‘I know it’s not good to rely on another person, but I think Megs saved me’

James’ story | She helps me hold on to Jesus

“I was never a bad kid, but I was cheeky. In year 11, a cloudiness came over me and I found solace in running in the bush and listening to music that would take me on a journey away from the world. Music was my escape. The cloud was grey. And life felt hard.

At age 20, I was given a copy of a book about the life of Christian musician Keith Green, called No Compromise. I started to listen to his music and the profound words ripped me to the core. I had felt so lost and I wept at the state of my life. My life was a mess. I was not living in connection with the One who made me. One of Keith Green’s songs was about being asleep in the light: ‘And all heaven just weeps ‘cause Jesus came to your door, you left him out on the streets …’ I felt compelled by the love of Jesus. I had this knowledge of God and I had let it go. I felt a burning desire in my heart to live with Jesus.

After that, life did turn around, but it wasn’t always easy. The cloudiness continued.

Back then, I used to think I’d be married by the time I was 24, but I wasn’t.

At age 27, I took off around Australia to go on an adventure that my heart so desperately sought. After a few months, I made it to Perth. Again my heart was yearning for more. After one night in Perth, I decided I needed to go to Bible college to be in a disciplined environment to work out what I believed and why I believed it. I drove for three days straight to get home, to work and save enough money to start college the following year.

During Bible college, I started leading a youth group at the home of a family I came to know quite well. We used to gather at their house. It was a great group. The youngest of the family was Megan. She was still in school and there was zero romantic attraction, but it was always great to see her. She was fun.

Again, my desire for adventure took me off around the world. Then again, my desire to know God abruptly interrupted my adventure and I returned home after six months to lead a youth leadership conference.

The next year, Megan headed off to Tasmania to do a course in youth work. I rang her every week, in a friendly, brotherly way. One week I went to visit and I took her on a day trip to Freycinet National Park. We walked all day and then she fell asleep in the car going home. I looked across at her and I realised how comfortable it was.

I got back home and was working near the beach. One morning as the sun was rising I rang Megan and I told her that I liked her. I sent her flowers. She didn’t take that too well. She said she didn’t see me that way. I was devastated. After she got back from Tasmania, we didn’t speak for a while. It was pretty awkward.

But things changed the following month. I’ll let her tell you the rest of that story (see Friday’s Faith Story).

Sometimes, I think Megs saved me. I know it’s not good to rely on another person to keep you going with God, but there’s a real sense that she completes me. We’re right for each other. We are one. I always love being with her … even though it’s not always easy. We’ve had lots of stress in the family – major health issues, working interstate, complicated relationships and lots and lots of hospitalisations.

For the last two years, Megan has been in constant pain with a blood clot in her brain. It’s so hard seeing her like that.

But I know that we’re going to keep holding on to God and each other. When our kids were little, I used to push them high on swings and tell them, ‘Always hold on, never let go!’ It’s now the tattoo they all want (a few years away yet, please). I think it’s the same with God. Megs encourages me (and all of us) to hold on to Jesus, to not give up on God.

There’s a verse in Luke 9:51 that says, ‘As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.’ It’s amazing that Jesus knew what was coming next, but he resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He didn’t give up. He knew that his Father would redeem everything. He held on. The word ‘resolute’ speaks to me. I have to remember that this is not all there is in life. I have to hold on to Jesus!”

James’ story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

Luke 9:51

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