Chapter 18: Leaning In To Meant-To-Be

Two and a half years ago, she was building an empire.

Megan Webb had just started a company called Beard Sauce which was poised to be the next big thing in beard care. Yes, I said beard care. The Beard had exploded. It was July and men were sporting them as though it were mid-January in the backwoods of Canada. Megan had created a potion for her husband, Dan, which people were falling in love with. It was a mixture of essential oils that kept away dry skin and beardruff and left the beard silky and well coiffed. Her feel-good marketing slogan, “Good stuff for your face tuft,” played off her kitschy logo and her audience was sold.

Enough orders were coming in for her to quit her job and begin focusing solely on Beard Sauce and she began to write as well. She blogged about her life and started writing for the magazine for which I also wrote and helped manage. But as time went on, she found an increasing dissatisfaction growing. Beard Sauce had slowly begun to fizzle out. She and I had brainstormed a hundred different marketing campaigns. We’d pitched it to magazines. Opportunities had come and gone. The company she had birthed was beginning to die. And she found herself in an odd place.

She wasn’t sad. There was release in letting go of this dream. Difficulty. Bittersweet. The journey she has taken since then has been incredible to watch. Just recently she had her second child and the life she is building is far different than the one she had planned. A few months ago she wrote a piece called, The Bravery in Being Content. In it she said these words, “If you wanna change the world, you need to be brave. And one of the bravest things you can do in today’s culture is to be content.” Getting to that place wasn’t easy for her. It was a series of choices. It took leaning into some things and aways from others.

Some of that evolution took place in a tiny room in Atlanta last October.

We sat down to talk in a hip back room of the co-working space where our friend, Jake, worked. As we discussed what it meant to let go of this particular dream and be content with the state of things, I asked what her big dream was.

She grabbed a piece of butcher paper from the roll on the end of the table, a black Sharpie, a green Sharpie, and began to draw. “You probably think I’m a crazy person,” she said, laughing. “No,” I responded hesitantly, unsure what was happening, but positive she knew what she was doing. “There’s this Meant-To-Be,” and she drew a thick green line at the bottom of the paper, “It’s perfect. These are my strands and my threads,” she said as she drew black crooked lines out of the dark green base, “And I think this Meant-To-Be is just going to move up through my brokenness,” the green marker traced over the black strands, blotting them out with its brilliant life giving color. “As it moves up, it’s going to come out, in whatever form it chooses. And that’s my big dream, to let it come out; in whatever form it chooses.” She laid the marker down and stared at me.

If you’re watching the video recording I have of this moment, there’s silence on camera. An entire minute passes then you hear a giant sniff. I’m crying so hard I can’t even get words out. I know what she means. I know what she’s talking about. I can’t talk for three minutes as the sobs and snot drip down my face and puddle on the table. Then you hear me speak. I tell her what I’m learning about all this. “I think we try so hard to be all the things that we break things more. When if we would just allow what’s inside to come out and say, ‘this is who I am.’ When you embrace who you really are, then you can be who you need to be.” She agreed and we sat for a few moments discussing these things.

Then she said, “I’m going to pray.”

This is part of how Megan and I relate. Prayer is a part of our conversation. It’s not odd for us to interrupt an interaction with a prayer and so through my continuing sniffles I listened as she asked God to continue to allow our Meant-To-Be’s to flow up through our broken pieces and cover them and heal them — to flow out through us.

I think now of her life that has and is unfolding. The beautiful and crazy moments with her two sons and husband and this unexpected story that brings joy and hope. I think of my own wild and deep life that is nothing I planned and everything I adore. I think of the last thing she said before amen.

She closed with these words, “Use our love stories, our epic love stories, to shine light on darkness.”

I think we’re here. Leaning into Meant-To-Be.