“You deserve this Megan,” words I’m pretty sure I’ve said to myself since I could talk.
Raised by two wonderful parents who taught me the best they could the meaning of being “selfless” I turned it in my brokenness and became selfish. I thought myself higher than I was, and proclaimed my name louder than others because I honestly believed I was better.
But through it all, I felt like darkness, I knew I was darkness. The things coming out of my mouth, while still being able to be redeemed and used for good by the grace of the Lord, were tainted with a hint of salt so that I could steal some of the flavors of His work and claim it as my own.
“You deserve this,” I said as I laid my head down to sleep at night and as I woke in the morning, thinking that I, in my own power had earned the right to something on this Earth.
And then something changed, I can pinpoint it a specific night. A night when I was suffocating under the weight of darkness and stress. A night when in the middle of it all, for one of the first times, I reached out to someone to show them my weakness more honestly than I had ever done before.
How freeing. How freeing it was for someone to see me in my darkness and still love me and value me anyways. “I value you,” “I will pray for you,” the words came in like aloe to soothe the burns etched upon my skin, like cold water quenching my thirst.
I don’t know what it was about that weekend that changed but it felt like the final bits of pressure was being applied. As if, in that moment, I could either crumble and disintegrate and let all of the work God has been doing in me over these past three years become nothing or, I could face it and take my place as a diamond, a precious gem worth more than I could ever imagine, in the polishing hands of the Lord.
It was then I finally started to understand I don’t deserve all the things I thought I did. I have not become the person I am through my own power but through the redemptive power of the Lord doing a good work in me. I have achieved great things and loved others well because the blood of my savior was shed on the cross and I have become whole again.
Because in my brokenness the Lord saw fit to use me.
“You deserve this”, words I no longer say to myself but words others have been saying to me these past couple weeks. Words I am in awe of every time they’re said to me because I’m humbled by all the ways these words show me how God has loved me. Words I know I wouldn’t be hearing except by the faithfulness of my community to encourage and cherish me, to extend grace and patience in my brokenness, and show me what it means to be loved, more fully and fiercely, than I could have ever imagined.
I don’t deserve this but I am so honored and humbled beyond belief to know that the redemptive work the Lord has done in me has put in me in a place of leadership. I’m humbled to be chosen, not once or twice, but three times, to share bits of my story to different audiences in this graduation season. The thought of it all simply overwhelms me and brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Not because I think I deserve this, but because in these opportunities, I see the evidence of my redemption so clearly and brightly.
Christ deserves the glory because He alone is the reason I’ve been able to love. He alone is the reason I’ve been able to change and become someone better than myself. He alone is the reason I can smile, full of a joy so overwhelming, that I cannot contain myself and overflow into others.
I am simply grateful and humbled to be a vessel He uses, may it be so for the rest of my life.