Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You've Got A Friend in Me

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C.S. Lewis

I love that my God never changes. I love that He never moves from me.  He is like a lighthouse and I am a ship lost at sea. His light leads me home, pulls me in and shows me the way. When I begin to drift away from Him, He stands still and waits for his wayward child to come back again. No matter what mistakes I make, nor how many times I deny Him, He still says, “You are mine, follow me”.  I love this concept.

This concept is what made me realize how I want to live my life. I want to be that person who is there for others. The one who never is more than a phone call away, just like God is no more than a prayer away. I know I cannot be perfect, nor do I want to be. I just want my friends to know that no matter what I am here for them.

Growing up, my parents always told me that I have a really big heart. While that may seem like a good thing, they were worried about me getting hurt. The truth is, I look for the good in people. I trust people until they give me a reason not too, forgive when many won’t and love at all costs. I do this because I refuse to live my life shielded, with a bitter head and heart. I actually believed that everyone lived their life like that. I mean who wouldn’t want to be in an almost constant state of positive energy? Haha

I soon learned that many choose not to live their life as I do. Some call how I live my life is naïve, which I am far from. That is fine, to each their own. I refuse to lower my standards for those who refuse to raise theirs. So I continue with my big heart, full of the glory of God!

I don’t care how long a friend has gone without talking to me, I will pick up right where we left off. No matter if that friendship previously ended in anger or happiness.  A great example of this is me and one of my best friends, Kelly. We met at children’s choir at church when we were probably six. Her family moved to a different church and we grew apart. As most 6 year olds do because, well we are 6 and can’t drive or really call each other. Move onto middle school and look who is in my theatre class, KELLY!! Many fond memories are made during this time. (I wrote a full blog about these memories, if you would like to know more). Then, we got into an over dramatic fight (as most middle school fights are) and the friendship ended. Going into high school, I really didn’t talk to her at all. She had a new boyfriend, a new life it seemed. I really wanted to be there for her when I heard from others about her life. I remember we were at a friend’s birthday party and it was just extremely awkward. It is weird going from being at her house every day, to not even knowing anything about her current life. One day when I was waiting for my mom to pick me up from school, I saw her sitting outside as well. I went over to her and we just kind of struck up a random conversation. It was just like we never stopped being friends. Pretty soon, we were caught up on each other’s life. The years  in high school flew by and we graduated. We found out that we would be managers together at a local pool. Let me state something right now, Kelly by herself, pretty responsible. Me, by myself, pretty responsible. Us, together, we lose all sense of maturity. She is that friend, that no matter how old we get, I can still act like a complete idiot with. Yet still have deep conversations about life. If you don’t have one of these friends, I suggest you find one ASAP. That whole summer was full of fun and nonsense. I left for college and she stayed near home. We slowly drifted apart, I think it was both of our faults. We both did things to upset the other. So we decided the go our separate ways. She was soon engaged, married and pregnant. I once again found myself wondering how she was doing and hoping she was happy with her new life. I graduated college, moved back home and found myself at Kelly’s house one day. She makes jewelry and I went to go check it out. As always, we picked up right where we left off! I pretty much don’t go a week without seeing her. It is so cool to see someone that you have known since you were six, have their own little family. I love how supportive her husband is of her and what a great dad he is to their daughter. Kelly is such a great mom and wife as well. It is so amazing to have such a true friend. Even more, someone you know who understands you and is a sister in Christ. I know that no matter what happens or how far we will move, we will always be there for each other. Thankfully, I am blessed to not only have her, but a few other friend I could say this about.

To conclude, I want YOU to know that I am here for you and more importantly GOD is here for you! If you have hurt me in the past, I forgive you. For you are only human too. If I have hurt you in the past, please accept my apology. We all sin, we all make mistakes. Life is about forgiving and moving on from the heartache of the past. So, I have a challenge for you this week. Contact an old friend, maybe someone who hurt you, someone you have been meaning call. Let them know that they are loved. Holding onto grudges only hurts you, not them. It only imprisons you, while they walk free.  Live life with a really big heart and never look back! 

