I Hugged Meggan Schwirtz.

shared with written and verbal consent from author...
Sunday July 11, 2010
Dear Jenny Simmons -

I struggled a lot with how to start this email. The top three starting choices were: 1. I don't know if you realize this, but we are the very best of friends. 2. I am without a doubt your biggest fan. OR 3. Crazy people do exist. However, I promise I am not one of them.

I just couldn't decide so I thought I would share all 3.

I am a 25 year old youth pastor's wife living in Pine River, Minnesota where pine trees & lakes can be found abundantly! My husband Trevor & I have been serving the Lord in full-time ministry for four years now. We have a passion to see our youth come to know the Lord early on in life & make a difference in the community around them. And this week, on Thursday July 15, 2010 Trevor & I are packing up our awesome group to come to Sonshine Music Festival in Wilmar, Minnesota to see our favorite band, Addison Road.

I first became a fan of your music when the song "Hope Now" was released back in 2008. I was enduring the storms of life at that time, since my little sister Bridgett, at the young age of 19, lost her life in a head-on car accident. To say I was devastated would be putting it mildly. My sister knew the Lord & seeked to serve Him as a young child. She had a beautiful, compassionate heart to love on the kids in her high school who others made fun of. The Lord used her in many ways to help teens with eating disorders, cutting, suicidal thoughts, and depression come to know the freedom & joy that belongs to those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Bridgett left for college with a full academic scholarship to become a pediatrician, when she was killed in the car accident.

For the longest time, I wrestled with my doubts towards God. Why her? It just didn't seem to make any sense. She had so much to give this world. During that painful time, I not only heard the lyrics of your song, I felt them with my own hands. "I've been carried by You, All my life.....When my life is like a storm, Rising waters all I want is the shore. You say I'll be ok and Make it through the rain, You are my shelter from the storm. And everything rides on hope now...."

Your song became my battle cry. The song I listened to when little made sense. When I ached for healing. Knowing that I was being held. That the Lord was my shelter. And that I would make it through this storm. It somehow made me understand that our suffering was not in vain. That God had plans to use Bridgett's death for more than I ever could have imagined.

Her funeral was attended by thousands, some waiting in line for hours just to pay their respects to Bridgett & tell our family of how she had personally impacted their life. During the ceremony, dozens gave their hearts to Jesus for the first time, including our own Dad. We are also now miraculously meeting Bridgett's organ donors, witnessing the precious gift of life first hand, and seeing them one by one come to know of the True Love offered by Bridgett's Lord & Savior.

To see so much good come from something so tragic, helps me know that the Lord uses all things for His purpose & glory.

After hearing your song on the radio, I went to your website to order the cd. This is when I stumbled upon your blog & realized that we were of course long lost best friends. I have been reading your thoughts & hilarious musings for years now, always thankful for the "word vomit" that God gives you to reach us, your loyal followers. I think of your blog posts almost like a new episode of a favorite television show. The kind of show you break out a big buttered bowl of popcorn for & must have absolute silence to watch what will happen next. My husband used to hate the constant "Shush!" 'ing that occured as I was reading about your latest adventures, until I got him hooked on your blog as well :) To read of all the battles Addison Road has faced this past year with the RV fire, stolen vehicles, and weather storms has just affirmed to me that God uses the toughest of times to make our faith grow in ways we never thought possible.

I also wanted to tell you for the record that the single "Fight Another Day" was released at God's most perfect timing! I was 2 weeks overdue with my first baby when the lyrics came out to remind me to press through the swollen fingers, back aches, weird cravings, and mood swings until I could finally meet my beautiful daughter, Addison Bridgett Schwirtz.

So I guess Jenny, I mostly just wanted to say thank you. For your example. For your beautiful words. For being willing. And for actually reading my email. You have blessed my life. And if I never get to meet you, please know that I thank the Lord for you. And that He's using you, in big ways & small, to restore hope to many who have somehow lost it.

I am hoping we will meet this week at Sonshine & that I might be able to say thank you in person. And give you a hug.

Keep Writing. Keep Singing. Keep Loving. Keep Going.

We love you Jenny!!

Lots of Love & Thanks - Meggan Schwirtz

This email blessed me immensely and I wanted to share Meggan's story with you. Meggan, thanks for letting me share a small part of your story here.
You can leave her a comment on the blog if you'd like.
I got to hug Meggan Schwirtz.
We spent a whole hour together.
And it was truly my honor...