Announcing My Trip To Bangladesh, Some Photos, & Some HolyCowThisHurts/IsAwesome

A few months ago, Lindsey messaged me on Twitter in the middle of my work day and said, “Hey I have a quick question! Can I call you?”

I messaged her back my new cell phone number, and a few moments later we were chatting.

“So, do you wanna go to Bangladesh in January?”

Dude, Lindsey. That is not a quick question.

* * *

2011 and 2012 have been an intense years for me.

At the beginning of 2011, I was a single girl, just beginning to feel aches and pains in my heart over the lack of true-Jesus and true-good women in my life. I was quitting my full time job and dropping out of college for the second time*. Not in a cool Christian, hipster sort of way – but in an I’m totally miserable and this cannot be what life is about kind of way. (I mean maybe it was just a tiny bit Christian/hipster, but whatevs. It’s working out.)

Have you ever been outside in a vast field, with a blindfold over your eyes? What is before you is massive, infinite, laden with answers to life…but you can only somehow feel its vastness, and the hands on your blindfold are whispering, “not yet, not yet, not yet.”

At the beginning of 2012, I was an oh-lord-I-just-met-someone-and-suddenly-got-married girl, just beginning to feel the aches and pains of finally seeing life created within relationships with girls through the new Good Women Project (one of the most beautiful parts of my entire life!) but asking, isn’t there more to All Of This than just talking. writing. telling my story, a thousand times over?

And now here I am, at the almost-beginning of 2013, with Bangladesh before me, and a year of emotional upheaval about the lack of doing, giving, face-to-face-love-ing behind me.

I made that sound more intense than I should have, perhaps, but there’s a reason that the posts have been going up slowly on Good Women Project and here on my blog. The heart shifts and grows, and these digital pages are learning how to align themselves with the newly budding desires and ever-maturing perspective. I have decades of damage from closing out my heart’s cries, and this outward silence is my learning to hear.

* * *

Lindsey and I talked some more, and she shared with me what Food For The Hungry has been doing around the world, and what they’re doing with women in Bangladesh.

It sounded incredible, but I felt like someone had just asked me how I’d feel about visiting the moon tomorrow. This is all well and good, hypothetically speaking, and for all my friends who do missions trips and live abroad, but wait – really – this is like, the actual moon. My apartment is in Hollywood and I have like, a real sweet grownup job involving celebrities ‘n stuff.

I had a thousand reasons why it was inconvenient, and not a single reason why I shouldn’t go. My whole life up to this point has been excruciatingly inconvenient, and I’m beginning to believe it may be the secret to happiness, joy, and all things worth experiencing.

So I said yes.

On January 24th, Max and I will be flying through Istanbul to Dhaka, Bangladesh for 7 days.

This is the first time I will be leaving the United States of America.

This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 12.

This is something terrifying.

This is something beautiful.

* * *

To be honest, I still don’t know much about Bangladesh, or how exactly is creating new life and new love for the women there. But I cannot express how excited I am to go see. To be a part. To write, to share, to give you a glimpse of another world.

I hope that throughout January, you use my little blog as glittery binoculars, through which you can squint and see something beautiful and far away, made close and dear to your hearts.

* * *

Today, the upcoming trip became very real as I got vaccines tiny diseases were stabbed into both of my arms in order to keep me alive whilst in Bangladesh. My parents weren’t crazy about immunizations when I was a little kid, so next week I go back for my MMR and Hepatitis B too AHHHHHHHHHHH. My right arm, in particular, feels as if the nice little nurse lady swung a baseball bat into it.

And here are some pictures from before/during our shots. I hope they accurately convey how unprepared and concerned I am for this entire ordeal. πŸ™‚

DISCLAIMER: I realize that for a lovely handful of you, this is just 10 little days in another country and I’m making a huge effing deal out of this when really it’s not (I mean I’m not even quitting my job or moving or anything), but I just want to publicly acknowledge that I am consciously making this a huge effing deal and will continue to do so because people and women and Jesus and traveling and the world should probably always be big effing deals and to make it a little deal is kind of not fun to me. kthxluvuallsooooooomuch. xoxo

*I don’t always recommend dropping out of college. I know it’s really kick-butt hard, but it’s awesome too. Just hadda say that..

