When surrender meets change and God moves you.

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I can’t even believe I’m writing this post.

And I’m not even sure I can find the words, but I am so excited to share with you.

Step back with me to 2010…A college graduation and a move back home. A long-term relationship headed for marriage had ended, my plans and dreams up in the air. I didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t have specific career dreams. I didn’t know who I was. Frankly, I assumed I’d meet someone fairly quickly and end up married with babies without putting much thought into it. That’s everyone’s story, right?

God had other plans.

It’s been four years since that college graduation.

Four years of adventure. My first big girl job and career. New friendships, some stayed, some come and gone. Two health diagnoses. A revamped diet. New medication. A healed family relationship. A new car. Debt paid off. Two failed relationships, one of which failed twice. Death of two dear extended family members. Four raises. Two job title changes. Another family relationship mended. A new church. Grad program started and almost completed. Too many weddings to count. A new brother-in-law. A spiritual life overhaul.

Imprints on my heart. A life transforming. 

Two words: Difficult. Beautiful.

Much of these four years have been raw sanctification, mixed with abundant grace. So. Many. Times. I just ached, carried along solely by the grace of God. At times confused and frustrated. But more than anything, brought to my knees in humility and worship. God spent much of these four years rescuing me from myself.

Weeding. Planting.

Tearing down. Building up.

Surrender. Drawing out my plans, my dreams; shifting from my hands to His.

Can I tell you? So often I struggled. So often I felt just…stuck. So often I wanted out, I wanted change, I wanted movement. I wanted something different.

God, what is your plan for me?! Where are you taking me?! 

But He continued to whisper His grace. Through every downturn, through every ache, through every disappointment. Moment after moment. Year after year.

My plans are not your plans, my thoughts are not your thoughts.

Step after step of faith, trust, clinging to promises. Clinging to Truth.

And now….four years later, it’s all starting to make sense.

All the waiting, all the confusion, all the pain. 

For four years He tilled the ground. For four years He didn’t stop working. For four years He poked and prodded and refined. Despite my questions, despite my pain. There was purpose, there was direction.

And I drew strength from this.

“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8

And

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27: 13-14.

He was equipping me, preparing me. Physically, emotionally, financially, academically. 

Healing me. Growing me.

And now much of that, of this season, is visibly coming to an end.

And then just a couple short weeks ago, I finally, really, really, let it all go. True, the truest, surrender. Sweet, pure. Palms open wide, knees to the ground: God whatever you want for me, my ransom life is yours.

And then two sweet women in my life started praying for answers, for movement.

And then, perfectly timed. One week ago, it’s as if God said, alright it’s time. Let’s go.

A job dropped into my lap without me doing much of anything.

And just a couple days ago I accepted that job. 

Ten hours away. In California. Near L.A. 

Can someone pinch me?

Did I really just quit my job to move to LA? 

Yes, yes I did.

And then the finances fell into place.

And then the housing and roommate situation fell into place.

And I can see the hand of God like never before.

And I just want to worship.

And suddenly those years of confusion are making sense. All those experiences. They had purpose (!).

I don’t know what life has in store for me. It’s a bit scary starting a whole new life, new friends, new world. But, can I tell you? I am beyond excited.

Because I don’t see me, what I’ve done or what I’ve accomplished or how I’ve changed. I see Him. His work. I see the glory. I see the grace. 

I see a God who loves me and has plans for me. I see a God who hasn’t given up on me even when He should have. 

Because grace abounded all the more.

So, this, this is for you.

For you, walking through seemingly unending years of pain and confusion. You, confused about His plan. For you….wondering if He is still working, taking you somewhere, refining you, or if He’s all but given up.

But He is. He’s preparing. Equipping. Sanctifying. Loving. Molding. Teaching. Transforming.

You.

And when the time is right, He’ll move you, literally or figuratively. He’ll act. Purpose will begin to emerge.

And you will see the glory.

And the grace.

I promise dear friend. Hang in there and keep looking up.

Blessing await. His plan awaits.

You are adored by the Creator of the Universe. 

And His plans for you are beyond your wildest imagination.

“But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.'” 1 Corinthians 2:9

(I move to Southern California at the end of July to take a job in the Student Life Department at the Master’s College and Seminary. Ladies and gentlemen, my posts will be coming to you from the Greater Los Angeles area! Nope…never saw this coming… :))

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11 thoughts on “When surrender meets change and God moves you.

  1. Omgness!!! My sweet Lauren what a wonderful testimony!!! I cried as I read! Our God is awesome, no wait.. There are NO Words to describe God! Congratulations!! Its an awesome thing when we can look back at our lives, see the moments if joy and the moments of pain and realize that God had his hand over us the entire time!
    The LORD will hold you in his hand for all to see— a splendid crown in the hand of God. (Isaiah 62:3 NLT)~Blessings

    • Ali! Praise the Lord! Yes, it is such a beautiful thing to look back and see His hand over every single little detail…and regret that I didn’t just trust Him all along:) It brings tears to my eyes and so much joy to my soul. Blessings!

  2. Wow. I am right there in all the confusion, pain, and struggle. Not feeling like I know anything or what He’s doing any of the time. It’s a hard road to travel and I’m glad talhat season is over for you. Blessings to you as you move and in the transition! Thank you for your encouraging and very timely posts.

    Sarah

    • Oh Sarah, I know how hard that season is. I know how hard it can be to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Please be encouraged that there is purpose in your season, and it will end, it will. I will certainly be praying for you. Seek Him with all of your being in this, and He will show you grace and your soul will reap more joy than you have ever know, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Thank you for your encouraging words! Praying for you sweet sister! Please let me know if I can pray for anything specific. Blessings on you.

      • Lauren,

        Thank you so much for your reply and for praying for me! Both mean so much seeing how we’ve never met before. I just need encouragement in daily life to not give up, and to not give in to defeat. I have many struggles like everyone else. Thank you for asking. I am so glad I found your blog! I have enjoyed reading your articles. I will pray all goes well for you in LA!

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  4. Wonderful testimony! I’m going through a confusing painful time right now. At times I wonder does God still love me or has He given up? Admit I don’t trust God 100%. I know I need to get to that place of total surrender.

    • Hi Angela! Oh girl, I’m right there with you. Sometimes it is so so hard to keep going…to keep trusting. Cling to those promises, to that Truth–because it is real and true, and He is still working even when you can’t see it, I promise. Might I suggest the book Battling Unbelief by John Piper? It was incredibly helpful to me as I sought to wade through the time period you are describing–it was life-transforming. Praying for you, sweet sister that you might see your Savior like never before; that you might see and experience His grace like never before; that He might use this trying time to transform you into the likeness of His Son. Blessings on you. Thank you for sharing. xoxo

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