Tuesday, August 8, 2017

She's come undone.......

I want you to understand first before I go into this; this is not judgment from me.  This is me being open and honest about my feelings, and what has happened and how God has changed us and continues to change us daily in our walk with Him. We are thankful for everyone and every situation He has given us or put in our paths.

All of it.



We see His gifts and His fruits and we just want more of Him, and want to share Him with all of our friends and family. We want you to know His love and the joy only He can give you.

Something I’ve learned lately is we are not the ones who decide who God will use to speak to us. Not that I thought I would be the one to choose but more like he would use the same type of people for the rest of my life. This is crazy to think about, don’t you think?  Is it because I am such a new-baby-Christian, is this why I thought He would use the same type of people? I’m not sure why I thought that, other than I’m a pretty na├»ve person, childlike, and a lot of times it’s to my detriment.

We moved in May of this year, back to our hometown. We moved from a big city, with many options for dinner, entertainment and friends; friends who were “family” to us. They were so close to us, they knew all the good, all the bad and they all still just loved us – right where we were.  These people were all older than us. They were established in their Christian walk, they appeared to be living for Christ, all were married and married for a long time. They had a good relationship with their husbands/wives/friends. We felt as though they loved us just like Christ loves us….right where we were…..no requirements for change but still learning, of course. They kind of carried us new-baby-Christians for the first 3 years, not carried us like enabling us but carried us like, “Do this, or don’t do that because Christ said this or that about doing such and such……..” they were all mentors to us.  

And, I knew I would miss them all dearly but I didn’t prepare myself for just how much I would miss them. I just never realized once we moved here, I would find myself crying about missing my friends, feeling lonely and as if I didn’t fit in with our new family/friends/church family. Questioning myself, “Was this the right choice?” I missed the fact they knew all the good and the bad about us, they knew how we would respond to a certain situation, they knew what we needed and would call and say, “Come over for a BBQ and just hang out with us,” this would always lead to a talk about the bible and what we have learned or were studying and they would give their insights and fill us up with their knowledge. We always felt good when we left our time with our friends.

In early 2016, I heard a sermon from our Pastor at the time about Mark 5:19 where Jesus said, “Go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful He has been.” I knew God was telling us to move back to Yakima and I thought to myself, “OH NO, NOT back to Yakima – God you know what my old friends believe about me. You know what they think about Jason. Not Yakima God, anywhere BUT Yakima. No. Just No.”  I told Jason what I was hearing, and he said, “No, we won’t be moving back there again, NOT Yakima.”

So, we just prayed about it.

For an entire year, we prayed about it.

A part of me wanted to move home because it’s “home” for me but the main part of me was scared to death because of my past life. My life before Christ and what I was like, my sins, my scarlet letter, all of it…..I kept it in the back of my mind and it was as if Satan was saying, “Don’t forget the bad parts Delinda, you don’t want to move back there, for sure because you  know what everyone there knows about you!”
We finally couldn’t hold off any longer, the voice just kept getting louder and louder about moving, “Go home to family, so you can show them what I’ve done and changed in your life Delinda. Go. Go home.”
God just kept talking to me, and His voice overrode the adversary’s voice – loud and clear. I heard Him tell us, “It’s time now, Go.”

So in March, Jason finally heard the voice too. He heard, “Go, go and use the gifts I’ve given you.” He was still reluctant and putting some things on God like,

“Ok, so if it’s meant to be then, help us find a home.”

Boom. He found us a home.

“Ok, so if it’s meant to be then help us find work, or let our current employers keep us to work remotely.”

Boom. They allowed us to work remotely.

“OK, so if it’s meant to be, make sure the appraisal comes in at such and such value.”

Boom. He made the value *EXACTLY* what we needed it to be on the home we were purchasing.

And this was when Jason was sold on moving and said, “This *IS* God’s will, we gotta go now.”

Fast forward to July.

We found some friends but they certainly didn’t look ANYTHING like we knew prior.  These friends all had a torrid past, (we did too-so no judgment of the sorts) and may not have the crazy amounts of knowledge of the bible like our old friends but they still had bible knowledge. In fact, these friends were pretty much ALL younger than us; ex-addicts, ex-cons, ex-gang-members, ex-prostitutes, ex-drug dealers……you name it, they’ve done it.  And again, please know my heart and where I’m coming from – only from love. I love our new friends, as equally as I love our old friends….they are just different, which does NOT mean bad in anyway shape or form. We all have the same Father, we share the same love and we love all of our friends. God used an entire family; Travis, Diesta, their children, Diesta’s Brother, Jesse and Travis’ Mom, Anna. Their whole family, we fell in love with them and their hearts for Christ.