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  1. catherine says:

    Hey Lauren,

    This is so inspiring to read, as are all of your posts, and everything that you do with Good Women Project. I can totally relate to that standing in a large field blind-folded knowing something big is before you but not really sure what it is and when you’ll have it revealed. I’ve just moved to San Fran from the UK with very little knowledge as to why, but knowing that God wants me here. I’m praying for your trip – sounds amazing. Please keep making a big deal of these things. Travel is a gift.

    Best wishes,


    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      Thank you so much, Catherine! I wish you love and luck and grace in the new city you live in. SF the most beautiful city in America, in my opinion. I hope you love it. πŸ™‚

      – lauren xo

    • Hey Catherine! I live in Phoenix, Arizona but one of my dear friends just moved to San Francisco to plant a church. They are a total rooted-in-love group of people that want to show the people of SF Jesus’s love and I know they would love your help! Check them out if you’re interested:!

  2. Holly says:

    I put on a coat I hadn’t worn in a while and in the pocket was a sweet note that you wrote to me when we were in the healing prayer group at the Village Vineyard. You thanked me for being kind to you. Dear, sweet Lauren, it was so easy to be kind to you. You have had quite the adventure and change in the last two years! I am so excited for your new adventure and I’m happy to have known you and spent time before Jesus with you. I’ll be praying for your safe travels and for the work and women whose lives you’ll touch.

  3. Hannah says:

    Hey Lauren!
    As someone who is still roughin it through college…(you’ve skyped with our bible study in NC!! πŸ™‚
    I can tell you that this trip will change your life. You probably already know this, but I’m about to head out of the US for the third time now – and there’s just something about experiencing the sweetness of God’s kingdom in another corner of the world that completely changes you. Of course the anxiety of all “unknowns” is definitely real and definitely a little scary. But experiencing God’s peace and love in another country is indescribable. You really will not ever be the same. So yes, I would consider it a big effing deal πŸ™‚ For me, 10 little days in Kenya turned into a 2 month mission trip/adventure to Guatemala the next summer, and now I’m about to spend an entire semester in South Africa. So also as a warning – be careful because you might get addicted πŸ™‚
    Just wanted to encourage you and let you know there are a ton of us praying for you on this trip! Can’t wait to hear about it!!
    – Hannah

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      I am fully prepared for it to wreck my life. That is really the only reason I am terrified, because I know it will change everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you. πŸ™‚

  4. Kasey says:

    I love this. What an incredible adventure. Unexpected, God-appointed adventures are the best kinds. I CANNOT WAIT to read about what God does while y’all are over there. I’m sure its going to be life-changing on so many levels. I will be praying for you guys while you’re gone!

  5. Aubrey says:

    Looking forward to reading about your trip and seeing more on the good women project! It is such an awesome site and I can’t wait to see what it develops into. Also, what is your job? Maybe you’ve covered that somewhere else and I missed it.

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      Hi Aubrey! Thanks! I’m really excited for 2013 and for Good Women Project too. I’m so glad you love it and I promise it will continue to exist, haha. πŸ™‚ I haven’t really mentioned my job anywhere; I am a graphic designer/director for a social media company and I create the images you see on Facebook pages for movies and tv shows! I’m really blessed and love it right now, but it’s a bit insane being on the inside of Hollywood and some days feels sooo counter to who I am as a person. Craziness.

      • Aubrey says:

        So glad to hear that the site will continue exist πŸ™‚
        Thanks for sharing about your career. It sounds like it could be ridiculously fun but also ridiculously stressful at times. I can’t imagine being on the inside of Hollywood. I’ve always been a movie/TV buff but I like viewing it from afar πŸ™‚ Kudos to you for diving in!

  6. HΓ€nnah says:

    So excited for you. It IS a big effin’ deal, because it is that to you. And what a sweet opportunity to do this with your husband and to go see how incredible God is and how he works there just as powerfully as he does here.

