Success–Peace, Joy, Love

Four years ago, on New Year’s Eve, I ended the year with my best friends, Allie and Holly, and their family and other friends. We danced, “drank,” and were merry. We played games and enjoyed the end of the year like we had no cares in the world.
The next morning, they left for a winter retreat with their Christian college group, Cru. Then, I went back to sleep and woke up later to find a text message asking me how the girls were doing. The night before, one of their friends was attacked and killed at the park.
My Facebook feed and local news were flooded with stories about a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, twenty-four-year-old girl who had been ruthlessly murdered while the rest of the world was celebrating a fresh start in life. She was a gentle and quiet spirit. She was full of life and joy. And she longed to help give life to others, but had her life taken from her instead.
I didn’t know it then, but a year and a half earlier, Lauren Bump affected my life the very first day I met Allie and Holly. At youth group, where I met the girls, we had a discussion called “Roses and Thorns.” During this discussion, you share with the group the good and bad things in life that you want to praise the Lord for and pray to Him.
Exactly four years ago, on January 6, 2014, after I read about Lauren Bump, I wrote a blog post about her. At twenty years old, I needed an outlet to express my feelings about an unimaginable situation. Death is already hard enough to understand. It’s especially hard to understand when the dearly departed is so young. I was overwhelmed by the flood of emotions felt after learning someone took the life of a twenty-four-year-old girl. Now, I need to do the same thing. I need to write a post to grasp my feelings on the subject.
I’ve stated before that I am an empath. When I say that, I mean it a thousand percent. When I feel something, the feeling never quite goes away. In 2014, when I felt the impact of Lauren’s life and death, it didn’t come and go. It came and never left. In recent months, I have been heavily reminded of the life and death of Lauren Bump. Why now? Because, on December 22nd, 2017, I turned twenty-four—the same age Lauren was when she was killed. I came to that realization while I was talking to Allie and Holly’s mom recently. This year, I am as old as Lauren was. Unless—God forbid—something happens to me, by the time her birthday comes around again, I will have officially lived longer than she did. That is an unsettling and even kind of frightening thought.
Lauren was and still is an incredibly inspiring young woman. Four years later, even though I never knew her in person, I still often think about Lauren Bump. Not only when I pass on the tradition of asking people what their roses and thorns are, but also just in everyday life. Sometimes, I think about her quote, “Seek peace, keep a joyful heart, and in all things, do with love.” I often think about my original post about her, Live Like Lauren. And wonder if I have lived the way I said I would.
“I will live a life and speak words that encourage and inspire other people, especially younger girls and young women 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!”
My last blog post of 2017 was about how I had a rough year. I’ve felt unsuccessful and just beaten down at every turn. As I read through my previous posts about Lauren before writing this post, I also read her last blog post, “Success.” God has been reminding me about Lauren a lot lately. He’s allowed me to go through a very rough year. Now, He led me to Lauren’s blog post where she spoke about a rough patch in her own life that eventually led to the success she was seeing in her final year. How funny is it that God works in such methodical ways, even when it doesn’t seem like it?
The beautiful thing about success is it doesn’t need life to prosper. Lauren’s life has continued to be successful even after her time on earth was up. In her blog post she wrote, “When people look at me and my life, I don’t care what people think of me. I care about what they think of my God. My goal in life is to love God and love people. My grades, my schooling, my accomplishments, contribute nothing to a truly successful life. Those are temporary things that will not have any value when my life on earth is over and I approach the Pearly Gates.”
I spent much of 2017 feeling like my life hasn’t been successful. I have credit card debt, I don’t work a job that I love, and I am single beyond belief. None of that matters though, not when I get to Heaven. So, why does it all matter so much now? It shouldn’t. That’s not to say I shouldn’t pay off my credit cards, look and hope for a job I love, or continue to pray for God’s will on my love life—or currently lack thereof. It’s simply to say that in comparison to Heaven, nothing in this world matters. What does matter is how I handle it! Do I seek peace in my financial storm? Am I joyful, even when my situation isn’t happy? Do I love everyone no matter if I’m single or taken?
After reading Lauren’s post about success and her own dry season, I have to wonder if that’s why God has allowed/is allowing me to walk through my current dry season? Am I missing the bigger picture? Am I trying too hard to be successful in the eyes of the world or even just in my own eyes? The answer is yes. While I genuinely don’t care most of the time what the world thinks of me, I sure care a whole lot about what I think of me. You see, I had a plan and I don’t think I’ve quite let go of it yet.
I was going to grow up to graduate from high school with honors and a boyfriend. I was going to go to college at the University of Texas in Austin. Then I would get married, have babies, and live happily ever after. That was the dream. Reality is a little different. I graduated high school a year behind. I didn’t go to college. I’m still single and I live with my sister in an apartment next to our childhood neighborhood. Reality is also that God knew I wouldn’t be ready for “the real world” in 2012 when I was “supposed to” graduate—I’m barely ready now. He knew that I didn’t need the added stress of unnecessary school and homework brought on by a college education I didn’t need to be a writer. He knew that what I really needed was the college experience without the stress. So, He gave me best friends who attended college at UT and let me regularly visit them for “field trips” and other outings that “normal” Christian college-aged kids got. He also knew that even now, I wouldn’t be ready to fall in love. My heart has been broken and twisted in a lot of ways throughout my twenty-four years and it’s still not quite ready to let one of God’s men in yet to love it. That’s okay. God knows me, He knows my heart, and He knows what plan is best for me to be successful in life on earth and in Heaven.
So, now, as I write this blog post, thinking about Lauren and success, I’m reminded that success is objective and it’s different for everyone. For Lauren, success was best obtained through spreading light, love, and hope after death. For me, success is best obtained by walking with the Lord as I live a completely nontraditional life. I’m a twenty-four-year-old virgin who is “forever single” and currently unemployed after not going to college. That may not seem successful, but right now, it’s the life God has called me to and I’m going to use this life for His glory. I’m going to remember His beloved children. I’m going use my talents to write and speak, and I’m going to grow closer to Him by starting every morning with Him in the Word.
Now, I finally know what my 2018 goals are. My goals are to rest in the Lord and know He is God and let go of the grip I have on the last threads of my plan. I will continue to try to live out the goal I set for myself in 2014. And I will continue to #LiveLikeLauren as I “Seek peace, keep a joyful heart, and in all things, do with love.”

