Today, Laura speaks to us about what she is learning from the book of Job regarding friendship, thoughts on revival and talking about body image, sexual sin and mentorship.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in Rochester, NY with my parents and two older brothers (who to this day are still my best friends). As a kid, I was wildly adventurous but also pretty girly. I wanted to climb trees, but do it while wearing a princess dress. I went to the same church from the time I was born, until I moved out-of-state, and more than anywhere else, that church still feels like home to me.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Exodus 4:11-12. Moses is arguing with God’s calling because he feels inadequate, and God says: Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” This passage reminds me that I don’t have to feel adequate or capable to go after the calling and dreams that God’s given me. All I have to do is be faithful, because He’s the one who will equip me.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Increased trust and surrender to God’s leading. My husband, Hayden, is in the military, which means that our life is constantly changing, and right now is a very dynamic season of change. But regardless of our lack of control or ability to see the future, God has good plans and is always faithful to lead us when the time is right!
“But regardless of our lack of control or ability to see the future, God has good plans and is always faithful to lead us when the time is right!”
Profession: I’m a health coach and spiritual mentor. I help women grow in their faith, become healthier physically, and overcome body image struggles! When we’re physically, mentally and spiritually healthy, we’re able to live more freely, love more fully and impact God’s kingdom more intentionally. I get to help women experience freedom and consistency in their health journey – it’s a dream job for me.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? “Life in the full”. I want my life to be marked by a fullness that can only be attributed to my loving Father, the saving work of Jesus and The Holy Spirit within me. I think as Christians, sometimes we live as though we we’ll only have “it” once we get to the other side of eternity. Whatever your “it” is… contentment, joy, freedom, acceptance, purpose, feeling loved, etc… it’s available now. When Jesus talks about having come to give us life (John 10:10), He isn’t just talking about once we get to heaven. New, full life starts now, and continues through eternity. If Jesus really did what He did, and the Spirit really does dwell within us, there’s no reason to live in bondage to anything.
“Whatever your ‘it’ is… contentment, joy, freedom, acceptance, purpose, feeling loved, etc… it’s available now.”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I can’t put a finger on the date or time of my very first encounter with God, but I do know my favorite way to encounter Him. To me, there’s no sweeter space than being on my knees in a dim basement with YouTube worship blasting. That’s where I’ve had my most precious, intimate times with God.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? He’s given me purpose that is bigger than myself. He’s softened my bitter heart. He’s given me empathy for those who are broken. Anything good in me is a direct consequence of His work in my life.
“Anything good in me is a direct consequence of His work in my life.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Mentors. Having people in my life who are a few steps ahead of me has been so impactful. We all need someone (or a few someone’s) to take us under their wing and help walk us further toward the heart of God.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I’ve been reading Job, and it’s teaching me how to be a friend. Job’s friends were pretty crappy, and I’m reminded to be a friend who endures trials patiently with my people, prays fervently on their behalf, and falls more heavily on the side of giving empathy, rather than advice.
Top three essentials: My pup Gypsy, sunshine and friend time. I’m a people person 100%.
How did God speak to you recently? Through a worship session (surprise, surprise). He was stirring in my heart that revival and healing is contagious. That if I want to see revival in my family, my city, this world… it needs to start with me. I need to be intimate with God and allow Him to heal the deepest wounds of my soul so that I can be a vessel for His Spirit to bring healing to others.
“If I want to see revival in my family, my city, this world… it needs to start with me.”
Hobby: Drinking coffee, connecting with my people, trying to keep houseplants alive, anything outdoors – I love the beach and our weather in San Diego is phenomenal.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1. Get in community – we were not meant to walk out our faith alone. Find a church. Get plugged into a small group. Develop vulnerable relationships.
2. View your pursuit of God as a wild adventure, not a stale religion. If you’re only reading your Bible because you “have to” you’re going to get sick of it. But if you’re reading because it’s the Living Word of God that actually speaks to you and gives you life, you’ll stay wide-eyed and in wonder.
3. Create space for intimate time with God. It’s not enough for us to just talk about, or read about Him. We need to connect WITH Him. So spend time in worship, sit in silence and listen to His Spirit, get out in nature and pray out loud.
“It’s not enough for us to just talk about, or read about Him. We need to connect WITH Him.”
Favorite person in scripture? Paul. Hands down. He’s so hardcore. I’m obsessed with his steadfastness and fire for God and for reaching humanity. He was so committed to building God’s kingdom and that’s the life I want to live.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That He’s real and alive. I want them to encounter His Spirit when they interact with me.
How do you engage with your community? We have a tight-knit Bible study group that we spend tons of time with. I help lead worship at our church, and I do my best to create community online! Social media can be a negative thing for sure, but I believe that it can also be a powerful tool – so I use Instagram to connect with and encourage women.
Favorite holiday? As far as meaning: Easter. But for the holiday events/vibes: Thanksgiving. It’s less pressure than Christmas, and it’s always such a sweet time. Hayden and I have hosted an open-invite Friendsgiving for the past 2 years since we’re away from family, and it has been a blast.
A goal you have? To speak to women! God’s put an untamable desire in my soul boldly share His truth and inspire women to live more freely and fully in His Spirit.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: I’m actually not a huge fan of traditions, but I LOVE spontaneity. I would rather try something different and adventurous every year than try to uphold the same traditions.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? How many creatures live in the ocean that we haven’t discovered, and what they look like. The ocean absolutely blows my mind… I’m so curious about it.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Christian women struggling with sexual sin and/or body image. They’re things that I’ve struggled with so much in the past and felt like no one was speaking into those struggles from a Christian standpoint. I’ve found so much freedom from my struggles with sexual sin and body image, and I want to open the conversation with other women about it too!
What does your morning routine consist of? My ideal routine consists of coffee first, then Bible reading, journaling, and a long walk with my pup before I make breakfast and get ready for the day. Some days, I fly out of bed and run around the house like a mad woman getting ready, then fit in my Jesus time later in the day.
What is on your nightstand? Bible, Bible commentary, notebook, oil diffuser, electric back massager (best Amazon purchase ever).
Define Christianity in a sentence: It’s believing in the saving work of Christ, living led by His Spirit, and adopting the mission of building His kingdom through loving the lost and sharing the Gospel
For more Laura:
Website and blog: lauradawnreynolds.com
Free Facebook health community.
Until next time, keep witnessing!