Lauren Bombardier has been a FaithWriters member since 2005 and I had the privilege of meeting her at the very first FaithWriters conference. She currently lives in Washington where she attends college and is working towards her bachelor’s degree.

Join me in getting to know Lauren.

LYNDA: Thanks for being with us today, Lauren. Tell us a little about yourself and your Christian testimony.

LAUREN: Well, I’ve lived in the beautiful Pacific Northwest for the last six years (Really? Only six years? Wow.) and I love it here. I’m currently a junior at Washington State University Vancouver working on my bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and though it’s been tough coming back to school as a non-traditional student, I’m having a great time and learning a lot. I’ve lived in many places, but I grew up mostly in the Midwest where my parents homeschooled me through my high school years. That was tough, as well. I didn’t want to be homeschooled at first, but eventually I did see the benefits of it.

When I was 18 years old, I realized that I could not pinpoint an exact time when I had actually become a Christian even though, being raised in a Christian home, I was trying to live the life of one. That scared me, because I knew that if I didn’t actually receive Christ, then I would not be going to heaven if I died anytime soon. Right now that seems to be a superficial reason, but it was a very real fear for me. God knew that, and almost right away after I came to that realization, my mother came into the schoolroom upset about something I had done (or not done, I really don’t remember which). I told her that I didn’t think I was a Christian, and she immediately stopped and asked me if I wanted to pray right then and there. I did, and Mom kneeled with me at her desk chair (anything can be used as an altar when coming before God, right?) and prayed with me, leading me to Christ. There were no fireworks or immediate differences that I felt, except one. From that moment on, I had confidence that no matter what happened to me or what I did, God would always be with me, and that when the time came, that I would go home to Him.

LYNDA: Three words you’d use to describe yourself:

LAUREN: Oh, let’s see…

1) I’m reserved. I tend to be the quiet one in group settings, until I get to know the people and I’m comfortable around them.

2) I’m kind of absent-minded at times. When I was 20 years old, I was diagnosed with ADD. That relieved me of a great burden because I thought that it was my character that seemed to be lazy and at times, stupid. When I found out about the ADD, my first thought was, “It’s not my fault!” However, that doesn’t mean that the symptoms went away. I struggle with them every day, especially when it comes to trying to remember things and getting motivated to do what I need to do. I also have a hard time finishing projects.

3) I’m loyal. I realized that with the previous one that I was headed into negative territory, but I’m not a negative person at all. I am very loyal to my friends and family. A long time ago, I decided to be the kind of friend that I wanted to have, and I’ve tried to be that way ever since. It’s difficult at times with friends, but my family is my heart. I would do anything for them that is within my ability to do.

LYNDA: When did you fall in love with writing?

LAUREN: I’ve always been a writer at heart. My head would be full of stories and when I was growing up I was always acting them out by myself. I think my mother thought I had an imaginary friend or two, but it was all me. She’d catch me “talking to myself” so many times. It wasn’t until I was older that I attempted to write these stories down. However, I would stop because my stories never turned out to be as polished as the ones I would read in books. I didn’t realize at the time all the work a writer went through to get those polished stories. When I met Amy Michelle Wiley several years ago, she told me about this great site for Christian writers (FaithWriters) and that I should consider joining if I wanted to be serious about writing. So I did. And the rest, as they say, is history.

LYNDA: Do you have anything published? Any regular writing gigs?

LAUREN: Right now, I’ve just been published in a couple of FaithWriters anthologies, as well as a collaboration project with Peculiar People, started by Amy. When I started attending WSUV, I applied to the school paper, and I’ve been a staff writer for it ever since. I’ve had two articles published with them so far, and I have really enjoyed it.

LYNDA: How has FaithWriters helped you in your writing journey?

LAUREN: First of all, everyone who is involved with FaithWriters is amazing. From my first day on the forums, I was welcomed and encouraged. I discovered that it’s actually a lot of work to be a writer, but it’s always very rewarding. People have answered my questions, critiqued my stories, cheered for me at my successes, prayed for me, and in general been another family to me. It’s been an incredible experience all the way around.

LYNDA: According to your blog, you’ve battled with depression a bit (I can relate!). Can you share a bit of your story?

LAUREN: Ah, yes. I battled with depression from a young age. I was 11 years old when my mother first suspected that I was depressed. She tried to get me to go to a therapist, but I balked at it. All through my years growing up and into my twenties I struggled with my self-image, thinking that I wasn’t worth being loved, that I couldn’t make a success of my life, and that I just wasn’t worth it. I was angry at God, at my family, and I managed to cut off most of my friends. I stopped going to church. I was drifting. This is what I call my “Dark Times.” Finally, one day, my mother sat me down and basically told me that I was coming home with her and that I had no choice. I finally admitted that all the problems I had were through my own actions, and thus my fault. Not anyone else’s, and certainly not God’s. That was my watershed moment.

I moved back in with my parents and started attending church again. The church my parents were a part of was amazing. Well, it still is. It was the first church I had ever attended that truly embodied what a spiritual family is. They were there for me. God knew just what I needed, and I began to heal. One day, I realized that I was no longer depressed. I was amazed! There were no drugs or therapy sessions that could have given me that feeling. It was all God. Since then, yes, I have had depressive moments, but I can honestly say that I am no longer depressed. I am free!

LYNDA: What sorts of things do you like to do for fun?

LAUREN: My stock answer to this question is reading. I LOVE to read almost any fiction, though I do struggle a bit with nonfiction. I also like to cross-stitch when I have the time. Lately, I have met new friends through school, and I hang out with them at times. It keeps me from pulling my hair out because of the stress of school. But what I REALLY like to do is spend time with my family. As I said before, my family is my heart. My two younger sisters keep me smiling and laughing all the time, and my mother and I finally have the relationship I craved while growing up. My life is good, and I mean that in the same sense that God did when He looked at the world He created and pronounced it good.

LYNDA: What aspirations do you have in life, both personally and professionally?

LAUREN: Professionally, I want to work for a publishing company as an editor. That is my goal with school. I also want to finally complete my book that started out as a Challenge story for FaithWriters. As for personally, well, there are certain things I want. I want to be married and a mother. I want to have a home, not just a house where I live. I want this home to be filled with laughter. It’s a simple desire, but one I look forward to having fulfilled. All in God’s good time, of course. Everything in His time.

Visit Lauren’s blog at www.b24bomb.blogspot.com and check out her FaithWriters profile where you can read some of her work HERE.

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