I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:13
I’m an only child and lost my dad shortly before moving to New York in 1993. Once in the city, I began church hopping. When I visited Fifth Avenue, I was quickly drawn to the sermons, the vibrancy of the congregation and the outreach opportunities. A few years later, my mom (whom I was very close to) was diagnosed with cancer. I was very concerned. How would I manage, how would I deal with her illness, what would I do at Christmas, how could I go on without her? A dear friend said, “Lori, you can make this a self-fulfilling prophecy, or you can take action and do something about it. Action cures fear.”
Right about that time, I was reviewing the Adult Education classes available at the church and found something I didn’t expect: classes on Death & Dying, and Spirituality & Healing. I promptly signed up, despite being worried I’d embarrass myself and not be able to keep my composure. These courses were transformative. They gave me a constructive framework to process my mom’s illness and my grief. When my mom did pass away, it was the most difficult
thing I’ve ever been through, but I felt as though I had tools and resources (and my future husband, Andy Craven) to help me through.
That experience kindled my interest in becoming a Stephen Minister and eventually to serve as a Deacon. At each stage I had concerns, but remembering that “action cures fear” and that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” has provided me with the courage and strength to take on new challenges, spiritual and otherwise.
Dear good and gracious Lord, I am grateful for my loving family, friends and spiritual family. Thank you for resiliency, Lord. Please help us weather the storms of life by looking for your blessings that may be hidden in our circumstances. Please let us be aware that our seemingly simple words and actions can be transformative to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Lori Lauman is a Deacon at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.