They invited us to attend a rap concert in the park. Mind you, the only rap I ever listened to was JA Rule and that was in the 90’s I think and was that really rap?  Or maybe from time to time, some Eminem, (before I found Christ, of course J) so the amount of times I came into contact with rap music was limited, to say the least. I never could understand it, ever. I couldn’t get what they were saying. I heard the cuss words, and the bad stuff but I just couldn’t get the music. I was more along the Grunge or heavy music like System-of-a-Down, or Korn….that kind of stuff, I could understand it. I liked the beat, and before I met Christ this is what I listened to.(which also sounds crazy to me now, mind you!)

Who knew there were Christian Rap artists? I didn’t but I was going to hear them at this concert we were going to. I was reluctant to go because I wasn’t familiar with it but I thought, “These friends we just met, we love them, our lives are nothing like each other’s but we really just feel drawn to them. It must be their love of God. I mean we have the same Father, so if they are Christian and they are asking us to go, then it must be ok and we should just try it.” (We spent the entire weekend with this family and you know to others & to us in the beginning, it may appear as though we are “different” from one another but in all reality, we found out, we are more alike than we thought. We’ve all struggled and then found God. Period.)

So we went with them.

It was a car show, a rap concert and a local teenage talent show. OK, this is getting interesting now.

The car show was pretty cool and once it was over, they had the teenage talent show up next. We heard a kid sing, we saw a couple girls dance, and then we saw a young girl doing something I had never heard of called, “Spoken Word.” Her voice and everything about her, made me stop doing what I was currently focusing on (probably scrolling or flipping through my phone, cause I wasn’t paying the best of attention and was zoning out, until she came on) and she was doing this “Spoken Word” about how parents need to be parenting their children, and getting involved in their lives and it’s what children want. I was floored. She was extremely talented. Every time she was done with one card, she threw it to the ground and started reading with conviction, the next card. She had a strong voice and I was sobbing by the time she was done. I was thinking, “What the heck Delinda, calm down, what’s this all about anyway? I mean I know you are emotional but get over it already, people are watching you cry like a baby.” (Hahahahahha, just the things that go through our heads, funny huh? Little did I know, what was to come from her)

So then they had the rap artists sing. Oh my gosh, they were all so talented and I’m not sure what happened to me but these guys I understood all their words they were singing, rapping. All of it, I got it. Is it because God changed my heart? You know how they say, when God comes into your life, things change, your heart changes, and you understand things you never understood before. Is that what happened to me? Was it the renewing of my mind? I’m not sure but that is my guess. My mouth hung open when I heard them sing “The most beautiful love letter you ever wrote, was when you died”, I get it now and they were just so very good! (When I got home, I went online and downloaded all their songs because listening to them was like hearing their testimonies in every song – just how God had changed them and now I’m hooked!) I always hear from God, through music – it’s just how He gets to me and as any Good Father knows, they know things about their children.

Then when the artists were all done singing, the last artist did an altar call. This started out as a normal altar call. People went forward who didn’t know Christ and wanted a part of Him, or Him to help change something in their lives. Then he changed the altar call to, “So everyone out there who knows someone who isn’t currently living for Christ, come forward.”

Well, we have several of our children who aren’t living for Christ and they are all on my mind – daily. In fact, one of them specifically, I’ve been praying for since he was 10 years old before I really even knew Christ. I just saw his life and the way it was going and just kept praying for him, mostly out of fear.

We went forward.

Then he said, “OK, so now all of my prayer warriors who could come pray over these people, for their loved ones who don’t know Christ, please come forward and help me.”
He said, “So if you are needing prayer, please open your palms and face them up. If you are praising God, just put your hands to the sky and hold them up.”

So of course, I wanted prayer for our kids who don’t know Him. I was constantly praying under my breath at this point and no one could have heard or made sense of what I was saying. I was doing it quietly and keeping the words to myself more so than letting them out.

Well, guess who the prayer warrior was who came and prayed over me? The young girl who was doing the “Spoken word” she was probably 16 years old. She prayed over me and said back to me, almost every single prayer I was saying under my breath for our children. Then she said something no one else knew but Jason and God. I hadn’t repeated this to anyone around me. She put her hand on my stomach and said, “God, her cries are many and they are painful. She is lonely. Please help her God, only you can help her because you know why.” And as I’m typing this, I’m crying again. I’m not crying because I’m sad. I’m crying because I’m grateful that He hears my cries. He knows. He answers prayers and He confirmed all of this to me – through a 16 year old girl, through an ex-gang-member couple, who are now our family, who got us to this concert. 

Had we said “No” to our new friends/family, I would have never heard from God how I did on this night. By the end of her prayers, I was sobbing, I had come undone. LITERALLY! 

He did it again, just when I needed Him, He came through for me, He showed me His face. 

