February 17, 2011

a love story

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hello. 
my name is megan duerksen but most people in blogland know me as meg. i blog at whatever. i have a photography business….i have an etsy shop that is open like twice a year for a few weeks….i don’t use capital letters…..i have five kids….i live in kansas….and i like to make crafts.


danielle asked me to share my love story with you. i have never written it out. it’s hard to do! it’s personal…and touching….and special….and unique to only us. but i know that God calls us to share our stories so others can see His work….and HE HAS BEEN AT WORK on us for 16 years. we are so thankful for that.

i first met craig when i was a freshman in high school. i was at cheerleading practice and he drove by a bunch of times. i asked my friend who he was….she told me and i said “tell him i think he’s cute and that he should ask me out.”
she did.
and he did.

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he was my very first date. i wore a white mini skirt, a teal & maroon paisley cardigan sweater and loafers. Ha ha ha! i remember listening to “Ice Ice Baby” on the radio. 

by my sophomore year we were a “couple” exclusively and we were together ALL. THE. TIME. he left for college very far away when i was a junior. we talked on the phone nearly everyday. he played college basketball. we didn’t have the channel that his games were on on our tv. i would go out to our veterinarian’s house and sit alone in their living room watching craig play basketball out in new jersey. we made it through the entire school year...it’s crazy. i can’t believe he didn’t break up with me. he moved closer for his sophomore year. i was a senior and VERY ready for my independence that was quickly coming with graduation. i was planning on college, living with my sister and freedom. craig and i were going to still date but it would be long distance again. i would be in kansas and he was going to illinois for school the next year.

in reality we probably wouldn’t have made it.

two weeks after my high school graduation i found out i was pregnant. it was……shocking. i was not expecting to hear that news. i was just trying to get a medical physical to go to camp! (because i was a kid…kids go to summer camp…they don’t have babies)
i cried and cried alone in that exam room. i have never felt as alone as i did then in my entire life. 
ever. 


i called craig when i got home. he drove to my house and we talked and i cried in his car. after awhile he said “well….i guess we will get married” and i said “yeah….i guess so.”

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in that moment….all of our youth was gone. we were now grown ups…in adolescent bodies. we both lost part of ourselves that day. we had to make a choice right then to grow up and be responsible or ………not. i mourn for that innocence still sometimes. i can see it with my own children now and realize how much i missed but God has provided so much in it’s place. i definitely learned that with bad choices come consequences….even 16 years later…but how amazing is God’s grace and forgiveness!

over the years i have had a really hard time with hearing people’s romantic and fabulous engagement stories with surprises and well thought out ideas, flowers, carriages, starry nights. i have cried many tears about not having that part to my love story. not because craig didn’t give it to me….but because i messed up and missed out on it. he would have given me that….he missed out on it too...he would have wanted me to feel special and loved and cherished. through that pain God has shown me many wonderful things about love. 
real love.
i have come to see that moment sitting in the car when i was 18 and he was 20…..as true love. craig could have run. he could have left me. he could have said “this is not what I signed up for”. But he stayed. he chose me. he chose us. 

i am grateful everyday.

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God took our two little broken lives that we dedicated to HIM and made beauty from the ugliness we began with. we were 100% committed to making it work and HE blessed that. HE provided us with help more ways than i could ever write. two months later we got married, moved to illinois, craig started school, i started work and we never looked back.

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we have been best friends for almost 20 years now. we had 5 babies in 10 years. it has been an incredible journey filled with ups and downs and struggles and triumphs. we are more in love (WAY more) than we were 16 years ago that day in the car. i have a crazy amount of respect for him and the man he has become. he is so funny. he is hard working. he is determined. i am care free and artistic and emotional. i can make him laugh almost instantly with all my one liners. we are a great compliment to each other. we grew up together in every way.

we know that God is the One who can take our mess and make it clean. We know that HE was there with us in the car for the NOT romantic proposal. HE was with us when we were scared of our unknown future and when our daughter was born. HE cares about megan and craig. HE loves us. He created us to be more than troubled teenagers who made bad choices. more than just heart break. He created us to be strong and awesome for HIM.
and we get to do that together…
as a family!
when I think of how far we have come….none of it on our own….all through God’s provision….i am so humbled.

