Meadow Rue Merrill

My Work

Meadow Rue Merrill is an award-winning writer, contributing magazine editor and mom of six including Ruth, who was adopted from Uganda. Meadow doesn’t wear a clerical collar. She didn’t graduate from seminary, but she believes that God is intimately involved in her everyday life, an experience she shares in her weekly newspaper column, “Faith Notes.” Please subscribe to connect!

Redeeming Ruth

Ruth was 16-months old when she arrived in Maine from an orphanage in Uganda. She couldn’t sit up, roll over or lift her head. In seven years Ruth never spoke a word, yet her life spoke volumes about the importance of family, the meaning of faith, and the power of love. “Redeeming Ruth” is her story.

Faith Notes

Life is often rough, mine included. Some days seem designed to crush your hopes and dreams. Faith Notes are brief, Scripture-inspired meditations that are meant to encourage. Each Monday I offer a new reflection based on what God is doing in my everyday life. You can also find Faith Notes on Fridays in The Times Record and Bangor Daily News. Or subscribe to have it delivered to your in-box. I look forward to hearing from you!



Coincidence? No, the Lord

In this second summer guest post on “Trusting God When Life Hurts,” Midcoast Maine author Dikkon Eberhart shares about being a church deacon and struggling to comfort a church member experiencing life’s trials. In his words, may you be blessed: “But if he asks you how, you can tell him that I told you, it’s the Lord.” “He thinks it’s coincidence.” “A coincidence is an event during which God remains anonymous.” The accident—the coincidence—had occurred a week before. Her skeptical husband had skied a black-diamond trail too aggressively, in late afternoon, on wet snow that was freezing back into ice. In itself, the accident was minor—a snapped tibia. After the accident, however, her husband was unable to take a full breath. The doctor examined his lungs. Tests revealed a genetic condition called Alpha One. His lung capacity was diminishing in a way that could not be stopped—slowed, yes; stopped, no. The couple had three children—two daughters with a son in between—twelve, nine, and seven. At our church, congregants were assigned to particular deacons; I was theirs. I didn’t know what to do. That was my burden as a deacon. My biblical call as a deacon was to serve, but I didn’t know what to do. “You and I,” she said, “we know that the accident was no mere coincidence. But for him, he must have it a coincidence. Otherwise, he would need to contemplate the Lord’s intentionality.” “Which includes his Alpha One.” “Yes,” she agreed, and her eyes filled with tears. “Your life has caromed off in a direction neither of you anticipated.” “Yes.” “You can tell him I said the same thing happened... read more

Trusting God When His Gifts are Challenging

Knowing we all experience difficulties, I’ve invited three friends over the next three weeks to share their own struggles with trusting God when life hurts. This week, writer, encourager, and co-leader of the global ministry Campus Crusade for Christ, Judy Douglass, shares on “Trusting God When His Gifts Are Challenging.” If you are struggling to see the good in a difficult situation, I pray that Judy’s words will bless you: I’m a giver. I love to give – encouraging words, desirable gifts, needed money.  I always want my gifts to please, lift, help, awaken. God is also a giver. He assures us that he gives good gifts. My experience, however, has been that his gifts often have deeper purposes. Sometimes they are challenging, risky, even dangerous. The most challenging gift God has given me is our son. Twenty-three years ago God sent a 9-year-old boy from a very difficult situation to our family as a foster child. He came with the results of his birth mother’s neglect, alcohol and drug abuse:  learning disabilities, ADD, attachment issues, no ability to reason cause and effect, and an incredible need to be the center of attention. That was just the beginning. Three years later we adopted him and the challenges increased. By his mid-teens, we were fully into the world of rebellion, destructive choices and their consequences. Our son took us into places we knew nothing about. Calls from the school principal were not to tell of his latest accomplishment, but about his latest escapade and the possibility of expulsion.  We became familiar with the juvenile justice system and traffic court. Would the late-night calls... read more

Trusting God When Life Hurts, Act VI: Looking at Christ

“We are all under the Mercy, and Christ knows the precise weight and proportion of our sufferings—he bore them. He carried our sorrows. He suffered, not that we might not suffer, but that our sufferings might be like his,” wrote the 19th-century Scottish author George MacDonald. I came across this quote in an article on loss by the late missionary and author Elisabeth Elliot. If anyone had reason to doubt God when life hurt, it was Elisabeth, whose 29-year-old husband Jim Eliot was murdered along with four other missionaries by the Huaorani people of Ecuador. Instead of turning her back on God, Elizabeth – with her 10-month-old daughter – famously chose to live among her husband’s killers and show them God’s love, a story told in the movie The End of the Spear. In Jim Eliot’s life, I find the life of Christ – the one who came to teach and heal and serve and who was killed by those he came to save. And in Elizabeth’s story I find the story of God – who forgives and shows mercy. To read the rest of this article, the sixth in Faith Notes 2015 Summer Blog Tour, please click here to visit fellow Redbud Jamie Rohrbaugh’s blog, “From His Presence.” And subscribe to receive the remainder of this series, with three upcoming guest posts by fellow writers who’ve experienced their own difficulties trusting God followed by my conclusion at the end of August. Thanks for joining the... read more

Trusting God When Life Hurts, Act V: Looking Around

I was seven months pregnant when my husband, Dana, walked through the door and wearily announced that he’d been laid off—again. It was the second time in three years, a result of the huge downturn in the housing market that accompanied the Great Recession. We had four children, ages sixteen to four. At the sound of Dana’s words, all my hope for our future and theirs was crushed under the heavy weight of despair. Without speaking, I turned and walked out the back door, up the wooded hill behind our house, and fell to my knees under the towering pines. “Have you brought us here to die?” I cried out to God in anguish. To keep reading, please join me on Faith Notes 2015 summer blog tour as I share on fellow Redbud Writers Guild memember Sharon Hoover’s blog, “A Journal of Missional... read more

Trusting God When Life Hurts, Act IV: Looking Back

As if being mistaken for a boy and wearing my brother’s hand-me-downs wasn’t awkward enough, growing up I was cross-eyed and wore glasses. When kids called me “four eyes,” their words added one more wound to my already hurting heart. At night, curling up in bed on our Oregon farm, I often prayed. One night I was filled with a warm, peaceful assurance that by the time I was 13 I would no longer need glasses. Sure enough, by the time my thirteenth birthday rolled around, my eyes were strong and straight. I didn’t need glasses again for nearly three decades. When life hurts, it is easy to feel alone and abandoned by God. If he loved me, surely he wouldn’t allow me to suffer. Yet, Scripture says not only that God loves us, but that he is love. To keep reading, please join me on my summer blog tour as I share the rest of this column at fellow Redbud member and encourager Judy Douglass’ blog... read more

Trusting God when life hurts, Act III: Looking in the word

When our daughter Ruth, who had multiple special needs, died before her eighth birthday, my husband, Dana, and I were devastated. I don’t say “completely” devastated or “profoundly” devastated, because by its very definition devastation is total. There are no degrees. Rather, we experienced a black, bleak ruin where the flowering, fruitful garden of our lives once grew. Born in a hospital in Uganda and quickly abandoned, Ruth had spent much of the first year of her life in an orphanage before being diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She then came to Maine for six months of physical therapy. We met her through friends, fell in love with her laughing eyes and contagious smile, and completed a lengthy and complicated international adoption to give her a home. Was raising Ruth hard? Yes. It was also the most unexpected, amazing, life-affirming, heart expanding experience of our lives. To read more, join Faith Notes’ 2015 Summer Blog Tour by clicking on author and fellow Redbud Writers Guild member Dr. Natalie Eastman’s website “Helping you develop... read more