This week’s Featured Real-Girl’s Essay is written by Meagan Thompson, a sweet friend of mine who I finally met in person 2 years ago after finding her through We Are Beautiful‘s Instagram page a while back. Meagan is probably the most genuine person I’ve met – five minutes into a conversation with her, and you’ll know her passionate love for the Lord, her obsession with Disneyland, and a steadfast love for cultivating community. Also, she has great hair. It fills me with such joy to call her my sister friend! Today she is sharing a story many of us can relate to – how to pull yourself out of the pit, and embrace the person God has called you to be.
One thing on your bucket list? “Pack up a van with my hubby and my pooch and road trip up the west coast visiting every state/national park. I want to see ALL of it!!”
Favorite thing to cook? “Nothing! I am a terrible cook, but God knew I would need a stud chef in my life and sent me Seth Thomson to feed me!”
Favorite smell? “There used to be a ride at California Adventure in Disneyland called Soarin’ Over California (now Soarin’ Around the World). It made you feel like you were flying over different parts of California and sprayed scents that coincided with the different landscapes. The smell over the California orange fields knocked my socks off – I wish they would bottle that smell up and sell it. I would totally buy it!”
Thank you Meagan for being a part of our Real-Girls: Wives community! Finding magic in the midst of motherhood + marriage is something we are all doing, together. Check out Meagan’s encouraging story below, and see how she cultivated community after moving to a new city!
“Do you ever feel like life just threw a punch that knocked the wind out of your lungs? I like to call these moments “The Pits”. In those times it’s easy to give in to this definitive feeling that we’ll never make it out of the hole that we’ve found ourselves in. We tumble into a pit of self-pity and despair and lose hope that it will get better. It’s dark, confusing, panic starts setting in, and it’s hard to move forward when you can’t see an end to the struggle.
For me, my dark pit was a seriously twisted case of body dysmorphia coupled with a dash of anorexia and bulimia. Self-loathing and low self esteem led the way to a lifestyle of toxic habits, shame, and depression. I had become a prisoner to my mind and completely given over to the idea that I would never measure up because of the way that I looked. But through a supernatural experience of God’s gentle love and grace, He delivered me from my internal prison and gave me a vision that I would one day share my story of triumph with others.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I found myself linking arms and dreams with a passionate and fiery Ecuadorian named Maricialia Jaramillo. She shared with me a powerful vision that eventually birthed an incredible women’s ministry called We Are Beautiful in Tulsa, Oklahoma where I went to school. The purpose of this ministry was and is to create a community of women inspiring each other to embrace and celebrate their true beauty.
When I moved to Oceanside, CA from Tulsa a few years ago, I honestly didn’t know what to expect in trying to start a new chapter of We Are Beautiful in a new city, where I knew no one. I felt like God had given me this incredible opportunity in Oklahoma to water and cultivate a rich and rewarding expanse of friendships that felt more like family, and gave me a platform to serve Him in ministry alongside these unforgettable humans. How was I supposed to find something even remotely comparable all over again? Starting over in a new city where nobody knows your name offers its fair share of excitement and complete intimidation. The first year found itself difficult to gain any real traction, and I found myself feeling low and disheartened at what I had left behind.
Not long after, God sent me a perspective change. A great spiritual hero and mentor of mine, Pastor Rich Shepherd, was visiting San Diego for a speaking engagement at a church conference. Chatting about life with me, he asked if I liked San Diego and if I was glad I had moved. In response to my mention of feelings of isolation and lack of community in comparison to what I had around me in Tulsa, he posed this thought, “Meagan you are blessed for what you have experienced in friends and family in the past. A lot of people can’t say that they have ever had that. What if you are the one that is meant to start that same experience here? What if you are the one meant to build that community?”
Mind. Blown. I hadn’t even realized that I was the one wallowing in The Pits, waiting for invites to land on my doorstep…instead of getting out there and taking control of my life. Friends, I want to encourage you in this – stop waiting for the invite to be extended. Be the one inviting others out, and watch the shift that happens in your life!
Since that conversation which totally altered my perspective, my best friend and I had the opportunity to plant the San Diego chapter of We Are Beautiful. What it has morphed into is a small but mighty group of women that come together in the Word, warring over each other in prayer during both life’s peaks and valleys. It is not for nothing that the Bible encourages us to remain in fellowship with other believers.
In this community of brave women, God’s promise to me was fulfilled and this wonderful, beautiful word called Redemption became my story. The dictionary definition of Redemption is: Serving to offset or compensate for a defect. Let’s pause here for a moment because this means that in all of our flaws, all of our imperfections, God’s mercy and grace serves to offset and make right what we have destroyed. Wow! What an incredible promise for us.
See here’s the thing…the enemy is a liar, and he is really, really good at it. It’s easy to get swept away into his twisted world of distorted reality. What we don’t always recognize is that in all of his mischievous tactics, all that he really requires is an opportunity to silence, paralyze, or shame us in order to keep us from moving forward into the amazing plans that God has waiting for us.
But here’s the good news – God is Jehovah Goel, “my Redeemer.” What the enemy meant to use to harm us, God uses to bless and glorify His name. Joseph, a guy that definitely knew something about being in the pits, said it best in Genesis: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish [good things].” (Genesis 50:20).
So if you are in the same boat that I was and are struggling with your identity, your appearance, finding your home in a new city…I urge you, don’t fall into the comparison trap or the condemnation trap. You are wonderfully designed to be exactly you and the Lord has a plan and purpose to use you and your story to encourage others and be a light in the darkness. This is coming from a girl that still fights to view myself as God sees me and for who He says that I am. The Lord says, “you are altogether beautiful my darling, there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Solomon 4:7). Dwell on this instead of the fears and doubts that the enemy puts inside your head.
God doesn’t promise that we’ll live a life without hardships, but He does tell us that He came so that we may have life and life abundantly. I don’t know where you are at in your life or where you’re struggling, but I want you to consider this: What are you holding on to that’s keeping you from moving forward trusting God’s promises? Find it, and run from it. Let’s get out of the pit, shake off the shame, the silence, and the uncertainty so we can live boldly and passionately for the One that created the very stars above our heads.”
Meagan | We Are Beautiful San Diego Chapter Founder
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