"Laura now feels more calm and cared for in His loving grace."
From Seeker To Decider
In March 2016, Laura McHugh, a facilities engineer and artist, was dealing with a very challenging personal situation of a relationship nature. It was clearly not all within her control as to how things were going to progress, if at all, but she was still thinking she could be in control if she just said or did the right things. Oh – if only she could just figure out what those “right things” were. It was a heavy burden.
One night while sitting on the couch, very much wrestling with trying to pinpoint that “right thing”, Laura was frustrated, depressed and just overwhelmed. Nothing was working. Crying and beside herself, she went down on her knees to the floor with her head down on the couch, praying. Now you need to know Laura was raised atheist. At 57, she had little to no religious vocabulary, training, or really any idea of who God was. However, she considered herself spiritual and did believe very much in the existence of a higher power. But in praying on the couch that night, she was most definitely speaking to God, asking specifically for Him to lift the burden of where this relationship would go. “Take it off me” is what she asked and prayed.
Laura didn’t spend a long time there, but after a few minutes and after the sobbing subsided, she could hear a little voice saying, “You know, if you are going to pray, you may want to think about going to church!”
Moving to HMB eleven years ago, Laura had not attended any churches. She didn’t even know many people who had attended church, but she had heard of Mariners because Mark Heath was her chiropractor.
Laura wiped her eyes, took a deep breath, and got herself back up on the couch. She clicked onto Facebook to catch up with friends and family, and within 90 seconds of signing on, there was a private message from her friend, Karen Madson, asking if she would be willing to help with a work-related project they had discussed. She had no idea where or who the project was for, but they had discussed it briefly, so she said, “Yes” and asked her for more details. Karen replied, “Mariners Community Church vision project.”
Well, Laura about fell off the couch. If that wasn’t a sign! She started on the project with Karen and the team in April 2016 and started attending Mariners in August, after the major data collection task was completed.
Laura began her journey on the seeker’s path in August 2016, and since then, has been comforted by the Mariners community, the sermons, and worship services she attends nearly every week. Laura feels a bit lost if she misses a week.
In July 2017, Laura’s journey evolved to saying the Decider’s Prayer nearly every night, when she invited God to show up in her life. She continues to learn more about God, Jesus and the history of Christianity through reading the Bible. And now, she can say that Jesus is her ‘higher power’ helping her each day to be a better person. Laura now feels more calm and cared for in His loving grace.
Laura joined a LifeGroup a few months ago and those discussions and meetings have complemented the weekly services. The world is such a difficult place right now and being a part of Mariners and finding God has helped her remember what we are here to do, which is place our faith fully in God. He will take care of us.