LAURA RADWAY Mayer always looked for the child on the playground with no one to play with, and it’s no different today. Her heart is bent toward women and children with broken hearts and lives, and she has devoted her life to speaking worth into theirs.
At the end of the day, every single person wants and needs to know they are valued. Experience may teach us that our value is limited to the things we do for people, but we long to know someone sees good in us and cares for us even if we can’t do anything for them in return. What, then, when we’re just “being” and not “doing”?
Mayer learned early on from her grandfather, Rev. Joe Mayberry, that everyone has value.
She said, “He was so good with people. If we saw someone in public who may have been the kind of person not many would stop to talk to, he always did. Then, he would coach me afterward and explain why he did it. He said everybody matters, and we’re all equal in the eyes of God; we all have value.”
Growing up, Mayer’s parents often took people into their home until they could get back on their feet. That and her grandfather’s influence shaped Mayer’s heart for service. Actually, heart-shaping is her calling.
“I realized I really love public speaking, something a lot of people hate. It’s kind of a weird thing to love, but I realized I loved holding people’s hearts in my hands and motivating them to see themselves as God sees them and to view others that way, too. I love to build people up. I see people living so far below where they could be because of the messages they believed in their lives. You will become what you believe about yourself,” Mayer said.
Mayer was a stay-at-home mom when she first began to feel a stirring for ministry, the details of which weren’t yet clear. She always felt called to be a voice for the voiceless and found her first outreach as co-founder of Clothe Our Kids. Mayer knew a lack of basic necessities like clothes held children back from other developmental areas in life. The organization offers more than clothes, shoes, and duffle bags.
She said, “With Clothe Our Kids, the clothes are just the package the gift is wrapped in. The gift is the confidence we’re giving those kids.”
Soon Mayer sensed God calling her to a broader ministry, specifically women’s ministry. Again, the ministry’s details were not yet clarified, so she completed a four-year accredited ministry program offered through her church, Cornerstone Word of Life, and became a licensed minister while continuing her work as a mom.
Mayer discovered Blue Monarch in Tullahoma, a residential recovery program for women abused or dealing with addictions, poverty, and mental health issues. She followed the program on Facebook and held to a desire within her heart to teach there one day. Before long, the door opened, and Mayer spent a year volunteering with the program. It was a reciprocal blessing.
“I loved being there. Some of my favorite worship times were there with those ladies where we’d have music going before Bible study, and they had their hands raised and were worshiping God with everything they’ve got. God is putting their lives back together because they surrendered, and that’s what it takes. We often think to be a good Christian, we have to work harder to be free. We live in a society addicted to working harder, but freedom always comes after surrendering,” she said.
Surrendering in life and ministry is not unfamiliar to her. It’s an ongoing dance between her and the Lord.
Mayer said, “I don’t have it all mapped out, but I know I want to help people. I know you just keep taking the next right step in front of you. It’s not a destination mentality; it’s “OK, God, I’m yours.” To live every day like you’re dancing with Him is a daily walk; it’s a daily dance. He leads to green pastures and good places.”
While volunteering at Blue Monarch and waiting for clarification on the next steps following Clothe Our Kids, Mayer prayed for discernment. Some offers came, but she had no peace about them.
Amanda Curtis mentioned that one day she’d get Mayer on board at Crossroads Pregnancy Clinic, a center providing care for women and men facing unplanned pregnancies. Mayer was appreciative but knew she didn’t have time. Then one day, Curtis, the executive director, called in need of a client development director. It was the perfect fit and answer to prayer, and Mayer felt it was the job God was calling her to take. She has been there since February 2020.
“I’m walking hand in hand with these girls that want more self-development, helping them know they have value and worth,” she said.
Now a trainer and board-certified mental health coach, her days are filled with her work at Crossroads, traveling and speaking at women’s conferences, and working on her podcast, The Laura Mayer Podcast. The message of her ministry is consistent throughout. As stated on the podcast, she speaks on the topics of depression, self-hatred, anxiety, healthy relationships, and boundaries from a life-giving biblical perspective.
“God gets no glory out of us living broken and wounded,” she said.
After putting some things on the back burner while her children were little, she’s looking ahead and pursuing her master’s degree in mental health counseling and is praying about the next steps from there.
Mayer said, “I think every day you just wake up and say, ‘Lord, what do I do today?’ and minister to the people He’s putting in your path today. Don’t lean on your own understanding, but do it His way today. And if you do that every day, you wake up in the will of God.”
What better place to wake up? GN