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Hi my name is Lauren Lowney. This Thursday night I will become an IMPACT195 graduate! I want you to know that your Father in heaven cares for you and that He does, and will go after the one lost sheep!
In Matthew 18.12 it says, “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the 99 and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?”
I want to tell you a story about a lost sheep. I grew up with Christian parents in a small town in Montana. My parents got a divorce when I was at a young age. My mother remarried a man who struggled with alcohol and became abusive.
Growing up I constantly felt rejected by my family. I always heard from my step-father that I was stupid, overweight, and couldn’t do anything right. I didn’t ever feel like I had a place where I belonged. I started wondering what was wrong with me. I started searching for love.
I was lost.
During high school I started getting into relationships with guys seeking out their approval, love, and acceptance. I began dating a boy who told me he loved me, he cared for me, and he wanted to marry me. I finally felt like I had someone who loved me, finally I had a sense of belonging. Deep down I wasn’t satisfied and still felt empty but I ignored it.
A month before college started he left me. I was broken and once again rejection flooded over me.
I was lost.
Heartbroken I started searching for something, anything to ease the pain and keep me distracted. It was then that God started relentlessly pursuing me. I found a flyer on the sidewalk one day, about a Christian group on campus so I started attending. Through them I anonymously got signed up to go to a conference in St. Louis, MO.
I stepped off a plane alone in St. Louis. I was a small town girl in a big city.
I was lost, literally!
I stumbled onto a metro-train and right there on that train is where God met me and found me! He brought me not just 1 person but 4 people. They started talking to me. God spoke to me through them, straight to my heart. God used them to love me.
I felt this overwhelming love from them. This was the love that I had so longingly desired growing up. This was the love that I had searched for in guys. This was the love that only Jesus could give me.
I felt like I belonged with them. It turns out they are servants here at IMPACT195.
During this week long conference God told me, “Lauren, I want you to go to IMPACT195.” After fighting it for a week, I agreed. I finished that semester at college and packed up my dorm room and drove to CA. Here he provided me a place to live, an amazing impact family, Real and deep friendships, and a chance to focus and grow an intimate relationship with Him.
During my time here at IMPACT195 God has completely transformed my life. He picked me up from my small town in Montana and brought me back to the flock here at IMPACT195.
I am no longer lost!
I no longer search for a sense of belonging. I am no longer striving to fill the void in my heart that only he can fill.
A few months ago God took me to India on a short-term mission trip. I got to sit and talk with broken people, widows, and orphans. Looking into their eyes I saw that once familiar look of being lost. Now I get to go with Him hand and hand, to go out, seek the lost and bring them back to him and the flock.
Some of you reading this today may be going through life, but deep down inside, you feel a sense of being lost. I want to challenge you, if that’s you, are you going to choose to continue to walk around like a lost sheep? Or will you look to Him and allow Him to find you? I am here to tell you your Father in Heaven cares for you. He wants you back with Him, back with the flock, and He does and will go after the one lost sheep.