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A “Full” Life

April 5, 2011

Those of you who knew this young woman, will understand my struggle. Those of you who didn’t know her, missed a very special life.

Lauren passed away August 29, 2010. She left a world full of people heartbroken for their own loss. A world full of people who would ask questions for the following weeks, months, and years. Some would quickly find answers; others would never seem to find answers.

I always thought that God would heal her and give her a “full” life here on Earth. I struggle with God’s definition of a “full” life. I remember talking about this struggle to a friend on a women’s retreat a few weeks after Lauren’s death.

“Why did God take her? Why not someone older? Why not someone who had lived a ‘full’ life?”

Honestly, I don’t remember my friend’s answers. I only remember the answers were not what I wanted to hear.

Lauren was gone, and I didn’t understand why God would take someone who had so much potential. She wanted to enter the medical field. She wanted to care for others as she had been cared for. She wanted to live her life for Him.

I won’t say that I have found the answer to peace for everyone who mourns Lauren’s death, but I found a short Scripture that has helped me:

“‘It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,’ Jesus answered. ‘This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.'” – John 9:3 NLT (Emphasis added.)

I realize now that Lauren did live her “full” life. She fulfilled the task God gave her. She acted as a Christian example, leading many followers to Christ and planting seeds to be watered in others. She showed the “power of God” to everyone around her.

I will still be saddened by her missing laughter and beautiful smile, but I will know that God used her fully for His glory. So, I will continue to celebrate her life.

God might have chosen her because she is the only one who could be as joyous as she was throughout her difficult journey. Only she could be so selfless. Only she could care for others in the hospital without concern for her own suffering. Only she could be used by God in those trying circumstances.

Lauren likely did more for others in her short life than most of us will do in our longer, “fuller” lives. And that example will have a ripple effect throughout the lives of those she touched.

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