of us believes not having control makes us slaves. Everything about surrender makes us feel the opposite of free. We think surrender takes away our freedom.

But, then there is Jesus. And He comes to flip that on it’s head.

Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

There was no freedom in my relationship with my eating disorder; I was a slave to it. I bowed to its every demand, and let it control me. I missed out on so many things in life and allowed it to use and abuse me.

As Galatians 5 continues it says, “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” The sin of this relationship didn’t seem like a lot at first but the little bit crept it’s way into so many areas of my life and I spiraled— I drank to numb the pains of hunger and gave my body away in order to feel loved when the comments and attention stopped being enough. When I stopped being able to control the one area of my life, I looked to control another. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14) If I loved my neighbor like I loved myself, it wouldn’t be love. If that’s how I loved I would be selfish, hurtful, and abusive.

In the end, Jesus showed up and I let go of control of all of it. He came after me long before I saw Him. He gently grabbed my gripped hand and offered to take what was in it. Slowly (and doubting) I began to release my grip. I began to taste freedom. I’ve reached to pick it up a few times (usually when everything else feels out of control), but Jesus was still there, holding my hand, telling me to leave it there. Promising me I was free without it.

For freedom, He set me free. Not so I could gratify the desires of my flesh to be loved, beautiful and in control (v. 13), but so I could walk by the Spirit in love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (v. 22-23).

For the sake of full disclosure, I have something to tell you. The idea for this blog post came a few weeks ago. I had been out to lunch with a few friends that day and listening to all the ways they talked about their bodies and others bodies and it made me sick. I knew how each seemingly harmless comment was affecting each girl at the table. I watched how what one girl ordered to eat made the one next to her insecure. (I have a radar for these kind of things now. I can spot an unhealthy relationship with food from a mile away.) So after I prayed and talked the Lord and decided to write this.

It was over two weeks ago and since then my eating disorder has been blowing me up trying to get back together. It’s been years but the last two weeks it’s been a fight. You see, Satan knows there is someone on the other side of this screen who needs to be set free and he will stop at nothing to make sure that never happens. I don’t know why I was surprised those things started creeping back in. I know there is an enemy and I know how he works. My prayer is you don’t let him win. The battle is on, but Jesus already won the war. Whatever it is you are fighting to have control of, let.it.go! Surrender is the only way to freedom. Jesus died and rose to set you f r e e from trying to control everything, not so we could enslave ourselves in the name of control.

What is the one thing you are trying to control? What are you so tightly gripping because you don’t trust God is who He says He is? I challenge you to spend some time in Galatians 5 over the next week or so and allow yourself to learn about true freedom in Christ.

We were never really in control anyway, so let’s stop trying to be.

Always, Meghan XO

But I Don’t Want to Suffer

Photo by Patrick Ryan

What is your greatest fear?

I think most of us can say our greatest fears have to do with some sort of suffering. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to suffer.

You may be surprised to know that I’m very much so a rule-follower. When there are rules I think are ridiculous I am the first to voice what I think about them. You’ll constantly hear me say, “No I’m not going to do that,” when I don’t agree with the rules or demands I’m given. But I’m really all talk and no action. If it’s in my control I’m always on time (or early), I never turn a project or assignment in late and I rarely go more than a few miles over the speed limit when I’m on the interstate. Breaking the rules has always been too risky for me.

So when it comes to risking something for God, I struggle. In my mind, if I follow the rules, it should keep me far from suffering. I don’t like being let down or disappointed and tend to follow the mentality: “expect less so you won’t get disappointed.” I fear suffering and hence do what I can to avoid it. But, Jesus didn’t come to remove our suffering on earth; He came to remove our fear of it.

Do I have enough faith in God to believe and follow Him even when it’s risky? Am I willing to hope even if I could be disappointed? Or do I let fear run my life for me?