  7. Nataly says:

    It IS a big deal! You’re flying half way across the world to go help people. Thanks for letting us be a part of your journey, I know I would really appreciate to look at Bangladesh the way you’re seeing it. I don’t know anything about the place, so please continue to write. It’s inspiring that you’re giving time & resources to go, may God bless your trip. I know He will use you to help others and in doing that, He will teach you many things as well. Wish you two the best!

  8. I am so so proud of you. For sharing your heart, for getting out of your comfortable space and doing something awesome for others, for loving well. You are amazing! I can’t wait to see how God uses this trip to totally change your perspective.
    Also, you are hilarious. And I love your disclaimer πŸ™‚

  9. Mary says:

    The first time I went out of the country was to India for 14 days. It was amazing and terrifying. India could not be more opposite from western culture. You will cry a lot and realize your heart is not big enough to love every person in need there. You will be uncomfortable culturally and probably physically from eating something that will make you miserable for days. You will understand why feet washing in the Bible was such a big deal. Yet despite the hardship you’ll see there (which you cannot fathom now), the people have beautiful beautiful hearts. Rest assured, there many wonderful things changing in India and it will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

    Email me if you want to talk about it.

  10. Rehman Asad says:

    Hi lauren,
    A lot of Thanks for visit Bangladesh.

  11. Renee Ronika says:

    It is a big deal. And in retrospect, if not in the immediate (which may seem lackluster at first) you will have grown.

    Blessing to you and Max; may the Holy Spirit grant you wisdom and revelation with each person you encounter.

  12. Bethany C. says:

    Sounds like an exciting next step in life! Will you be spending any time in Istanbul? I lived there for a few years and love the city and would be happy to give tips on things to see and places to visit.

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      Hi Bethany! We just have a layover there, and I don’t think we’ll be leaving the airport. πŸ™ I will remember this, though, in case I go back! I totally want to. πŸ™‚

  13. Hayley says:

    Just because it’s 10 days doesn’t mean it won’t change your life. Best of luck on your trip!!!
    If there is any chance that you get to spend time inIstanbul on the way there PLEASE tell me – I studied abroad there for a year and it’s my favorite city besides home πŸ™‚

  14. Nadine says:

    How’d you bounch back from dropping out of school? Cause I quit in October, in a very non-hipster, non-cool, and not even cute way, and I feel like I can’t quite find my feet anymore. Or at least I know where my feet are but the ground is kinda foreign. Suggestions on survival?

  15. Beth Roberts says:

    Hi, Lauren.

    I’ll be following your trip. I lived in Dhaka for a few months in 2003, and a piece of my heart is still there. I also felt like I had signed up to go to the moon–I’d embarrassingly never even heard of the country before I went there. The city and the people are so breathtakingly beautiful, and so breathtakingly poor. You’ll never be the same, as I’m sure you know. Your efforts through The Good Women Project have been such an encouragement to me and to so many others. I wish you all the encouragement and grace of God as you travel, as you see, as you write.

  16. Anissa says:

    so fun!! hope its a super amazing trip!!

  17. Sarah Faith says:

    So excited for you! Come February I’ll be heading to India as well πŸ™‚ I’m so excited for you and can’t wait to read what Jesus will do in your heart. Grace and peace, from a sister in Cleveland, Sarah.

  18. Brittany says:

    can’t wait to see your perspective on this, and what you write. πŸ™‚

  19. erin a. says:

    I love this! – “My whole life up to this point has been excruciatingly inconvenient, and I’m beginning to believe it may be the secret to happiness, joy, and all things worth experiencing.”
    I hope the trip is great. Good for you two!
    I appreciate hearing about your growing into the the real-life relationships, and slowing down online. I have been pushing myself that way, too. It is scary, be exciting, too. I feel like a lot of the online stories and relationships have helped to equip me to love the folks in my own community better. It’s especially helped me in the realm of relating to other women well.

