Joyfully Exhausted

Written by Megan Heimel

Like many others, I was baptized as an infant. My family on occasion would attend church on Christmas and Easter. While I attended youth group through junior high and high school, I showed no interest in following Christ. My freshman year of college, I went to church a few Sundays with the Christian girls who lived on my floor in the dorms, and very briefly joined a college Christian group. However, I would quickly abandon those activities for toxic relationships, underage drinking & sneaking into bars.

Ephesians 2:1-3 says “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind.”  This was me. I was completely dead in my sin, living out a lifestyle as a stereotypical college party girl with a sinful, ugly heart.  

By the Grace of God, I managed to finish college without any major incidents. Shortly after graduation, my life was packed into my tiny silver Grand Am, and I moved to start my first ‘professional job’ in the real world. 

I remember walking into that beautiful law firm office to hear KLOVE was on the radio and in the conference room sat a black bible next to a marble statue of the 10 commandments. I quickly discovered that I had accepted a job at a Christian law firm.  I thought to myself, “What did I do?” Over the next year I would politely bow my head in prayer during morning meetings, but outside the walls of that office, I continued to live in darkness with a hardened heart that delighted in sin. Revelations 3:16 describes hypocrites like myself during this time as being lukewarm, neither hot not cold, and subject to being spit out of His mouth.  But one day, instead of leaving work to go to my usual happy hour, I went into my boss’s office and asked him to share his personal testimony with me. I would leave the office that night thinking I was saved.

I spent the next two weeks eagerly working to live more like a Christian should. I began attending church and pulled out the bible my early friends in college had gifted to me.  Unfortunately, this came to a screeching halt after I found myself at the bar again on a Saturday night. This time was a little bit different though, because on that night, I would meet a charming hockey coach.  We spent the next two weeks inseparable from each other, only to say a tearful goodbye at the airport. He was in search for a new coaching job. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again. But, just a few weeks after that goodbye, I discovered I was pregnant.

Jeff and I moved to Montana in August of 2012, were married in November, and had our beautiful son, Christian in December. During this time I was certainly not bearing any Christian fruit, and was failing at being a wife and mother due to my sinful choices.  The blueprint in which God designed for my marriage was not being followed in the least bit. I was strong willed, disobedient, selfish, greedy, jealous, and was contributing to a failed marriage that was not glorifying to God. Desperate to not fall into the statistics of divorce, Jeff and I decided to ‘get help’ with our marriage, and that is when we were lead to the church that my husband’s employer attended, which ironically was literally next door to the apartment complex where we lived when we first moved to Montana. 

The pastor at that church agreed to meet with us, under the condition that our family would begin attending church.  I remember sitting in the church in August 2015, completely overwhelmed and clueless. The only thing I recall was that the sermon was on John 15, and there was a lot of talk about a vine and branches. It also stood out as being strange that everyone that greeted us there was so genuinely kind, and not in a fake way. It was like they actually cared for us- which was weird to me since they didn’t know us apart from being the hockey coach and his wife. We continued going to church, and also began meeting with the pastor and his wife once a week.

During our first session, I recall being extremely frustrated.  Not only did my husband and I fight the entire drive to their house, but when we arrived, we didn’t even talk about our marriage once. We talked about Jesus and the cross. This was not what I signed up for. I wanted our marriage fixed, and I wasn’t interested in Jesus or religion. After the first session, I declared that I didn’t think we should continue. But by God’s grace, and gentle encouragement from my husband we continued.  

In the Spring of 2016, things started to drastically change in my personal life.  I purchased a John MacArthur study bible (that is, after ‘accidentally’ buying a Joyce Meyer bible – not realizing at the time she was a false teacher) and wanted to be in the Word all the time.  The pages started to come alive. During my breaks at work I was reading my bible, and soon bright colored sticky notes with scripture were stuck to my computer and desk. At home, my marriage was flourishing, not because of anything we were doing differently, but because we learned of the need to put Christ first.  As our love of Christ grew, our love for each other did as well.  

I don’t have an exact date for my conversion, but I know it was during this time that God granted me a strong desire to finally deny myself and completely surrender to the Lord. My life became subject to dramatic change, specifically when I quit my full time job where my love of money and worldly things was taking precedence over my Godly duties in the home. 

In March of 2017, my husband and I were both baptized and publicly shared our testimonies and declared Christ our Lord and Savior in front of our amazing church body filled with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Since then, we have become members at our church, and now serve in Children’s Ministry as Sunday School teachers and directors of our Summer VBS. I continue to be amazed at how the Lord has equipped us to serve and continue growing in our faith. 

While some would call me getting pregnant out of wedlock, getting married and starting a wonderful family a love story with a happy ending, this is not the case. Young ladies, I do not recommend going down this path.  My testimony is an example of God’s Grace and Mercy for his children. I was a sinner saved by grace, I was blind and now I see.


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