Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beauty in the Burdens

So much has happened since my last blog post! Here’s a summary of the last 2 weeks of my life:

1. Moved into the Blue House! (see picture below) It is a wonderful duplex that I live in with 5 other young adult Christians who have also called God’s call to be in New Orleans this year!

Sitting on the new levees next to the lower ninth
From Left to Right: Maegen, Katie, Evan, Emma, Tasha, Me

2. Last week we went to YAV orientation at Stony Point in New York. We experienced worship, discussions of culture, race, self-care, and many other things we needed to hear before headed off to our sites! More importantly (to me at least) we all had a chance to be in fellowship with each other! I had a blast getting to know other YAVs and continuing the relationships with those I had already met! So wonderful!

(At Stony Point State Park off the Hudson River)

3. The six of us are back at the Blue House and ready to get to work! (Although we’ll probably eat our words a couple months from now)

Here’s is the Blue House Top 5 (things we do most often):

5. Watching Youtube videos

4. Dancing

3. Eating

2. Laughing

1. Napping!!

Now for the meatier portion of this blog post:

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile." Jeremiah 29:11-14

We read this Bible verse today. Not a particularly uncommon verse, but today it spoke to me in a completely different way. Usually when I hear this passage, I think of all the wonderful plans God has set down for me and how much I trust in the ways he will lead me to prosper, but today I picked up a new part of the passage. God proclaims that He will bring me out of the places where He banished me and back out of exile that He carried me to. I had never thought about the places of exile and banishment as a place God has carried me to. I’ve only thought about God carrying us out of those places.

Lately I’ve felt pretty disconnected, and I don’t really know how to handle it. This passage helped me to see that maybe this isn’t a place where I am straying from the path, but just a stop along the way. God is so much bigger than me, and just because I can’t find Him or connect right now, doesn’t mean I’m not sitting in His hands. It’s hard to think that God would want to put us in a place of banishment of exile, but who are we to say what’s best for us. I can’t say that I like it here or resent the place I am in my life, but maybe I can learn to find beauty in the burdens.


  1. I'm glad you've had a good time so far and I can't wait to hear more about your YAV adventures.

    -John Swindle

  2. Hey Lauren! I saw your blog link on facebook. I know it's been awhile since we've talked, but I wanted to let you know that Kenny and I love you and Stuart and are praying for you. It sounds like you have some great adventures ahead of you in New Orleans. Can't wait to read about them! (Our blog is