Born to make a difference

Verna Laboy

Minister, elder, community activist, Columbia
One would never know today that Verna Laboy went into Freedom seminar insecure, uncomfortable in her own skin and afraid to share her life story.

Gil and Verna Laboy, Columbia.

“In addition to all the horrible things that happened in my life, I was finding it difficult to embrace myself,” she said. “A friend believed I deserved to go to Freedom Seminar and gave it to me as a gift.”

Through the seminar she learned to not be afraid to tell her story. “I just put myself out there and told the stories that I kept locked and secret,” she said flashing her winning smile. “I was secure and confident that no one could hurt me if I didn’t give them permission.”

She was overwhelmed by the fact that she bonded with 20 total strangers at the seminar.  “I went in a broken, black woman,” she said.  “I came out a whole woman who happens to be black. I realized there are more people for me than against me.”

If you go to Verna’s house whether you enter from the front or the back door you will notice the word Respect. “Freedom taught me to respect myself and the experiences I’ve been through and to honor and respect other people, all people, no matter what they think of me or how they treat me.

“I have a respect for life, a more healthy life view, as a result of going through the work that happens as a result of Freedom Seminar.  I was full of stinkin’ thinkin’. I needed a tune-up. Russ and Pat Hardesty and all the Trainers helped me get just that.”

We look at life from such a limited perspective. I call it caterpillar perspective. This is a very appropriate analogy for me. Ever heard of the children’s book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar?” In essence it’s the caterpillars job to eat. Most caterpillars don’t really eat apples, pears and oranges like the one in Eric Carle’s […]

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