lauren mccain

the above photo is of lauren. lauren mccain. someone that I wish I had known better during the two years that she was in my life. the sweetest heart, the absolute best pray-er, and the biggest smile to ever grace my life.

I didn’t know lauren super well. we played on the same soccer team in high school, and even though we had different social circles, everyone knew lauren. not only did we all know her because she was the most friendly person in the world, but we also knew her because we knew her heart. how could you not? lauren was a warrior for christ. she wore Him all over her face, through her countenance and her words. & there was simply no doubt about it. she was different. she was on fire for her savior.

lauren was killed on april 16th, 2007 in the shootings at Virginia Tech. I could try to write more about her life and her mission, but this page on Virginia Tech's website says it better than I could.

i was nearly finished with freshman year at George Mason when I got out of class and started hearing rumblings around campus of a shooting. a school shooting. a campus shooting. a virginia campus shooting. this was during the pre-smart phone era. I tweeted from a flip phone to the 3 people that followed me. I made my way back to my room and turned on the tv. Virginia Tech. I remember sitting on my bed, not looking at anything in particular as I mentally flipped through all the friends I had at Tech. I started sending text messages, and little by little, everyone was confirmed to be fine. except lauren. what's crazy is that I had sent a text to my friend marissa to ask her about lauren, but as everyone else was confirmed to be fine... I stopped worrying. of course everyone was fine.

marissa called me later that afternoon to tell me that lauren had been one of the victims of this horrible tragedy. I remember running to my friend's dorm building, and falling to pieces the moment she opened the door to let me in. it was surreal. I wasn’t nearly as close to her as some of my other teammates and friends were, but it shook me. thinking of her final moments. thinking of the sweet family that was grieving this news and the life that had been taken.

the weekend following her death, I traveled home for all the services alongside my former teammates, and it was nothing short of heart-wrenching.  Heart-wrenching, & yet – completely rejuvenating. seeing the outpouring of her story, and the legacy she left behind was a wake-up call. what am I leaving behind me? what impact would I leave for my family and friends to share? her story has become part of my testimony. in so many ways, lauren’s life, faith & legacy has changed me. & I am so grateful to God that His goodness shows in even the hardest of times.

wednesday morning, on the drive in to work, I heard an update on the radio about the appeal that Virginia Tech was making to the courts in regards to the 2007 shootings. I started thinking about lauren. I started getting sad. I could feel my spirit sinking, just at the mention of that day.

& just as quickly, I felt God say NO. no to anger. no to blame. no to sadness. & all I could suddenly think about was that for every day that I have had a broken spirit, for every day that I’ve cried myself into a migraine, for every moment of frustration or resentment – lauren has been worshipping my Savior in His presence. For every day that I’ve had a zit, for every bad haircut, for every pound gained and every moment of self-consciousness – lauren has dwelled in a perfect body. for every trial that I haven’t overcome, for every time I’ve asked and been told no, for every discouraging remark made - lauren has been surrounded by the saints in unfathomable holiness.

& immediately, the darkness was lifted & a peace surrounded me. I wasn’t going to be brought down in sadness. lauren is home.

so when I heard that there was another shooting happening at Virginia Tech no more than 5 hours later, & the tears immediately filled my eyes as I started to reel and flashback to that day in 2007, I sat down… & God brought me back to that place of peace.

I half-heartedly decided I wanted to write about lauren during my drive in to work yesterday. I'm still debating on whether to hit the "publish" button. it feels a little weird to be sharing something so personal - that my life was so affected by someone that a lot of people could tell you i didn't know extremely well.  & honestly, I couldn’t decide if it was still appropriate after yesterday’s shooting… there are two families hurting. they deserve to be recognized and I am certainly lifting them up in prayer. there is a university that has been violated again, & it was just as scary this time around.

but just as much as lauren’s story affects my life daily, her story deserves to be shared again and again and again. that good triumphs evil. that ultimately, lauren wins, because Christ has overcome the grave, & death has lost its sting.

I know this is personal. I know it’s not about babies, or dates or Christmas decorations. but I hope that you can appreciate where this comes from.

"I want to remind you how good our God is.
He uses all things to glorify Himself, which in turn is good for us."
-lauren ashley mccain

1 comment:

because lezz be frandz.