God's Impeccable Timing

By Judy Ringstaff -  December 2, 2020


God's Impeccable Timing

Lauri Hughes attempted to take her life, but God had other plans for this precious soul. 

Two and a half years ago, the Petoskey Church chose to do a Bible Study Offer card mailing. As church members prepared the cards for mail, Lauri Hughes attempted to take her own life. 

Hughes was not yet part of the Petoskey church family. She had been raised Catholic, but was attending a Baptist church at the time of her attempted suicide. Hughes woke up in the hospital and, furious that she had not died, directed all of her anger and distrust towards God. 

When she returned to her home a week later, Hughes found a Bible Study Offer card in her mailbox. Despite her earlier anger and cynicism towards God, she saw the card as a sign. “‘God, this is it,” she said and responded to the offer, signing up for Bible studies. 

Initially, Hughes believed the studies would be mailed to her, just as the card had been placed in her mailbox. To her surprise, Petoskey member Brad Jones came to her door. 

Hughes was open to personal Bible studies and even seemed to welcome that they would study together. As they studied the It is Written Bible study guides, Hughes was open to everything Jones shared. She carefully asked questions so that she completely understood the material. 

“The Sabbath made perfect sense to her,” Pastor Cody Francis said. Hughes had always wondered why her church and other denominations kept the first day of the week, as the fourth commandment explicitly pointed to the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. Hughes thought our message was special because we believe that the seventh day is the Sabbath. 

Amazingly, just two weeks after beginning studies, Hughes attended the Petoskey church for the first time. “Brad was pretty persuasive,” Hughes said. Jones explained that he just indicated the importance of fellowship and church family—and she came! New Bible study contacts usually do not begin attending church so soon. 

The Petoskey church warmly welcomed Hughes. “They took me in like I was family,” she said. “I’ve never been to a church quite like this one.” As soon as she walked through the doors of the church, members adopted her, befriending and mentoring her.

For the last two years, Jones and Hughes have continued studying together. They finished the It Is Written Bible study guides, which laid a solid foundation through studies in Daniel. Hughes completed a few Shawn Boonstra studies as well. 

Hughes attended various seminars, and she wanted to be baptized and join this church family. But first she wanted to quit smoking… and it was a struggle! By the grace of God, during the COVID-19 lockdown, she won the battle over cigarettes.  

On the third Sabbath in July, Hughes was baptized into the Petoskey church. 

Hughes’ story speaks of a God who is all-knowing and wise. His timing is perfect. Hughes and Jones are still studying today—instead of Daniel and Revelation, they are studying the Discipleship handbook. 

Hughes is a light in her own apartment complex now. When one has received the truth, they cannot help but share it. “She’s been blessed,” Jones said, speaking of Hughes, “but it’s been a blessing to me, as well.” 

Hughes’ story should be an inspiration for us all. She was just one responder to the thousands of cards mailed into the Petoskey area. “But if you get one soul,” Francis said, “it’s always worth it.” One person is always worth it. There are people all around you, just waiting for you to share your light. Jones jokes of his “ninety-year old memory.” Despite his age, he was willing to share his light, and God blessed his efforts. 

We have nothing to be afraid of. The God who reached down and touched Hughes’ life will be with you always.