Meet Cause 4 Life Intern, Lauren – Part 1

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 17, 2014
  • Cause 4 Life

Eric and Lauren(Today's post was written by Danielle Ledoux, Joni and Friends Cause 4 Life Vocational Intern.)

If she can do it, you can do it.
“The Lord opens doors that no man can shut.” Eric’s eyes, warm and glossy like melted chocolate, peered into Lauren’s face. He proclaimed again unsteadily, “The Lord opens doors that no man can shut.”

Lost in Eric’s eyes, Lauren felt the sweetness enveloping this man. His black hair and stubbly beard covered a dear face that framed “sweet little expressions,” as Lauren said. Though his quirks and expressions indicated some disability, Lauren didn’t care. Holding Eric’s hand, she heard once more that quivery voice: “The Lord opens doors that no man can shut.” And she cried.

Remembering that night, Lauren proudly showed a picture of her and Eric from the Friendship Club—a gathering of adults with disabilities and volunteers to talk, worship, and learn together. Lauren only wished that she could touch those dear folks and rub them on the back while they prayed together and shared their hearts. But she more than makes up for this one drawback. Despite cerebral palsy and twenty-one years in a wheelchair, Lauren Compere has rolled through life, nicknamed “the Super Crip.”

“I know it sounds weird, but I don’t see myself as disabled,” Lauren explained, balancing her phone on her lap and using her knuckles to text. “Growing up, Dad didn’t let me say, ‘No.’”

When she was a baby, her father had attended a conference with David Ring, a man with cerebral palsy who had lived a full life despite the doctors’ predictions. At the Meet and Greet afterwards, Lauren’s father had asked David for one piece of advice to give his daughter.

In a simple, unsteady voice, David had replied, “Never let her say, ‘I can’t.’”
“That became sort of my theme phrase,” Lauren said, laughing.

So that regardless of her wheelchair, Lauren threw herself into service with abandon. Starting in middle school, she loved on girls that came from tough family situations and lacked a spiritual anchor. These friendships proved to Lauren that even if her hands and feet were limited physically, her words could still touch. With this gift in mind, she enrolled in Mississippi College, majoring in psychology.

But a desire still burned in her heart—to do an internship somewhere… 

Check back tomorrow to read Part 2


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