Meet Dorina, Featured Brave Story

We are excited to introduce you to Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young – author, speaker, Bible teacher, and spoken word artist.

Dorina’s passion, as she states it, is “helping people discover God’s glory in unexpected places and flourish in their God-given callings. I want you to become a glory chaser with me – running after God’s glory rather than our own. This has made a world of difference in every facet of my life.”

Family Legacy

As a youngster, her parents brought her up in an environment of learning and she realized early on that she had a passion for writing. Her mom and her teacher both recognized her abilities and championed her gifts, strengths, and talents.

Dorina explains, “I fell in love with words when I was a little girl. My mama used to read books to me before bed and recite poetry. The words of Robert Frost and Langston Hughes danced in my head each night as I drifted off to sleep…”

Dorina spent time in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother learning traditional and family-favorite dishes which inspired her to write a children’s book titled, Cora Cooks Pancit. She loves bringing family and culture into her writing. Children’s books have been a perfect venue for that with two more published:

  • A Stone in the Soup A Hmong Girl’s journey to the United States
  • Children of the San Joaquin Valley

Her Story of Grief and Healing

Dorina is a young, vibrant woman with lots of creative energy and achievements to her humble credit. You would not know it upon meeting her, but she has been through some of life’s hardest and most painful experiences. She is a person who, like Jesus, is acquainted with grief. 

The death of her husband was caused by Melanoma, a skin cancer. The loss of Ericlee, also the father of her children, was a tremendous heartbreak that left a gaping hole that only God could fill. Through her pain, grief, and having to find a new path for her and her girls, she has learned so much. She has written about her experience and shared transparently with others. She is an encouraging resource for others dealing with and managing life with grief. 

Dorina explains, 

“I knew that God gave me the gift of words to influence and encourage others, but I never imagined that it would be in the way of grief. I realize now that it is my ministry to help others navigate through grief. Every grief is unique and there is no timeline. We don’t ever arrive at a finish line when it comes to grief, but we always have that opportunity to move forward. Some days are one step backwards and other days two or three steps forwards. We need to give ourselves and others the grace to do that.”

For Dorina, it is an opportunity to live out her husband’s legacy while moving forward. 

We ask ourselves, “What did Ericlee value? Faith, family, love of running, reaching out to community. That is what helps us as a family – doing what he loved and remembering what he was passionate about.”

Ericlee and Dorina had a longtime friend named Shawn who they met on a mission trip in Haiti where they ran a camp for kids. Shawn also loved running, but lived in another state. They would often pray together that Shawn would find a wife one day. Unbeknownst to Dorina, they had been praying for her future and the future of their daughters as well. As only God can divinely do, he brought the two together to be married and be a family!

Shawn and Dorina love running. They coach Jr. High Track & Field and also coach a team called “Remember Haiti”. The team consists of people of all ages in their local area to train for a half marathon to raise monies for projects in Haiti.

They love running so much that they wrote a book together titled, Walk, Run, Soar which was recently released in September, 2020.

“As a runner, you want to accomplish your physical goals. But deep down, you long for your training to be a more meaningful experience – engaging your body, mind, soul, and spirit.”

Walk, Run, Soar is a 52-week devotional and training journal designed for runners who hope to experience God’s presence, purpose, and glory in a deeper way as they run. Dorina and her triathlete husband, Shawn, will get you moving with a new motivation: improving your spiritual health. 

Along with weekly devotions to inspire you, Walk, Run, Soar includes:

  • practical running/training tips
  • training schedules from a running and triathlon coach
  • advice on how to fuel your body well
  • reflection questions and action steps
  • space to journal and record your running progress

Whether you are new to running or a longtime runner, Walk, Run, Soar will motivate you to hit your fitness goals while strengthening your faith.

On Being a Career Woman

Balancing career and family isn’t easy, but Dorina seems to do it with such grace. She has written two Bible studies (Flourishing Together and Glory Chasers) and is working on a third (Create in Me a Heart of Mercy for Revell), coaching, raising her girls, and sending out her weekly email, Glorygram. She hosts an online “Prayer & Devos with Dorina” on Friday mornings, and blesses others with her public speaking at events and retreats. Dorina also heads up “Lead Loved,” an organization for Christian women leaders to connect, be equipped, and rest.

Shawn encouraged her to step back from teaching at the university to pursue the dream of writing and speaking as an entrepreneur, which allowed her to go all in on her passion and really start to thrive.

Goals are also important to keep yourself accountable and set you up for progress in your work. Dorina explains how she writes when the children are in school, but when on a deadline, she gives herself a goal of 500 words, 4 days a week. This gives her a tangible goal to work toward each week that she can stick to.

Since this season of pandemic we’ve all been in, Dorina has had to put some of her personal projects aside to be fully hands-on with her 3 daughters’ (ages 9, 11, 14) schooling at home.

Stay Connected With Dorina

You can find updates on Dorina, her family, and the brave messages she is sharing on Facebook and Instagram. To find out more about her platform, speaking, books, or running community, check out her website here, and make sure to sign up for her newsletter. Make sure to also check out the Walk Run Soar podcast, which she and her husband, Shawn, co-host.

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