Faith is putting action behind what we say we believe. Just like the blind man at the gate in John 9. Jesus steps into his suffering and puts mud on his eyes. Now, Jesus could’ve just spoken and he would have been able to see, but instead Jesus tells him to physically walk to the water to wash it off. He was already blind and now he has mud on his eyes. I imagine it was a wobbly, less than graceful walk to the stream to remove the mud. If I put myself in his position I imagine I’d be embarrassed, uncertain and doubting the whole way. But, with only the glimmer of hope I would make my way to the water, the water I cannot even see with my own eyes. I think I’d pause once I got there and really decide if I would risk being wrong before I hesitantly bring the cool water up to my face and washed away the mud in hopes I will be able to see.

I’ve witnessed some of the most unbearable suffering imaginable through my job. We step into the homes and lives of the poorest people on the planet to give them clean water filters and share the Gospel of the Living Water. I’ve watched it at least 100 times and it never gets old. Their faces as they watch dirty water flow out of the filter clear and shining in the sunlight—there’s no dirt, it seems too good to be true. The skeptical looks on their faces as the cup is handed to them. The pause as they look intently at the water before deciding if they are going to drink it. Their faces seem to say, “Am I going to risk drinking this? What if it’s not really clean? ” That’s not my favorite part though, my favorite part is the face they make once they take the drink it. The looks of awe, amazement, surprise, and semi-disbelief. It’s the sweetest part and I tear up every single time. Most of the time we don’t speak the same language, but those looks say it all.

Photo by Madding McFadden

It’s surreal and I see so much of my relationship with God in those moments. Every few houses, there is someone who doesn’t want to try the water. They look at the dirty water and then the clean water and shake their heads because they think we are either lying, performing some type of witchcraft. Even with it in front of their eyes, they don’t believe it. But if they never risk tasting the water, they will never experience the benefits of drinking it.

Photo by Madding McFadden

In those moments, I think of God offering me the same cup and saying, “Here it is Meghan, this is what you need, drink of my cup and you shall never be thirsty again. It’s here and it’s yours for the taking. I promise it will satisfy you more than anything else. Are you going to risk putting hope and faith in me?” But, I hesitate because everything in me is fighting to avoid suffering. The water looks good, and I want to believe it’s clean and all I need, but I’m not always sure I want to risk it. Just like the act of the man removing the mud from his eyes, I have to decide if it’s worth it.

But I want to taste and I want to see the Lord’s goodness (Psalm 34:8).

At those same houses, there is always someone who is willing to be brave and drink it first. Their willingness to risk hope is often what gives the skeptic next to them to push they need to drink it as well.

Photo by Madding McFadden

A lot of times faith just feels like words, I say I believe them, but beyond that what do it really mean? In the midst of suffering, it becomes more than words. I’ve watched people all around me experience some of the deepest suffering, yet they continue to risk suffering more because they have hope.

To have hope is to risk. It’s choosing the risk of being hurt, disappointed, or rejected, so that we might experience the love, joy and hope that only comes through Jesus.

It’s watching a family friend fall in love again after losing his wife two years ago. With no guarantees, he is risking the pain it happening all over again. He doesn’t’ allow fear to win and with hope, he loves again.

It’s seeing one my best friends allow herself to love broken people after her boyfriend took his own life. She chooses to step into the lives of broken and hurting people and loves them radically. She hopes beyond hope light will shine in the darkness.

It’s crying with another friend as her dad walks away from a relationship with her. Even though he is her only parent, she makes the hard choice of being obedient to God over pleasing her dad. But she steps forward with faith that God will meet her in her surrender and hope that He will redeem and restore it all.

These are people who risk suffering because there is something in them that has hope it is going to be worth it. It’s those people who give me hope that risking it all for God is worth it.

But isn’t this exactly what Jesus did? He risked coming to earth to win our love, knowing that we could and would still reject Him. He risked it all for us. He had hope beyond hope that if He died, we might come to know and love Him. One day I hope He looks you and me in the eyes in heaven with his nail-pierced hands and says, “It was worth it.”

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we cannot see.”

Hebrews 11:1

Photo by Madding McFadden

In John 11, Jesus’ friend Lazarus was dying and after He hears of his passing, He waits four days before going to see him. For four days, Jesus allows people He loves to suffer and then in verses 14-15 He says one of the hardest things I’ve read in scripture: So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”

Jesus allowed suffering.