He also told me,
“Delinda, I used Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and they were teenagers. I used Mary and she was 14 years old.  I use who I want to speak to you, YOU do NOT choose who I use to speak. I make those choices. And your only job, is to listen. I gave you these new friends for a reason. They are good people and this is why I put them in your path. They can help to teach you about me, too and you can do life together.”

So then a week goes by and I was trying to convey what had happened to our friends when we saw them at a BBQ. And unbeknownst to me, these same people were praying for us before they even knew us. My sister is friends with them and had them praying for us. HOW CRAZY GOOD IS GOD!?!?!?!?! Oh thank you God, for putting them in our life as you did.

So my question to you – are you listening?

He’s talking.

Are you listening?

We as humans put those dumb labels on people, “ex-gang member” “ex-prostitute” and for myself, I have labeled myself, “Ex-Adulterer” “Ex-Cheater” “Ex-Home-Wrecker” and it’s time to rid myself of those names.

God doesn’t call me by those names. God calls me “His Beloved” and this is what I’m going to continue to call myself and this is what I’m going to continue to call my new church family members, “His Beloved” because in His eyes – this is what we are – let all other labels fall…….cause they are just that, labels and nothing more.

The most important and ONLY LABEL you should be calling yourself  – His Beloved.

And these new friends of ours, they are the most loving and caring people you’ll ever meet. They would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it. In fact, a few weeks later a couple of them went with my husband, my daughter and myself to do some door-to-door evangelism. To tell people about God, His love and what He has for them.  They are soft spoken, non-confrontational and loving – just like Christ is…..they are the epitome of the Body of Christ. They are the people you want in your corner, when things are going really well – to cheer you on, and when things are going badly – to pray with and for you.

So if we were looking at them in their past lives, we may not think that about them. Just as if they were looking at us in our past lives, they wouldn't think that about us either!

But when God snatches you out of your old life, things change. He renews your mind, He redeems you and your story and He changes you. He changes you for the good.  He gives you so many more wonderful and loving friends than you ever had before. You need to pay attention. You cannot fall back into your old self, the old depression and feel sorry for yourself, like I almost did. You have to focus on the good, focus on the people He put in front of you and you must trust Him.
And you have to listen!!
Thank you Maltos family, for taking us in and loving us like your own family!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Remember this...

One of my repeated prayers is the people I come into contact with, or even love, don’t die without knowing His love for them, without accepting Him as their Savior and giving their lives over to Him.

You see my Dad died in 2001 and I often wonder, “Was Christ his Savior? Will my Dad be in Heaven when I get there? Will I see him? Is he hurting?” Even after all this time, I still wonder and think of him.
He wasn’t a perfect man but I loved him. He had MANY faults and so do I. He rarely told us he loved us. He rarely held a conversation with us. He was distant. He was hurting. He had a lot of demons and a lot of shame he lived with and as an adult, I get this now. As a child, I didn’t understand the hurt. As a child, (I’ve talked about this before, I know) I was hurting, scared and didn’t understand the chaos in our home.
And honestly, a lot of my childhood is still with me. I had a few relationships with boys/men growing up and even as an adult and they weren’t good. I’m trying to work through this with God. You see He is the epitome of a “perfect” relationship with a Man, the one I’ve always hoped for.
I’m in a good place now. I don’t want to go back to where I was, ever!
I don’t want others to ever suffer what I went through – so I want to tell you all about His Perfect Love and quite frankly, when you find “the One” you can’t stop talking about Him – can you? J

So because of my childhood and my hurting, I see it in others…….I see they have a story, just as I do, and I see a lot of times, the story gets stuck to us and it’s so hard to shake the story off. I want to help you shake your story off of you, with the help of God – you too can do it!

