Sugar Droplets | Fierce Friday

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What can I say about my young friend today? Lauren is truly an inspiration to every single person that she comes in contact with. She is half my age yet has taught me so much about life. She is wise beyond her years, and can I just tell you something? Never EVER dismiss someone as not being able to teach you even if they are much younger than you. I admire and respect this beautiful woman that I call friend. Lauren’s story today is a story of hope. Lean in and listen- I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed.
Don't be so focused on your circumstances that you can't see Jesus.

Criss-cross, applesauce.

So, here I am.

Here, sitting alone, crisscross applesauce in the Orlando airport with my gigantic headphones on. I am waiting for my sweet family so we can reunite with big bear hugs and spend a week together on a “magical” vacation. My flight got in early; theirs is coming in late, you know the drill.

A year ago today, I started a brand new chapter of my life. After graduating from Oral Roberts University, I accepted a job to work at a church, which was my dream since I was a little girl. I moved from my comfy nest in Tulsa, Oklahoma all by myself to Houston, TX to embark on this wild adventure.

My heart has ached & felt broken at times because I have missed my family so much this past year. However, Jesus tends to drop what I call “sugar droplets” on me ever so often. Sugar droplets are simply moments in life where Jesus loves on you a little extra. This trip could be summed up as such.

I am grateful for time to reflect in this airport.

To breathe.

To feel.

Even if I am stuck to the floor because of the stickiness, I am grateful.

What a year.

Actually, what a last two years.

I had to fight when everything in me wanted to give up.

When my life felt out of control..

When I questioned that I heard him correctly.

I like to smile.

You see, I am an extremely positive person. I tell people instead of working out my body I work out my face muscles so I can smile all of the time.

Seriously.

I really do love this quality about me, however, sometimes it allows me to put up defenses around me to not fully feel. To not deal with my hurt.

If I went into detail about what I walked through in this last season, we would be here for awhile.

For time’s sake, I will brief you.

Heartbreak and Loss.

Two years ago I was dating who I thought was the love of my life. He was an amazing man of God, who had dreams that were exciting and full of adventure. He was truly my dream man & he really did love me. I let my heart go to a place that it wasn’t supposed to. I treated him as if he was my husband. I fell so hard in love with not only him, but the future that we had created together. Things started getting very difficult as our hearts were being pulled in enormously different directions as college was coming to a close. I wanted something and he wanted something completely different. We were disagreeing constantly.

I was extremely humbled when I realized that I had copyrighted something that was not mine yet, and I was furious, bitter, and confused when it came crashing to end.

In the same month that my boyfriend and I broke up, my beloved grandmother (Mor-Mor) was admitted into Cancer Treatment Center of America. This is the person in the my life that I loved the most. Who taught me about Jesus, who laughed with me and cried with me constantly. Who mentored my friends and I, and would teach as what it means to be a woman of God.

She was my hero.

She was my everything.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer years ago. However, the disease had eventually spread to her brain, hence the getting admitted. The doctors gave her very limited time to live. My family (if you watch the show parenthood…that’s my family!) was devastated but still tried to cling to Jesus, even if it was just by our finger tips. We were at the hospital each and every day, all 11 of us, as we prayed and believed for a miracle.

We were believing for healing.

The more we prayed, it seemed like the worse she got.

I never really said that until right at this moment. I didn’t understand why this was happening. She was only 72 years old. She was supposed to be at my wedding; see my children.

I felt like my circumstances were consuming me.

Don't let your circumstances consume you. #fierceFriday #fiercelyHis @laurenbranz Click To Tweet

I felt like I had lost control.

This wasn’t me.

I wasn’t this girl. I wasn’t the girl who didn’t have it together. I wasn’t the girl who cried all the time. I wasn’t the girl who doubted.

I was the girl who always knew what to say. Who laughed constantly. Who was happy all the time. Who was constantly talking to others about their trials, not focusing on my own!

Who was I? Is this who I wanted to be?

In those moments, I didn’t care what kind of girl I was. I just wanted to be held. And the day she passed, all I wanted to do was be held.

My world froze for while. I felt like I was in slow-motion at her funeral.

And then something strange started happening to me…I started to feel. Like, really feel.

I didn’t have to know what was going on or why everything happened.

All I knew was that Jesus was good and he loved me.

Even when I was mad, I whispered this truth to myself everyday.

Jesus, like he does, slowly began to melt my heart with truth. A couple of days after Mor Mor went to be with Jesus, He revealed that truth to me.

