Journeys

10:48 AM


We are all connected. I know that now more than ever.

Just a few months ago, I came across the story of a beautiful young girl named Megan, who had been changed forever because of the effects of domestic violence. The NCADV posted her story after it hit the Florida news media. Megan's story was so tragic and raw that it brought me to tears. She was only 20 years old and lost her father and both of her young baby girls to the rage of an abusive partner. Her father was with Megan and trying to help her escape the situation, when the perpetrator arrived at the home to stop her from leaving. In a rage, he shot them all before taking his own life. Megan survived despite sustaining seven bullet wounds, including one to the face.

This story took my breath away and I felt anger! Then I felt extreme sadness when I realized the pain she must be experiencing after witnessing and surviving such trauma and my tears began to flow. I shared this news story on Facebook and shared my feelings that night with my husband. I couldn't stop thinking about her. I prayed for her that night and whenever my thoughts turned to her, I said a prayer in my heart. Each time I recounted the story to another, I would begin to cry. I still cry.
Then December came and I was hit with my own personal and unexpected tragedy. My father was in a car accident and had sustained multiple traumatic injuries. So, I spent most of December with my sisters gathered around my father's hospital bed. We spent weeks together in the hospital’s trauma unit not knowing if he would survive. Megan's story was no longer in the forefront of my mind. However, it was not forgotten!

My father had a miraculous recovery and then the holidays came and went along with the month of January. That is about the time I found myself in a jet, on a tarmac, and with my husband headed to Florida for a last-minute get-a-way! I was looking forward to lying in the sun and reading a few good books and just "checking-out" for a bit. I didn’t know that soon the last three months of my life would make a complete circle in my heart and on the map.

Shortly, after arriving my husband called his cousin. Since marrying my husband three years ago, I had not had the opportunity to meet Brian, Christine, and their children. So, we arranged to spend Sunday afternoon together. They invited us to come to their home for dinner. Our time together was wonderful and I felt like I had known them forever, especially Christine! We had one of those soul-sister moments, where you find yourself knee-to-knee and sharing your hearts within hours of meeting, as if you've always known each other. Christine shared with me details of losing her beautiful young daughter to cancer and how hard it can be to say good-bye to one so young and so soon, especially for a mother.





We discussed healing and forgiveness and I shared with her how writing has helped me to heal. We realized we share a love of family history. Then I shared with her a little of my past, specifically with domestic violence. Christine then began to share with me a story of a young girl that attended her church, someone she cared for deeply and was trying to help. Her words soon began to sound familiar and she was not halfway through her story before I interrupted, "I know this story. Are you talking about Megan?" She surprisingly responded, "Yes! How do you know?" I then related to her my connection to her story and how it affected me. We were both amazed and did not believe that this connection was simply a coincidence.

Within moments Christine was on the phone with Megan's mother and arranging for us to visit her that night. Most of those moments are a blur. I just remember praying in my heart that God would help me to know what to say to Megan. I remember thinking how could I possibly help her? Little did I know how meeting Megan would be helping me to know in greater detail God's hand in my life and the lives of his children; His great love for all of His children no matter where they may live or what they are experiencing; How He connects His children together in order to strengthen them.

Each human journey is unique, but God did not intend for us to travel alone. I realize this truth more fully now, after I sat next to Megan that night and held her hand and cried with her. She recounted what happened to her on that tragic day and expressed the love she had for her dear father and best friend. She spoke of their final moments together and the precious words of love they exchanged after she crawled to be by his side. We marveled at the miracle of her still living and the importance of her life. She expressed her desire to tell her story in the hope that it may help other young women who could find themselves in similar circumstances. She proudly showed me pictures of her baby girls. We smiled at their beauty and then cried some more. She described their unique personalities in that way that only a mother of twins would know and understand. I felt humbled and grateful that she would share such precious things with me, but most of all I felt love. I felt God's love for her so strongly and told her so. We cried and said our good-byes.

I am not sure I will ever see Megan again, but I hope that I will. She touched my heart that night in ways that are hard to describe. I am so grateful that Christine had a hand in connecting us as well as sharing part of her heart with me. When I think of my visits with Christine and Megan, I know that I don't need to be next to either one of them to feel connected to them as women, daughters, mothers, and children of God. Despite the fact that ultimately we need to find the strength within ourselves to journey-on and heal, we don't ever need to ever feel alone in doing so!

 

You Might Also Like

3 comments

  1. My heart is deeply touched as I read your beautiful recount of that special Sunday in January. We are all connected! God's love is manifest as He places people in our lives who help and inspire us in our journey through mortality. I know that God needed you to reach out to Meagan, so He orchestrated the opportunity for you and Mark to travel that Sunday to St. Augustine, Florida. I will never forget the image of you grieving with Meagan. You listened to her story with sincere empathy and compassion. Your presence and kind words provided her with courage, hope and direction.

    What a privilege it was for our family to meet you and hear of your remarkable story of healing from the tragedies of domestic abuse. You radiate the goodness of God and power that comes through our Savior's atonement. Countless lives will be changed for the better because of your example of courage and forgiveness. Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You really are amazing, Wendy. I loved talking with you about this the other day and now reading how it all came together is just beautiful. It's obvious that you bless the lives of everyone you meet, myself included. Xo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, what an amazing coincidence! ;) Actually I don't believe that was coincidental at all! I see Gods hand in all of this, even though it's so tragic! You two are a testament of faith to all of us! Thank you for sharing! Xoxo

    ReplyDelete