Porch Stories: Laura Eldredge Hero Image
Porch Stories: Laura Eldredge Hero Image
Jun 27, 2019 / 4 min

Porch Stories: Laura Eldredge

The Porch

“I was walking down McKinney Ave in Uptown Dallas, drunk in a short dress from one bar to the next,” said Laura Webb, “when someone reached out to hand me a gospel tract. I politely placed my hand up to say ‘No thank you, I’m already a...’ when the words wouldn’t come out of my mouth. I realized that from the outside looking in, no one would have guessed I was a believer.

“I’ve always been stubborn and independent with an, ‘I can take on the world and I can do it on my own,’ attitude. I trusted Christ at a young age and served in leadership positions in our small-town church in North Carolina. I had a deep affection for God and His Word and would study and share it fearlessly as a kid.

“I knew God wanted to use me, but I misunderstood His love for me. I wanted so desperately to feel beautiful and wanted, but I was too prideful to let anyone know. Instead, I was determined to hide my pain and prove to myself that I was worthwhile in other ways. I quickly found my answer on the stage in dance, music, singing, and songwriting. As I grew up, I chased the dream of a career in country music.

“My music career took off when I went to Baylor University. I was traveling and doing gigs on my own. I loved the business side of building a career, and somewhere along the line, people became a means to build my own kingdom.”

“In college I took pride in being the ‘good girl’ of the bad crowd and the ‘bad girl’ of the good crowd. I was living my dream – freedom, excitement, drinking, guys, popularity, and risk-taking. I loved breaking the rules and getting away with it and depended on my ability to weasel my way out of trouble. At some point, the Lord gave me over to my heart’s deceitful desires, and I stopped feeling guilty about things I once knew were wrong. As the risks got bigger, so did the consequences, and by God’s grace, I lost the ability to escape them.

“After college, I moved to Dallas to continue my music career. I wanted to find a church, and some friends invited me to The Porch. I showed up there in a totally inappropriate outfit, with no idea how much I was worth to my Heavenly Father. In community, we read a book about the anonymity Jesus lived in for the first three decades of His life. Jesus worked behind the scenes for years before He started public ministry. I felt a real tugging on my heart from God about the value I’d placed on my career and being noticed.

“I was in the middle of recording my second album when God started shaking things up, and I knew I should stop pursuing country music. I canceled all shows and stopped recording, and stopped dating and drinking, too. That is when my focus turned completely to the Lord, and true transformation in Christ began.

“I took Equipped Disciple classes at Watermark, where I reexplored the foundation of the gospel and began practicing the spiritual disciplines on a regular basis. I found peace in wanting Christ and nothing else. My entire life changed when I got rid of everything that was hindering me from being ‘all in’ with Jesus. Nothing I valued before could ever compare to the joy I found in full devotion to Christ.

“I took part in the Watermark Institute in 2016-17, and God used that time to strip me of things I once took confidence in so I could learn how to live in Him. God began unravelling the confusing person I’d been so I could find my identity in Christ. At times, I experienced fear and anxiety like I never had before. But that’s when I learned that I’m loved not for what I do, but for exactly who I am. God loved me all along, even when I rebelled.

“With the encouragement of others, I started writing and playing music again, but was convinced I either didn’t have that gift anymore, or if I did, God couldn’t use it. He helped me push through the fear and self-focus as He repurposed my gifts in music in a new way. Today, I use those gifts to serve young adults at The Porch and Watermark.

“If I were talking to someone living in rebellion and heartbreak, I’d want her to know that she is loved…not by the guy staring at her at the bar, or those who admire her talent or beauty. We are far more valuable than that. God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die on a cross so we could be with Him forever. All that’s required is to receive the free gift of grace available to us in Christ. No fleeting high of feeling wanted ever gave the love and intimacy I desired. The only real love I ever found is in Christ.”