Honest, ramblings

words about my ever-changing faith

Six years ago I was returning home from training camp for the world race.

World race training camp 2012

It’s funny because at that point my world had been turned upside down multiple times and at training camp it was turned upside down again.

I didn’t know a lot about God then even though I’d been a Christian for 14 years at that point and went to a Christian university.

But it seems that the more “Christian” things I’ve been apart of the more changes I’ve seen happen in myself in regards to my faith and identity.

I don’t think anything I’ve been a part of is bad: It hasn’t in any way, shape or form caused me to want to not believe God or run from the faith I have.

If anything what it’s done is cause me to settle even more into finding who I am outside of the church and christianity. It’s been more about finding who God says I am by the life experiences and interactions I have in daily life.

It’s more about finding out who I am not, through the life experiences and interactions I have in daily life.

When I came home from the world race I was a wreck. Well, I became a wreck about a couple months later. Then, I went to Spain and it was better.

And then I came to Bellingham and the wrecking ball came again.

It’s not even that I have doubted more, because I’ve definitely had times that I’ve doubted more than the last three years.

I think, that my faith and my life, since doing all these “Christian things” has been more about the realization that God, faith, all of those things are so much bigger than people give them credit for.

I don’t make decisions based on my faith, or the fact that I’m a Christian, or my conscious or whatever else you may call it.

I make decisions based on who I am.

And who I am changes. Not because I’m reinventing myself but because I am learning more about myself each day.

Yep folks, each day.

So it makes sense that my faith would turn and grow and change.

I want to take the shame out of reframing your mind. Letting your faith be shaken, walking away for a moment to figure something out.

I know not everyone agrees with me on that.

But, walking away from something doesn’t mean you are running away.

Sometimes, walking away is the only way to guarantee that you are going to stay.

Today, in church, I realized that I have some pillars in my life that hold up the makeshift house of my faith that aren’t necessarily super sturdy.

In non-Christian verbiage, I realized today, that there are pieces of myself, pieces of my identity that I think are major parts of myself that actually aren’t.

I realized today that my identity isn’t based on my faith. And the more I learn about myself, the more I realize that my faith doesn’t make me who I am.

I think my faith allows me to look at things through a different lens just as any set of beliefs would.

My faith does add to who I am, but it’s not the only thing.

And it’s ok if it changes and evolves.

You aren’t less of a human if your mind changes, if you find out more information, if something doesn’t settle with you.

You aren’t less of a human if you allow yourself to grow.

My faith has grown, been stretched, fallen away, come back again and evolved over the past 10 years immensely.

I think in this time in our world it’s more important than ever to listen to what’s happening around you. Listening to your faith, or spirit or whatever and know that we can’t change anything if we don’t allowing ourselves to change.

And know that it’s ok to change.

As humans we grow and change and collect more data every day.

But, even in that and with that I will always be me.

And you, my friend, will always be you.

stateside

there’s no cream in my coffee

Today, while getting ready to come and sit at my favorite little coffee shop in my hometown, I took a sip of coffee out of my mug.

Black coffee.

And with that simple change in my life, I have come to realize that I have changed.

I know, I KNOW. That’s a really silly thing to make you realize that you had changed. Not all of the other monumental aspects in life; but black coffee.

I’ve been meaning to rewrite the “about me” section of my blog these days. For multiple reasons but one of the main ones being this: the person that wrote that almost exactly a year ago is in no way, shape or form the same person that sits in front of the computer today.

I look about the same. I mean, there is nail polish on both my fingers and my toes and I am wearing a sock bun (and yes Whitney it is with the holder). But, I walk a bit differently, my language is a bit more life filled then it was before and I’m not afraid to just put all if out there. I don’t need to hide behind vague languages or mix my words. So without further ado, here is what will be living on my page entitled “who she is”(or my life in about 500 words).

Hi.

My name is MegHan, most call me Meg, Megs, Miss. Meghan or sometimes even Moses.

Grew up in Central California’s answer to a (Swedish) Stars Hollow.

I’m the youngest. 1 of 3. Only girl. I have 2 neices and 2 nephews. I have had the same best friend since I was 4.