Friday, January 20, 2012


A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her…

Growing up, all teenage girls have a sort of “check list” of traits their boyfriend MUST possess. Whether it is the typical blonde hair, blue eyes. Or the tall, dark and handsome. I can almost guarantee that every girl has some sort of dream guy in her mind. My guy went a little something like this:

16- Year-old Lauren Roehr’s Must-have in a Guy List

1.       Straight teeth…or at least a nice smile
2.       Rockin’ Bod…or at least care about your health
3.       Funny…on every girl's list
4.       Honest, trustworthy and all that junk
5.       Morals…because I always have stuck by mine

As you can tell, I was pretty shallow back in the day. If I wasn’t thinking with the mind of a 16 year old, I would have probably flipped that list around. Actually, that list kind of followed me through college too. By following this list I managed to date a hand full of guys who, might have been great to look at, but lacked on honesty and sometimes morals as well.

To be fair, I was 16. I was immature, everything was a big deal and what I wanted changed on a daily basis. I dated many different guys and was pretty much never single. I would go from hanging out with one guy, get tired of him and almost instantly find another. (None of these were serious relationships, where love was involved). Things were easy that way and I never got lonely.  I was never alone and therefore, never had to learn how to be by myself. Thankfully, I was smart enough to keep my morals throughout all of this. I am proud to say I never have been, and never will be a girl who sleeps around, or needs that type of love to feel comfort. I just really enjoyed always having someone around to have fun with and get those sweet, “Good Morning” texts from.

It wasn’t until the first semester of college that I had to learn how to be on my own. My boyfriend of almost 2 years and I had just broken up. We both went our separate ways to college. He was honest with me when we first started dating about how we would break up when college came. I just really thought I would change his mind. (Made note to self: A guy will only change his way and mind when he wants to for himself, not for anyone else). That first semester at college was to say the least, tough. I was thrown into a sea of people, where I only knew maybe 5. All I wanted was to be back with him. I had no clue how to be single. Actually, I am still terrible at being single. I don’t enjoy living the life many single people do. I am such a homebody, even more now than then. I went back home almost every weekend.  So, I didn’t lead the normal single college girls life. Most guys in college just want one thing…the one thing that they won’t get from me.

Knowing that, I stayed single that whole first year, and it got easier as time went on. I learned not to depend on anyone, except myself. There were a few guys who showed their interest here and there. Nothing that was ever made more than a few dates. Then, I fell in love again. Zip through 8 months of that, straight into another serious relationship of over a year, and I found myself back at square one of not know how to be alone.

This time it is different because I have Him. HE tells me that I am not alone, that I have never been alone and that I will never be alone. He tells me that in my darkest hour, when no one else is there to be found, He is there. He calms the storm inside of me, fills up the loneliness and lets me know that I am loved, because I am His!! He was there the whole time, I just needed to realize His presence.

Realizing all of this was been such a blessing on my life. Hard times don’t seem as hard and I can just see everything clearer now. All of this brings me to the point of this blog, my new list. My new list, isn’t even a list at all. This criteria centers around HIM! I know that what I was missing before in all of my relationships was, Him.  I know I want to marry a man who loves God more than he loves me. A man who isn’t afraid to give everything to God. A man I can pray, worship and rejoice in the Lord with. Someone who understands why I go to Bible study on Tuesday, help with youth on Wednesday, Sunday and  sometimes overnight trips. Who will encourage me and push me to be the best Christian I can be. I want my children to have two parents that follow Christ.  I want a marriage that when times get tough, we turn to Him for guidance instead of sin or worldly things. Thinking of these things is what makes my heart happy.

I pray that if it is in His plan for me to get married, that my husband will be all of this and more...

