The Rev Charlene Lauver
For I am sure of this very thing,
that the one who began a good work
will perfect it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
Dear Family of God,
I find myself wanting to begin by saying, “Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God You are higher than any other, Our God is Healer, awesome and power, Our God, Our God. And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us, And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?”
These are the words to a song Chris Tomlin wrote. These words are the song in my heart that brings forth praise and adoration to Him for all that He is and has done for me.
My life’s journey began in pain. The abuse I endured spoke into me that I was the little girl no one could ever love or want. At the age of five God overpowered the Father of lies by speaking into me His truths in the midst of my tears. His words, “You are the little girl I desire and love more than any pain you will suffer.” God’s voice became the voice of strength and courage from that day forth. His love has carried me through the hardest of places and the strongest of storms.
My ministry (if I were to give it a name) is God’s Wounded Healer. The Holy Spirit reversed all that was meant for evil to be used for good. As it is written, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what now is being done, the saving of many lives (Genesis 50:20). The ministries that God has called me into have risen up out of the ashes of my suffering. Intimacy with my Lord, perseverance in the power of the spirit and a desire to serve Him has led me to chaplaincy and a call to be a pastor. My life exemplifies the Scripture passage “through Christ Jesus all things are possible” (Philippians 4:13). As a chaplain, I specialize in the Behavioral Health Department. I completed two years of Clinical Pastoral Education in the VA hospital in Pittsburgh. Along with my training and the Holy Spirits guidance I have seen many lives rescued from hopelessness and demonic oppression.
By the Spirits guidance I completed my religious studies through Greater Works Bible School. I received my ordination on July 17, 2013. I am presently a pastor of Trinity Chapel located in my home town of DuBois, PA. As a pastor my heart cry is to bring His people into an intimate relationship with the Lord through the Holy Spirit making disciples to save a broken/lost world. Like Job, I desire for His people to “see Him with their own eyes.”
As you read this all seems so neat and tidy with a red ribbon holding it perfectly together. I dare not leave you with this impression. The journey has been filled with many trials and heartaches that I thought would surely break me to pieces. I find my life to reflect the image of cracked glass. My God, who is the perfect potter holds each piece in His hands and fuses my brokenness with His holiness. Together He makes me more than I ever imagined myself to be. He is the substance that holds the pieces together. When His light shines through my woundedness His glory shines through my life experiences – Genesis 50:20 becomes truth… my truth, Alleluia, Alleluia.
I have experienced miracles, signs and wonders in my life’s journey. He has saved my life through dreams, opened my son’s eyes to see who had been pronounced blind following an accident, God kept me in the shadow of His mighty protection for I was unharmed, un-touched by the flames of fire that en-gulfed me. Do I believe in the story of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego? Oh yes, my Lord.
However, like Job I would face my greatest trial, one that would take me to what is commonly known as “the dark night of the soul.” I, after many faithful years of service in my church, began to hear God’s call in my life to become a pastor. I traveled the journey of continuous education, discernment, and a progression of meeting the requirements to be ordained for nearly five years. I was one month away from receiving my ordination and the door was shut. I felt sure this could not be God’s will for me. It shook my faith to the core. For three years I felt lost and forsaken. But even though my faith was shaken God was faithful. He was preparing the way for something greater. I was called to face my Isaac and lay down my call to ministry on the altar of sacrifice. After much grief and pain I was able to say with the spirits help, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
I, today have been given, literally given a church in my community to grow. A word was spoken by the Lord that this would be so. His word has come to pass. That which I dreamed for the future is now my present. I am living it out by His grace and mercy, His loving kindness, and His promises are sure. The most important gift I would like to leave you with is this, “His ways are not our ways, His are so much higher. Lean not on your own understanding. Allow God to give you His best even when all looks as though it is lost forever. Most importantly, lay it all down for nothing is as important as the love relationship we have with our Lord and Savior in the power of the Holy Spirit.
He must be our all so that His all will be ours.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you always.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” (James 1:17-18)