‘We realised we saw the world the same way’

Megan’s story | Reflecting the beauty of Jesus

“I first met James in 1998 when he was leading a Bible study group at my parents’ house. I was 17 and still at school and he was well and truly not in my age bracket of potential boys to like. He spent a lot of time at my family home, but I was rarely there.

There was zero romantic inclination.

A few years passed. We knew each other and he was the fun larrikin who made me laugh. We both love adventure and found ourselves going for a bushwalk a few weeks before I was heading off to Tasmania to do a Certificate III in Youth Work. James rang me every week to talk through what I was learning. It was a great time for me to consolidate all the content I needed to get through.

One week he came to visit, staying nearby with a mate of his. We had a few day trips out together and it was very comfortable. But I didn’t think of him as anything other than a friend. He was an older brother. And I was planning to go to Brazil to work with street girls.

After that week, James got back home and he called me to tell me that he liked me. He wanted to get to know me more. I was a bit confused. I hadn’t seen him that way. Then he sent me flowers and I totally rejected them. I had my mind on my studies and going to Brazil.

A month later, I finished my course, left Tasmania and arrived home. On my first Sunday back, I went to our church as normal and James wasn’t there. I missed him! It was a new thought. I was also worried about the awkwardness. I didn’t want it to be awkward for him with my family and the Bible study group. We arranged to meet for a short cup of tea to fix the awkwardness. Both of us had something that we needed to do afterwards, which was good. It would mean that the cup of tea would be short.

But then, while we were drinking tea, both of us received messages to say that the things we had on afterwards were cancelled. James said, “Do you want to go to dinner and a movie?”

We never went to the movie. We ate dinner together and then we sat on the grass outside and we talked and talked for hours. We realised that we saw the world the same way. We held onto God in the same way. Five weeks later, we were engaged and then three months later, we were married.

I never went to Brazil to work with street girls. Instead, we had our own three kids. In the last 20 years, though, we’ve probably had more than our fair share of hard things – major health issues, financial stress, hospital visits. After years of excruciating pain, I had brain surgery three months ago because I had too much pressure around my brain from a blood clot. A couple of months into me being unwell, we were having a mini holiday as a family to try to reduce the stress. Within two hours of being there, our dog had an accident, breaking his femur and James collapsed unconscious. It goes on and on. Life is often messy and can even be brutal. But God’s faithfulness remains.

I’ve lately been reminded that when it’s cloudy and you can’t see the sun, we still trust that the sun is there. It’s the same with God. He’s still there, even when it feels brutal. Jesus never disappoints us. I love the verse in John 11:35. Jesus knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead and he knew that it would all be for his glory. But Jesus wept. He wept over Lazarus and his sisters, and he wept over the pain of this messy life. It comforts me, especially in the middle of pain. We can still seek out Jesus’ beauty and goodness, wherever we are in the world (Brazil or Australia). And perhaps there’s a greater depth to our trust when we go through hard things. Perhaps, we even find that the dark clouds can turn sunrises and sunsets into an even more beautiful sight. The dark clouds of life can reflect the beauty of Jesus.”

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

John 11:35

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