But, He did it so that we might believe. And more than that, read on to verse 35 its says Jesus wept with them. He may allow suffering, but He is present and weeping in us with it.

Jesus never leads us somewhere He can’t save us. Even in death, the ultimate suffering, Jesus saves us.

Recently I stumbled upon this question:  “What if Jesus wept because He knew He was about to take Lazarus away from heaven?”

That’s really what suffering is: an ache for home in heaven. Jesus didn’t promise there wouldn’t be suffering, He promised hope until we are home.

A few chapters earlier in John 6 Jesus warns His followers that suffering will still come and many deserted Him. In the face of His reject He turns to His 12 and asks if they want to leave too (v. 67). Peter’s response is so real and relatable: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (v.68).

Where else would be go? Who else can we put our hope in? What do we have to fear?

My prayer is that any of you on the other side of this screen who are unspeakable suffering would respond like Peter.

When we live in a way that stares death down in the face, we get risky, dangerous and free. It changes everything and we get to run fast after Jesus during our short time here.

So take the risk.

Faith over fear.

Calling over comfort.

Risk hope. Hope until we are home.

Always, Meghan XO

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What if Poverty has Nothing to do with Money?

March 7, 2017

Sitting on a random sidewalk outside the church in Cuidad Vieja, Guatemala

I gently knocked on the thin piece of metal that was acting as a front door. I was nervous if I knocked too hard it would fall over. A few seconds of waiting and a young boy inched the door open and as the metal creaked his sweet, brown, puppy-dog eyes came into the sunlight. In my most broken Spanish I asked if my group and I could come inside and meet his family. He played hard to get and sheepishly let us come in where we were greeted by his grandmother, mother, sister and other relatives and family members. The women greeted us with the most enthusiastic hugs and as the spoke rapidly to each other in Spanish, they asked our translator questions and found all the chairs, buckets and tables lying around to offer us a seat.

The floor was simply the dirt of the earth and parts of the roof were some type of tree, others were metal and most of the inside was open and exposed to the sunlight. Cats, dogs, chickens, baby chicks and a very loud duck roamed around every part of the house.

The abuela was making tortillas over an open fire. The smell was wafting through the whole house. I was enthralled by the ways she tossed the dough between her hands and made them into the most perfectly thins circles for cooking. I offered to help while a couple students entertained the kids with a game of hide-and-seek and the other two showed the father how to install the water filter. My attempt at tortilla making was futile—the dough kept sticking to my hands and I followed her instructions to the letter, but still my tortilla was no where near as perfect as hers. She laughed and began mashing up a fresh avocado to serve us with the tortillas. As I watched her fish around for some plates I let my thoughts drift.

Please laugh at my attempt to make tortillas! Photo by Miller Jordan

This family doesn’t even have clean water, and yet they are offering us the very food they were making to feed themselves lunch today. By the looks of their living conditions, it was hard to imagine they had excess to share, but they did it anyway. All I could think about in that moment was how I want to live my life that way—so willing to give what little I have to anyone who I come in contact with.

How often do I turn people away because I fear what little I have to give? How many times have I selfishly said no to opportunities to offer hospitality?

Photo by Connor Welsh

March 7, 2017 (later that same day)

Hotel room, Antigua, Guatemala

I overheard Michelle talking to some students tonight. They seemed to be thinking about a lot of the same things I was thinking earlier today. Michelle lives here fulltime and works for Adventures Guatemala, the ministry hosting us this week. She’s the most open, inviting and patient 24-year old I’ve ever met. When she talks you just want to write down every word she says. Her voice is soothing and I swear everything she says sounds poetic. I would like to record her reading books so I could listen to them all day long. Naturally every single student wanted to ask one thousand questions about the culture and the people and her personal life. I smiled as I walked by a group of students who had been able to pull her aside after dinner. I caught one sentence she said and I’ve been replaying it over and over in my head:

“What if poverty has nothing to do with money?”

