Friday, September 26, 2008


This has been the theme of Experiencing God this week. Not coincidentally I have gotten to experience this in various forms this week. I met with Traci, our pastor's wife, and Pastor Rob, our small groups pastor, this week for various reasons. But in both situations, I came away encouraged, spurred on, and affirmed in my walk and where God has me. I constantly get that feeling at Discovery. Pretty much every Sunday morning I walk out to my car in the parking lot just puffed up after being with my church family.

And then the Enemy steps in. He knows exactly how. He uses what seems as small as a pin prick to rip open my insecurity. It starts with small wonderings of the mind. Little morsels that I begin to ponder until they turn into how I feel. I start doubting the quality of love in my life. It goes something like this: "Lauren, if they knew, if they really knew, they wouldn't see you like that." Or "Just wait, things are good now, because you're listening and trying to be obedient. But wait until you're wrong, or you get hurt and look stupid. All that positive perception will burst like a balloon."

There are many things wrong with this.

The first is identifying the true problem at the root of why this works on me. Going back to Rob's sermon on the progression of : what we do stems from how we feel, which stems from what we truly believe. So the reason that I feel insecure about how I'm perceived is because I believe people only love me if they think I'm good or entertaining or have something to offer them. It's the performance trap AND the approval addict if you've read Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee. Whatever good people might see is not mine (Rom. 3:10). So whether I fail or succeed by whoever's standards, my worth never changes. Because He proclaims it in His Word, and He doesn't change (Heb. 13:8), neither does His Truth.

The second is that I'm cutting my church family at the knees if I limit their ability to love only happy people. I KNOW better. I've seen otherwise. These people love WELL and without judgment. So back off, Satan. You are clearly not invited.

This won't be the last time he draws me off track with this one. It's certainly not the first. I just want to get better at the battle. Reading Psalm 139 and whining to my mom pretty much whipped it, but still. How debilitating. There's too much I want to do and experience to be side-tracked with such nonsense. And besides, I have some serious koinonia to be a part of!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


You know how that feels during a time of growth where God's tinkering on your heart? Sometimes there's some demolition and reconstruction involved? And you just feel Him near. You know He's with you. You get that whole "walking with Him" sense throughout your day. I love that, but there's another part to it. It kinda draws you away from your immediate environment. It kinda makes you "not fit". I've kinda felt like that all weekend. I haven't been down or upset, but just like this place doesn't fit me very well. "This place" being life here and now.

Please don't get me wrong. I love my life. God has overwhelmingly blessed me with family, friends, a growing church, a job I like and feel a purpose in, and a beautiful place like Washington to live. It's not that. It's just when I'm in one of these growth spurts, I feel like my emotions are just below the skin. They're right on the edge for anyone to see and hopefully not damage. I had been looking forward to church this morning since Friday. After working this weekend, I just anticipated the opportunity to join with other believers that I know and love to experience God. And I did. The music was amazing. I teared up on more than one occasion.

In these states, it may not be visible to other people. And that would be great, actually. But I'm just softer, with my heart a little more exposed. It makes me a little hesitant to stand too close to someone, afraid they might get wild with their keys or something, and rupture a heartstring of mine. That was a bit of an exaggeration, but you know. I feel exposed.

Then I remember a couple of things: 1. Per the Bible, perfect love casts out fear. He loves me perfectly. There's NOTHING for me to be afraid of.

2. Per the wisdom of Kirstin Hawkins, to love IS to be vulnerable. And how vulnerable did and DOES God make Himself in loving us? He has nothing to gain. He just loves us. So I guess growth will look like living in that vulnerability with my heart out for the injuring without fear, trusting that with the reconstruction of it, my heart will grow stronger.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's HIS Gig

It is. I've known that. But my heart forgets sometimes. I've been so caught up and excited about all the things God's been laying on the heart of my friends and myself. Then Satan tried to twist it to make nervous about getting it wrong. He started making me fearful of messing tasks up and experiencing total failure with any and all attempts at progress in these visions. THEN the other day God reminded me what Blackaby says in Experiencing God about the fact that God tells you what He's going to do. NOT what He wants you to do FOR Him. Get that? No tasks with boxes to check. That's just your invitation to join Him. Look, listen, watch. Not go, do, We're the ones obsessed with efficiency and the NOW of capitalism. God doesn't work on that time frame. So we shouldn't feel pressured to. And we shouldn't live like He's going to start.

So I found rest this week. Or more like God gave it to me. I'm in process. Plus, like we (the girls) have realized over and over during this study: the end objective in God's heart isn't completed tasks, obedience, or accomplishment for the Kingdom. It's that I and others come to KNOW HIM better. It's about the relationship. No, this stuff isn't rocket science, but it's heart-lifting every time. And I have yet to stop needing to hear it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I feel that way. Not my schedule or my stomach, but my a good way. I've been blown away by what God is doing in and around me over the past few weeks. It just keeps intensifying, and it's ridiculously exciting. And the coolest thing is, I'm not alone in the journey. Ever since Amanda, Erin, Kirstin, and I have started Experiencing God, this has been the norm: seeing God's activity.

And let me say this, it's clearly making Satan nervous. The Father of Lies has been present and in full effect in certain areas, picking at my (our) insecurities, planting doubt, and just doing his best to cause delay, disillusionment, or disobedience. "The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come so that you may have life and have it to the fullest." John 10:10. Jesus wanted us to know the Truth. And the truth is that God wants to do some pretty monumental things in our lives over the next few months. Satan's scared, and he should be. But he wasn't invited to this party. And sad news: he already lost the battle. It doesn't end well for him. We just need to, as believers, get better at recognizing him and calling him out. The whole "when Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future". We have the power. We've been given it thorugh the Holy Spirit, not to mention the armor of God (Eph. 6:10).

So if God's working in your life and you see He's about to do big things, as one of my new favorite sayings goes, "Gird up your loins". Call that kid out. I figure it's okay to insult the Devil.

But fight for what is good, like Paul talked about. Hold tight to the love promises of your Lord. My prayer is that He continually equip us for battle. It's already going on. Being close to and growing in Him means more involvement in the war. So we need to be ready, and there's no need or room for fear.

I'm excited. I'll keep you "posted".