Monday, May 3, 2010


Hey friends, I started this post back in January and never finished. Browsing back over it today made me think I should dust it off, finish it, and post it...


I'm back to the grind these days, in the hospital 80+ hours a week, but I finally have a day off to catch up on life. There's so much to tell you, my friends.

But I'll start with the best thing...

My husband is home. And it is so sweet to do life together again.

I hope you can imagine my absolute joy despite the boundaries of the written word. Somehow it just seems silly to try to explain it here. It is wonderful. It just is.

I'm so thankful he was only away for 7 months and he was only in Pensacola. But, lemme tell ya, 7 months is a long time and Florida is a long way from here. My heart really does pour out for my friends who are without their spouse for any period of time. I can tell you this will come and it will go and he (or she!) will be home soon and life will be bright again.

I finished Beth Moore's Believing God and it was outstanding. She is maybe the most insightful person ever (well, next to Donald Miller...). What an awesome woman! I especially loved this part and wanted to share it here.

"G.K. Chesterton wrote of a God who is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun; and every evening, 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never gotten tired of making them'...Though he could have thought the entire cosmos into existence in a millisecond, instead He brought it about with great patience."

What a great God.

Beth also challenged the reader to develop a faith timeline, which was a great exercise for me because when I really think about things, its just plain to see how long God has been working on me. I thought I'd share my timeline here.

1980: I was born.

1986: My heritage of faith started at Mt. Zion Methodist Church in Milan, Georgia. I especially remember my Aunt Jerry and her endless energy with the puppet shows she performed for us while stuffed in the tiniest wooden box entertaining a bunch of rowdy children. She always wore a big smile and lipstick. I was always welcome at her house even when I'm sure it was inconvenient. Especially when I [accidentally] sprayed MACE in the house and we all had to evacuate. I saw how big Jesus was in my family's lives and it made a mark on my coming years.

~1988-ish: I was saved during Vacation Bible School.

1992: I became active in the Y Club as a middle schooler. James and Jo Matthews were our club advisors and their Christian leadership influenced me in a big way. I went to YMCA conferences and started getting involved in Youth in Government. I remember feeling "on fire" for Christ for the first time at Epworth by the Sea on St. Simon's Island with my Y-friends.

Around that same time, I really started looking up to my mom's friend, Myrna. She drove a Jeep and rode horses. I thought she was the coolest thing. I spent lots of weekends with her on trail rides and learning how to drive a manual transmission. This surely must be how I started my love affair with Jeeps. She encouraged me to write and I think maybe it is in part because of her that I enjoy it so much. Jesus was her best friend. A laughing, happy, comforting and merciful friend. I feel blessed to have known Myrna. She died tragically before I was ever able to fully articulate my gratitude.

1994: My mom and I moved from Georgia to Alabama. I think this move opened a lot of doors for me. I had some wild teenage years, but I was a happy kid and loved our church. This was when I realized how good being a part of the church, the body of Christ, felt.

1998: I went on a mission trip to Costa Rica with our church. I misbehaved a little, but overall, I think God used this trip to open my eyes to suffering and its place in this world.

2000: Campus Crusade for Christ was a huge influence in my life during college. I didn't dedicate myself to it like I should have, but this was the first time I came to see myself as one of JC's very long (and perhaps frustrating?) works in progress. I could tell He was always working on me, whether I wanted Him to or not. Maegan...thanks.

Around this time I had 2 relationships that taught me a lot. I finally began to see what I wanted in a soul mate and realized getting there was going to be painful at times and require a few detours along the way. Those detours were worth the while, though. God bless the broken road, right?

2004: I moved to Virginia for medical school. What an awesome journey this has been! Lady and I moved up here with wide eyes and open hearts and we have been so fulfilled. Rob and I started dating just about 4 months after I moved here. And y'all know the rest of that story :)

As soon as I moved to Virginia, I started going to a community church with an amazing praise and worship band. This was the first time I realized how dependent I was on other people (namely Deborah, a singer in the band) to enrich my worship. All of the sudden, she left our church and it really took me a long time to be able to adjust to the new vibe. Silly, I know. We are supposed to go to church to worship and bring glory to God, but I need other people to help me carry my cross.

2007: We moved across the state to Norfolk, where we live now. We didn't know a soul! We have really loved it, though. Right away, we found the Best Church Ever, Tab Church, and again felt that fire in our hearts, not only in the praise and worship, but also in the in-depth teaching. One couple in particular, The Hardison's, were instrumental in Rob and me deepening our relationship with God. I think of everything before Tab as my justification and it was our Care Group with the Hardison's that brought the beginning of our sanctification. I started to read Christian texts a little more seriously and I learned more about God and faith and grace that I had ever known before. It was a time of rapid change for us and it was great. Rowen was born a year later and we both knew a whole new love. Having a baby gave everything perspective. We started to realize the huge blessing and responsibility of raising our child in a home filled with Christ's love.

2009: I came upon a spiritual rut and decided to finally read "Blue Like Jazz." It changed my life. WOW. The entire book is just brilliant. Its an easy read and its on my list to read again soon. Among other things, this book gave me some great insight about how we treat people. I will paraphrase here: The problem with our culture is that we treat love as a commodity, like money. If someone does something for us, like offering us gifts, time, popularity, we feel they have value. We withhold affirmation from the people who don't agree with us or offer us something and we lavishly "finance" those who do. But love doesn't work like money. When we barter with it, we all lose.

I used to have this skewed idea of "friendship" in that it should be a 50/50 give and take type of deal. I came to realize over the years that we don't (or shouldn't) love people for what they do for us or offer us, but because of a genuine fondness for their very being. I love this person with all of their quirks and nuances and baggage. It's refreshing to look at things that way because then you don't have this constant feeling of expectation. Reading that part in "Blue" gave my theory some validation and I just really identified with it. Good, good stuff.

Well, that brings us to current day! I'm kinda feeling like I'm in another spiritual rut with lots of pride and failure to take up my daily cross on a regular basis. I just started "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis and I hear that's another game changer, so we'll see. I'm also starting "Prayer and the Art of Volkswagon Maintenance" soon. Its another of Don Miller's books and if its half as enlightening as "Blue", we'll be good.

Thanks for listening. Feels good to finally finish this, 4 months in the making :)


  1. thanks meryl! that was encouraging! so glad you're walking with Jesus! it's a beautiful journey!

  2. Small world, I went on a missions trip to Costa Rica in 1998 as well.

    You are such a great writer. I always enjoy reading your blog.

    See you again soon!