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Laura Dyuran - LT JG (USN)

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ltjg.jpgFrom growing up in church, of the Southern Baptist type, my path to salvation was relatively simple when I came forward at the age of seven to receive the gift at a First Baptist Church in Ozark Missouri during the year 2003. There on, my growth in the faith gradually grew starting with nightly personal prayer and reading a passage or two of my Bible. I became more serious about my faith when I was a preteen where I got involved in a few women’s Bible studies with my mom’s Bible study group and I found interest in apologetics.

However, growing up in church and constantly being around faith filled people and environments lead me to times of serious doubting if my faith was real. Afterall, you can go to church and never be a Christian and Jesus states in Matthew 7:23 “…I never knew you; depart from Me…” Nevertheless, I always ended up circling back being comfortable in my faith. After high school, I attended the faith- based College of the Ozarks for my B.S in Dairy Science, minoring in Chemistry, and completing the pre-veterinary program. I thought for sure that being an Army Veterinarian was where God wanted me because it lined up with my interests of animals and want to serve others and travel. Towards the end of my college career, I had the feeling that vet school was a grasping of the wind and that was proven when I was denied a school interview. I did what was natural of a retired EOD Naval Officer’s daughter by calling the Navy recruiter. That is where my faith started to see action.

First it was small witnessing and ministry moments at Officer Candidate School and then on my ship, which is what I expected for my navy career until covid came and flipped our lives. The ship I was assigned to deployed at the first covid-19 vaccine rollout, and I had a strange objection to taking it and that was outside of my obedient character. Such started the rejection of following a strong suggestion, as the vaccine was not mandatory at the time, and that continued into submitting a religious exemption to not take the vaccine. Faith became most real to me when I was the only commission officer denied the freedom to step off the brow for liberty in foreign ports due to not being immunized. This is where I was at my deepest and asking God “Why?! None of this makes sense and where is the good in this! I’m pushing through for You, but I just keep repeatedly getting pushed down or shorted!” That is where I found the absolute confidence in faith because there were no regrets of refusing the order and I could almost physically feel my knees on solid ground.

After deployment, I found the Missions to Military ministry where I received comfort and encouragement of likeminded people who became like family.