Lauren’s #imnotsorry Story

img_1106Lauren is a friend of Unpolished Journey’s team. She has a lively spirit and finds her purpose through faith.

#imnotsorry for who I am.

I’m awkward. I laugh at literally everything, and my laugh is so loud. I dance like a dork anytime music starts playing. I talk a lot. I am a nerd, and I love politics and watching documentaries. I love puns and corny jokes. I don’t like to wear makeup. I am the most competitive person ever. I will stand up for what I believe in no matter what I lose in the process. I love people deeply, and I love hearing about their passions and what makes them happy. I am clumsy, and I fall all of the time which is why I’m constantly injured. I embarrass myself on a regular basis. I won’t back down from a dare even if it makes me look stupid. If anyone tells me I can’t do something, I will prove them wrong. I am goofy and incredibly random.

I refuse to apologize for any of these characteristics about myself.

I just finished my freshman year of college, but instead of going back to school, I am following the Lord’s call on my life and moving from Georgia to California to serve with a ministry for 8 months. By society’s standards, I am giving up the American Dream. I had a 4.0 GPA, and I was preparing to get accepted into a competitive nursing school. For the longest time, I thought that my success was measured by my grades and what kind career I would have. I was terrified as being viewed as a failure.

Until, God changed my vision of what success was.

It started with a simple call to go on a mission trip to Honduras. While there, I witnessed true sorrow and pain. Abuse, kidnappings, and killings were so common that people there were numb to them. Running water and clean healthcare facilities were hard to come by. I was broken by how unfair the world is. I was outraged that people had to live like this. Through my brokenness, anger, and frustration, God whispered a simple truth:

Life isn’t about you.

Yes, that’s right. Life isn’t about me. I have spent the majority of my life focused on me. I wanted to be good enough in the eyes of others. I wanted to be successful. I wanted to be pretty enough. I wanted to be skinny enough. I wanted to be the best athlete, the best in school, and the best at anything I did. I yearned for the approval of others. I needed people to like me. I needed people to want me to be around. I needed the acceptance of others so much, that for many years I hid all of those characteristics about myself that I mentioned before. I spent all of time consumed with worrying about portraying myself as a perfect person.

When I realized life wasn’t about me, I came to realize that none of this mattered. My success in school was irrelevant. The acceptance and approval of others was no longer important. I didn’t need to be enough because the world’s standards of success became meaningless.

God called me to drop everything to follow Him. I had to leave my friends, my family, my church, and my school. He called me to give up everything because there is nothing that I should hold onto. Nothing. I am not sorry that I am giving up what society says is important. I can’t apologize that I want to live my life for others. In a world where being selfish is common practice, I am choosing to love others unconditionally. I am choosing to help them fight their sorrow, their regrets, and their mistakes. I will weep with them and rejoice with them. I will travel to the edges of the United States and the ends of the world to show people they are worthy of love.

I am not sorry for who I am. I am a child of God, and for that I will never apologize.
I will follow Him wherever He takes me. I don’t care if that means I never get a college degree, or I graduate from college when I’m 30. I refuse to apologize for giving up what society views as success. I am not sorry that I’m following God and loving His people.

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