And now…………
My heart is for Jesus.
And, His heart is for the lost.
So since He is in my heart, my heart becomes one with His.
I hurt for the lost; the cashier I see at Safeway who is so saddened and you can see it on her face. She’s so very hurt. She wears it on her sleeve.
I hurt for the depressed and suicidal; I was there at one time and I can see this in people, so many people walking around with this on their face – you can’t hide it from me. If I see it, I will call it out and try to draw you into the One True Love for you!
I hurt for the homeless; I see this everyday outside my office at work. They are asleep on the grass, on their sleeping bags, curled up in the only clothes they have. They haven’t showered, have they eaten, do their Mom’s miss them, are their sister’s praying for them? Are they hungry? Oh Lord, tell me how to help them. Tell me how to help them, how YOU want me to help them. Not how others think I should “Oh quit giving them food, quit helping them and they will go away.” I have actually heard friends/co-workers utter these words and it makes me so very sad because this is someone’s daughter, sister, mother, friend and most importantly this is GOD’s CHILD!! How dare you talk about them like that!
I hurt for the addicted; so many people are addicted and don’t even realize it.
I hurt for the prostitutes; they don’t believe they are worth more love than this? Oh God, please help them to know YOU!
I hurt for the people in jail; do they know Christ? Help me to show them YOU Lord, the way YOU want me to!
I hurt for the ones who think they don’t fit in because honestly, I don’t believe I have EVER fit in. Not once.
I’m just different.
Many times throughout my life, I have thought of this as a bad thing but I’ve come to learn it isn’t.
I’ve come to learn He calls us to be different.
We won’t look the same to the world, if we are one with Him and His heart.
And it is ok, to be different.
Just keep reminding yourself, keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Keep Him in the forefront of your mind and your daily activities.
Because there will be a force, like nothing you’ve ever felt and the force will try to pull you away from His love and what His heart stands for.
You see this force knows God’s plans for you. This force is a liar and he will try to tell you everything  you are not. He will try to point out all your faults and he will even tell you God doesn’t love you. LIAR! Just call him what he is, and be done with him!!!
This force knows once you get to where you are going, or once you find what His calling is for your life  – you will point it all back to the One who Matters Most, for His Glory.
Keep fighting.
Keep fighting the force and pulling up hill to God.
You’ll get there, eventually you will get there and at the top of the hill it is so very beautiful, it’s what you longed for from the beginning of your life.
It is worth every pull, every hard night, every struggle.
The most beautiful spot you’ve ever seen.
He is there.
He is waiting for you.
He has open arms and you will run to Him, just like the prodigal son ran to his Father.
But this Father is perfect.
This love is perfect.
His desires for you, are only for good and His plans are the best.
When you do finally meet Him, it will be the most beautiful moment of your life, beyond giving birth, or getting married, or buying your first home.
This moment, it’s what you’ve been waiting for because nothing else fills the hole – but Him.
I am.
The beginning and the end.
The one who gave His perfect life for you and your sins.
Are you living for Him?
If you aren’t, find me, text me, call me, visit with me – I do not want you to die without knowing Him and I would like to help you, show you how you can live for Him and with Him and you’ll be in love with Him.
The big, gaping hole can be filled; not with food, not with drugs, buying things, people, sex – it’s only Him, nothing more can help you.
He is waiting for you.
He is waiting for you to acknowledge Him and His love for you.
He is waiting for you to give up all the crap and just have a relationship with Him.
Don’t wait until you are at the bottom of yourself, like I did….come to Him now, He is calling you.
When I talk to you all about Him and His love, it is so helpful for me too. It’s a great reminder of what He has done in my life, a reminder of His love for me and for all the people around me.
I love talking about Him and how He feels about us.
Let’s talk! J
No judgment from me, zero.
Why? How?
Well, I was where you are at one point in my life – and I really could care less what you have done in your past. I want to see you how God sees you, perfected In Him! That’s it.
Remember this, and please get in touch with me.
Don’t let one more day pass without Him in your life

Friday, July 7, 2017


With a move from a city you lived in for 8 years, to your home town that you haven’t live in since 1998 – there comes change, there comes a shift in chores, time spent with each other, time not spent with each other, more family functions – lots and lots of change. Even the smallest of things, your work-out routine, your walking path, your dog not having his doggy door – which then in turn makes you get up MULTIPLE times to let him in and out because you see, he too has changes. He is SO dang excited about having a yard now, he wants to be in the yard a lot but he struggles too because he wants to be with his family in the house – so in and out, all night long until we get the doggy door in and the fence put up.

Change. It’s inevitable.

And, if you aren’t aware there will be big changes, you might fall. If you go into everything in your life, like I do, only thinking of the best times to come – well…..you might have some issues.

But for some reason, I can never do anything but this, I wish I could but I guess I'm an eternal optimist. I just always think the best of people and that the best is only to come. I haven’t decided if that is a good trait to have or not. Sometimes I think it’s a curse, like when I go through the difficult times and think “Well, you should have seen this coming! Why did you not see this coming before now?”

When people fail me, I am reminded of what is important in my life.
Christ and Christ Alone is what is important to me!
The one and only man who saved me from myself.
He never gave up on me.
He is always there by my side, to pick me up. I have a picture in my head, my Father walking beside me, I’ve fallen, He grabs my arm and lifts me back up to where I was before the fall.
He is that constant whisper I hear in my ear, “Delinda you are worth so much more than you think are! I created you in *MY* image and you are destined for big things!”
He is my cheerleader.
When these types of things happen in my life, I feel as though I’m on this constant roller coaster of emotions and I always try to figure out “Why?” Why am I like this God? Why did you make me this way? I hate this about myself. Couldn’t you have made me to be stronger with my emotions like so –and – so? You made her strong, look at all she has done in her life? This or that doesn’t bother her.”

But here I am again, comparing myself to someone and that is right where Satan wants me – so that I’m not doing God’s work. Helping the lost!