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I am in truly, deeply, madly in love.
with craig
and with my God.

87 comments:

  1. wow! look at that amazing family!!!!

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  2. This is so beautifully written, almost in tears here. Thank you for sharing your story Meg. You have a beautiful family!

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  3. am i ever going to read one of these that doesn't make me tear up?? :) seriously, though, i'm loving this series~ it's been such a blessing to see how God works and moves in so many people's stories.

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  4. Oh, Meg! This brought tears to my eyes because my husband and I had a less than perfect start that God has blessed tremendously. And I mourn that perfect setting and youth that I didn't have sometimes too. But I don't know if my faith would have been strong without that time in my life. Whenever I am doubting God I just look back and can see His hand throughout the last 14 years. Thank you for sharing your story! ~ FeFe

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  5. That was beautiful. I, too, don't have a glamorous love story but it's our story. So thank you for sharing that.

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  6. ya'll are awesome. thanks for telling your story honestly.

    you live in kansas? me too? you don't use caps? me either. we should hang.

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  7. MEG! oh, how i love you! such a great story, but an even better picture of God's redeeming grace. love love love.

    loved hearing your voice a little differently today. made me happy.

    oh, and the bright red acrylics in your wedding picture made me pretty happy too. ;)

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  8. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your very special and personal journey through love.

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  9. What a great, honest story. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. amazing, beautiful story. Thank you for sharing! I love whatever. Best blog ever!

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  11. You + Craig + Your Amazing God.....one amazingly beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it here.

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  12. My love story is so similar to yours Meg, but I don't think I could have written it out as well as you did. Thanks for sharing, you're always so honest.

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  13. meg...i am very close to tears. what a powerful story of human love and of God's love. i knew you guys had a depth to you, now i know why. thanks for sharing and what a powerful testimony to your kids.

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  14. these have been so encouraging danni! it's been amazing to hear about God's faithfulness in all these love stories. to see His grace. thanks so much for having folks share!

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  15. i love happy endings, especially when they glorify god.

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  16. Nice work Meg.. thanks for making me tear up at work... I knew this was a bad idea to read.. but I had to.. I'm a follower..
    God bless you and your family...

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  17. I love Meg,what a great love story. I real life one.

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  18. Beautiful story. Beautiful family.

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  19. What an awesome love you share with your husband....this is a true love story and thank you for sharing.

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  20. go kansas! we live here too! thanks for sharing...what a great love story. btw, i write in all caps. what what!! don't hold it against me.

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  21. Well - that was pretty darn perfect.

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  22. i heart meg and so happy to see her sharing her story here!! so, i like to think that i'm not much of a crier, but i am balling like a baby. God's love is so wondrous!!

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  23. this is so beautiful meg. i love the honesty of your story so much. i think you really put perspective on a lot of things. beautiful. thanks for sharing. <3<3<3

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  24. What an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing it!

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  25. Well, this is just pure Lovely.

    You told your story so well, M. It's gonna bless people.

    ps- I like you in pigtails!

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  26. I am in love with the fact that you're posting these, I can't get enough! I get so excited every time I see you posted a new one!

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  27. i faithfully read the whatever blog for every post, for stories just like this! thanks, meg!

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  28. Wow Meg. Since Im a fairly new reader of your blog this is all news to me. Thank you for your open-ness and honesty. You're a true testament to what God can do through people! He loves us and redeems us. You've come so far and your family is beautiful! Many Blessings.
    XO,
    Sarah

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  29. Amazing story, Meg. A beautiful testament to God and love.

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  30. What a wonderful story. I LOVE hearing the ways the Lord moves & works in others lives. Thanks for sharing!

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  31. Thank you for sharing your story Meg! Loved the pics too!

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  32. I've been reading you blog for years (2?) and I didn't know all of this. What a beautiful and well written story. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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  33. Your blog is so much fun! I'm loving the love stories! What a neat idea! So many stories highlighting God's unending love and redemption. Thanks for sharing!

