Idols come in different forms. Many times, we think of golden images being prayed to, but very rarely can we look and identify the idols in our life until they fall in the presence of the Lord. I practiced idolatry at 16 and didn’t even know it.
I grew up in the church and began to follow Jesus when I was 9 years old at a summer camp. I walked closely, but in high school the perception of Christians wasn’t a good one and peer pressure became strong. I began to place my identity in relationships. It seemed to exonerate me from bullying, but it caused me to take up an idol in my life like I hadn’t seen before. I remember hugging my high school boyfriend filled with fear that he would leave me and my identity would be shattered. He was popular and many wanted to see us fail and I knew if we did, I would be mortified. I heard the still small voice of God calling me out of that relationship, but instead I clung. Until one day, I felt as if that idol I clung to was slipping through my hands like sand, and then he did, my idol fell. In that moment everything changed.
I remember reading in Revelation, that was the book my youth group was going through, on my bed and crying as I read the words, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the works you did at first.” (2:4-5a) I had fallen and I had abandoned my first love, God! It was then I rededicated my life and committed to not letting any man come before me and the Lord. I made a declaration to God that my life would be about his work and his straight path. I dove head first into reading his word, praying constantly, and surrounded myself with a community of believers. God healed my broken heart; he was with me on my high school campus in the midst of the loneliness that comes with break ups. He restored my identity through his word, not through the opinions of others. I found joy in his presence and I had my eyes on my first love again.
I didn’t date for eight years until I met my now husband. God had our paths cross as we volunteered at a refugee picnic in California. One of my standards when looking for a husband was that he would love God more than me, and that he would expect the same from me. I am grateful to say I found that in my husband, he even engraved that on my wedding band: “Love God More”. Now by God’s grace he has given us a vision to rebuild and restore in the Middle East by helping refugees. He has allowed me to fulfill the declaration I made in my bedroom as a broken-hearted high schooler. Such sweet grace!
Megan and her husband are preparing to move overseas to the N.A.M.E. region (North Africa, Middle East) to love on refugees. For this reason we have chosen to protect her identity. If you would like to join their stateside support team or know more about what they will be doing please email firstname.lastname@example.org.