I think I just have to have these moments in my life, to get to the next phase of life, or to get to where He wants me.  On my knees again, face to the floor, crying out to Him. Humbled. Quiet. Ending in a peaceful situation. Ending with me talking to Him, like I talked to my Dad – even better though cause this Dad is PERFECT! It's just MY process of learning and I realize this. Do you do this, too? Or is it just me?

One of my goals in life is to tell every woman I come in contact with about our Dad's love for her.  It’s my calling.  I want women to know this Dad, this Dad before us – God – He is the “PERFECT” Dad. He is the one who won’t hit us, hit our Mom’s, verbally abuse our Mom’s, our siblings….nothing of the sort will happen with this Dad. He is what you are longing for, even though you may not know this – He is it!

Do you ever feel Him with you?

If you don’t, you just whisper His name, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus….please come and sit with me.” Like any GOOD, GOOD Father, He will be there in a matter of minutes. When His children call on His name, He hears all and is right there with you. And if you show up, you will hear Him, you will see His miracles and He will help you.

He does it for me every single stinking time. It never fails. I call on Him. He helps me, He picks me up and we walk together again.

If I am not in His word, or reading His love story to me – routinely, I sometimes forget about His love for me. That is why I try my hardest to do this daily. I am reading the bible “As it Happened” and I’m in such awe over what I’m learning. When I was in my twenties, I used to always read Danielle Steele romance novels because that is what my Mom read, so I followed.  Well, now I know and have read the best romance novel of all time. The Bible.

This is why I am so excited for the opportunity to start serving in our jail with the Faith Unit @ Together Church.  I get to take the bible to the inmates and let them know about our Dad’s love for them.  I am so very excited to do this. If you know me, you know I live with a lot of fears but for some reason I am not fearful of this. I know many would be, I’m sure if I asked my Mom she would be fearful for me. I’m not going to tell her and cause her to worry.

Fear is such a liar!
I trust in the Lord, to take care of me.
I’m taking His word, His love story to some women who may have never heard about Him before. The possibilities are endless for these women. Once you turn your life over to Him, there is a shift. He starts healing you, healing relationships, healing areas of your life that you may not even know you need healed – but He does just that.
It isn’t all at once, just little by little He works on you. He perfects you. That’s how He sees you – perfected. He doesn’t see your Sin, it’s washed away, long gone down the Yakima River, like my fears of floating the river.
I’m no longer afraid!
I did it!
At 46 years old I finally floated the river with my husband and daughter, and none of us drowned!
How did I do it?
Well, I started my day with my bible study because I thought, “If I die today God, I want to know more about you before I drown.” Silly, I know but that’s just a glimpse of the fear that was inside me.
I wore a life jacket. I was the only adult wearing one but I felt safe with it on. I am not the best swimmer.
Then I kept reminding myself I was making memories with my family and my new church family, that this was gonna be fun and He would take care of me.
And my daughter reminded me very abruptly, “Mom, you actually think He would take you out of all He has taken you out of but then let you drown in the Yakima river?”
She was right.
I taught her well, what can I say?
God also gave me a very patient and loving husband. He loves me like Christ does, THANK GOODNESS! Even with all my little hang-ups and habits, little tweaks here and there. . . he just keeps loving me, calming me or staying close by my side when he knows I’m fearful. He’s a good swimmer too, so there’s that. J I KNOW he would help us too if we were drowning.
And God placed me near more people who gave me His peace. They told me if Logan cramped and could not swim, they would get her and pull her in. See how crazy the fear just takes over your thinking?
I even watched her cliff jump at the Pac-man, I only watched her one time but then she went to do it again and I couldn’t watch her the 2nd time around!

I was calm.
I had no fear.
I’m not sure why, other than Him & the people He placed in my life that day, there are no other answers.
I mean I’m 46, come on people, this was a fear that was instilled in me a long time ago. I was 4 years old and in the Yakima river with my Mom and Dad. My Dad told me to not cross the river, he was going to cross over but said “stay right there, do not move, do not cross until I come back for you.”
Well, I was 4 and didn’t listen. It was fast and swift. I was so scared.  It was getting deeper and deeper and finally, I just stopped. I knew
(yes even at that age) that if I kept going, the river was going to take me down it. I cried out to my Dad to get me, I mean I was BAWLING I was so afraid. He was on the other side trying to get me to come to him and I couldn’t move. I just knew to stay put or what was going to happen. My Mom was crying, I was crying, & my Dad was very angry because I didn’t listen to him. It wasn’t a good situation.
Then while growing up our neighborhood boys would always hold me under the water, thinking it was funny, “Oh let’s see how long Delinda can hold her breath for.” I was little. This was awful and instilled a fear of water that has been with me since I was 4, so 42 years!
He took it.
I prayed.
He did it, He kept me safe and I’m no longer afraid.
He is the answer.
Just like my earthly Father, picked me up out of the Yakima River and saved me. . . God saved me too & He continues to remind me just how blessed I am by His love & how He cares for me. From His daily reminders, to the people He has strategically placed in our lives.

