July 2023 Viewpoint
A few months ago, I became acquainted with Lavon Brown by email. Even in written messages, she radiates enthusiasm for the Gospel and gratitude to God. The joy in her soul is infectious! Sister Lavon is planning to attend the Portland camp meeting this year for the first time, so if you have the pleasure of meeting her here, you will learn what I am talking about. I promise that you will walk away from her feeling encouraged.
Once you know her story, experiencing Sister Lavon’s beaming smile and exuberant spirit could easily cause you to wonder, How can this be? Just over ten years ago, Sister Lavon lost one of her sons by homicide. In her testimony (click here to read it), she tells that when given the news every parent dreads, she turned to the only One who could help her. In God she found grace, strength, healing, and everything else she needed. In time, He also restored her joy in abundance.
Sister Lavon explains that healing from trauma does not happen overnight; it is a process that takes place over days, weeks, and years. Before losing her son, she already had a habit of spending time alone with the Lord every day, going to church weekly, and also attending camp meeting in Florida every year. These were all opportunities for God to supply her with whatever she needed from Him.
Sister Lavon says that she goes to camp meeting each year with a purpose to receive something from God. Since we never know what a year will bring, she always asks God to prepare her for whatever will come next. One year at camp, God impressed upon her, “‘Thank God’ is the answer.” She put that lesson into practice right away. Whether dealing with business decisions, anxiety attacks, sickness, or anything else, she would start thanking God for His blessings. Soon, the challenges would evaporate! In their place was gratitude.
At another camp meeting, the Lord gave Sister Lavon the simple instruction, “Walk ye in it.” She understood that God already had a plan for her life, and that she does not need to figure out why certain events happen or what would come next. She only needs to walk in the path God has planned for her, and reach out to help anyone God brings her way. That instruction has helped her to become a tremendous blessing in her Pensacola, Florida, community, especially to other families impacted by homicide.
How is it that an individual who has experienced such terrible tragedy can become a beacon of hope and joy? Only by the grace, hope, and help found in the Lord. We pray that Sister Lavon’s testimony, and every other article in this magazine, will give you courage and confidence to walk the path God has set before you. We believe the Lord will help you all along the way.