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  34. Thank you for sharing. I pray God continues to bless you.

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  35. SO well written and such a beautiful story. That is what I appreciate about you (and your blog) so much- your realness. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  36. oh, i love this story.
    we serve a good God.

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  37. Meg, I follow your blog but I never knew your love story. You should be very proud of the family you have created. My parents have been married 35 years and their story started the same way.

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  38. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Meg, will you and Craig adopt me?! I think you're both amazing and thanks for showing that great things can come out of the darkest of moments (though i was hoping for a reshow of that pic of you guys your wedding party - you know the one I mean!)

    Irene

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  39. super great to read this here. thanks danielle love!

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  40. THANKS FOR SHARING... ITS ALWAYS SO ENCOURAGING TO SEE WHAT GOD DOES WITH OUR LIVES WHEN WE LET HIM. WHAT A WONDERFUL STORY OF HIS REDEMPTION AND A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY.

    HUGS FROM MY HEART.

    http://sophiemyfriend.blogspot.com/

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  41. I loved reading your story Meg - very powerful and touching. Love your blog!

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  42. that was beautiful. thank you for sharing it.

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  43. What a beautiful story, and amazing family!

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  44. What a Great God and a great story! Thanks Megan! Kelly

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  45. beautiful!!! thanks so much for sharing.

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  46. Megan, just this morning I was reading in Mark 5 when Jesus spoke to this man he had healed and he said to him "Go home to your friends, and tell them your story - what the Lord has done, how He had mercy on you." Thanks for sharing your story!

    Eph. 3:20 from The Message "God can do anything, you know - are more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!"

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  47. These are really very great Love Stories. I really appreciated your site and the variety and style of love stories.

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  48. meg is one amazing chick! this post is so touching and full of love~

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  49. oh gosh that made me cry. that is the sweetest love story ever. how amazing. im so impressed with you guys and your family. i can't imagine going through that and coming out stronger on the other side. god bless.

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  50. That sounded almost like my story. We got married because I was pregnant and had 5 kidsin 10 yrs and am way more in love today then we ever were. I also feel loss for my youth but realize that I am so very blessed with what I have. I would never chage it:)

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  51. I love Meg's blog and was so happy to see that she shared her love story. What a beautiful and touching story- made my heart swell! Thank you for sharing, Meg.

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  52. *sniff, sniff* Megan, you're so stinkin' awesome. :)

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  53. Hi Meg,
    I knew a little about your start because you once posted a pic of you in your wedding gown and talked about your imminent pregnancy, but it was neat reading all of the background that went up to it. Your family is beautiful!

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  54. Your love story is a zillion times better than the hearts and roses and diamonds and starry carriage ride kind.

    Thanks for being real. Thank Craig, too.

    deb meyers

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  55. Meg is by far one of my very favs.

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  56. Meg,

    I do believe that THIS is a true love story. Only true love with the help of God's love can be this strong and last as yours has. I have almost the same story out here in California, though mine started at 16. We also share the same anniversary! September 3rd 2005. We did not get married right when we found out becuase I was afraid that we would always be seen as the two who got married becuase we were pregnant-one of those teen-aged insecurities I guess. We have been together almost 10 years and we would never look back. I love your blog and all of your stories and appreciate that you share them with all of us. Thank you for being so real and amazing!

    PS I have the same name too!

    -Meg

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  57. {big tears here} i know the beginning of that story but have never seen it end up where you and craig are today. what a testimony to the truth that by placing God as the center of your mariage it's all so possible, and will be better than ever.
    so sweet Meg! what a story! god is so awesome! your love is so apparent! your light for God is shining so bright girl. go meg!

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  58. Meg, that was so. beautiful. I love your blog so much. I love the *way* you share. I wish you lived next door.

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  59. I always think that love storys that rise out from the mess are the best ones. They teach us way more about real and sustaining love.

    You rocked it out Meg! Thanks for sharing and being so real.