Graduated high school. Moved to the beach. (And Disneyland) Studied English and Music. Wrote papers on Sex and the City, said the Indians weren’t people (CONTEXT!) and sang in a choir. Got a passport. Went to China.

Graduated College. Stayed near the beach. Worked at a preschool with kids. A day camp with kids. A church with kids. (this is when I started drinking coffee.)

Kept going to Disneyland. Kept having adventures with some of the best people ever, living in the best apartment ever.

Went through a hellish depression. Went to therapy. A lot. Told my therapist my coach purse made me feel better. (saw him for four years. That’s a lot of coach purses.)

Got involved at my church. Wrote a lot about sermons. And went to South Africa. So I wrote about that as well.

Somewhere along those years I acquired three tattoos.

Then I got hit by a car. (and got another tattoo) I decided I needed to quit my job of 5 years. So I did.

I packed up my stuff.

Went on an adventure to 11 countries. With a group of people who are now family. I was veracious, a BA and a #112. I cooked over stoves, gas fires and coals. I was broken, beaten, Cambodian small eye stricken. My heart was full of stories from all over the world.

(and I got another tattoo)

And I came home. Fell apart

Realized I had shattered into a million pieces.

(Mostly) believed in Jesus

So I kicking and screaming got on a plane.

And spent six months in Spain. Where I not only acquired cooking skills and wine snobbery but where I met Love. Trust. Hope. Truth. VOICE. Where I met Jesus. Where I met Christ. Where I SLAYED giants. Where I acquired more family and a home team. (and then my passport was filled and expired)

So now: I’m moving to Bellingham WA. With a member of my home team. We are going to do the damn thing. And create a home for people to meet Love, to meet Jesus and to meet Christ. (and to read books and drink coffee and all the lovely things)

So that’s me. Meg. Lover of words, Jesus and coffee.

I have favorite places scattered over the world from this coffee shop in Kingsburg, to just about anywhere in Mijas, from Disneyland to Antique Café in Bangkok, from CapeTown, South Africa to the rice fields in Kampong Speu. My favorite places are scattered because the people I hold dear are. They are as close as down the street and as far as across an ocean.

And everywhere in between.

So I will go everywhere in between. With my desire to bring truth, story and home wherever I go. And a desire to bring this crazy love of Christ that I’ve encountered to all the spaces in which I walk.

If you want to know more about me, my love of story, what I’m going to do in Bellingham, about the winds in Spain, my love of coffee, what it means to have a hometeam or the fact that my TV watching schedule involves vampires and shows on TLC shoot me a message. I’d love to hear from you and hear where the winds are taking you.

ramblings

pardon me as I ramble about prophecy & truth

(this blog is very much a ramble. It is a topic that I need to delve more into, that I need to push more into, but these are some of my thoughts on what I think it is to have the gift of prophecy and how this blog turned into talking about feedback)

 

I remember one night at debrief in Brasov, Romania sitting with my friend Julie sipping tea and eating microwave popcorn and pondering what the next month in Ukraine would look like and then before I could even contemplate what was coming out of my mouth, I was speaking truth to Julie, words I felt she needed to hear.

piclab-6                                                                                         (this is Julie. ❤ to her)

It wasn’t the first time this kind of thing had happened. I just felt that there were sentiments that God wanted me to tell her.

Nothing special in that.

Just a messenger.

Then she said something I won’t ever forget, because it was something that I never thought would be part of who I am.

“Meg, has anyone ever told you that you have the gift of prophecy?”

Who said what now?

We talked about that for a second longer but I just had it milling in my head.

I wasn’t quite sure I agreed with it.

Going on the race we had to do this little thing called “feedback” essentially speaking truth and words into the members of our team. Sometimes that was difficult and in the form of constructive feedback, hard truths that were difficult to say. I’d begun to get into this practice of praying for the people around me, not just my teammates but my squadmates, my leaders, even my friends at home.
piclab-7                                                                 (veracity teamtime in Chincha Peru//this is how we pray)

And I’d found that God just kept filling my spirit with words, with wisdom that I shouldn’t know about it.

