By Kay Campbell, The Huntsville Times
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Some people, it seems, you can get a sense of the moment you hear their voice or see their face. For me, meeting Oakwood University psychology major and cancer survivor Laurie Smith, even over the telephone, was like that.
Her love and faith seem to shine from her face. Here is her testimony.
Name: Lauretta Smith (but most people call me “Laurie”), 19
Hometown: Port Charlotte, Fla.
Laurie Smith, a freshman at Oakwood University, overcame cancer as a teenager, a struggle that taught her lessons of faith. (The Huntsville Times/Eric Schultz) November 2011.
Currently: A freshman psychology major at Oakwood University, volunteer at Oakwood University Child Development Lab and a student literature evangelist. Being a literature evangelist means I work with the Literature Evangelistic Training Center witnessing to others about the love of Christ and his gospel of salvation.
What your work teaches you: I realized God's love for me and how my relationship with Him works. All the infants at the daycare service have to depend on one of the volunteers to do most things for them.
Some don't understand the principle of sharing, others are not old enough to read on their own – and the biggest help yet others need is to go higher on the swing.
My relationship with God is the same. His love is conveyed the same way that a teacher would give help to a child.
Tough time your faith helped you get through: At the age of 16, I had cancer. After doctors removed the tumor, I was left with limited sight, speech and my motor skills are still affected.
It was during that time that I had to depend on others to do most things for me.
My life went something like this: When I could not walk, my mother and father had to push me in a wheelchair. When I could not see, I had to depend on others to lead me. When I could not pray for myself, I had to depend on my home church in Florida, fellow members in Bermuda, Canada; students at Andrews University, the youth pastor and members of the Tampa First Church, the prayers of the people around me, and the various church members of the D2L at Forest Lake Academy at which I attended at that time.
Enduring lesson from that time: Now that I am three years clear of cancer, I am still dependent on God to fulfill all of my needs. I figure that I am only here in this world because I depended so much on others and God. What could make me think that I don't need Him anymore?
How you deal with stress: At this point in the school year most students complain about the stress they have trying to finish their freshman year with at least a 2.5 GPA.
I don't know about anyone else, but I know I can't achieve that on my own without the help and grace of God. When I am dealing with stress, I just can't do anything else but trust in Him. That's what we all need to do: "Let go and Let God,” as DeWayne Woods says.
A favorite verse: Do not be afraid or terrified of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
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