In the summer of 2009 I met the most dreamy boy. Sure he had a lot of facial hair, but he was still dreamy. He was adventurous, outgoing, but most of all I liked the way he talked about Jesus. He was passionate and convicted.
He took me out on our first date on a Friday and I was so nervous. After our date he said he’d call me in a few days, and he went north to his home, and I went two hours south to my home. He did call. Two days later as I was watching my apartment burn to the ground.
Earlier that day I was out on a hike to pray and think (I mean I was kind of freaking out about this bearded man) and as I was hiking around, I really felt God impressing Isaiah 26:3 on my heart. Over and over I kept hearing, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” I had memorized that verse years ago and for some reason it kept popping up in my head. It was on repeat, the only thing I could think of.
After my hike I dusted the Colorado red clay off my boots and got into my car. As drove back toward my apartment I saw a plume of black smoke rising up from the direction of my apartment. At the same time my phone rang. It was my neighbor and dear friend, Allison. "Lauren, I think you house is on fire. You should get home now."
All the blood rushed to my feet as I tried to navigate side streets to get back home, or what was left of my home, ask quickly as I could.
Fire engines and hoses lined the streets and water gushed down the curb flooding the grassy medians and sidewalks. I ran up through a maze of stairs and turned the corner to see flames shoot out from my bedroom window. Fire was consuming every possession I owned and all I could do was stand there. I knew there was nothing I could do, for even if I threw my body on the flames I could not stop this fire.
Not minutes later a chorus erupted in my heart. That same verse that flooded my heart during the hike was back in a full blown concert washing my mind and heart with the Truth of God: “I will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in me."
It was time to trust.
God was saying don’t worry; don’t fear; put your trust in me. I am God. You are not. I am here. And the unbelievable happened, except I believe, because as I watched my home burn, peace flooded my heart.
That was a difficult moment for me. It was a rough few months of piecing my life back together. I mean, I literally had the clothes on my back and a tiny backpack I had taken on the hike with me. I had no family in Colorado and there was a guy that was going to change my life. But God gave me the strength and the dignity to move through those rough months. Through His Word I clothed myself with truth that gave me the courage, the confidence, and the peace to rebuild my life one day at a time.
Strength and dignity come directly from the Lord. They are not conjured up from the good within you, and this is not a pull yourself up from the bootstrap kind of thing.
Strength and dignity are an outflowing of a woman who fears and trusts the Living God.
Strength and dignity are an outflowing of a woman who fears and trust the Living God.
She knows whom she believes and is able to rest.
God gives her the strength to do his will; God gives her the dignity to move about each day.
That fire is a permanent mark of the hand of God on my life; it's a reminder that He is God and I am not. The fire is a time where beauty came from ashes and He revealed His goodness to me in the midst of absolute helplessness. The fire burned, but He was still God, and if He is still God then we can always move about with strength and dignity.