My life verse:

Psalm 40:2New Living Translation (NLT)

He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.

I will be forever grateful.
My prayer is, I never forget this. It’s only been 3 years that we have been saved but every day I remember how I used to feel without Him in our lives. I never want to go back to that life.

FYI: People will always fails us, it’s inevitable because we are all human beings & you know what? Sometimes them failing me is because of me and my expectations that I have placed on them, and they don’t even know I did that! Which isn’t right either!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

He is MY Fairy Tale and He can be yours, too!

Someone asked me last week, "Who is Jesus to you?"
I had to think a few minutes about this one to formulate "EXACTLY" how I felt. I wanted to be sure I conveyed the exact perfect way of how He has changed my life. And thinking back on it now, I am pretty sure I didn't get it all out because it's bubbling up inside me again :-)

So here goes:

He is my fairy tale!

That's it!

I was dying.

I was at the last straw and the darkness was gonna break me. I actually believed one day it would get me and I would give in and kill myself - I felt as though it was just a matter of time before I gave in.

He rushed in on His White horse and saved me. (see The Book of Revelations and note the White Horse!) He literally picked me up off the floor and turned my life around! I was on my knees crying in my bedroom and asking Him for His help, for His will to be done.

As a little girl, I thought my fairy tale "knight in shining armor" was my Dad. But I would see and hear how he treated my Mother, the one woman who I loved so very much - the one who gave me life. Would my "knight in shining armor" really treat someone I love so much, so badly? I wrestled with that thought quite often. That was a struggle to love my Dad as much as I did and then see him treat her so badly....I remember running to my bedroom, and I was about 9 years old or so. I was crying, I was hiding and I was so scared of what was going on. They fought a lot while I was growing up and he didn't treat her very kindly. I lived a lot of my life afraid. I was so confused. Should I hate him for acting that way to her, or love him because he was my Dad? He never laid a finger on her but at times I'm pretty sure she wished he would have, instead of having to deal with the verbal abuse. It was awful, yet I still loved him. I vowed my children would never witness the verbal abuse in their childhood and they haven't, praise God. They may have witnessed other things I wish they hadn't but never verbal abuse.

And then I grew up and my Dad died!

So then as a young married woman, I always wanted this and thought this was going to come from my husband. Then my husband was struggling with his own sins and we were struggling with each other. And I found myself divorced

As a newlywed to my 2nd husband, I thought maybe this would come from my new husband.
Cause you know, maybe I just picked wrong the first time around? Then my new husband fell into his own sins and this husband failed me, too!

What flawed thinking I had. No one is perfect, no one. Why would I even expect perfection from someone? I know I'm not perfect so why would my expectations go that route?

Then remaining to focus on all the bad parts about me, all my flaws, all my sins, everything I ever gave into, everything I've ever said or done wrong to someone - all the "wrongs" stayed in the forefront of my mind.

I physically had pain. Did you even know mental illness hurts? It does and when you are in the middle of it, you want it to just stop and you'll do anything and everything to make it stop! Just end it, please! I thought my only way out was suicide, to make the pain stop, to make the bad thoughts about myself stop.

Recently my church shared my testimony on their big screen and it felt as though my story had come full circle. It's time to share it and yes, it's just a condensed version but my prayer is, "God! Use it how YOU see fit!"
There are parts of my story, some might judge, some might hate me for and some might be disgusted with. I am ok with that. The person I was before Christ was pretty disgusting. I did some not so nice things but the bright light in this story is Christ and His redeeming love. All of the bad situations I put myself in, will be talked about.....and then let go because God has forgiven me and I have forgiven myself! I'm free!

If you want to be free too, I can help you! Email me at godsgraceredeemsall@gmail.com or if you know my cell phone number, text me and I will point you in the direction of who can help you from here, or give you some ideas on what to do next in your walk with Christ.....to be "Free!" Or, if you just want to talk - we can do that too!

He is waiting for you!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Affliction Has a Purpose

"Grace means that all of your misakes now serve a purpose, instead of serving shame." Author Unknown

Thank you Jesus

Today, I am thankful for the stronghold depression had on my life.
Today, I am thankful my depression got so bad that I wanted to kill myself every single day. It was all I thought of...day in and day out.
You think I'm crazy for being thankful for this affliction, don't you ?
Jesus let this happen to me because He knew the outcome. He knew one day, He would send me another Mom, woman, friend, co-worker, even just someone on the streets (which has happened believe it or not) who is in the *EXACT* same spot I once was. And I believe and I know, He knew when I came out of the depression I would point it all back to Him. He knew I would share His love with those women & all would not be lost!

