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  • Writer's pictureMegan Richards

Letters to a Young Jesus Loving Actress

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

I wonder if most people have the same desire I do to cover their eyes when they read back through things their younger self said (or wrote, in this case). I recently came across emails I’d written during my early performing years. I had a large handful of friends, family and mentors that I would send a Judy Blume-ish email to whenever something came up that I couldn’t handle (which was often in those days). And like Judy Blume’s characters, I definitely did not hide my high intensity emotions under a bushel.

I think it’s safe to say that most people keep a lid on the inner thoughts and emotions that I tend to freely share. In my wet-behind-the-ears years, I would send out a big group email (man, I hope I at least bcc’d everyone) whenever my emotions brought me to my wits-end. Which was often because I had a minimal toolkit for processing and responding to my emotions and circumstances. Thankfully for me, where I lacked wisdom and self awareness, my people had them in spades.

Take, for example, this train of emails I found from when I’d moved back to Manhattan after my cruise ship contract:

Like, whoa, Prayer Team, I am feeling very oppressed by unrighteous anger.  (Ok – I can’t – I’m one sentence into Young Megan and I’m interrupting her because WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?! ) Everything about living in the city seems to ignite this ugly fury and wrath in me.  Like, compete honesty? I probably restrained myself from flicking off 4 or 5 people today.  And I probably threw a hand up in the air as if to say, “Are you kidding me?!” 10 times just walking down the street, annoyed by this or that.  This is NOT what God has brought me back here for and if it continues, I am sure to miss His glory and my good in Him for this season…Right??!!! – Megan

As much as it makes my insides want to die, crawl inside a hole and then die again, I’m glad I sent emails like this one. I’m glad I had no shame about broadcasting to my people what I was feeling every time I couldn’t handle my circumstances. It ended up being a very good thing for me that I had no shame. What I wasn’t savvy enough to keep locked inside where no one could judge or criticize me benefited from their wisdom, faith, self control and life experience. God bless ‘em, they kept patiently and lovingly reading and responding to my emails. Their responses were the medicine that carried me through until the Holy Spirit could get me on His surgery table and operate on the root causes of my angst and frustration.

Here’s some of the good medicine I received from the flicking people off email:

Just 4 or 5?  (I sometimes consider that a GOOD day…) You are a passionate person.  Passionate people feel things deeply and react strongly and are prone to both delight and despair more than most.  And I love that.  I just have to remember that I have two rails carrying me down life (like a railroad):  one of delight and one of suffering.  I like the delight one the most and am thankful for so many things.  And when I think about it, I try to focus on that one mostly.  However, the rail of suffering is for ego-crucifying; pride demolition; and so many other things.  It’s not a rail I ever want to disappear in my life.  I don’t like it–but I love what it does. May the Lord bless You with insight on how to not waste your pain and frustration.  May He give you a peace about where you are and what you are doing.  May being lowly for awhile bring about compassion for others who are always lowly.  May your songs of joy spring up from the most unsuspecting source. Love you always and through everything, Aunt Marse

And then this one from my honorary Baylor mom, Bliss, who was faithful to give me good advice and probing questions years before I was able to process and fully receive it:

Hmmm….sometimes it takes this kind of frustration to help us separate from a situation.  Maybe this has been here all along.  Who were you when you lived there before and were in school? Are you a different person now? On the other hand – why are they bothering you? Is their behavior this irritating, or is there something else and these smaller irritations are finding a deeper angry response from something else? Will keep you in prayer!! Love, Bliss

They were both so right. Between their two responses, they hit the nail on the head, though it would be many more loving emails and prayers before I would understand and discover for myself the truth they shared with me.  Jesus-Loving Artist, I hope you do not travel your road alone. I hope you do not allow the voice of shame to convince you that you are better off keeping your deepest fears and feelings buried inside. I am free today because I allowed my brokenness, lack of understanding and out-of-control reactions to be exposed. Sharing them with my most trusted Jesus-loving people, several of whom who were more emotionally and spiritually mature than me, it was only a matter of time before the things that held me in bondage were rooted out and replaced with God’s truth, wisdom and freedom.

Today I read these emails and I am thankful to know that I am not who I was. I am thankful for the freedom I have through the patient love of the Father, the blood of Jesus and the surgeon-like work of the Holy Spirit in my heart and mind.

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