ep.03 | The Joy and Transformation of Suffering with Lauren Zumbrun
Today I’m chatting with Lauren Zumbrun as she shares her journey to joy through the transformational experience of suffering. I want you guys to know up front that while our conversation isn’t explicit, it might contain some triggers. You probably want to grab your headphones if your kiddos are nearby. After we stopped recording, Lauren made a great point that it’s important to acknowledge that everyone’s suffering is valid, no matter what level or experience someone is going through. We all experience hardship and trails that are important to acknowledge, no matter what. Hearing Lauren’s story will inspire and encourage you to search for joy in the midst of whatever you’re walking through. I’m so excited to introduce you to her today.
Lauren and I cover the following questions in our discussion:
1. Can you share with us what your days look like living in Africa?
2. I'd love for listeners to hear a little of your story and how you've come to where you are living and serving God overseas.
3. How did these experiences stretch and grow you?
4. Did you feel happy in the midst of this hardship?
5. Is there a difference between feeling happy and feeling joyful?
6. How do you experience joy in the midst of trials?
7. How did your community come alongside you and provide encouragement? What was most helpful? What things did people say that weren't helpful?
8. What would you say to someone who is in the midst of a trial right now?
9. What are some practical things you’ve done to help you process these difficult times?
10. How do you see God seeking you out in the midst of hardship?
Three questions I ask every guest
Top 3 fav resources for someone navigating trials?
Who has been the most influential person in your walk through suffering (think: mentor)?
What are three books you can't stop recommending?
“When a trauma happens to you, you feel like you’re unable to move on. But I knew from my previous experience of going through this journey of transformation that I wasn’t alone, that I didn’t need to suffer in silence, that I needed to be open, and it wasn’t about being open with everyone, but it was really being open and honest with God first and foremost and really experiencing a really deep peace and joy and thankfulness that I am safe, well, and can walk through healing. This is one thing that happened to me and you see it in such perspective living in South Sudan, a country in deep suffering. The way the people can endure through their great suffering made me realize that I can surely walk through healing on the other side of this tragedy.”
“I really learned in South Sudan that struggle, pain and suffering are a part of life. It’s a part of what builds us and our character, patience, and faith. We don’t need to try and run from it. The more we try to run from pain, it only causes more pain… We mourn and we dance. That’s the beauty of life.”
“Our struggle in life is really not for results and achievement all the time. It really is about relationships and people and about authentically walking out our journeys with one another.”
“There is great suffering in this world, but that doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us. We are a part of a much bigger story.”
“If you can’t even tell people how you’re doing, just tell them you’re not okay.”
“Don’t try to run away. Sit in the season that you’re in with great expectation that God is with you and that He’s doing a mighty work as you sit in pain and darkness, know that there is light. I so much wanted to be back to my old self, but what I found is that I became a new person. There was so much healing and transformation in the capacity that I didn’t really understand would come. That is really where I believe when God says He is with us and that He is making us a new creation that truly I did and I do feel like a new creation after walking through that bit of my journey.”
“Joy is about posture and perspective.”
I hope you were able to connect with Lauren’s story as much as I was! Her quote, “Joy is about posture and perspective” — totally stuck with me as I washed dishes and folded laundry! If you’d like to follow Lauren on social media her Instagram handle is listed below. As always, if you enjoyed listening please leave a review on iTunes! Can’t wait to do this again with ya’ll next week!
Lauren’s recommended resources
Francine Rivers’ books
Liane Moriarty’s books
Richard Rohr’s books
Connect with Lauren
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