So, He continues to bring these women into my life on the daily. And every time He brings me another I get to whisper "Thank you Jesus for saving me so I can tell her all about your love for her."

And sometimes, He even introduces me to another Christian who has gone through the same thing, is on the other side now and we get to share with each other exactly what our Dad had done for us - He saves!! He saves lives for a reason and all for His purpose and promise!

I heard in a sermon this week, "everything is given to you to fulfill God's purpose" & I took that literal. I took it as all good AND all bad! 

And when you get to that point of seeing your life's purpose, of walking out His calling on your life - you know He was with you every night you laid in bed and cried because of the person you thought you had become. He was right there with you when you were being bombarded by the lies from the enemy to just "do yourself in." He was right there with you when you cried to Him telling Him, "I am a Mom, why would you let my kids be taken from me? Why would you let that happen when you knew just how badly I longed for them, from the beginning of time! Why would you let that happen?" He was right there with me, through it all AND He will be with me through my next season of life as well!
Are you at this point in your life ? 
Can I help you ? 
Can I point you to THE one who will save you? 
Your spouse?
Your child?
Your boss?
Your Mom?
Your Dad?
No, those people will not save you but He is all of those, yet even more!
1. He knows every single hair on your head! Luke 12:7
Every. Single. One.
Let that sink in for a moment. If you are like me and you have a lot of hair - isn't that amazing?
2. He wrote your name on the palm of HIS hand! Isaiah 49:16
Think of that one, me? He wrote Delinda Mishall Clark Sowder on His hand! Kind of like a tattoo, my name will forever be etched on His palm.
3. He believes you to be the most beautiful person! Ecclesiastes 3:11
You see, He doesn't make mistakes - He only makes beautiful- just look around you at what else He has created! Who actually thinks the sun, moon, stars, mountains, oceans, babies, animals, the elderly, the young, the middle aged people - who actually believes any of these are ugly? Not me!
4. He made you in the image of Himself! Wow! Genesis 1:27
5. He made you knowing the outcome before you were even born! Jeremiah 1:5
6. He made you for a purpose whether you know what that purpose is right now, or not, if you ask Him to share that with you - He will! But you have to be open to hear Him! He might tell you through a song, another person, a sermon at church or a child but you have to ask and then be prepared to hear Him. If you are, I guarantee you will hear Him! Jeremiah 1:5 (again)
7. Never, ever, ever, ever underestimate what He can and will do through you to help save another person. Acts 14:22
You don't have the power to save lives but He does and He will use you! He used a couple at church to speak straight to my husband and I when we were deep in our "issues" and He used them to help save us. We know this because we lived it and I'm here to tell you, it can be done!
8. In order to have great relationships with others, you really should start with Him. John 1:10-13 
He will lead and guide you to the people you need in your life. I always find it funny how I said earlier, He brings women directly to me who are struggling like I once did. 
9. Once you are in His grasp, He won't let you go or leave you, or divorce you or say bad things about you. 
Jeremiah 29:11
He will do the exact opposite. Then He will bring others to you who will speak life into you - who will help you, walk next to you and teach you all about His love for you. And once you hear it and continue to hear it, you just might believe it.
10. And.....then......you will use those gifts He has given you, to help another and you too will say "Thank you Jesus for saving me, so I can help her and tell her all about you and your love for her!"
1 Peter 4-10
If you need help too, like I once did, please reach out to me so we can talk and I can tell you all about His love for you!
Your story matters!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

8 years ago

Do you think our bodies know the reason for our tears? By that I mean, if I'm crying because I'm heartbroken, or if I'm crying because I'm happy?
I believe my body knows.
From 2008 to 2014, I cried everyday.  I cried so much, I made myself sick, on many occasions.  I cried for what I lost. I lost my identity, my children, my love for myself, my marriage, my friends, and many family members. I honestly believe I cried so much I gave myself these auto-immune conditions I now suffer from.....
Is it the truth, did I really cause all these medical conditions?  I'm not sure but it feels like "my truth" to me because of how I felt for all those years. It was awful, desperate and like I've said many times...at the bottom of myself. I am not sure others can understand the depths of those feelings, unless you've lived it yourself and that is why I try to explain it to as many people as possible.
I no longer cared about anything in my life. I put on a fake smile, so people would like me because who wants to be around a depressed person? No one! I kept it all inside. I rarely told anyone my children didn't live with me. I was so ashamed of my sin. I was certain others would think I had done drugs, or was an alcoholic and that was why my kids didn't live with me...which was far from the truth. I don't drink and I don't do drugs. We don't even have alcohol in our house.  I hate the taste of it and in the past if I ever did drink, I would fall asleep and that's no fun! 