As for my life now, I plan to continue on my walk with Him. I am using this time as a single woman to let my relationship with Him grow. I know He will use me in ways that will benefit most from me being single. Ways that I would not being able to help with if I was still in college, or married with a family. I truly am giving it all up to Him and can't wait to see what blessings will unfold while doing His work here on this temporary home. 

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 5:25-33

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

I remember the day when I realized what I wanted to do for the rest of my life…

I was sitting in a seminar for the Society of Leadership and Success. It was a honors group I was asked to be a member of. In order to be a member, you have to complete these seminars about different topics. To be honest, I was just completing the requirements because you also were given an honor cord. I was a little “honor cord obsessed” in my college days. I just dreamed of walking across the stage with all these cords and a medal. I wanted people to see how much hard work I put into my 3 years at Sam! I ended up walking across the stage with 5 cords and my Honors Program medal.

Anyway, back to the seminar…I was sitting in a classroom with a ton of other students. Most of us were less than thrilled to have to sit in another classroom after a day full of lectures and professors. In fact, most of us just played on our cells the whole time we were there. The president of the society handed out a paper and told us about how todays seminar will help us decide on what our “true calling” is. Doubtful, I thought. I have done these things before. Career assessment tests that tell me I should become a police officer. Really? Anyone who knows me, knows #1 I close my eyes even during the previews of scary movies. So why would I put myself in a real life scary movie?! #2 The only direction I will be running when a criminal is around is away, not after.  The only way I will ever become a police officer is if I am part of the K9-unit. In that case, I am just going to play with Fido all day.

I decide to give this assessment a try. Maybe get a good laugh about what it will tell me. It is not like I am going to switch my major around. It is my fall semester of my senior year, I am going to graduate and become a…oh yeah that’s right…I recently decided that maybe I don’t want to work at a news station and with the media. Maybe open my own film company? Move to LA and work for E!? Become a teacher? Go work as a zookeeper? WHAT!? Wait, STOP! Just take the test that is in front of you, Lauren. (In case you were wondering, yes this is how thoughts process in my mind)

Do you know what the assessment told me? It told me that my “true calling” is helping people. It is kind of amazing, because in a way I always knew that. I just didn't know I could make a whole career out of it. How awesome would it be to know you are making a positive influence on someone’s life each day? I remember it all hitting me and looking around the see if this has the same effect on others as it did on me. It didn't, most were still anxious to leave and start their normal college nightlife routine. I just sat back, smiled and felt at peace. I almost immediately started looking for jobs at non-profit companies such as Make a Wish, Livestrong and Alzheimer’s Association. Fast forward to present day…

I ended up not getting a job at a non-profit. I interviewed at a few, but with this job market, most really wanted more with experience. Which is fine, because it all worked out for the best. I currently work at an insurance agency, but still get to help people and follow my morals daily. I think that it is the biggest deal breaker for me. I have to be able to have a job where my morals aren’t constantly questioned. I work across the street from my church, so I get to look out my window and see a steeple all day long. I can read my Bible on my lunch break and work in a really positive environment. Looking back, I realize on that day sitting in a classroom, filled with students who were just wanting to leave and get on with their life, my life changed. God started working in me, and it is only now, well over a year later that I see all of this.

Have you ever been a part of something that just makes you want to smile? You just look upon it and realize it is His hands at work? Well, I get to experience this every week! I have recently began working with the youth group from my church. I can easily say it is the most rewarding, encouraging, and amazing thing I have been a part of in a long time. I get to see how the love and grace of God grows in these teens every week. I get to help them overcome challenges, laugh with each other and succeed. I can’t help but to find myself smiling when I look at that group of teens. I know it has nothing to do with me and everything with God working through me. It is like I have finally found my way of helping and giving back. I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use me to help them and how he will use them to help me grow as well.

I can't live my whole my life wasting 
all the grace that I know you've given 
Cause you made me for so much more 
than sitting on the sidelines…