- How did you become a Christian?
I grew up in a Christian family. Both my mother’s and father’s sides of the family were strong Christians. I first gave my life to Christ when I was 7 years old after a Sunday School service. I never once doubted God or His existence in my life, but I spent several years questioning what it meant to truly be a Christian because I grew up around some legalistic Christians. I was constantly analyzing and reshaping my beliefs up until the age of 18. I hadn’t been to a church in years, because the last one that I had been to didn’t fit me well. I began attending my current church after checking out their youth group that had been recommended by one of my friends, and my whole family started attending as well after we discovered that it was a nice, welcoming, and safe environment. God made it clear to us that it was where we belonged, and He used our current church to draw me closer to Him. At the age of 18 I rededicated my life to Christ and was also baptized.
2. What was your childhood like?
My childhood was pretty lonely. I didn’t have any real friends. I was the kid who was only invited to other kids’ birthday parties because the teacher said that they couldn’t give invitations to every kid except for me. I became fascinated with science at a very young age. As a child I was always dissecting insects, studying the planets and stars through my telescope, or designing an experiment to try. I would spent most of my time either reading about science or attempting experiments. I was always trying to learn as much about astronomy and biology as I could, probably because I didn’t have any friends and learning filled that empty space in my life.
3. When were you diagnosed?
My mother and I first heard about Asperger’s during my senior year of high school when I found out that one of my friends had been diagnosed with it. Mom, being a very curious lady, had me look up the signs of Asperger’s. I remember reading out loud to her this huge list of signs, and when I had finished she looked over at me and said, “Meghan, this sounds exactly like you.” I was in denial for a while about having it, because I was worried about how people would treat me if they found out that I was autistic. However, even though I denied having it at first I knew the moment that I finished reading that list that I had Asperger’s. I had finally found something that perfectly explained my entire life and all of my quirks. We began pursuing an official diagnosis, but it was difficult. After multiple attempts I was finally officially diagnosed by a psychiatrist last week with autism spectrum disorder.
4. Why did you start a Facebook group for autistics who were victims of bullying?
I began interacting with multiple autistics in Facebook groups well before my diagnosis, and I noticed that almost all of them had horrific stories about being bullied and mistreated. This struck a chord with me because I had been bullied my entire life as well. I went through some horrendous things that caused me to go into a deep depression, so I felt like I could somewhat understand what my fellow Aspies and autistics had went through. I also noticed that there didn’t seem to be any safe groups for people to share their experiences with bullying and to get support. Posts about bullying in most of the groups that I was a part of would result in the original poster being made fun of, or there would be incredibly rude remarks made. This was incredibly upsetting for me, and I spent some time thinking about what I could do about it. Then the Holy Spirit laid it upon my heart that I could start a Facebook group for this purpose, since I have experiences with overcoming bullying, I have a servant’s heart, and I am an Aspie like many others in the groups. I then started my Facebook group as a ministry to help other autistics who have experienced bullying, and it has been such a blessing so far to be able to help others.
5. What is your favorite biblical passage and why?
My favorite passage would probably be Psalm 139:13-14:
“ For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
I love this passage because it reminds me that God created me with special care and for a special purpose. I have had many days where I felt inadequate because of my disability, but these verses always remind me that the Lord had a reason for creating me.
Who is your favorite biblical figure besides Jesus?
My favorite Biblical figure besides Jesus would probably be Job. He went through some incredibly tough times, and I can relate to that. I haven’t gone through anything even remotely as horrible as what he experienced, but I have gone through some very rough times. Job’s story reminds me that God has a reason behind the things that we go through in our lives, and that we must trust His reasons because His ways are higher. Job also encourages me to keep my faith in God no matter what is happening in my life.
7. Is there anyone in your life who inspires you to be a better person? Why does this person inspire you?
Yes, my pastor. He has been a good example of what a true follower of Christ looks like. He’s shown me that we shouldn’t try to act perfect and that we must be willing to admit our mistakes and faults. He has inspired me to grow in my faith and to seek God more.
8. Why do you wish to pursue forensics?
I want to pursue forensics not only because of my love of chemistry and science in general, but also because I see a need for forensic scientists with a strong Biblical moral foundation. I see so many stories of scientists faking results, stealing drugs to sell them, etc. I find it appalling, and I want to go into this field so that I can be a scientists who stands for justice as defined by God.
9. What would you say to someone who wishes to understand autistics and/or Aspies?
I would say that the best way to understand someone with autism or Asperger’s is to get to know them and ask them questions. I’ve known a lot of people who have tried to understand autism by reading articles on the internet. You won’t be successful if you go that route. Ask someone you know with autism about what it’s like. I don’t get upset when someone asks me questions about autism if they’re genuinely trying to understand it. Aspies and autistics are all different, but we are connected by similar traits.