Live Like Lauren 2015

 

 As I have stated in my previous posts about her, I never knew Lauren Bump, but I do know Gaby Jimenez. Today was “Lauren’s 26th Birthday Celebration.” I did not think I was going to write about it, but then I talked to Gaby and I felt like I had to write a blog post. I asked Gaby how she was doing and she said she was doing good. Then I asked her how she is really doing. She thought about it for a second and said that she really was doing good, of course this week had been rough for her, but she’s doing good. She said that last year, she was just numb all the time, but is really able to feel this year and so it’s been good, albeit like going through it all, all over again, but still good. I thought about something she said to me a few months ago about losing the person whom you have told everything to, things that you will not tell anyone else, and I realized that Gaby is one of the strongest people I have ever met. In a way, she is like my hero.

While we walked in silence down the mile long trail at the park where Lauren was a killed, I thought about Gaby and Lauren and I thought about my best friends and myself. In general, I cannot fathom my life without anyone I currently know, so trying to fathom my life without my best friends, Shelby, Holly, and Allie is impossible! What would I do if I could not see Shelby for 2-4 hours every Sunday? How would I handle not being able to send her text messages just randomly full of sarcasm, Chuck Bass, and song lyrics? What if she were gone? What would I do? What would I do if I couldn’t text Allie and Holly whenever I want for prayer? What would I do if I could not visit them in Austin or have them visit me here in San Antonio? I would be completely lost without Allie and Holly in my life, and I would especially be completely lost without Shelby, whom I can see, hear, and hang out with in person on a regular basis! I cannot imagine how Gaby has gone on with her everyday life without having her best friend to talk with, laugh with, receive advice from, and just be around.

I first met Gaby less than 2 months after Lauren was killed. Even then, though she was smiling and chatting with Allie and Holly as if nothing had been wrong, but I knew the truth. She and Allie & Holly even talked about it. Gaby had lost her best friend and nothing was okay with that, but she went through life almost as if she was okay, because she had to keep going. She had to put one foot in front of the other keep living, though I’m sure (because that’s how I would be) she just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry.

