Discovering in Pieces
I used to think I didn’t have a story. Well, I did, but nothing that a therapist would find interesting. I grew up in a loving, supportive Mennonite family, attended a small, Mennonite church, and went through the Mennonite education system. Now, at the ripe age of 18, I’m discovering in pieces how much various things in my life have formed me.
I’ve realized that growing up in Mennonite education has made me absolutely terrified of any form of unorganized dancing.
That the Church’s past inability to discuss any sex-related topic has made me uncomfortable whenever the subject comes up.
That having an uncle who always smelled like cigarette smoke created in me such a strong distaste for tobacco that I may not ever touch a cigarette or even pipe in my lifetime.
That being bullied on the playground in elementary school will forever make me critical of my body.
That never having had a boyfriend makes me wonder if I will always be single.
That feelings of inferiority from high school will follow me through college and for the rest of my life.
That being a female has made meekness a dominant part of my personality.
That being born a middle child will always cause some part of me to feel like an outsider.
That my inability to be a dedicated mentor to a lonely girl makes me doubt my ability to ever mentor anyone.
That despite all of these things, I am still alive and that God’s will for my life is still being fulfilled.
I am not a sob story of failure. I am not depressed, or angry, or regretful.
I am grateful.
Everything that has happened to me in these 18 years—every single second that I have lived and moved and breathed—has played an important part in shaping the person I am today, in creating Lauren Janae Sauder. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for all the riches of the world, because I believe that God knows what He’s doing. I may not always trust Him with every aspect of my life, but when I reflect on what has happened to me, I see His hand in all of it. God is guiding me in wonderfully mysterious ways and, since coming to college, I am beginning to feel a sort of culmination of it all.
Today, I am stronger, because I see a method to the madness. My struggles are not for naught, and so I will face them joyfully; with an open heart for the hands of the Potter to mold. And as the moon disappears in the haze of a cloudy night I know that it will emerge; breaking through the darkness once again.