Whenever I would come across another woman who didn't live with her children, we would instantly bond & I have remained very close with a few of them.  It's not normal for a Mom to not live with her children and it hurts deep and cuts to the core.  I felt like they had died, a part of me did die. I always felt like God made me specifically to be a Mom. I cherished every moment with them and I still do. I don't take them for granted, and I never have. They don't get on my nerves and I never get too much of them, even when we lived together.....I felt blessed being their Mom and I still feel blessed to be their Mom. And I have found, despite the miles between us - it doesn't matter.  WE are still in each other's lives - fully and daily, aware of what is going on and always texting, talking or messaging. I'm still their Mom!

I knew God before all of this happened but I never really met Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I never really understood Grace. I never really felt His love until I was at the bottom of myself.

When I found Him. I changed. My entire life changed. My beliefs changed. All of them, political beliefs, beliefs about abortion, beliefs about what was important and not, beliefs about love, beliefs about loving others....you name it, it changed in my life, once I met Him and learned about Grace. My beliefs about addicts, people who cheated on their spouses, liars, homeless, affluent people, poor people....all of it, did a 180 pretty much overnight - which tells me that it was all God's doing. Not my own, for sure, I'm not that good but He is!

The truth is all of us women are the woman at the well. We all are. Whether we share our sins with one another or not, we all have them.  Now, I've only been saved a couple years but I don't believe God measures sin (maybe I'm wrong and I'll learn later but I did ask my smart friend who knows the bible much better than I do).

So, do you measure other's by their sin? Do you look at her and say, "Well, she did this or that, so she's awful and I cannot be around her" Or do you say, "Well, he's a liar and a cheater so he's an awful person." Or do you look at yourself and say, "I sin. My sin is between me and God, no one else. I won't judge others by how they sin because I don't want others to do that to me."
That is what I do.  I'm curious what other people do. Not that it matters at all because I won't judge. I just want you to be aware of what you say in your head about other people because you can form an opinion about them, and then it doesn't really give them a chance, does it? When people tick me off (because of little silly things, usually with work related stuff), almost every darn day (Sorry God) I try to always remember He/She is His child first....and He will take care of the situation. And then I say, "I've got to give them Grace because when I screw up, I'd like the same."

I believe He wants us to love one another, while going through our sin. While living in that icky place, just love one another.  It is so hard. I know. But I do believe it's worth it and their are rewards on the other end for you.  There is a lesson to be learned in everything we do and in everyone we come in contact with. Are you going to leave that person and have them think "She was rude" or "Wow, she was really kind" & I'm not saying I do this every time but I do strive for it.  I want people to feel His love coming through me, to them. So many people do not know Him, it's shocking really and so very sad because it's so easy. He is so easy. He will change your life and turn it upside down, all for the better.  You can never go wrong loving Him, the only man who will never fail you, or harm you.  The Man!

So now I'm wondering if my body knows I'm no longer crying tears of despair.  Now I'm crying tears of joy. After 8 long years, He is giving me my every heart's desire. My daughter is moving here to attend college and live with us. And I'm praying for my son to be next but will put it on God again, and just let Him take care of it. I trust Him to do whatever is best.
I feel so humbled. Humbled by God. Humbled by His love for me. He knows my heart, and He knows now I'm healthy and it's ok. 
I'm still crying almost every day but it's happy tears, tears for Him and letting Him know how thankful I am.
HA, I tried to pray out loud in our small group last week, and couldn't even get it out because I was overcome with tears.  Had I killed myself on all those occasions that I wanted to, I wouldn't be able to see His hand in my life, my kids' lives and my friends lives. I wouldn't have been able to witness to others about what He has done for me and how He can change even the worst of the worst, which I was and I know this.

His love is redeeming and He is my #1 now. His love for me is where my worth lies, and no where else.
Not in this failing body of mine, not in my husband's love for me, not in how long my hair is, how clear my skin is, what clothes I wear, what car I drive, what house I live in, who I vote for, or how much money I make - PLEASE HEAR ME WHEN I SAY - HE IS ALL THAT MATTERS IN THIS WORLD and HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH!

Do you need to be perfect to come to Him, to know Him? NO! Not even close.  I wasn't and no is, despite what they might tell you. He wants you just as you are and then He will work on you and change you from there. Just give Him a chance.

And if you need a friend, someone to listen to you, to hear your cares or worries, I'm your Gal. If you feel like you have no one or even if you have a ton of friends but feel as though you don't want to share with them.......you can share with me, just be warned now, I will probably tell you all about just how awesome He is and just how much He loves you because I never want you to feel like I did. I never want you to take your own life and think you have no worth, or that your family would be better off with you dead.  Those are all lies from the enemy and God would never think that way about His children.

He loves you so very much, despite all your sin! Let him wrap His arms around you, and find peace under the shadows of His wings. I did and you can, too. It's so easy. 

"He will cover you with his pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His Faithfulness is a shield and a buckler"