Member Story

A family reunion with Jesus

How Laura Meyer saw prayers answered as she answered God’s call.

WordGo · 5 min read

In 5th grade, Laura said to her mother: “Mom, there are people who talk about Jesus like they know Him, and they can say things that are in the Bible without even looking at it! Why can’t we do that?”

Laura came to know the Lord very young through a church children’s program. Hearing people talk about Jesus with fervent familiarity ignited a fascination with God’s Word that has lasted her whole life. Today, she’s a Teaching Leader for a BSF women’s class in South Bend, Indiana — a position she’s held for 17 years, teaching and talking about Jesus with hundreds of women.

But if you ask Laura, there’s one woman she sincerely loved to talk about Jesus with: Mom.

Laura’s favorite moments with Mom were the afternoons they’d sit on her back porch, and Mom would say, “Oh, I just couldn’t wait to hear what God had to say to me this morning.” God had transformed Mom in her 60’s, rooting her in a habit of deep Bible study. Jesus was her friend—she wanted to know Him personally. But Laura also recalled:

“My mom prayed for my family her whole life.”

Laura’s family members are all over the map regarding belief in God, church attendance, and Bible knowledge. Can you relate? For believers who know and love Jesus, family members are often our deepest, constant concern – our worry and longing for them to know Jesus is always there. Like Laura says, “You just want so bad for them to believe what you believe and see it the way you see it.”

So what do we do? Laura’s story offers us incredible encouragement: God invited her to join the work He was already doing. 

In January 2023, years after her mother’s death, Laura received a surprising call from a niece in Arizona. “She says, ‘Aunt Laura, I think grandma would be so happy if I was in a Bible study with you.’ I was like, oh my goodness, someone in my family wants to do a Bible study!” Already halfway into a year of BSF, Laura offered to host an online WordGo Study for her three daughters and niece in the summertime.

But God had even greater plans. In July 2023, Laura’s family of seven siblings and 25 nieces and nephews gathered from all over the United States for the first time in years. “At the reunion, I looked around and thought, why limit this WordGo study to four?” But Laura will tell you:

“The text invites I sent out after – I was literally shaking in my shoes.”

If you ask anyone in Laura’s family, they’d say how much she loves Jesus – she teaches Bible study and always writes Jesus in her Christmas letter. She’s the one who prays at family meals and in dire or devastating times. But for the majority, joining Laura in Bible study was a new idea. The women in her family reacted to her invitations with degrees of excitement, rejection, curiosity, and trepidation.

Despite a few hard no’s, the abundance of yesses brought tears to Laura’s eyes. One who’d never attended church confessed, “I don’t know a thing about the Bible.” But when Laura said, “well, you come to learn,” she replied: “What do I have to lose? Sign me up!” Two who’d never read the Bible said: “Yes, we’d love to!” Altogether, Laura received 15 acceptances from daughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nieces’ cousins.

But Laura's nerves still set in on the first study night of WordGo Ephesians: Unity in Christ. "I almost backed out. I could have let it go. I was afraid, I thought, who's gonna come? Are they really gonna do it? My husband looked at me and goes, 'Are you gonna be okay?' and I said, 'I just don't wanna blow this.'"

Why is talking to family about Jesus and God's Word so difficult? For many of us, there is so much to lose. What if they get offended? What if they don't understand? What if they only stay on the surface? What if they say something blasphemous? Or, worst of all, what if we scare them away from Jesus? But amidst these fears, Laura learned an encouraging truth:

“I can’t save anybody. But they’re in God’s Word; the Holy Spirit is at work. There is so much more to gain than lose.”

For Laura, the God-given gains have left her completely speechless. Across the four weeks of Ephesians, there was never a quiet moment; the discussion was vibrant, and family members willingly offered their thoughts and answers to questions – even if they didn’t quite understand or know what to say. And while Laura’s family delighted in being together, Laura trusted God to work in their hearts. 

Week after week, the women craved their Thursday night gathering, and by the end of Ephesians, they only wanted more. The short WordGo study made such an impact that they’re now all doing the 30-week BSF John Study together. Family members are inviting other family members and friends, and Laura’s online Zoom group on Thursdays is growing exponentially: “It just keeps going! I’m amazed; I’m like, God, what are you doing?!”

Today, Laura is witnessing her family members baring their souls. She’s connecting with them over their hearts’ true concerns. She’s seeing family members relate across distance like never before. She’s watching the desire to join spread by God’s power, not her own effort. Laura describes it as the blossoming of a seed in every one of their hearts that knows they need it. Every night, she looks at the screen and thinks:

“My mom prayed for this. And I’m getting to see the fruit of her prayers. I’m seeing what my mom always wanted for her family.”

Looking back now, Laura cannot imagine what her life would have been like if she had surrendered to her fear instead of God’s call. “What if I hadn’t said yes to my niece? What if, when I was at the reunion, I said to God, ‘All of them? No, that’s a lot, God. They’re too hard. I don’t wanna do it.’ I would have missed so much. God is doing something now: This has changed my family. This is changing my family.”

For all those who love the Lord, love their family, and long for them to know Jesus, Laura offers a final encouragement.

“It comes down to the question: How do you respond to Jesus’s authority in your life? When God asks you to do something, don’t run for the hills. If God is at all in the back of your mind telling you to reach out, He is the One saying, This is who I'm pursuing. Would you like to join me in the pursuit? It’s like John the Baptist. Our job is to point them to Jesus. We don’t want them to love us more; we want them to love Jesus. Be courageous and invite them; you won’t regret it!”