I know some pretty amazing women. These women are driven, filled with faith, and I feel there is so much we can learn from each one and her personal journey. These church ladies break all molds and reflect God beautifully in so many different ways.
I am excited to introduce you to a lipstick maven, Lauren. She shares with us thoughts about vulnerability, redemption and how she feels God’s presence.
Biblical inspiration of the moment: Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4:35-41. There’s something about Jesus’ frustration with the disciple’s doubt that is comforting to me—that He is so in control, so faithful, so worth trusting in, that He just wants me to find confidence in His power over the fear and chaos life brings me, instead of the anxiety that persists when I doubt His care for me.
“…He just wants me to find confidence in His power over the fear and chaos life brings me…”
Spiritual growth focus, at the moment: Full dependence on Christ. I need only to be still, to make more of Him, and less of me and my will, my ability, etc.
Profession: Student Therapist — I’m in the last year of my master’s program for Marriage and Family Therapy. I also have three part-time jobs to pay for this— I work in the Admissions office at my school, I work for a baby boutique, and I sell Lipsense, (holla at me for some good lipstick).
One sentence bio: Christian feminist, in love with her husband.
When did you first encounter God? Okay, I know this is laugh-out-loud funny, but I have this vivid memory as a fifth grader laying in my bed listening to Alive by P.O.D. (I know, I know), and just crying tears of joy. Life was so unbearable at that age, in light of things going on in my family, and I remember being overcome with peace. That’s my first “encounter” I can remember, and it really did change the course of my early Christian life.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Vulnerability + acceptance = freedom. Being excruciatingly honest with safe people has turned shame into belonging, and emphasized more and more the riches of God’s grace.
“Being excruciatingly honest with safe people has turned shame into belonging…”
Top three essentials: Not for survival, but for personal simple joys: dogs, dinner parties, and laughter.
How has God spoken to you recently? I struggle[d] to answer this question, because God doesn’t speak to me. I’ve realized that His presence is as accessible as I choose to be. Some days, I feel the weight of my own neediness, and I look for His face, and some days, I am self-focused, and I miss opportunities to see Him.
God is an ever-present reality, so to attribute every passing moment to His purpose is what I seek to do, but I’m not that disciplined. Most recently, I’ve had a very humbling experience in my personal life, so it has been easier to fix my eyes on the Lord.
In this season, I’ve been doing an externship at an Intensive Outpatient Program, and God has used the transparency and kindness of the lead therapist (who isn’t even a Christian) to orient me and encourage me. His story is so similar to mine, but to see him ten years ahead and hearing his story has been so redemptive for me.
“I’ve realized that His presence is as accessible as I choose to be.”
A hobby? Interior design and makeup.
Top three tips for staying spiritually strong:
- Live in community.
- There’s no need to pretend—there is freedom in vulnerability.
- Forgive yourself each night, and recommit every morning.
Favorite person in scripture: I identify most with Jacob in the Old Testament, and Peter in the New Testament. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I’ll go with Jacob because my tattoo is about his relationship with God.
I relate to how he struggled with duality—wanting to please God, but often missing the point and wanting his own will. He literally wrestled with God and was wounded in the process, but through the pain came blessing. So is life, and the ways God uses it to draw us to Himself and keep us in the deep rest found in the shadow of the cross.
“…[B]ut through the pain came blessing.”
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I hope they see how He has made beauty from ashes, and what a faithful, loving God He is. I hope they experience grace from me that outpours from the grace I’ve received.
Favorite season: Fall, duh.
Favorite holiday: Halloween!
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: I did not grow up in a family of traditions, but my husband and I have started the tradition of staying Christmas Eve with his family and cooking Christmas breakfast together. I’m sure we’ll continue making more in the future– especially if/when we have children.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven: I believe God’s grace is irresistible, and if this is true, I want to understand why He did not draw everyone to Himself. And even in my last year of seminary, I don’t think my finite mind can understand this one on Earth.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: The neurological consequences porn has on relational intimacy.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m. (Mon- Fri)? Cuddle in the bed with my husband and our dogs and slowly drink my coffee.
On your nightstand? Lipsense, an orange + cardamom fall candle, thank you notes, and a picture of me with my husband and brother.
For more Lauren:
Until next time, keep witnessing!