If I’m being honest sometimes it wasn’t exactly the easiest.

The main feedback I got through the year was too make sure I wasn’t sugarcoating what God was telling me, which if I’m being honest, I did sometimes.

I know the saying is, “don’t shoot the messenger” but sometimes the messenger feels like they are going to get shot.

Here’s the thing:

I’m a HIGH feeler. (also key WR lingo: “What’s your MeyersBriggs?)

And I care how other people feel (sometimes too much) so to impart such a hard truth on someone, who I know well and love, is a bit too much for me sometimes. I most definitely got better at it over the months of the race though.

piclab-9                                                                           (feedback dice//need I say more?)

So to bring us back to the point, PROPHECY and TRUTH are two words that have followed me home in powerful ways.

I still battle with those words. Being able to speak truth to people doesn’t mean everything I say is straight out of God’s mouth. I’m just a mere person whose brain and heart can get mixed in with the words I hear from Him. Thankfully we can take the words he gives us and put them next to scripture and the things that we know is true of Him.

 

Because, our God is not a God of confusion.

Which is comforting.

I’ve had more than one person at this point now almost a year later from that conversation with Julie tell me that I had the gift of prophecy, of truth telling.

It’s beautiful really because I treasure words so much, and I feel like God wouldn’t bestow this on me if He thought I would haphazardly throw his words around. I pray them over before they come out of my mouth they just start flowing.

In which case I have to pause and collect them, and organize them and pray that they come across wholly as his and not mine.

And in all of this I’ve learned this: God is not always loud, sometimes He is quiet, sometimes he is not speaking. But He never isn’t there.

Delving into and praying through this gift has been a constant reminder that God is always in fact there.

From “The Big God Story” by Michelle Anthony (yes a kid’s book. I used to be a preschool coordinator at a churchJ )

 “But then something strange happened….God was silent for a long time. Nearly four hundred years passed without a word from God. Just silence. But even though God was quiet, He wasn’t gone. His promise was still alive; it was just hidden”.

God has blessed in the last few weeks with the confirmation that wisdom He is allowing me to here for others is from Him. But in all of this; God has been silent about me. I think that’s where this whole topic came from, the silence from God as it pertains to my life, to my walk, to my heart. I know God is there, I know He is close by. He is just silent right now. All the things he has said before are still true, still active, still moving. His plan is still in action right now.

piclab-5                 (beginning of month 10, Siem Reap Cambodia NSQUAD worship// another moment of silence from God)

Right now in my head, it’s a stream of words of truth for others and in the midst of that silence for myself.

And all of this rambling is just for me to say:

Silence is ok.

Honest

words I’ve already written

(this is a poem I wrote on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai. It was my second to last flight on the adventure I took last year. It was a small glimpse at the woman I became in the last year. I’ve felt pulled to post it here because it’s something that always strikes a chord inside me. It’s a reminder of who I’ve become, what I’ve seen and where I am going)

I am a women.

strong

bold.

filled with knowledge of her own beauty

Someone who has seen the diversity of this world

and longs to walk in it even more

Someone who has walked the red light districts of Bangkok

the dangerous streets of Peru

bought tomatoes from the women in Mozambique who have joy

in the midst of their dark country.

I’m a woman who has been able to witness babushkas see clear for the first time

I’m someone who worshipped alongside brothers and sisters of different tongues

and from different nations

and it better because of it.

I am someone who longs to sit with someone

through their journey

but now knows not to stand in their gaps.

A woman who has learned the value of

rest

tough words

and community

I am woman who has a clear view

of her future

(as it’s one that involves nothing normal

and everything Christ)

There is more to me know than there EVER was then.

I’ve learned to let go of the darkness and wield the words

God has given me

as a sword.

There is so much more that I don’t even know

Thank you for walking with me in the unknown and the uncomfortable.

For journeying with me in the unthinkable.

For holding my heart up

and bringing me joy in the midst of sadness

And blessing me so incredibly well.

(to read more about my adventures around the globe last year go here. To partner with me in my next adventures you can go here.)