When I was in high school, I went through a long stretch of time when I was depressed and had to master a fake smile. Gaby may or may not have reached this point after what happened to Lauren, but when I talk to her, she says she’s really happy, and because I don’t just ask “How are you?” but “How are you really?” I do believe her when she smiles and says she’s doing good. I believe her, because even when you lose someone you love, you have to keep going and keep living as if nothing has changed. I believe her because I know she knows that Lauren would have wanted her to remember her always, but also always to live life to the fullest, because as proven by Lauren’s abrupt death, you never know how much longer you have on this earth. I don’t know Gaby more than knowing her name and following her social media activity, but I feel like I know her well enough to say that she is doing that! She is choosing to live life to the fullest and that by doing so she is being a wonderful example of Christ by choosing to be joyful, even during times in which she may not be happy! She’s choosing to use her lose as a motivation to live life to the fullest and to be a shining light in a dark world! I truly love any chance I get to speak with Gaby, because she is such an inspirational person to be around! I wish I could have seen her physically with Lauren, but I feel like just by observing Gaby from the far off viewpoint of a social media friend who only occasionally sees her in person, that Gaby and Lauren are still walking this world together, just with Lauren in Gaby’s heart rather than by her side. I’m sure Gaby would read this and say that she’s no different than anyone else, because she seems to be a very humble person, but she is different! She is brave, strong, and inspiring! She lives a life for God, shining like Lauren, and loving like someone who has been broken, and that’s the best kind of love, because hearts that have been broken but still continue to love are the most amazing hearts you’ll ever come across!

My favorite quote happens to be a quote by Lauren that reads, “Seek peace, keep a joyful heart, and in all things, do with love.” That’s what Gaby is doing in her life. That’s what I can see her doing through her social media posts and it’s you can feel radiating from her when you speak to her in person. Somehow, with God’s help, Gaby has managed to find peace, keep a joyful heart, and do all things with love, even though one would think that she has every right to close herself off to the world, at least at times when it should have been her best friend’s birthday.

Help Lauren’s Dream Come True by buying a shirt for her!

Lauren Bump—Here In Spirit

 

 

 

 

Have you ever heard the phrase, “there in spirit?” Do you know what it really means? Have you ever really felt someone with you in spirit? It’s an incredible and indescribable feeling. Today, I had the tremendous pleasure of participating in Lauren Bump’s 25th Birthday celebration. This celebration wasn’t like most birthday celebration’s however, because this celebration was held at OP Schnabel park, the same park where Lauren Bump was killed almost seven months ago. At this celebration, Lauren’s friends, family, and a few strangers celebrated Lauren’s life by releasing pink (Lauren’s signature color) balloons into the sky and then walking a silent mile in her honor. While I was celebrating Lauren’s life today with so many people who actually knew her, I could feel her presence everywhere. It was quite the mindboggling experience, because I never actually met Lauren in person, but after thinking about it, it all makes sense now.

I felt Lauren’s presence with me while I was walking with my best friend Holly. I felt her presence while I was talking to her best friend, Gabby Jimenez, and I felt her presence when I met her mother, Lauri Bump. You see, knowing someone isn’t about meeting them in person. Knowing someone is about seeing their influence reflected through other people’s lives.

With my best friends, Allie and Holly, I’ve recently learned that Lauren has been impacting my life since the moment I met them August of 2012, over a year before she died. When I met Allie and Holly, it was at youth group and we shared what were called “Roses and Thorns.” A rose is something positive that has happened to you, while a thorn is something negative that has happened to you. I knew Allie and Holly for over a year and even began using “Roses and Thorns” with the third through fifth graders in my Sunday school class, before learning that Lauren had used the “Roses and Thorns” with Allie and Holly, who then used them with me. More than that, after reading Lauren’s personal blogs and hearing her loved ones talk about her, I can see Lauren in some of the things that Allie and Holly do and say, not because I knew Lauren, but because they did. And when you know someone, especially someone so wholesome and godly that means the world to you, you reflect that person in your everyday life.

