Because we have been practically inseparable from day 1, a lot of people don’t know one of us apart from the other. It’s true. All of our co-workers feel like they know the other half of the duo that is us, our family members treat both of us as part of the fam, and our friends typically know us as a collective unit. But believe it or not, there was a time that we were not friends. Little did we know how much our lives were lacking.
So, as part of a fun little launch week celebration, we took a walk down memory lane and rehashed some of our very favorite moments from our friendship. We spent so much time laughing as we looked at old pictures, wall posts, and more from when we first became friends. Looking back on it now, though, makes us ever so grateful for the intricacy and favor of the Lord. We don’t deserve the goodness that this friendship brings, but Jesus, in true Jesus fashion, loves to lavish gifts on his people. And thus, as we have said before and will continue to say…the Lord has done great things for us and we are glad!
We hope you enjoy seeing how our friendship has unfolded over the years. And thank you Jesus that time has absolutely been our friend – lots of awkward stages captured in these photos for all of you to laugh at!
So here’s where we started. We technically met in:
at Mother of Mercy High School. Melissa, a freshman, had a class with Megan, a sophomore. The class consisted of LOTS of group work, and they were always in the same group. After that class, they would pass one another in the halls and say hello, and maybe even snap a picture or two at a school dance (see below) but that was the extent of it.
Megan comes back to Mercy to speak in Melissa’s government class about her experiences in Africa. With a little bit of time to spare at the end of her presentation, she asks all of the girls in the class where they will be going to college. In that moment, they find out that they will both be attending the Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
A mutual friend takes Melissa to Church on Fire where Megan is a youth leader at the time. A little overwhelmed, Melissa opts out of the sleepover that is happening at the end of the night, so Megan offers to take Melissa home. After all, their neighborhoods are only 1 street over from each other. (WHAT!?!)
Megan and Melissa begin nursing school and were carpooling – a suggestion Megan made and Melissa, while completely embarrassed and annoyed at the thought of carpooling to college, decides to not be a total brat and agrees, carpooling sounds like a “great idea.” It also happened to work out that both of them were out of the country when class registration happened, thus landing them by default in the same block of classes. Seemed coincidental at the time. Now they know better…Jesus.
After spending almost every waking moment together, Megan and Melissa are officially best friends. Apart from talking about the anatomy of the human body and the Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs, Melissa loved hearing Megan talk about Africa, and Megan began sharing her vision for a non-profit she wanted to start. Melissa quickly caught Megan’s vision and Megan asked her to be a member of the Waweza Movement board. Shocked, excited, and ultimately honored, Melissa accepts. Waweza Movement launches that month at Pursuit Conference and their lives are changed forever.
Megan and Melissa join one of maybe 3 extracurriculars offered at their college – the National Student Nurses Association. They are elected to the board. For this involvement, they get to fly across the country on the college’s dollar to experience the national conference. The first conference they attended was in Phoenix, AZ. Also the first (of many) trips they would take together.
Megan and Melissa go to Disney world for the second NSNA national conference of the year. This was by far their favorite conference they experienced. They spent time exploring Downtown Disney, visiting the hotel from the Disney episode of Full House, catching a boat across a gorgeous lake, and taking in the Wishes Fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. So. Much. Fun. Oh, and they did nursing stuff. (ha!)
June and July, 2010:
Waweza Movement is invited by the founder of the Desperation Conference to host a table at the 2 summer conferences that year. Megan and Mel are stoked out of their minds. In June, Megan, Mel, and 3 (totally random) friends fly out to CO for the first conference. What a crazy-fun experience for each of them. That conference proved to be one of the most pivotal weeks in the lives of 2 of their friends, who, the following year, moved to CO to attend the Desperation Leadership Academy. In addition, Waweza Movement moved from the state level to the national level, gaining supporters from all over the US. Finally, and probably most importantly of all, Megan meets a guy at the conference. They exchange emails. In the months ahead, Megan falls head over heels in love with this guy.
Megan and Melissa’s second year of nursing school is in full swing and they are instantly bogged down with work. However, the college pastor at their church is hosting a rafting trip the weekend before their first big exam. They promise themselves to study on the way there and back, and they commit. They have the best time and make SO many hilarious memories that they still talk about to this day. They also both get A’s on their exams – by the grace of God.
Megan decides to lead a team of college students to Kenya. Mel is a part of that team. They have their first planning meeting of the year and get amped. And also, their final semester of nursing school begins – the light at the end of the tunnel!
Megan flies to Denver to see her boyfriend. AND THEY GET ENGAGED!!! She flies home with a diamond on her finger and a smile on her face. Wedding planning COMMENCE! Megan asks Melissa to be her MOH. She accepts. (Duh.)
While Megan and Mel were still in the US finishing up nursing school and planning to head to Kenya in July, the Waweza Movement Rescue Center, an orphan home to 40 Kenyan babies, opens their doors to the most lovable, precious kids on the planet.
THIS WAS A BIG MONTH. First, Megan and Melissa graduate nursing school – PRAIZE DA LAWD. Both of them were nominated by their peers to give the graduation speech, and Melissa gave it (LOLZ – not to be confused with the valedictorian. Not at all). Then, after many hours of studying, Megan passes her NCLEX. A few weeks later, Melissa takes her NCLEX and passes as well. They are both officially REGISTERED NURSES! A week later, they pack up and embark on the journey of a lifetime – to Kenya to see the orphanage for the first time and meet the kids living there. There are no words for the emotions and fulfillment in Jesus that this month brought them.
The long awaited day arrives. Megan Murphy becomes Megan Lewin. The best, most beautiful, full-of-love-laughter- fun-and every good-thing-day of the entire year.
Megan gets hired at the same facility Melissa works at. They are both in the perinatal department, Megan in Labor and Delivery and Melissa in the NICU. What are the odds!?
Melissa travels to Kenya for the second time, but this time without Megan. Totally bittersweet. She stays for 2 weeks and falls even more in love with the kids than the first time.
Waweza Movement launches Operation 58, a child-sponsorship campaign they have been working on for months. The response is overwhelming. Every child is sponsored.
Megan and Melissa fulfill a promise they made to themselves in nursing school by celebrating graduation and passing boards two years later with an all-inclusive vacation to Riviera Maya in Mexico – easily one of the most glorious weeks of their friendship to date.
Megan and Joe’s dream of living in Kenya collides with the Lord’s perfect will and they move to be with the kids for 4 months. Melissa cries forever.
Melissa surprises Megan with an email from her manager approving her last-minute vacation to Kenya. Happy tears everywhere. At the end of the month, Melissa heads to Kenya to be reunited with her bff chill. They do life in Kenya together for 2 weeks with some other people. Fullness. Of. Joy.
Megan and Joe kiss their babies goodbye and travel Europe for several months. Melissa pees her pants with excitement at every passing day. Her friends are almost home.
Megan and Joe return from their travels and begin life back in Cincinnati. Everything is awesome again. Megan and Melissa spend their first day back together at the pool. Lovely.
Megan and Melissa attend Influence Conference. Inspiration everywhere. Avenue 126 is birthed.
October, November, December 2014
Planning, planning, planning. Cooking, cooking, cooking. Creating, creating creating. Here comes the blog!
AND. HERE. WE. ARE.
Whew! How stinking crazy is that!? As we plucked through all of the details of this post, Megan said something that simply hit the nail on the head. When we look at this, all there is to say is “God, you’re faithful.” Through every detail and circumstance of our friendship, that’s all we can come to. God is so faithful.
We are so excited for what the future holds not only for us as Avenue 126, but for us as friends. Thank you for being a part of this super fun season of our lives.