Learning to Let Go
Lauren Arthur, a college junior at Columbus State University, has found a deeper calling on her life through the Christ Community Church Summer Internship Program. After serving in her hometown church as the Service Producer, Lauren was saddened when her time there came to an end and her college career was on the horizon. “I remember standing in the green room at my old church on a Wednesday night. It was my last Wednesday night as Service Producer, and I was in tears,” says Lauren. “As I filled out the application for the CCC Summer Internship, those memories crept back into my mind. I knew God had placed this desire and passion for His kingdom in my heart, and it looked like diving headfirst into ministry.” Fear had always held Lauren back from fully embracing the challenge of ministry to which she felt she was called. “I had thoughts like ‘oh, I’m not good enough to do ministry,’ or ‘God could never use me like he uses them.’ These inner thoughts led me to not be true to who God wanted me to be.”
Through her time at the internship, Lauren realized that this summer experience would soon change her life and lead her to admit something to herself that terrified her: she wanted to pursue full-time ministry. “That one sentence a few months ago would lead to anxiety and fear,” says Lauren. “But now, those inner throughs have changed from fear to ‘God, use me, send me’ or ‘God, I trust in your will for my life.’ That anxiety and fear has turned into joy and excitement!”
Lauren credits the summer internship for allowing her to see and embrace the plan that God has for her life. She says one of the most impactful moments came at the beginning of her internship on a beach retreat with the other interns. “We had sessions during the trip where we learned more about ourselves and others, utilizing tools such as Myers-Briggs, Strength-Finders, learning conflict resolution styles, etc. During my quiet time after one of our sessions, God spoke to me by giving me this thought: ‘My need for control doesn’t allow me to truly allow God to come in and use me. I try to use God, I want His will in My plan. Realizing I cannot do that, I need to be silent, calm and allow God to be the planner and provider.’” Lauren says that this statement is one that she keeps coming back to her throughout her time in the program. “This is ministry. This is Gods Kingdom,” she says. “How dare I try to be the focus, be the one who decides what is good and not good. I am the servant, the vessel for God to use. My mindset should be ‘God, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this.’ I truly believe this realization has allowed me to not be afraid of ministry because I am not the focus.”
Lauren said that another moment on the beach trip taught her that God is never far and that she should not fear the path ahead. “Each intern was tasked to present a devotion to the others, and being completely honest, I was terrified. Again, I was focusing on myself, and as we left the church, I prayed over my notes for the devotion and said, ‘God this is yours, please use me, please humble me.’” When the time came, Lauren says that she was the first one to go. “I had not looked at it since I had prayed that prayer earlier that day. I opened up my Bible and began to allow God to lead the way. I don’t know if I can put into words the emotion I felt as I read. My devotion was over Psalm 20 and my theme was ‘we are NOT alone.’” Lauren says that through the battle of ministry, she knows that she is not alone and will have The Lord’s deliverance. She quotes Psalm 20:5: “Let us shout for joy at your victory and lift the banner in the name of our God. May the LORD fulfill all your requests.” She now knows that God has given her the calling and strength to stand firm. “I know who I am, I know who God has called me to be, and I know that He has lead me to ministry,” she boldly proclaims.
Through the internship program, Lauren says that she can now look confidently upon her future instead of fearfully. As she finishes up her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Columbus State University, Lauren is finding herself seeking God’s will and the next steps for her life. “Through this internship in finding and accepting who God has called me to be, I have prayed and decided to go to seminary.” With questions still lingering on an exact timing and a professional ministerial role, Lauren realizes that ultimately God’s will is what’s next for her. “I want to do and go where ever God is calling me, but for me that looks like giving up control. I don’t want to fall in the same trap of using God to do my plan, I want God to use me in His plan.”
The CCC Blog is a collection of writings and images from staff members and guest contributors, all pointing to the extraordinary life made possible by a relationship with Jesus.