Megan’s Secrets: what a mentally disabled daughter taught her father about life

Renee Ann Smith —  September 17, 2011 — 19 Comments

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” ~II Corinthians 4:7~

Why do we love stories like The Frog Prince and Beauty and the Beast? Because in the midst of our shallow, looks-obsessed culture, something deep down in our hearts calls out to remind us that a person’s true beauty is hidden inside. We would know this if only we trained our eyes to see past the outward shell and focus on what lasts for eternity.

Megan’s Secrets, by Mike Cope, tells the story of an incredible soul named Megan, who came to the world in the type of physical body many would overlook. Megan was born with a rare genetic syndrome, which left her mentally disabled and gave her an asymmetrical face and growing weaknesses in her kidney, heart, and lungs. She blessed her family for ten years.

Reading Mike’s tender description of Megan’s short life and incredible impact on those around her was a heartbreaking and beautiful experience. For many adults, Megan challenged their materialism, anger, hunger for power, and lack of concern for others. Meeting Megan and Mike through the pages of this book inspired me to take a deeper look at the folks around me and try to see them for who they really are.

Here’s a small taste of Mike’s testimony to his cherished daughter: “Megan’s simple-yet-profound life taught us that God is a heart specialist who looks deeper than accidents of birth.

On the day she died, Diane and I were leaning over her praying for her, telling her we loved her, and assuring her it was all right to go . . . The moment she took her last breath in the pediatric intensive care unit, my mother stood up from her chair behind us and began singing Megan’s favorite song:

I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery.
I may never fly o’er the enemy,
But I’m in the Lord’s army.

Later it hit me. Megan had been preparing us her whole life with her simple little song. It’s like she’d been telling us that there were many things she’d never do, but we shouldn’t worry, because she’s in the Lord’s army. There’s a little grave outside Abilene that bears her name, the dates of her abbreviated life, and then the words, ‘I’m in the Lord’s army.’

This tiny minister taught me more than I learned in ninety hours of graduate school. She taught me that God will use my brokenness to His glory. She reminded me that the power is God’s, not mine. She made me remember that we are often fascinated with things that may be impressive from the outside but which may not be that important to God. She taught me that what really matters has to do with the heart: keeping promises, seeking justice in a brutal world, learning to see those in greatest need, and living with courage, joy, and unconditional love.”

Mike shares four major secrets on which he elaborates with Bible teaching, others’ personal stories of love and loss, and quotes from great thinkers. What are Megan’s secrets?

  1. God is a heart specialist
  2. Weak is the new strong
  3. Life together is our only hope
  4. The end is not the end

Then Mike leaves us with this beautiful poem by John O’Donohue
~On the Death of the Beloved~

Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn
Brightening our lives . . .

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You place smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart . . .

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement . . .

May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.

If you have suffered a terrible grief, lost your first love for the folks who people your world, said good-bye to cherished dreams, or know someone who has, this book can offer inspiration and healing balm. Follow this link to purchase Megan’s story. ***Thanks to the B&B Media Group for providing my review copy.

Giveaway: Since I’ll be leaving for the ACFW Conference Wednesday morning, I’m planning for this to be my last September Giveaway Post. At the end of September, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card. If you leave a comment on this post, I’ll enter you in the giveaway one more time. If things go well at the conference, maybe I’ll give away two gift cards :)

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

19 responses to Megan’s Secrets: what a mentally disabled daughter taught her father about life

  1. Thanks so much for these posts. Not only is it fun to try and win stuff but it’s nice to read reviews on books I’ve been waiting for or to find a new book to read! :)

  2. This sounds like a inspiring read. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Hope everything goes well at the conference. Count me in on the giveaway! Who doesn’t love a giveaway!

  4. So inspirational. Loved the poem!

  5. I hope the conference goes very well. Have a great time.

  6. Sounds like a real good read but at the same time not the type I would read. :) Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. I would very much love to be included in this give away. Thank you so much!

  8. As a survivor of childhood cancer and a case manager for people with disabilities, this book will be added to my “Must Read” list. Thank you for the post!

  9. Wow, that sounds like such an inspiring book! Love how your reviews not only show how you liked the book, but also are inspiring in and of themselves!

    Please enter me that good ol’ giveaway! Thanks, Renee!

    Beth

  10. This sounds like a very moving story. I loved your review.

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

  11. Sounds like an inspirational read. I enjoy your reviews.

  12. beautiful! i’m a huge John O’Donohue fan so this was lovely to find today…. thx!

  13. Oh, this sounds like an amazing book. Those very special little ones manage to teach us a lot if we will only listen and be willing to learn. Thank you for sharing this today.

  14. What a moving story of a little girl’s life. I enjoy reading your reviews.

  15. What a blessing to have a story such as Megan’s in print to remind us all of God’s love and faithfulness. I’m adding this book to my to-read list.

  16. Thanks for the review. My daughter is mentally disabled…this will definitely be on my “must read” list.

  17. Hi, ladies! Thanks for stopping in to visit during my hectic week! I’m sad that I wasn’t able to respond to your comments but so appreciate that you took time. You’re all in the drawing. Blessings!

  18. Sniff.. What an inspiring story… Must be a good read..

    Btw, I wanted to get the novel based on Martha’s life.. You reviewed it sometime before and I just couldn’t remember the title.. =D Thanks! =D

  19. How very touching. I’m sniffing right now. It’s so important, the lesson that he writes of, and so easy to forget. There’s nothing better than serving the Lord, and yet we get distracted by the silliest things, things that will all pass away. Thank you so much for this post and the giveaway.

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