Joel 2:28 (NRSV) “Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.”
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 7 years old at Independent Baptist Church, but I didn’t know what it meant at the time. This is not a knock at Independent Baptist Church, but I was afraid of going to hell. I had conversations with God growing up, but when I reached my college years, I was filled with questions and doubt. I was very militant in college and Jesus Christ didn’t fit into my “conscious black woman” image. I thought that Christianity was used to make black people submissive and tolerant of the injustices that we oftentimes face. As a result, I became interested in Eastern religions and those indigenous to Africa. You couldn’t tell me anything. Whenever Christians came up to me on campus and tried to convert me, I’d get into heated debates with them. I never questioned why they’d always come up to me. God had a plan.
Since I thought I knew everything in college, I did whatever I wanted including living with my then boyfriend. After a couple of years living outside of God’s will, the Lord came to me in a dream. In the dream, he said to me, “Watch ye therefore for ye not know when the Son of Man cometh.” Those are the exact words. It scared the “bejesus” out of me! I woke up with that entire scripture in my head. However, at the time, I didn’t know that it was scripture because I didn’t read the Bible. Amazingly, that night was the culmination of several nights waking up at exactly 3 AM. God was trying to tell me something. Shortly after that night, I moved out of the apartment I shared with my boyfriend and ended the relationship.
The dream scared me, but I still wasn’t convinced that Jesus was really talking to me, so instead of turning my life completely over to him, I continued partying and club hopping. One night in June of 2003, I partied until 5 AM. The sun came up before I got home. I slept for a couple of hours and got up because I told my mother I’d go to church with her. The only reason why I agreed to go was because my 10 year old brother was making his debut in the children’s choir and I wanted to see him. So despite my hangover, I rolled out of bed and proceeded to take a shower. While in the shower, I kept getting ideas for articles to write that involved telling youth about God. As the ideas kept coming and coming, I asked myself, “Where is this coming from?” At that moment, the Lord said to me, “I told you that I’d give you dynamic testimonies.” At that very moment, I KNEW the Lord was real and just told me what he wanted me to do with my life—write for his purpose. Instantly, I broke down in tears. Part of me thought that I was going to die because the Lord revealed himself to me. While I got dressed, I debated whether to tell my mother. I thought she’d think I was drunk or crazy! I told her anyway. I told her what happened to me all the way to church. All she said was, “That’s great Lauren.” She didn’t know what to say.
The Lord Confirms It
Well, after we arrived, the guest preacher, Rev. Raquel St. Clair, confirmed everything that happened to me that morning. She said, “The Lord told you what He wants you to do with your life. Now how bad do you want it?” Immediately, I knew the Lord was speaking to me. The Lord even used my 10-year brother to confirm it. After the service, he came up to me and said, “Did you hear that Lauren? God was talking to you!” I recommitted my life to Jesus Christ that day. I joined the church and I became involved in ministry. I didn’t know that the Lord wanted me to pursue ordained ministry, but I knew that he wanted me to serve him with my life through writing.
Preach? Who Me?
After the Lord called me back to himself, I became very involved in ministry. I wrote for the church magazine and I participated in street ministry. One day while ministering in the city with The Master’s Touch street ministry, I encountered a man who had no control over his limbs. He’d been on drugs for years and suffered from a neurological illness as a result. When we gave the man a food tray, he could barely hold it because of the violent tremors in his arms and legs. When I went home I couldn’t shake the image of the man. I cried and cried and prayed for his healing. A few mornings later, the Lord spoke to me about him. The Lord showed me the image of the man and said to me, “This is what the world looks like to me. It’s out of control. It’s dying. Just like you fed that man natural food, I want you to feed the world spiritual food—my Word.” Once again, I was overwhelmed, but humbly accepted the call. I enrolled in seminary shortly thereafter and came forward for ordained ministry. Now, I have a Master of Divinity and I’m an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Journey Continues
The Lord added another component to my calling when I married and became a mother!