Lauren Merryfield was raised in mainline Christian churches. She asked many questions in Sunday School and was somewhat afraid of God as some old guy up there looking down on her, watching her mistakes and judging her. Even though she sang “Yes, Jesus loves me” she felt distant from Jesus.
She sang Christian songs with her sister and a friend at churches in her home state and if anyone asked her if she was a Christian, she answered immediately that she was.
She was not living a lie; just a luke-warm relationship with Jesus.
She took Confirmation and was baptized at age fourteen, so that it would be her decision; however, she felt she was doing this mostly for her Mom.
She was sometimes bored in church because she was expected to be quiet and to sit still and listen in a formal setting. She was not expected to participate much in the worship experience.
Lauren did enjoy singing hymns and loved singing harmony, as people did back then. She had memorized some of the hymns. Others, she put in braille so she could follow along.
Lauren sang in church choirs from the time she was a teenager. She sang portions of Handel’s Messiah with her University chorus and with a community chorus.
Later, in college, she learned types of thought such as psychology, anthropology, sociology, and later, social work, all of which took the focus away from Christianity. Her opinions changed and she supported humanistic, global thinking. The idea of a melting pot of all religions andperspectives grew over the years. Her second book championed this type of thinking. She had absolutely no idea that there were warnings against going in this direction in many parts of the Bible.
She spent time in A Unitarian Universalist setting where she could still claim to be a Christian, while embracing everything else. She also spent time in a New Age setting—years actually—where they attribute everything to metaphysical, “you are what you think” and positive thinking. Jesus was a “Wayshower” and a great teacher; however, the crucifixion and resurrection were forms/expressions of thought, not actual occurrences. The music and Bible references were there just enough to confuse her into thinking that she was in an okay place. And there was no Satan. That was a relief! She felt safe there.
However, Jesus had other plans for Lauren. You can read her testimony here in her blog. She now attends a church where those attending might be called “Holy rollers,” but she can express her worship of Jesus more fully there, feeling His Presence around and within her.
The separation anxiety, feeling not good enough, believing she was less important than a sparrow, and other aspects of feeling disconnected from Jesus, are mostly a thing of the past. She is no longer alone. She wants to help other lost people, including many mainline Christians, to really, truly, find Jesus, or allow Him to come and rescue them, as He has rescued her.
At one point during her spiritual seeking, Lauren was ordained as a pastor by the Christian National Church. She has currently chosen a mostly online ministry, though she will talk about Jesus to anyone who will listen. She counsels on several email groups; she is on the prayer team at her current church; and she is engaged in “digital evangelism” by presenting this blog and other activities.
Lauren is a proud Mom whose daughter is an occupational therapist. She has grandfurries and, as of this writing, is expecting a grandson—her first grandhuman! This is such a bittersweet joy after having recently lost both parents and her mother-in-law (whom she loved and respected).
Lauren switched from listening to contemporary worldy music to contemporary Christian music. Her most current worldly favorite band was Maroon Five. She still loves the Beatles and oldies; however her new favorite band is TobyMac! She saw him in concert in March of 2016. Wow!
Her middle cat, Toby, says “What?” in a shrill voice. … Lauren lives in Northern California with her three cats:Maryah (Mariah with a Y), Tobias (Toby) and Lelaynya (Laynie). Her love of cats is so profound that she works daily to keep Jesus first but continues to be just as catcentric as ever.
Lauren Merryfield is the author of “there’s more than one way to love a cat:my kitty journal in haiku” and “there’s more than one way to be okay:a blind woman’s PURRspective on life.” Her testimony appears at the end of the audio version of the latter book. She says she is working toward writing a book about Jesus next.
Lauren is currently employed as a telephone operator at Travis Air Force Base. She enjoys connecting overseas family members in the military. Every now and then her social work skills come in handy on a difficult and scary call. She really enjoys her coworkers and how they gravitate to discussions about food, cats, music and sometimes Jesus, between calls.
“Jesus, may the Holy Ghost lead me to witness for You in this blog in such a way that the lost may be found; the lonely find You accompanying them; the depressed find joy even when things are not perfect; the struggling let go so that You carry their burdens; the spiritually blind gain sight and insight; the tearful regale in uproarious laughter; and the ones who have not yet experienced the Great Commission do all that is necessary to receive Salvation from You so that they will dwell with You forever in Heaven someday. (Acts 2 38). May they know how You love them and they learn to love You in return. May they sing and dance and shout and praise You as boisterously as they desire, in the joy of Your Presence! May they learn to give You all the glory! In Jesus’ name. Amen”—Lauren Merryfield