How my missionary journey led to redemption
Meagan White returned to Belgium as a missionary and learned how her own troubled past could be redeemed.
When I stepped off the plane in Belgium, Jesus immediately began healing my pain from my first trip.
Just a year and a half after I had given my life to Jesus, I was on the ground in Brugge with Freedom Church, one of NewSpring's international partner churches, to help build a church in the country I had first visited as a 16-year-old on a study abroad experience.
Jesus called me across the ocean to show me that he can heal me and use any of my mistakes for his glory.
I was raised in the Bible belt and attended church almost every Sunday since birth. I thought my morals and being a “good girl” made me a Christian.
But Belgium changed everything.
Discovering My Weakness
Alcohol was legal at that age in that small, European country. By contrast, I had never had alcohol in house, and my parents didn't drink. And I soon discovered that I liked myself better when I was drunk.
Sober, I was shy and introverted. But alcohol helped me make friends. I was soon drunk at least three days a week.
When I came back to the U.S., I thought I could give it up, but I couldn't. It only escalated when I returned to high school in Greenwood. I spent the summer after graduation continually drunk or hungover. I can't remember being sober a single day.
I lied to my parents about everything to cover up this secret life that I had. Our relationship was horrible. I shut them out and was so incredibly mean to them.
I felt like I couldn’t go back to church because I had made too many mistakes in my life and church people wouldn’t accept me. And I thought that God wouldn’t accept me either.
My alcoholism drove me to rock bottom my freshman year of college at Clemson. I began to wonder why people hated me, why there was so much drama in my life. The answer was always alcohol.
On an FCA mission trip to Washington, D.C., I encountered Jesus's grace and was finally able to experience forgiveness for my sins. I recognized my addiction, and I knew I could never clean myself up. I surrendered my life to Jesus and entered a relationship with him.
Once my relationship with Jesus began, my desire to drink stopped. Alcohol didn't even taste good.
I joined NewSpring, and began to serve in KidSpring, and Jesus used that season to grow me in my faith and prepare me for what became my next step: going back to Belgium as a Freedom Church intern.
Overcoming The Past
I met the memories of my old life head-on to let go of all the guilt that I held on to. Brugge is only three hours from my Belgian high school in Bastogne, so I was able to go to the same places I used to drink.
I got to spend time with some of my old friends, but this time they saw how Jesus had changed me from the inside out. It helped me understand that my alcoholism no longer controlled me. Jesus had set me free from my addictions and was now healing my heart.
Jesus was not satisfied with me no longer struggling with alcoholism; He wanted me to enjoy the freedom that He offers.
Jesus called me across the ocean to show me that He can heal me and use any of my mistakes for his glory.