It reminded me of a story two of my friends told me last summer. Randi and Caroline moved to Atlanta after we graduated college and I had to drive through there on a work trip and we decided to make a weekend of it. Randi had this beautiful print hanging in her living room. It was a super vibrant and colorful painting of the Atlanta skyline, so I casually complimented it and asked where she got it. She proceeded to tell me the story of how she and Caroline went to a market one Saturday and bartered with a man from Africa for the painting. The price was more then two young professionals in a big city were willing to spend and in her classic joking tone Caroline said, “We are too poor to buy this painting.” The artist immediately responded and told them to never say that again. He said they couldn’t say they were too poor, rather they needed to start saying, “I’m not rich yet.”

He went on to tell them being wealthy isn’t about having money. Wealth comes in the form of health, relationships and experiences. Life is not about money and confessing poverty over our lives is not good. We have to believe that we will be rich one day. I have no idea if this man knew Jesus but I want to believe he did because that story always comes to mind when I think about my finances. I may not have a lot of money in the bank, but man oh man, am I rich in friendship and life! I wouldn’t trade any of the riches in the world for the richness I have in community and in Christ.

But back to Guatemala: this week I’ve encountered some of the most joyful and content people I’ve ever met. And they don’t have much by the world’s standards. I envy them in a lot of ways. So often I fall into the trap of letting money determine my wealth. I let is stress me out; I let it define me. I’m rarely content because I always see the lack. I don’t believe God will provide my needs and honestly most of the time I don’t have enough faith to ask Him to. But I can rattle off multiple verses right now that combat those thoughts. Immediately Matthew 6 is what is coming to mind:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:19-21 (or the entire chapter honestly)
Poverty really has nothing to do with money does it? I’m looking at a community of people that anywhere would be called poor. But, after spending time with their families, hearing their stories and watching some of them meet Jesus for the first time, I see an overflow of richness. What does it look like to cultivate a deeper practice of placing my treasure in eternal things?

Photo by Jaclyn Ryan


March 23, 2017

Hotel room Antigua, Guatemala

I don’t know if I’m ever going to get over what happened today. I don’t really want to get over it either. I need to pause and compose myself because this story is just too good.

Last night we went to a women’s discipleship group in the community. Now, I have sooooo many stories about it, but I need to just focus on this one for now. My new Guatemalan friend Emma and her husband started this group and it’s been rapidly growing. We had the privilege of helping these women serve their community this week– bringing water filters to their neighbors, helping them share the Gospel with them and inviting them to the discipleship group.

Emma is so in love with Jesus. The Holy Spirit is overflowing out of her and I want her to adopt me as her American daughter so I can live with her and learn how to be more like Jesus. She loves lavishly and recklessly. Freely she gives and gives and gives and doesn’t for a second seek to receive from anyone else. She’s given up any sort of worldly gain in order to evangelize and disciple women in Guatemala. She’s the most underrated human ever. These words aren’t doing a great job explaining how wonderful she is, so I’m sorry, but just take my word for it and go to Guatemala and meet her. She’s also an amazing cook and has really great style. Which brings me to what she did today…

At this discipleship group last night, Emma had on the coolest shirt ever. I know, I know, I’m in a third world country and I’m concerned about a cute shirt. But seriously this is the type of shirt Anthropologie would sell for $300+ (and the tag would also probably say, “Handmade in Guatemala”). So naturally I had to tell her how much I loved her shirt (and then inquire where I could go buy one before I left). The next day as we were getting to wrap up our last day of ministry, her and I were recapping the week. At which point I asked about her shirt. She tells me she got it in her hometown, which was a few hours away (she’s also Mayan, which may not have anything to do with any of this but I think that’s so cool). It was handmade and dyed and I’m telling you Anthropologie needs to go find out who made it. It had quality linen, extremely detailed embroidery and vibrant colors. It’s something you want to touch because it’s seriously a work of art. Yes, it’s just a shirt but it is officially the greatest shirt ever because right after I asked Emma where she got it, she went home, got the shirt, brought it to me and gave it to me! DO YOU UNDERSTAND—she actually gave me the shirt off her back!

WHO DOES THAT?!

