Anyone that has sat and held a real conversation with me can quickly learn a few things about me. I live by a self made itinerary of my life, I’m not very open to ideas or suggestions that stray from my plan, and I love big words. For as long as I can remember I have had my life finely planned from my career to the type of shower I want in my master bathroom. I have always had my heart set on obtaining what I defined as a successful and happy life. To me, not reaching my milestones would make me a failure, blocking any chance of such a life; however,my plan didn’t include any obstacles, heartache, or even a grade below a B. As I’m sure you can imagine, all have been encountered (and I’m sure will continue to be).
Growing up I always have been a church kid. I was in the choir, a praise dancer, and had all the frilly socks. Coming from such, I have been heavily familiarized with the word “faith”. It’s used all the time, hangs in more homes than I can count and is at the root of any advice I’ve received. I’ve learned in the last couple years, faith is not just a word that can be tattooed and automatically believed. Since coming to UCLA three years ago I’ve been given opportunities to see where my faith really lies. In talking with my coaches they always (supportively) giggle when I tell them about the life plan I have. As a freshman, I just figured they didn’t know how determined I was; I now know exactly what they knew that I didn’t. Though plans and goals are great, our faith can’t be warped into such that we just expect God to do as we want.
I can say I’ve spent and spend a lot of time not actually walking by faith. My greatest frustrations and stress has come from things going awry from my plans when in reality God likely never deemed for some of those things to ever transpire. I’m grateful for the bumps that have come up in this last year because they’ve challenged me to really assess, “How much are you really going to trust God?” The biggest indicator for me refocusing happened right before my time with Athletes in Action for the Barcelona tour. While panicking and tired, my assistant coach and mentor (plus so many other amazing descriptors) came to attempt to console me. Rather than just assuring me how great the trip would turn out, she played into the logic I so proudly flaunt everywhere else in my life. Shannon’s one question and statement stuck with me even now months after:
- “What are you so afraid of?”
- “There’s so much unknown that is out of my control.”
- “If you’re worrying and afraid then you don’t really have your faith and trust in God because you’d know He wouldn’t lead me anywhere without his protection.”
Well after we spoke I was still thinking about what she said. I loved gospel, watched Sarah Jakes sermons, and was baptized last summer, surely I had faith in God. It was pretty clear that much of what I battled really had stemmed from my faith being in people, but mostly myself. I could read the word and pray, but at the end the day I didn’t quite trust God to handle things or for things to turn out how they needed to according to me. On that trip, I watched a really convicting Mike Todd sermon that exposed I only had half-hearted faith. He defined “crazy faith” as “thoughts and actions that lack reason but trusting fully in what you cannot explicitly prove.” I chose in Barcelona, that this alone would be what I worked towards on this walk. That I would be less centered around being this success-driven machine, and working to have childlike faith in what God would do with me and through me. Even now I sit trying to figure out my call and what I should pour my talents towards, but I’m okay in this unknown. It’s the first time I don’t have it all figured out and I’m secure knowing His plan is greater. A God that has done such big miracles and kept me out of harm’s way thus far can surely be trusted to guide me correctly the rest of the way. (Hebrews 11:1)
Written by: Lauryn Miller
A Kirkwood, MO, native, Lauryn is a 6’1 junior forward at UCLA.
3 Simple Joys
- Giving people gifts
- Desserts, any kind
- Getting my nails done
1 Favorite Passage
- “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9