Your Life Matters

Our lives are defined by a series of moments..

Growing up I always knew I wanted to make a difference, but I never knew exactly how. I had so many ideas and so many avenues I could potentially travel down, but I could never pick just one to venture down. What if I was choosing the wrong one? What if I was supposed to be doing something else? I’m not going to say those years were wasted, because I believe everything happens for a reason. But what I’ve come to learn is that we just need to start taking steps in one direction and if it doesn’t work out, we take the next available path. If we don’t start walking, we lose sight of the finish line.

Then came my next obstacle… what other people thought of me. I’m not sure when this one came into my life, but I do know it effected my significantly…. for years. I love serving people, I love being there for people, but somewhere along the line, I got that mixed up with wanting to please everyone, and that my friends, is NOT the same thing. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.. and you know what? That’s perfectly fine! We’re not meant to be!

I’ve never been a fan of small talk. I love deep conversations, meaningful conversations, conversations that create vulnerability and trust. I feel deeply, I laugh constantly, I cry more often than I’d like to, and my heart feels what other people are going through. But the older I get, the more I realize how much of a gift that is.

For the longest time, my life never really made sense to me. When I was a kid, I was super athletic. I played basketball, I did gymnastics, I loved to run, and you know what? I was good. Then at the age of 9, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis, was given a back brace to wear most of the day, and I was constantly being benched in gym class for my safety (I didn’t see it that way). At thirteen came my first back surgery.. and with every surgery came the statement that I couldn’t play sports for a year. Talk about an athletic death sentence!

While recovering from my first surgery, my uncle Jerry gave me my first electric guitar. He owned a second hand goods store and, since I couldn’t do anything athletic for a year, he gifted me a guitar to learn so that I would have something to occupy my time. I loved it!! With that, my love for music and the arts grew. Growing up, during basketball’s off season, I was part of a community theater group. So, knowing now that sports was not in my future, I got into acting more.

All of my back surgeries were during the summer so, when I got back to school, I was free to jump into the world of theater! I loved every second of it… Everything from behind the scenes to front and center. Our little black box theater became a second home to me. Learning and becoming another character became an escape for me. But one day in college, it hit me. I loved accepting roles and learning the character because it took my focus off of my own story for a moment in time. I was frustrated and I didn’t understand why my life was like this.

To be honest, I think we all hit that point in our lives. We all have obstacles in our lives and we all wonder “why me?” We all have that one thing that can either slowly destroy us, or become building blocks for who we become… and that goes for ANY stage in life. For me, it was {and still is} my health journey.

Growing up, I was so frustrated and confused with God. I prayed and I prayed for God to heal me. I didn’t understand why my faith and my relationship with Him wasn’t moving the mountains I was asking Him to move. Sometimes, I still question it. But when I look to the Bible, I find I’m not alone. There are stories of people who suffered and were healed, there were people who wrested with God and were healed, and there were some who were never healed, but never lost their faith.

Whatever my future looks like, one thing is certain… I will never lose my faith. There have been moments where it’s been small, but the Bible says that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.

My health is still not where I’d like it to be. While I’m not having back surgeries anymore, I face other health issues. Can God still heal me? Of course! The way I see it is this: I know God still performs miracles to this day. I know in the blink of an eye everything can change. But until that moment comes, my life is still just as impactful and meaningful. God can use my pain just as much as He can use my miracle. If my story in this present moment can help someone else find purpose in theirs, why wouldn’t I share it? Sharing my pain isn’t saying that I don’t believe in the healing power of God or that I don’t have enough faith. In fact, I think it’s the complete opposite. I have faith to know that God is going to bring me through this. My life may not look how I imagined it, but the story that is unfolding throughout my life is one I couldn’t have imagined without going through what I’ve gone through.

Every now and then, I still pick up a basketball…. and this year, I had the opportunity to get back into acting. This time around, I found a whole new passion and love for the stage. Wanna know why? Because this year, I found the value and worth in my story. I found the power behind my voice and a self love that I’ve been missing for a very long time. So when this opportunity to be in a play came around, I wasn’t hiding in a character’s story. I was finding the power behind her voice and giving it to her. This time around, something shifted and you best believe that won’t be the last time I act.

I say all of that to say, I still feel like I’ve got too many avenues to go down and I want to make the right choice. But now that I know the finish line, I know that as long as I’m taking steps in that direction, everything will work out the way it’s meant to. I’ve got a lot of life to live and a lot of art to create. There may be obstacles, but I know as long as I’ve got my faith in God, it’s gonna be okay.

So whatever you’re facing today, know that God is with you. It may be more than you can handle, believe me.. I’ve been there, but it’s never too much for God to handle. Your life matters. Your story matters. It doesn’t have to be perfect and glamorous. Every piece doesn’t need to be in order before you start making moves. Just know the direction you’re going in and start taking steps.

I’m cheering you on every step of the way,

Lauren K. ❤

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