Pursuing a PASSION
In her own words, high school senior Pauletta Lamb was “that person that nobody ever noticed, the one who wore a mask no one could see through” throughout her childhood and early adolescence. However, with the Lord’s help, this bright and ambitious young woman has developed an acute awareness of the needs of others and an intense drive to “fix” and “help” others informed by her own experience.
“I lived with my mom until I was 12,” Pauletta explains, her expression grim. “To look at her, you wouldn’t know that she was depressed, but she was. She didn’t have a will to live, really, so she didn’t care about much else, including me and my sisters. She was frustrated and angry and took it out on us…all the time.”
When Pauletta was 12, she went to live with her 22-year-old sister, but her hopes for a peaceful existence and happy home were once again crushed. “She wasn’t ready to be a mom,” Pauletta admits with a shrug. “It was good for a while, but it didn’t last.”
Three years after moving in with her sister, Pauletta came to live at Baptist Children’s Home, Owasso.
“I remember walking in and putting my stuff down and feeling like I could breathe for the first time since I could remember,” Pauletta says, reliving the memory with a smile. “I felt peace, like I was finally home.”
Up until that point, Pauletta had just been surviving emotionally, acting and reacting to please others and protect herself. She’d never had a chance to consider what was going on in her own heart and mind. “I always was the one who cheered people up, but no one ever knew what was going on with me,” Pauletta says. “I didn’t stand out. I wasn’t one of the popular kids, and I never got first for anything. I never got last, either. I was just there, looked over. I had friends, yes, but I wasn’t close to them. I became depressed when I was around 10 years old. My grandma died when I was nine, and it hit me hard. She was my protector. We were all close to her, and when she was gone, I felt completely alone.”
The loving, patient adults at OBHC helped Pauletta see that she was not alone, that she never had been. “When I first moved here, I knew who God was, but there was no relationship there. I knew He was out there, but that’s it. I thought I was a Christian, but I wasn’t. Here, they taught me that it’s about building a relationship with Him, about just saying, ‘Hey, God, I’m here. What do you want me to do?”
Pauletta accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior at Falls Creek in August of 2012. Pastor Larry Lehr of Council Valley Baptist Church guided her in a prayer of salvation on the porch of their Falls Creek cabin one night after evening service. “He made sure that I knew what I was doing and what it meant to be saved,” Pauletta recounts. “It was still a twisty, turny, bumpy road for me after that, but it changed things for me. I was a different person, and it motivated me in a lot of ways. It gave me something to look forward to. I knew that there was a reason that I was here, a reason that God put me on this earth. Before, I didn’t care about the future. I thought it was an accident that I was here.”
Pauletta pauses a moment before continuing. “I don’t really like to think of where I was before that because it was a dark place, but that’s where light seemed to open up on the trail, not all at once, obviously. It has taken a lot to get where I am today, and there’s always room for improvement and change, but with Christ on my side, I know I can fulfill His purpose. I know that it’s possible for me to learn to treat people the way that I wish I had been treated. I’m not saying my relationship with Him is perfect, but it motivates me every day to get up and do what I’m meant to do, take care of people who have been in my situation.”
You can can read the rest of Pauletta’s story in Rejoicing in Hope. To order your free copy, call (405)942-3800 ext. 4628.