At 23, I hit rock bottom. I threw my hands in the air and said, “God, I quit! Following you might be hard and boring, but it’s better than this!”
But when I read the Bible, I found I’d been wrong about God. He wasn't a distant, unapproachable dictator; He was a passionate, gracious Creator who loved me and offered me a new life. God saw me as if I’d already arrived at my full of potential - He made me on purpose and for a purpose.
In 2005, I shared my story to new members in sorority houses on Rose Street and Rose Lane at the University of Kentucky. Hundreds of young women wanted to know more about a relationship with God, and I was shocked and burdened for those who needed hope at 3am like I did when I was younger… and still do today.
In 2013, even though I had no computer and ZERO computer skills, I started a website named after Rose Lane to provide more ways to connect deeper with God and others. One of the first emails I received was from a rape victim who wrote, “I have no clue who else to turn to... please help…”
After meeting her, I realized the website wasn't enough. Women needed more information on how to see God, and themselves, accurately. In response, I wrote a book the following year, Fake IDs.
Lane of Roses was growing into a movement. I couldn’t believe it.
10 years after I first stepped on Rose Lane, Lane of Roses incorporated into a 501c3 nonprofit. And the following year, one of the former students I mentored in college, Rebekah Perryman, joined staff full-time.
Soon after working side-by-side, Rebekah and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes: The dream of Lane of Roses was becoming a reality. Lane of Roses would be a place where every woman sees herself as God sees her.
God has continued to grow Lane of Roses. What was once a team of two is now a team of 10 staff members and over 40 interns and ambassadors from all around the world!
And because God gave me the gift of starting something, and Rebekah the gift of finishing something, I’m no longer a staff member myself. I’m still chairman of the board and love to volunteer, but my gifts are needed in other ways. Through Lane of Roses, I learned more about how God made me on purpose and for a purpose.
I don’t have to be somebody else. I don’t have to have EVERY gift or envy every gift. No, God just needs me to be the best version of myself, free from comparison--which is still something I need to be aware of today. So whoever you are or whatever you do, remember: you’re made on purpose and for a purpose.
My part was to start Lane of Roses, but wow. It takes a village of women with different gifts to make it what it is today. I feel very lucky and privileged God worked through me, and that I still get to be a part of it. At heart, I’m still the 23 year-old girl with chronic insecurities, fears, and baggage--but through Christ, I’m so much more.
And so are you.
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