A Note from Lifeway Girls: Today features another story in our series, Moments That Matter! Lauren shares about her time in student ministry when her leader, Mrs. Faith, poured into her. It was through Mrs. Faith’s investment in Lauren that she met Jesus and began closely walking with Him. We hope this story encourages you as a leader or mom that the time you spend pointing your girls to Christ matters not just for the moment, but for eternity.
The summer of 2016 brought a lot of change in my life. It was the summer before my junior year of high school, and my friend brought me to church and connected me with a small group. Having not been raised in church my whole life, it was a little nerve-racking participating in something that I knew nothing about. But, the first Sunday I visited was nothing like I thought it would be.
So many people were so welcoming to a newcomer like myself, especially my connect group leader. Mrs. Faith, as everyone called her, was the sweetest and most genuine woman I had ever met. Right from the first day I met her, she took genuine interest in finding out more about my life and teaching me things I had never been taught before. It was a little embarrassing going to church and not knowing the “Sunday school answers” like everyone else who grew up in church.
Church was definitely a culture shock for me, but Mrs. Faith always made it easy for me to comprehend the new topics at hand. She took every moment she could to invest in me and make learning fun for someone who did not grow up in church. After a month of Mrs. Faith and my new friends investing in me, I came to know Jesus. I was then able to walk into junior year of high school with a newfound confidence in myself and who my Savior was.
Obviously, it did not end there. I was eager to learn more about who Jesus was and Mrs. Faith helped me with that. She met with me on a regular basis, usually by inviting me over to her house to watch movies or play games. (She is very big on games!) It was always an enjoyable time when I was around her. She truly showed me what it looked like to be a godly woman by treating those around her with such love and patience.
Mrs. Faith became my godly mentor. She set me up for success and always pushed me to be more Christlike, especially to my friends who had not yet come to know the Lord. She rejoiced with me when I shared the news about my parents coming to church again, who then later rededicated their lives to Christ! She was with me through hard times and never failed to make me feel loved and valued the same way Christ loves me. Not only was she there through my journey, she also gave me the opportunity to serve through a camp that her and her husband run. Doing so not only pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it showed me that she believed in me and the things Christ could do through me. I have become a leader and a better disciple because of the many ways that she has poured into me.
My favorite times to look back on are (and will always be) the times she opened up to me and became vulnerable to me. Those were the moments I was able to see her strength despite everything she was going through. She helped me to understand that vulnerability is not weakness and that I can be a better follower of Christ by how I open up about my sins and become vulnerable to others.
Now, even two years later, she has remained a mentor for me. Mrs. Faith has continued to provide me with devotionals and verses to help me through any season of life I am in. Even before I worked CentriKid camps this past summer, she made a point to meet with me and give me Scripture and devotions to read while I was gone. I could see the joy in her eyes to have her student going out into the world to serve the Lord. That joy is the kind of joy I want to have when I pour into another girl’s life. And it is because of her faithful service to the Lord and her pouring into my life that I now know how I can do it too.
Lauren Podruchny is studying Graphic Design at Liberty University. Art has always been her passion, and she knows that God has given her the gift to serve those around her. Her dream is to one day work for a company where she can use that gift, but she also plans to use it by serving the church.