When I first met Lauren’s best friend, Gabby, I had the honor of being introduced by Allie and Holly as the girl who wrote “Live Like Lauren”. Then I was told that Gabby had not only read, but been touched by my post. After introductions, I was able to sit and listen to the three girls who were so close Lauren talk about her, and Lauren’s presence was there too. She was there in the sadness in their eyes, the love in their voices, and the joy in their knowing she was in a better place, however difficult that is to accept. Today, when I met Gabby again, I could see Lauren in the same ways that I did the first time.

Today, when I met Lauren’s mom, Lauri Bump, I introduced myself as “Brittany, the girl who wrote the blog post about Lauren,” because I knew that she had read “Seek Peace, Keep a Joyful Heart, and in All Things Do with Love.” – Lauren Michelle Bump. The moment the words were out of my mouth, I was embraced in the hug of love that only a mother could give and I felt Lauren there, too. I saw her in the face of her mother, whom she looks very much like. I felt her Lauren in the equal parts pain and equal parts love of a hurt mother’s hug.

Do you know why I, someone who never had the chance to meet Lauren in person, am able to see and feel her presence so well? It’s because when you’re close enough to someone that you give them a part of your heart, your souls connect in such a way that you’re never truly apart, and that’s what Allie, Holly, Gabby, and Lauri have done. They have each given Lauren a piece of their heart that they will never have for just themselves again. I believe the true is same of Lauren, while she was still physically on this earth, she gave pieces of her heart to each girl, like Allie and Holly that she ministered to, she gave a piece to her best friend, Gabby, and to her family members, such as her mother.

Because these women have given Lauren pieces of their heart and because Lauren has given them pieces of heart, I truly believe that they are never ever apart. Even in the moments when they must go about their everyday lives as if no one is missing, Lauren is still there, cheering them on, making them feel loved, and letting them know that she will always be with them. I believe this is the same reason why I am able to feel Lauren’s presence when I am around them, because even though I didn’t have an opportunity to give Lauren a piece of my heart or to receive a piece of her heart, I have had the opportunity to know people who have. So, I feel like somehow, someway God has allowed my soul and Lauren’s soul to cross paths and meet. I feel like I really do know Lauren, not in the same deep and personal way that Allie, Holly, Gabby, and Lauri know Lauren, but in a different, supernatural kind of way—a way that only God could allow, through leading me into the paths of Allie, Holly, Gabby, and Lauri, so that my life would be impacted by the life of a girl whom I haven’t met, but who is still here.

Lauren Bump is here in spirit and I don’t believe she’ll be leaving any time soon, especially not as long as the beautiful hearts of Lauri Bump, Gabby, Allie and Holly are around to spread love and joy across the world.

"Seek Peace, Keep a Joyful Heart, And in All Things, Do with Love."–Lauren Michelle Bump

Live Like Lauren

On January 6, I wrote a blog post about a girl who lived her life in such a way that she left an impact on the lives of everyone who knew about her, even after her earthly life was cut short. I didn’t know this girl, Lauren Bump, and I had no right to write something about her as if I knew her in anyway, but I wrote about her anyway. I wrote about what I thought I knew about her from the things her friends, family, and personal blog posts wrote about her. Within a week, nearly fifteen-hundred people read that entry, including my best friends who were very close to Lauren, and Lauren’s best friend.

A month and a half later on February 15, I was hanging out with my best friends, Allie and Holly, at the Passion Conference in Houston and Lauren’s best friend, Gabby, was there. She came over to say hello to Allie and Holly and I thought she looked familiar, but I wasn’t sure who she was. I was wearing a t-shirt that I bought in memory and honor of Lauren, Gabby saw it and said she liked it. Allie told me she was Lauren’s best friend and I realized why she looked familiar. I saw her in one of the videos in the news, talking about Lauren. Allie introduced me as “the girl who wrote the blog post about Lauren.” I didn’t know Gabby had read my blog, so I was shocked and honored to know that she had not only read it but liked it. I sat in a seat listening to Gabby, Holly, and Allie talking about Lauren and was struck with awe. What I knew about Lauren had affected me enough that I was willing to write a blog post about her and buy and wear a shirt in her honor. How much more had she affected these three young women whose lives she had personally poured into? It was very humbling and inspiring to listen to these girls talk about Lauren. I could see in their eyes and hear in their voices just how much Lauren had meant to them. That day I was more inspired by Lauren than I was before. Even more proudly, I wore the pink shirt with her name and quote on it.