Of course I could not take the shirt. They have given up everything to follow God’s call to ministry. They raise support in Guatemala and I struggle to do that in America. But she wouldn’t take no for an answer, and told me she was so grateful that I came to serve with them and hoped this would remind me of the trip and that I would come back soon.

*Cue me drowning in a puddle of my own tears*

It was the single most humbling, loving and beautiful thing anyone had ever done for me. In that moment I caught a glimpse of Jesus. Jesus, the son of God, who came down to serve the very creation that rejected Him. Who emptied Himself completely—not taking the riches and wealth of the world He deserved, but rather got down and washed the (probably really gross) feet of His disciples. I felt like Peter when he told Jesus that He could not wash his feet, I could not allow Emma to give me the shirt. It was too much. But in order to be apart of what Jesus was doing, Peter had to let Him. In this Jesus displayed how we are to serve one another, and right there, in the middle of the streets of Ciudad Vieja, Emma did the same for me. What kind of love is that? Only the love of Christ her Lord could do such a great and selfless thing. To give freely to someone who was a stranger a few days before and not expect a single thing in return.

Poverty really has nothing to do with money. Poverty is life without the love of Christ. Poverty is not experiencing the joy of giving freely to others. Poverty is choosing the comforts of this world over the calling God has placed on your life and thinking that is what is going to satisfy us. Poverty is not knowing the truth of the Gospel.

I’m still so baffled at it all. God, in His RICH mercy loves a broken, messed up girl like me. He goes beyond loving me and calls me His daughter and His friend.

I wouldn’t trade all the money and riches in the world for this.

Always, Meghan XO

The Mission Trip Hangover

I know this is majorly delayed. I’ve been home for almost a month now and most of this has been sitting on my desktop unpublished, and a lot of it unwritten. I haven’t really been sure how I’m going to tell these stories. Part of me doesn’t want to. I think I’m having a bit of a mission trip hangover and I can’t figure out how to recover from it. Many of you have asked how my trip went and other than a generic, “Great!” I haven’t known what to say. I can’t sum this up in a three and a half minute conversation or even one blog post. Right now I’m supposed to be writing about it in a magazine article and because that feels like running a marathon I never trained for, I decided to start over here.

As you’ll read in a second, I knew this was going to happen. I knew the distractions and the temptation to numb out and not process this would push their way in. Numbing out and distracting myself seemed easier than trying to give those three weeks their proper description. It seemed easier than writing stories that would bring God glory.

But, even in trying to escape it all and giving into the feelings of burnout, there’s this restlessness I’m wrestling with. That longing for what daily life looked like three weeks ago—the feeling of my life having a purpose that matters for eternity, and seeing how that plays out. Of course just because I’m not feeling and seeing it doesn’t mean that it’s not still happening.

So as I finally attempt again to put it all to paper, I’ll start with what I wrote before I came home…

March 25, 2017

Airport, Guatemala City, Guatemala

So, I’m sitting the airport in Guatemala City as I write this. Right now I’m looking out the grand terminal window at volcanoes and one of the most epic sunrises I’ve ever seen. It’s the kind of sunrise that I know I can’t capture adequately on my iPhone and it’s so breathtaking I don’t want to try. The vibrant pinks and purples and oranges are swirling together like cotton candy. I’m seriously fighting the urge to cancel my flight and never go home. Quite honestly, I don’t feel like I’m going home. It’s only been three weeks since I left, but so much has happened and home seems distant and far away (both literally and figuratively).

Three weeks ago I was a mess of emotions—full of anxiety, stress and fear. Everything that could’ve gone wrong the week I was leaving did; from lost packages with important things I needed, to getting sick and everything in between, one more thing and I was ready to unpack my suitcase and not go. I was frustrated with myself for being so easily swayed by my emotions and the lack of sleep made me feel less than unprepared.

Three weeks later, I don’t know where to begin. The stories I want to tell, the things I’ve seen, and the ways God has moved all are bouncing around my head with no direction and I can’t seem to type fast enough. I’m afraid I’ll forget, or miss something or not have any words. I’m praying intentionally as the next few days of normal life settle in I’m still able to write the words I feel like the Lord has given me. I already know that the urge to just numb out the next couple of days is getting bigger, but I don’t want to let it get in the way. Jesus, give me the energy and ability to get this all on paper.

