**DISCLAIMER** I cannot and will not claim that I ever knew Lauren Bump, because I didn’t. In fact, I think I had only ever heard her name once or twice before Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Nor can I claim ownership of the picture above or the creation of the title of this post, so hopefully I won’t get in trouble for using them and her quotes. The purpose of this blog post is to share from an outsider’s perspective about a young woman who changed many other young women’s worlds. Please forgive me if you knew Lauren and feel that I have overstepped my boundaries as a total stranger to her. I sincerely apologize.
So many times in my life I’ve heard pastors and teachers speak on the importance of a good reputation. They’ve spoken about living a life that will speak for me long after I’ve moved onto the next life to live with Jesus. Many of them have warned of making wise decisions and living a life that is pleasing to God so that when I do go to be with Him, I will be remembered for my love, my good deeds, my selflessness, and my heart of gold. I always thought those were good lessons, but to be honest though, that’s all they were to me, good lessons. Before this past week, I never thought about what people would remember me for after I died. I’ve always lived in the moment and been more concerned with people liking me now and not with leaving a lasting impression that is not only pleasing to God, but important and life-changing to the world of people who live after me. When I have thought about the future, it’s always been to stress and worry about selfish things, like monetary success, where I’ll end up on the social ladder, and if I’ll ever really fall in love and get married.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to live in the moment, after all our life is but a mist, but I think it’s even more important to live for the future, for the very same reason—Our life is nothing but “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” I don’t know how long I have on this earth. I’m only twenty years old, so statistically speaking, I should have about fifty to sixty more years in this world, but who’s to say God’s plan isn’t to take me a week from now, a day from now, or even seconds from now? What if He does choose to take me sooner than later? Am I ready for that? Have I seized every opportunity to live life to the fullest in such a way that anyone who has come across my path has also come across His path? If God chooses to take my life tonight, what will I be remembered for? Have I spent my life trying to please Him or have I lived it trying to please others?
I know the answer to the above questions and quite frankly, I’m not too happy with the answers. I have spent a large majority of my twenty years on this earth trying to please other people and what has that gotten me? It’s gotten me stress, displeasure, depression, and dissatisfaction. Even in the past year and a half when I’ve really grabbed hold of God and tried to live for Him I’ve slipped up more times than I’d like to admit and found myself doing things because I thought other people would be happy with me rather than thinking about what God would think of me!
You might be confused with what I’ve said so far. “Brittany, you said in the first paragraph that having a good reputation is important. That would mean we have to care about what other people think of us. Now, you’re saying that instead of pleasing people, we need to please God. What’s the deal?” Well, ya see, what I mean is that the only people in history who have truly left a positive and lasting influence in this world are the people who didn’t care what other people thought of them and acted in the best interest of those around them.
It’s true that we live in a world full of evil and selfish people who only care about furthering themselves and getting the best out of everything for themselves, but every once in a while, you’ll come across a person that is so humble and so selfless that you wonder if they’re really angels in disguise sent down from heaven to balance out all of the evil in this world. People who don’t care what other people think about them as long as they are doing what they know is right. Queen Esther broke the law of the land and risked her life to talk to the king without him first summoning her, all in the name of saving other people’s lives. She didn’t care what the king thought, she knew what was right and she did it. Now, thousands of years later, she’s known as one of the most empowered women in history. Mother Theresa traded a life of luxury for a life of meagerness and indefinite virginity, so that other people could have food and shelter. I’m sure people thought she was crazy, but she didn’t care! She did what she felt was right and now she’s remembered as one of the most selfless women in history! A young woman named Lauren Bump was also one of those people. She didn’t care what people thought about her. She loved with all that she had, cared for everyone around her, and personally invested in the lives of the other girls around her many of whom were a few years younger than her.
Like Queen Esther and Mother Theresa, I never met Lauren Bump, but after all that I’ve heard and read about her in the past week, she is the person who has caused me to take all of those teachings about having a good reputation seriously. I have seen, heard, and read about the positive impact that she has left on people’s lives and even without knowing her, I know that Lauren was a bright light for God who didn’t care about what other people thought about her as long as they knew she loved them and that God loved them even more. I know that Lauren must have been one of those angels in disguise who was sent to earth to remind people that there is still a God who wants us to know there can be good in the world, if only we will accept Him and follow His ways.
Lauren Bump had a rare beauty about her that radiates from her even now, after she was dealt an unfair fate that led to her passing on to be with Jesus at only twenty-four years old. She’s one of the few people who can truly be described as a diamond in the rough and even without ever meeting her she has inspired me more than most people have in the several years that I’ve known them! She has inspired me to start living a life that will be remembered long after I’m gone! Before this year had even started, I had decided that my only resolution would be to seek God in all that I do, but now, after learning about Lauren Bump and the positively impactful life she lived, I have been inspired to broaden my resolution for 2014 and every year to follow. I will live a life and speak words that encourage and inspire other people, especially younger girls and young woman who are my age, to live for God, to live life to the fullest, and to love themselves as much as they love others! I will live in such a way that no one can know me without also coming face to face with God. I will live a life that continues to inspire and encourage people long after I’m gone!
The positive, inspiring, and amazing impact that Lauren Bump made on so many people’s lives is so clear that I have no doubt in my mind that she has a beautiful place to live in Heaven where she will wear a crown so decorated with radiant jewels and precious minerals, like silver and gold, that it’s nearly impossible for even her heavenly body to hold it up!
I’m not sure who coined this term, but I’ve seen my best friends (who were very close to Lauren) use it, so hopefully it’s okay for me to use it too… We should all Live Like Lauren and take the advice she gave when she said, “Seek peace, keep a joyful heart, and in all things, do with love.”
Thank you Lauren Bump for inspiring me even though I never knew you! Thank you for being a positive influence in my best friends’ lives! And, thank you for inspiring me to write and finish my first blog post of 2014. I hope you can somehow know that you’re still encouraging and inspiring people, including people you don’t know, even after going to live with Jesus! Once again, I never knew you, but I kind of wish I did, because you’ve inspired me so much in the five days I’ve known about you, it’s crazy! Rest in peace and know that your life was not wasted!
To support Lauren like the page created for her on Facebook:
And buy a shirt to support her dreams!