Another month and a half later, on March 28, I was riding the Mega Bus headed to Austin to hang out with Allie and Holly again. I sat next to a mother of two kids, one about my age and another a few years older than me. We started talking and started a conversation about running. I told her that I had always wanted to start running but didn’t finally start until January when I was inspired by the life of Lauren Bump, a runner who was murdered at O.P. Schnabel Park on New Year’s Eve to finally start running. I explained that I wanted to run a 5k in her honor. We were both leaving from San Antonio, so I thought maybe she had heard about it in the news. She had and she told me she and her running friends ran in Lauren’s honor. Once again I was inspired by the impact Lauren’s life has left on the community in San Antonio. In a city with a population of 1.38 million people, it was so inspiring to know that I was sitting with someone who had not only heard about Lauren’s life but also ran in her honor. I knew a few people who were personally affected by Lauren’s life when she was still on this earth, so it wasn’t so unusual that knowing about her death and the life she lived would affect me in one or another, but the woman I sat with told me she hadn’t been connected to Lauren or her life at all and she was still affected enough to run in her honor.

Almost every day I think about Lauren, the life she lived, and her quote, “Seek peace, keep a joyful heart, and in all things do with love.” I wonder what it would have been like to actually know Lauren, but in a weird way, I’m glad I never knew her, because I don’t think her life would have inspired me in the same way that it has without knowing her. Knowing me and how I react toward people like Lauren, I’m sure her life still would have inspired me had I known her, and I probably would have driven my other friends and family crazy with how much I talked about how awesome she was, but I don’t think her life and death would have meant the same thing to me that it means now.

Had I known her, I would have cried and mourned her death for sure, but because I didn’t know her, I didn’t have the right or the emotional attachment to mourn her death. It was tragic and I was heartbroken to know that a twenty-four –year-old girl had lost her earthly life so soon, but I didn’t cry for her. I did cry some, but not for her; I cried for the tragedy of the situation and for the lose that her friends and families had to deal with. For Lauren, I rejoiced and celebrated. God was finished with her physical life in this world and now she gets to spend eternity with him in heaven, looking down on the lives of everyone she knows and loves, smiling and enjoying the view. I imagine she sees the way her life is still affecting people, people who never even knew her, and I imagine she’s smiling a humble smile, in awe of how God is still using her.

I celebrate the life she lived. The more I hear about her and analyze her blog posts and the things people say about her, the more I know that she lived a life that matched her quote. She kept peace with everyone around her. She always had a joyful heart, even when things were stressful, and she constantly strived to do everything with love. I’m sure that nearly everything she said and did shined with God’s love. I imagine that just knowing her brought anyone who knew her closer to Him, because that’s how much she loved him and wanted to honor him. Heck, I know in some ways I’ve grown closer to God just by knowing of Lauren, so that has to be true for those who actually knew her.

Lauren Bump is and was a truly spiritual and inspiring person and even though her physical life may be over, her spiritual life is still alive and working in the hearts of just about everyone who knows her name. God may have chosen that he was finished using her in a physical way in this world, but He is still using her in an emotional and spiritual way today, three months and one week after she was taken from this world. I can’t speak for everyone who knows her name, but I can speak for myself. She has left a potent and eternal mark on my life and I can’t express how grateful I am to know her name and to know people who personally knew her so that in a way, I knew her by hearing what people had to say about her and by reading what she had to say about herself in her blog posts and personal quote about peace, joy, and love.

 

“Seek peace, keep a joyful heart, and in all things do with love.” ~ Lauren M. Bump

https://obsessivehope.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/live-like-lauren/

Live Like Lauren

 

**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:
https://www.facebook.com/livelikelmb

And buy a shirt to support her dreams!

https://www.booster.com/livelikelmb?share=611437535624523