Monday Musings: Best of times, Worst of times

For writing this week, I had to compose a narrative. I decided to write on my moves and feelings. This is a very rough draft and hasn’t been edited yet, just fyi :)

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

I pointed my finger at heaven and accused God of not caring. In response, he gradually blessed me more than I could have ever imagined. Compared to many people, my life has been very hard. However, the hardships I have faced have made me who I am today, and in all of them, God has never left my side.

I lived in Virginia until I was ten years old. In 2006 my dad decided to buy a company. However, when company-buying searches proved fruitless because of the economy, he went back to job-hunting. Finally, in 2008, he received a job offer. I was almost eleven. I remember it so clearly. It was about nine-thirty in the evening, past my bedtime. I had climbed into bed, worried about rumors I had heard about my family moving. My mom came in to kiss me goodnight. I came right out and asked her, “Mommy, are we moving?”

She knew that I knew, so she told me. “Yes. We are.”

I struggled with that, to say the least. I locked myself in my closet crying. I was angry—at my mom, at my dad, at God. I remember distinctly hearing my mom say to me as I was in the closet, “Megan, don’t be angry at daddy or God because of this.”

The move was difficult, but it was a novelty. It was like going to a whole new world. Dad referred to it as ‘our great adventure’.  I was really heartbroken, but I was excited to see what was in store for us.

On June 23, 2008, we arrived in Stillwater, Minnesota. We rented a house: It was a big, empty, brick house. Much of our furniture was still in Virginia because we had not sold our house yet. Our house had a pool and 4 acres. We swam all summer. We made a series of forts in the woods called “Mulberry Town”. Our house was nice, but it was not home.

We bought a house a year after we moved to Minnesota. It was also a large brick house. This was the most gorgeous house I’ve lived in. I loved this house. Actually, I loved everything about Minnesota, and I still do. I had the amazing privilege of being able to ride horses in the county fairs and competitions. Life in Minnesota was simple. I was never rushed or hurried. Although there were hardships there, I see them now as blessings in disguise. Minnesota was my green pasture and still water until February of 2010.

In February of 2010, the company that  my dad worked at in Minnesota basically fell apart, due to the recession and other factors. My dad searched for a job in Minnesota, but God was not calling us there.  Wanting to move further east and reasoning that the search would be easier on the east coast, my dad, after much prayer, decided that God was calling us to move back to Virginia. Again, we rented a house, although this time it was a tiny, cookie-cutter, suburban house on the south side of Richmond.

This move was the harshest I had been through at that time. I am not the type of person who cries—in fact, I hardly ever cry. When we were in the midst of moving from Minnesota to Virginia, I cried at least once every day. I was leaving the best friends I had made in my whole life. Virginia was tough. My friends there had changed. I had changed. However, the hardest was yet to come.

In October of 2010, my dad got a job offer from Lititz Mutual Insurance in Lititz, Pennsylvania. He took it. We moved to Lititz on November 29, 2010. We rented a small, remodeled farmhouse. It was far away from town and we felt very isolated. I had absolutely no friends. That winter was the hardest season of my life that I have ever faced. We were in a new place; we had no idea what church we would go to or where we would live. We were renting a house, far away from everything. We visited some churches. I was unwilling to accept my parent’s decision regarding church. The church we attended for a year grew from a place I hated, to a comfortable place. In June of 2011, we bought a house much closer to the action. But God was not done yet. In April of this year (2012) God started calling us to switch churches. It was not very different for me because I had friends at the new church too. Actually, the church change gave me more friends. Now, almost two years after moving here, I am starting to feel at home and comfortable.

It’s amazing  how long it is, and yet it seems like yesterday. God’s faithfulness has been expressed to me in so many ways, so many times. I think that for the first time, I realized that He was actually there. Like He often does, God picked away my selfish independence and showed me how much I really needed him. I am so, so, so, so very thankful for the trials he has given me. If I could go back and redo my life, I would not change a thing. The hardships I have experienced have taught me that trusting God is the most important thing I can do. I look at my trials and then I look at God, and all the trials fade away compared to the awesome majesty of Him.

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Pondering the mysteries of God’s perfect planning

As my first post, I am going to dive in. :)

Today is the first year of my life living in Lancaster. As I look back over the past year, I can see God’s faithfulness and mercy to me. I’m reading Tacitus right now, and he says that historians can’t write history without a strong bias if they live in the times they are writing about, because they can’t ‘see the bigger picture’. I kind of feel the same way- as if I’m stepping back and taking a whole new look at life, and the world, and myself.

I remember exactly the first day of life here. I remember what I was wearing! It’s amazing  how long it is, and yet it seems like yesterday. So much has happened over this year. My family bought a house. We bought a dog. We were going to go to school but decided not to at the last minute. It’s amazing how much can happen! God’s faithfulness has been expressed to me in so many ways, so many times. I think that for the first time, I realized that He was actually there. I mean, I knew He existed, I believed it, but I didn’t live like it was true or think about it. But, like He often does, God picked this away by showing me how much I really needed him. I think trials are a very effective way of getting my attention, although I didn’t realize it until this summer. I was angry at God, I was angry at my family, I was angry at everything! I didn’t see how this could possibly work for my good. But God did.

We were in a new place; we had no idea what church we would go to or where we would live. We were renting a house, far away from everything. I had no friends. We visited some churches. I really, really wanted to call one of them home, even though they didn’t feel like I ‘belonged’. I wanted friends so badly that I was willing to be stubborn, prideful, and angry because I thought that I would find them in (insert place here). I couldn’t accept my parent’s decision to come to Crossway. I hated it, in fact. I had a plan: I thought that I had friends, that I was fine, and that the place I was in was ‘home’. But no, God had a different plan.

I’m looking back on my calendar at March of 2011, March 27th to be exact. This was the first time I came to Crossway. (On my calendar, it is written “Yuckway”… shows what I felt. :) ) I absolutely hated it. It wasn’t that I hated the service itself; it was good to worship and have strong teaching. But I didn’t want to have friends there. I was so angry and bitter. My facial expression probably gave me away… :) I continued to go to church there, and my hate dimmed to bitterness. I no longer hated it; I had met some very nice people. But it wasn’t home…yet.

I think the first time Crossway really felt like “home” was in June of 2011, when we became members. We became members June 5, 2011. I was still slightly stubborn, but I was beginning to melt. This was also the first church picnic, the Crossway Mile, etc. It was only then that I began to realize that this was, surprisingly, where I belonged. I had been signed up to go on a short missions trip with another church we had gone to, but I pulled out at the last minute because we were becoming members. I think this is when I realized that Crossway was home. Later in June was Youth Camp, and God really started to work in me. I was seeing reasons for the trials, and I was seeing my need for Him and the Holy Spirit was exposing my utter sinfulness to me. Then in August, I was baptized after waiting a year and a half. This was one of the best days of my life. I can see how faithful God has been- in saving me, in sending Christ, in leading me to Lancaster. I am so thankful!

Now I know that God is in control. He is in charge of the world. If he can control the fate of the world, how much more can he control my fate! I am completely powerless (now I see).

chorus of This Is Home: By Switchfoot

This is home/now I’m finally where I belong/where I belong/Yeah this is home/I’ve been searching for a place of my own/now I found it/Maybe this is home/yeah this is home/now I know that this home