Story: Lori D. - as told to Marianne Thompson.
Lori woke up on a Thursday morning with a heavy heart. She had a big decision coming up about a career change that would be a dream job for her, but she worried that she was making the wrong decision. Lori and her husband had a 1 year old little girl that they needed to take care of. In her heart, she knew the correct direction to go, but there were so many unknowns that caused her to not have any peace about the decision.
Lori decided to head to the store with her little girl to pick up a few things. She normally goes to a store near her house but for some reason she passed it and went to another one farther down the road. She was on the phone with her mom crying, not knowing what to do or what direction to go in. Her mother encouraged her to pray and go to church because, according to her mother, that is where she would be able to find her answers. Lori knew her mother was right, but she didn’t know what her first step should be. She had grown up in church, so she knew that she needed to pray and seek God for this big decision but a part of her felt like there was no point, that maybe God wouldn’t even hear her. Lori and her husband had just moved to Hammond 2 years ago. They bounced around to different churches but never really found a place that felt like home.
As Lori was shopping, she tried her best to fight back tears because of all the pressure and stress she was feeling. Between keeping a 1 year old happy, making sure she got everything she needed, and attempting to stay within a budget, she did not even consider that the exact answer she needed would run right into her. A nice man and woman on the same aisle she was on commented to Lori about how beautiful her little girl was. She didn’t think much of it and just said thank you. The couple was extremely friendly so Lori began to talk to the couple about her daughter. They then asked Lori if she went to church anywhere. Lori couldn’t contain her tears. She began to tell the couple that she was looking for a church to attend. The couple told her about The Harbor and what an amazing church it was for them and how it had change their lives. Lori then began to open up to the couple and told them about the career change that was happening in her life and all the stress it was bringing. She explained to them that she knew she needed something to help her with this decision, as well as her day-to-day life. The couple encouraged her with scripture and told her that they would truly pray for her and this decision. They began to tell Lori that she never needed to doubt how much God loved her.
When the couple then explained to Lori where The Harbor was located, she was surprised that the church was literally 4 minutes from her house! It was as if God was letting her know that He had been right here for her the whole time. As she left the store that day, she felt the pressure of the world had been lifted off her shoulders. She felt the love of the Father like she had never felt before. She knew that God loved her and He wanted a real relationship with her. She promised the couple that she would be at church on Sunday and she meant it. When she came through the doors of The Harbor, she felt at home for the first time in a long time. As the pastor began to preach his message that day about letting God show you what door to take and which direction to go, she couldn’t help but smile because she knew once again that God was showing her how much He loved her.
In all the chaos of life at this moment, Lori believes that there is no way she would be able to have such joy and peace if it wasn’t for coming back to church. It is amazing to Lori that God would find her in a grocery store on a random Thursday to show her that what she sought was only 4 minutes away.