About three years ago I was in the darkest period of my life. Several things had occurred at once leaving me with very little hope. The only thing I really knew to get through this place of despair was to get outside of myself and become involved in the lives of others.
One such thing was becoming a leader at Bible & Beach, a high school event hosted by Southeast Christian Church. It was at the first-time leaders’ training that I first heard the phrase, “Yeah, me too”. It moved me. I listened as Brad McMahan, the youth minister at Southeast Christian Church, told us there was power in that phrase; the power to connect with the students, the power to put them at ease, the power to allow them to open up and share the darkest places of their own lives. It resonated with what God was showing me.
As the training continued, we were encouraged to briefly share our stories with those at our tables. There were two other women at my table who shared before me. As each woman told her story I became intimated because of the “normal” and “amazing” lives they each had led, especially compared to my current jacked-up situation. I remember mumbling something to the effect that I had been a Christian since I was eleven and that I had just been through a horrible time in my personal life, and I think I said it’s amazing I’m still a believer. I can laugh now, but at that time, all I felt was inferior, and I left that training with a different mindset. I knew I couldn’t go as a leader to Bible and Beach. I had nothing to offer anyone, much less incoming freshman girls.
I would like to say I wrestled with God in my decision to call Brad and let him know I wouldn’t be a leader after all, but I didn’t wrestle. I simply told God no, it wasn’t going to happen. I had nothing to offer. I had nothing to give to those young women.
We plan, God laughs so the saying goes. I’m not sure how it happened, but I ended up talking with Brad and letting him know what was going on in my life. He told me that God already knew and had chosen me to go, and that He would put me in the group He designed, and to remember the power of “Yeah, me too”.
I don’t always understand the ways of God and how to connect the dots of the events of my life to who God is, but if I look in the Bible, there is story after story of God using people exactly where they were. God uses our broken lives to touch the hearts of others.
“God never wastes a hurt” or so I’ve heard Dave Stone say, Senior Pastor at Southeast Christian Church. If I am faithful to walk in His ways and to remember “Yeah, me too”, God can do amazing things.