Beautiful Scars: A Conversation with Laurn Bethell, Part One

This week on the Allender Center Podcast, Dr. Dan Allender launches a four-part conversation with Lauran Bethell, Coordinator and Leadership Team Chair for the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution (ICAP). Lauran and Dan, who have worked together on four continents over the years, recorded this conversation in front of a live audience at the ICAP Global Conference this past May.

Lauran : “My scars tell my stories.”

Dan: “None of us are fond of our scars, nor should we be. But our scars actually come to reflect something of a greater beauty than we would have if we had not suffered.”

Dan and Lauran talk about the need to surround ourselves with people who reflect the kind of deep, true beauty that points to the goodness of God. As Dan invites Lauran to share how she first encountered beauty, she shares about her own story of struggling with self-esteem and experiencing deep depression. Lauran recalls thinking about how she hadn’t been abused or faced any obvious traumas, telling herself, “I don’t have a story to even explain my depression.”

Lauran shares how, when she was in a place of contemplating suicide, she encountered a vision of God, with angels surrounding her and telling her “You’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay.” It was a moment of deep peace, as if God was telling her, “I created you in my image, and all you have to do is just be who I created you to be. Just be.” Dan reflects on how, even if she though she is infinitely more than “okay,” God knew that was all she would be able to hear in the moment.

Dan: “God will meet us with language that’s consistent with what we can hear.”

As she began to discover a sense of her true self and calling, Lauran , who was working as a missionary in Asia, began to hear stories of women who were being forced into prostitution. Even as she faced obstacles, setback, and new scars, Lauran knew that advocating for these women was meant to become her life’s work.