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  60. I love happy endings!
    You have a beautiful family...and a wonderful story to tell.

    Have a happy day!

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  61. Love you Meg! Beautiful story of God's forgiveness and faithfulness. You are a light and testimony of what God can do with our brokenness! xo

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  62. I think I have said it before, but did you know that your story could be mine? Change five kids to four, and the summer camp physical to college physical.... For real....

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  63. Thanks for your humility and vulnerability in writing this. And thanks for pointing to God's grace in it all...it truly is amazing.

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  64. oh my. His big story is beautiful... beauty for ashes. it just doesn't get better than that.

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  65. My best friend was pregnant during her senior year, is still married to her man, and has a beautiful 16 year old daughter. She loves her husband and daughter fiercely, but still uses similar terms as you, "mistake" "ugliness" "bad choice" "missing out" "our mess". Her daughter hears those things, and she hears ONLY those things when the discussion comes up. I try to encourage my girlfriend to have those discussions when her girl isn't around. Children are such a gift from God. God saw that plan for my friend's life, and for your life, and He wouldn't have it any other way. Don't look back with regret, or sadness, or "what ifs" but with love and awe that this little child would not be who she is today if she wasn't conceived at that very exact moment in time.

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  66. An amazing love story. Thanks for sharing it.

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  67. "He chose me. He chose us." I was good til you wrote that. Sob.

    Beautiful, Meg :)

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  68. Meg, I cried through the whole thing! I love your family and I love our God!

    Sandy
    Troy, OH

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  69. How is it I missed this? I am an incredible romantic and would like to believe that, had you both continued on to school you would have still found each other in the end.

    Thank goodness things worked out the way they did. Lauren kept you two together. God must have known what he was doing.

    Dana

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  70. Our God is an awesome God! Thanks for sharing.
    ~Another Meg

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  71. thank you so much for sharing this. it was so very touching. such a fabulous image of god's love and of your hard work to make things work.

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  72. Meg- I loved reading your story! It's such a wonderful picture of God's love, grace and mercy. We serve a good God. A God that was not at all surprised by your first pregnancy, but in fact knit your girl together in your womb.

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  73. I love this Meg. Thanks for sharing.

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  74. i lived this same story. i was 18...mine didn't quite turn out like yours but my love came along a year later. i felt all those feelings and still do sometimes.
    thank you for sharing...i know how hard that is because you aren't the same and don't want people to look at you the same.
    you are an amazing woman!

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  75. Very beautifully written.
    I wish all young girls in that situation had the same outcome. Unfortunately, that is not the norm.
    I have worked with teen-age girls and rarely does it work out.

    You both have been very blessed because you chose to make it work and knew of the importance of that sweet little one. I'm so happy that you have a great family and that God heals and helps us along!

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  76. This is amazing, you all are so lucky (or blessed, I suppose). My husband and I got married too early and we are having some very rough times right now. It is hard to feel that there is any love left in our relationship. I hope that this is just a test.

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  77. I have to comment because my husband and I came to where we are on a similar path as you. I have mourned the missed experiences too, but you are right. God takes our messes and he makes them clean. He has a plan and if we let him execute it the results can be incredible. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  78. Such a beautiful story Meg. I think you guys are amazing.

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  79. Megan-you were a perfect mother when you lived in our neighborhood and you continue to be more so as each day passes. your love story opened up memories and have me in tears and missing you and the kids today. your family and faith in God is beautiful. xoxo

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  80. Beautiful. Your story made me teary. Your faith in each other and in God is amazing and inspirational.

    God bless you and your lovely family!

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  81. love. what a beautiful love story.

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  82. Onca again Meg, you said everything beautifully! I had the same situation with my husband, and i think the journey we have taken has made us stronger! thanks for sharing! And I love whatever

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  83. Wow, beleive it or not, this is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read despite the fact that you didn't get the most romantic proposal ever, the beauty is that the two of you are still together. Not too many people who actually received the "romantic" proposal even made it past the first ouple of years. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  84. it was a fabulous, and quite interesting stories of meg

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