My favorite chapter in the bible is found in John chapter 20. It’s when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb after Jesus’s crucifixion and realized it was empty. There is much intricate, rich detail in this story, but the gist is that she panicked when she realized that Jesus was not in the tomb.

Just like I was panicking with my break-up… with my grandmother.

Mary Magdalene turned around in the story and saw who she thought was the gardener. She looked to him and said, “Sir if you have taken him, tell me where he is and I will go get him!”

The “so-called” Gardener looked at her and simply said, “Mary.”

She finally realized that this gardener was Jesus. She yelled “Raboni” (which means teacher) as Jesus graciously explained to her to go tell the others what she has seen.

Remember this:  Mary knew Jesus well before he was killed. She loved him.

She KNEW HIM.

It would be like your best friend dying and then coming back to life and then you not recognizing them!

Mary was so distracted by her circumstances, by her situation, by her grief that she couldn’t see that Jesus was right in front of her own two eyes.

Don't be so focused on your circumstances that you can't see jesus.

Don't be so focused on your circumstances that you can't see Jesus! @laurenbranz #fierceFriday… Click To Tweet

I am Mary.

While sitting here on the floor of the Orlando Airport, I realize that I am Mary.

I am seeing the gardener instead of Jesus. Over the last two years, I have been so painfully aware of my circumstances that I have shifted my eyes off of Jesus.

I tear up as I realized this ugly truth.

Jesus…I am so sorry..

My sweet Jesus.. He continues to love me so intimately even when I show him such unflattering parts of me.

But, wait.

Could it be? Is this what Jesus longed for all this time? Did He long to just really know me and for me to let him see me?

I think, maybe so.

It’s such a comforting thought that He is bigger than my circumstances and He is bigger than HOW I FEEL.

Sugar Droplets.

As I am sitting on this sticky floor, I feel like Jesus is whispering something to me that I will never forget:

“Lauren, do you want to feel the greatest sugar droplet of all?”

I LOVE YOU.

WOW.

Don’t be scared.

He isn’t afraid of a little stickiness.

Jesus isn't afraid of a little stickiness. #sugardroplets #fiercelyHis @laurenbranz Click To Tweet

Let him drop this sugar droplet on you, because when you get it, like.. when you really get it, you will never be the same.

I would say that Lauren is a fighter, wouldn’t you? #fiercelyHis

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About the Author:

Lauren Branz is currently residing in Houston, Texas while working at a church and enjoying the 109 degree weather! She graduated from Oral Roberts University in 2015 and hopes to one day open a treatment center for girls struggling with addiction. In her free time, Lauren enjoys loving on her friends and family, eating cheese pizza, and being googly-eyed for Jesus.
To connect with Lauren:
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I love hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts about Lauren’s story below. Also leave any prayer requests. I love praying for you!

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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  1. Casey graves says:

    I just love this! What great insight Lauren. You are such a gift to the world!!!!

  2. Debbie says:

    Yes sometimes the circumstances block our view from the Father who is in all things ,over all things and through all things !

  3. lc says:

    I love your post ♡ You are much more mature than I was at your age. Keep falling in love with Jesus. No one knows you better or loves you more 🙂

  4. Nikki says:

    I LOVE this!! Thank you Lauren for sharing, I really needed to read this! I have been focusing on my circumstances instead of Jesus.

  5. Sweet Lauren, thank you for sharing your story with all of us. I’ve been there … when everything is spinning out of control and all you can do is say to yourself, “Jesus is good and He loves me.” Trust is hard. But God is so so faithful. And even when life is hard He coats us with the sweetest sugar droplet of all — His love. <3

  6. Melanie Redd says:

    What a sweet, sweet testimony, Shannon, and Lauren!
    Love this – “Don’t be so focused on your circumstances that you can’t see Jesus.”
    I’m blessed today by you two~
    Melanie

  7. Valerie says:

    What a beautifully, well-written post! I’m just sitting on that quote “Don’t be so focused on your circumstances that you can’t see Jesus.” There have been many times when Jesus was right in front of me and I didn’t see him. Thank you for the powerful reminder, Lauren. Shannon, you are SO right about the wisdom found in women half my age! I’m amazed at their courage, faith, boldness and wisdom! Thank you for this wonderful post!

  8. Thank you Shannon for sharing your story. I am in this place going to immediately shift my focus back to our Lord Jesus Christ.

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