    (p.s. I’m a college drop out, too…)

  20. Brigid says:

    Hi Lauren, thank you so much for posting this!
    I can definitely relate (not with the marrying and dropping out part)..but in the way where an opportunity like this almost falls from the sky and you have to make the strong decision for yourself if you are really ready for such an experience in your heart. It is definitely a leap of faith because you will not know if you’re truly ready for what you’re going to face until you’re physically there. I was given the opportunity to go on my very first missionary trip ever..and it will be in Calcutta this upcoming May. I will be there for a week, and I am already extremely nervous for it. I know there’s no way to prepare myself except to continue my service work near my campus, pray, and watch documentaries on Mother Teresa and service work (I HIGHLY recommend The Human’s on Netflix). I will make sure to keep you and your husband in my prayers. This is definitely something to be made into an effing big deal, not many people ever get a chance to ever do this. I will make sure I read up on your experience and use it to help prepare myself. God bless you!!

  21. Allison says:

    “I had a thousand reasons why it was inconvenient, and not a single reason why I shouldn’t go. My whole life up to this point has been excruciatingly inconvenient, and I’m beginning to believe it may be the secret to happiness, joy, and all things worth experiencing.”

    OHHHhhh my goodness, yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In March I plan to move (!!!) to South Korea (!!!) by myself (!!!) to teach English, and I am terrified, but also mostly so so so so so excited! I applaud your bravery in leaving the country for the first time. Most people never take this kind of opportunity, and it takes real courage to step out of your comfort zone like this. I can’t wait to follow your journey in Bangladesh! All the best to you and Max!

  22. I totally get making a big effing deal out of your trip. I did the same thing when I went to Africa in June. I posted about it, instagramed it and shared with anyone who would listen. It was about the Jesus in me becoming bigger and going to a faraway place, another culture and to love them.

    I came home and I talked even more, posted even more, blogged even more. Six months later I still am talking about it.

    It’s all good to make a big effing deal.

    As Always,


  23. Hannah says:

    Oh my goodness! YEAH, this should definitely be made a big effing deal out of, it’s awesome! Have a blast πŸ™‚ God bless!

  24. Liz says:

    Lauren! I am going to Thailand in two days and I feel the same way… going to the moon. I will be praying for your heart to grow.

  25. Kylie Potter says:

    I went to Alaska last summer for 10 days too. I didn’t even leave the country, I didn’t drop out of school and I didn’t quit my job either. But I made a HUGE deal about it because I was SO excited from the first day I heard about it. Here I am almost 7 months later and I still think about Alaska everyday. I am planning on spending my entire summer there this year – and I eventually want to move there! I’m making a huge deal about that because just like you said, “because people and women and Jesus and traveling and the world should probably always be big effing deals and to make it a little deal is kind of not fun to me.” God is going to move so much in your life and it will change you. It’s terrifying and I remember the first day that we were at Camp before the campers came and I was like, ‘How did I get here? What did I just get myself into??’ But God showed up and provided and it was the BEST 10 days of my life. Incredible. I am so excited to hear about your trip and strap on those glittery binoculars. I will be praying for you! <3

  26. Lauren Jean says:

    As some one who has lived in another country for a year, and been to 19 different countries, let me just say, YES, THIS IS A BIG DEAL. It’s a big deal, because you’re going into it wanting it to make a difference. It’s a big deal because it will change you. It’s a big deal, because it is new. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t let them get you discouraged or inexperienced. Whether this is your first trip, or your 100th trip, it should be a big deal. If it’s not, it probably means you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Best wishes for you, and many, many prayers!

    Sorry if this is oversharing, but if you have to take malaria pills, just be aware, it can affect your period! Learned that one the hard way. Just always be prepared, ESPECIALLY overseas.

  27. It IS a big effing deal! For me too! And while I have been out of the country, I’ve never been as far as this…and I’ve never left my kids or my husband for so long either! Hold my hand on the plane?! I bought propel pkts today and got some ambien for the plane…it’s all gonna be great my friend and I cannot…CANNOT wait to meet you and do this crazy thing together! PS. I LOVE that you took a picture of the giant map on the wall at Passport Health too…I did the same thing! πŸ™‚ See you in 2 weeks Lauren! Hugs – Logan (you’re equally nervous and excited travel buddy)


  1. […] Bangladesh with Max, Daniel, Lindsey, Logan, and Joy. You can read about the birth of this trip here and you can follow our trip page here. You can also follow the hashtag #fhbloggers on Twitter and […]

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