If I were to make this trip into a newspaper headline, it would read:

“Three colleges, two countries and one Hope.”

Y’all, God is on the move. I’m not sure we understand this—He is relentlessly pursuing the hearts of His children around the world. He is moving in voodoo-filled villages in Haiti, He is reaching out to Muslims in Turkey and college students in the rural mountains of China, He is calling mothers in Guatemala to reach their communities with the Gospel and fishermen in Nicaragua to spiritually lead their families.

And He does not need the help of a bunch of middle-class, American, college students to do it.

But, He is inviting them to join Him anyway.

Maybe you live in America, and if you have so much as turned on the news, you see little hope for the world we live in. If anything, it seems like the world is falling apart and we are tearing each other apart.

But, there is hope. And His name is Jesus.

Every single day for the last three weeks, that’s what I’ve seen: Hope.

There are hundreds and hundreds of college students who gave up their Spring Breaks to go share the Gospel and give people access to clean water. They saw chains in their own lives broken; they genuinely love each other and have a desire to see the Gospel proclaimed back on their campuses. These are the people who are going to raise the next generation of people on this planet! Y’all give me hope that the world can actually be a better place.

There is the sweetest couple I’ve ever met from Guatemala who are evangelizing and discipling hundreds of women in their community. They have given literally everything they have in order to make Jesus’ name known. They are the type of people who will physically give you the shirt off their back (but I’ll save that story for later). Emma and Renzoe—you shine so brightly for Jesus and make me want to be more like Him. You give me hope that there are people in communities all around the world doing what you are doing.

Those are just two quick examples and I can’t wait to tell more of those stories.

I can’t begin to understand the goodness of God. What kind of God delights in using a bunch of messed up, broken people? How does He take these broken vessels and use them to bring Him glory?

Over the course of the last year I’ve asked myself (and God) what the heck I’m doing. How on earth does this get to be my job? No, my job is not always as glamorous as it’s looked over the last few weeks (trust me, missionary living isn’t all it’s cracked up to be), but I can’t imagine another way to live my life. I’m clearly not in it for the money, and I may not love sitting alone at my computer for hours on end planning trips every day and living out of a suitcase for three weeks. But, none of that matters. I get to not only create opportunities for people to share the Gospel; I get to go and watch them do it. It’s not lost on me how sweet it is God decided to make this a part of my story.

And as I sit and unpack this over the next few posts my goal isn’t to glamourize my job or overseas missions trips, my goal is to encourage you that there is hope.

More than that, you have a part to play in bringing the world that hope—in your city, in your cubicle, in your grad program, in your living room.

There is this deep ache in the human soul to make our lives count. It’s why we crave those grand adventures and mission trip type experiences. We want to feel the satisfaction that can only come from doing something that genuinely matters. But as I sit in the airport I’m dreading the thought of doing my taxes, teaching Pure Barre classes and the 1,000 other things I’m going to have to do in the first 24 hours I touch down on American soil. The “mission trip high” as they call it is wearing off and I haven’t even taken off yet! The last three weeks don’t even seem real. It seemed like I was watching a movie or a having a vivid dream and any second it was going to be over and I would move on like it never happened. I’m afraid of normal pushing in and forgetting every single detail.

However, in these still, silent moments as I watch the sunrise, I’m reminded this doesn’t end here. The same sun will rise again miles away, in small-town Santa Rosa Beach, Florida tomorrow when I wake up and God will still be in control. It may be a new day, in a different place, but the mission and purpose will be the same. Weeks, months and years down the road, regardless of where the Lord takes me, I can serve Him right where I am. The fullness of life that exists in places like Guatemala and Nicaragua, where each day I’m sharing the Gospel and meeting the physical needs of God’s children also can exist anywhere—at my computer, in the grocery store, or at the gym. I just have to be willing to take the risk and surrender my bent to cling to what’s comfortable.

There’s so much more I want to get out but the plane is boarding and I’m running on three hours of sleep.

So we will just have to save the rest for later…

Always, Meghan XO