Thursday, January 26, 2012

HEROES Fitz's Part 2

Okay, so had to save my favorite half of the Fitz post for second. It's hard to write this one because I don't want to think about having to say goodbye to her in 3 days. (And thinking about her just makes me think of having to say bye to her)

But, here goes my attempt...

(I have called her this for pretty much as long as I've known her, and I'm pretty sure I got it from the 2 year old version of Tierra Blake.)

Lori was the first person I met at Antioch Church, and talk about a good first impression. She was so sweet to me, and I really thought she was believable.

She proved that right.

Lori is the single most [genuinely] kind person I have ever known.
I've been friends with her for over 7 years and have never seen her treat anyone rudely, or be "fake nice" to anyone.
She is a true Christ follower, a Proverbs 31 wife, an incredible mom, & faithful friend.

She is the poster child for consistency.
I've always known I could count on her to be there for me.
She has prayed with me, fought for me, encouraged me, and been my favorite lunch date partner. She has sent me cards in the mail just to tell me she believes in me. She has celebrated my birthday every year like I was a part of her family.
She has made me feel like I can conquer the world.

Lori is an eternal optimist. I love this about her, and sometimes it drives me a little crazy.
(only because I am not eternally optimistic haha).
For every problem or annoyance she can find the positives, and a solution.
And so far, she hasn't steered me wrong. :)

When Lori is in your life, she's in it for the long haul. She is a relationship builder, and a maintainer. I can't recall a time where she hasn't been a key part of my life here, or any season of my life she hasn't been involved in. She has walked with me every step since day one, and I can't imagine what my life would be like without her in it.

Lori is the perfect example of how to mentor people. In the process of raising me up to be who I am meant to be, she became one of my greatest friends. She has shaped me into the person I am today, and I couldn't be more thankful to have a friend like her.
I text her more than anyone other than my husband & sister, laugh with her until we cry, dream about the future, and obsess over Disney Channel Sitcoms (BA BAM!).
She make me feel like a priority to her, and loves me almost as much as I love her. (Just don't think she could actually love me quite as much as I her)

Heroes stick with you & catch you every time you're falling. They don't have to be everywhere at once, they just have to be fully engaged wherever they are.

I love you, LoLo.

Just this past weekend, Shaun & Lori became the Young Adults directors at Antioch Church. And as much as the timing of this makes me sad, I couldn't be happier.
And I can't think of ANYONE better for the "job".
I encourage you if you are a young adult in the KC area, and especially if you are at Antioch Church; get involved with The Rising. These people will literally "love the junk" out of you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

HEROES - Fitz's Part 1

Okay, so it's no secret to anyone that I love Shaun, Lori & their kids.
They probably know it better than anyone, because I try to make sure these kinds of things don't go unsaid.

However, I figured I would share some of the reasons why they are my heroes.
(I was going to post them both in one, but that was becoming REALLY long, so this will be a 2 part post).


Shaun was on staff at Master's Commission my first year; & has been a pastor, mentor & source of encouragement since day 1 of my life in Kansas City. (Actually, I didn't like him the first day I met, maybe since day 2)

Shaun is compassionate. In fact, I would say he is the most compassionate person I know. He doesn't feel for you, he feels WITH you. He has kindness in his eyes & his heart bleeds when he speaks.
He is one of the most genuine people I know.

I have had a lot of amazing leaders in my life, but there is something very different about Shaun.
He is the first male leader I trusted to let be in my life (who wasn't already in it) since Junior High. I didn't ever tell him anything about what I had gone through, but he knew how to love me through all of it anyway.

There have been a lot of instances where Shaun has encouraged me, prayed with me, made me cry, & kicked my butt when I was being a punk.

There is one particular instance that literally changed the way I lived my life...

The night of my first year graduation some majorly hurtful things all came rushing to the surface.
You ever have one of those moments where something you thought you were "over" just hits you?
I had a moment. A big moment... Shaun "just happened" to be there in that moment.

I had just finished singing my last song, and honestly it was awful. I was starting to cry and everyone was pity affirming me (haha); not knowing my crying had nothing to do with the song. Shaun came over to me knowing there was something more, and put his arms around me. I spent a good solid 30 minutes just sobbing. I couldn't say anything at all, and all I could feel was pain. He didn't say anything for the longest time; he just cried with me.

Then he began praying for me, & I honestly don't remember most of the prayer. I do remember him saying negative things that had been spoken over me by other people and replacing them with truth.

Then he repeatedly asked God to show me how valuable I was. To this day I can hear him saying over and over again, "You're so valuable, Melissa".

That was a pivotal moment for me.
I wouldn't dare say that I wasn't loved or hadn't had that love expressed to me all my life, but I don't recall the specific word "valuable" being spoken over me. That word was extremely significant for a lot of reasons.
I always knew I was called by God, I knew I loved Him, I knew He loved me...but I didn't believe I was valued.
This was the first time I truly HEARD & BELIEVED it.

I had been believing the lies that the negative voices & circumstances had spoken for years without even realizing.
He didn't rush anything, he let God take His time with me in that moment, and that moment literally changed my life.

I didn't think, talk or act the same after. I have never again questioned my value to God. Never.

Heroes don't have to be bulletproof;
in fact, the best kind of heroes are the ones who bleed with you.

[...Just wait until I tell ya about Lori...] be continued...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

HEROES Part 1 -Megan Munro

I thought it was time for me to write a little bit more, but I don't feel like I have much to say about me. So, I wanted to change the focus of my blog to other people. I'm going to start with a series of my "Heroes", and we'll see what happens from there!!

So here goes part 1 of "HEROES"

Heroes don't have to wear capes, scale walls or fly faster than a speeding bullet.

They just set an example of someone you can aspire to be.

And sometimes, they catch you when you're falling.

I'm thankful for all the heroes in my life.

When it comes to Heroes, the first person who comes to mind is my sister Megan.

(Yes, gentlemen, she IS single. And if you feel like changing that status, you have to pass my extensive background think I'm joking...)

Megan is my big sister by 16 months. We function like twins - talk the same, speak in code, similar mannerisms; but we are also TOTAL opposites...& I love it that way.

Here are just a few of the reasons why she is one of my heroes:

My sister can talk to anyone. She is fearless. In fact, there have been times I've wished she would stop talking to someone because I am, well...NOT fearless. No one is a stranger to her for long. She knows how to make people feel special, and can get anyone to open up to her. She doesn't disregard what someone is saying if it seems "off"...she finds the solution & brings correction in LOVE. She's not afraid to tell it like it is, (trust me I know that better than anyone).

She loves orphans.
I'm not just talking about the ones you see on the streets. She has a heart for anyone that has been used & abandoned; and she knows how to shower them with love. She fights for justice, and speaks for those who can't speak for themselves. She embodies James 1:27. TRUE RELIGION. (I'll leave it at that...;) ha)

She doesn't look like what she's been through. That's the reason most of all that I admire her. Someday, I'm sure she will be sharing her story with the world, and the world will be shocked and amazed. She has "LOOK WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE" written all over her. I'm so proud of everything she has allowed Him to do in her!

She is the coolest Aunt EVER.
London adores her, cries for her, requests to call her every day, stares at her pictures, won't let anyone sit on our guest bed because to him it's "Megan's bed", and says he is "Megan's boy". Sometimes he even calls me Megan.

She is my best friend for LIFE.