When I was about 13 years old, I attended a two day concert with my youth group at church. It was there that I felt the spirit of God for the first time in my life. It was a powerful experience that left me on my knees in choking sobs as David Crowders “How He Loves” played in the background. I didn’t know what to think other than that I was so sorry. I just wanted to draw closer and closer than I had ever thought I’d been before.
For a couple years after that I buried my head in my Bible instead of my YA fiction. My time was spent praying more than texting. I got lost, and it was such a beautiful thing.
What I wasn’t prepared for in my new Christianity was the feeling of truly being lost. Being lost in the Lord is like being the last person to be found in an hours long game of hide-and-seek.
When you’re truly lost, the world is unable to find you. They call for you from the open and you can hear them so clearly in what seems to be the clear. “If you just keep coming forward” you might try to tell them telepathically; wanting so badly to be discovered in this unthinkably perfect space you so desperately want to show off. In time, if you’re a good hider, a sense of loneliness begins to set in; especially when they’re so close. Then comes the hardest decision while you’re still in the game:
Do you jump out to join the others, or do you stay committed to the space you’ve found?
If childhood actions truly predict future tendencies, then it’s safe to say that for every single time I’d give up and jump out in laughter secretly wishing I’d just stayed hidden a little longer, marked a time in my adulthood I’d give up my safe place in His embrace for the temporary feeling of unity among my peers.
Hello. My name is Julia Lauren and I’m a recovering people pleaser.
There was a time in my life in which I was on fire for God. Burning hot and overjoyed at the strength of our relationship, I didn’t think that anything would be able to tempt me enough to leave. But the Enemy is strong-stronger than our flesh on our own. And it was thanks to not being able to completely grasp the severity of that lesson that I found myself lukewarm. And to know that it is better to be ice cold in your relationship with God than lukewarm is a bitter and horrid feeling.
But there was a change.
After moving to Texas and praying for godly friends, I met people who keep Christ at the forefront of their minds. They remind me of that initial feeling of feeling the Spirit for the first time, and inspire me to stay in that hiding place. From podcasts and music to picnics and organizations, I’ve been feeling that same tug, that same never-ending love, that same feeling when I crouch or stand or crawl into that perfect hiding spot and wait for the joy yet to come.
So what’s the change?
The change is in that I don’t want to be a people pleaser.
So I’m not going to be.
The change is in that I don’t want to store up my hopes for things that will fade in the coming days.
So I won’t.
The change is in that I no longer wish to worry and analyze and mentally live in the future.
So I no longer will.
Hello. My name is Julia Lauren and I am changed.