Arlene was a young mom who did not grow up in a Christian home and needed to be discipled. As Dara walked alongside with her, it became evident that there were some self-esteem issues going on. As Arlene became more familiar with Dara and began to trust her, Arlene shared deep hurts and shame from her past. Through grace and love, Dara accepted Arlene and led her into forgiveness and a Biblical view of how her Heavenly Father saw her. Arlene is doing well! She is involved in her local church, raising three amazing kids, and has a great marriage. She still relies on many of the truths that she learned by mentoring with Dara, and grows continually through God’s word.
Katy was 16 when Dara started mentoring her by meeting weekly and going through the Practical Proverbs study. Three years later, Katy is married and has grown so much in her Christian walk. Even though she still deals with some abuse from her past, she is practicing trusting God when she is afraid, taking every thought captive, and thinking on the things of God. Today Katy is enjoying a great marriage, a wonderful baby, and an amazing relationship with her God.
Angelo and Steve wanted to homeschool their 9th grade boy who had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. They knew that the public school was not equipped to handle their son, but did not feel confident in their own ability either. Dara sat and listened to their concerns and then helped them to see that they could homeschool their son successfully. She helped them to develop a curriculum based upon his desires and job goals. The son lit up when Dara told him that God has a purpose and a plan for his life. He had been told that he would never live independently or be able to work effectively. Dara saw this young man with a desire to learn and a dream begin to believe that he could accomplish that which God purposed him to do.
Stephanie met Dara at a conference and asked to be mentored. After a year of mentoring, Dara saw Stephanie become more self-confident, more organized, and more capable of handling the tasks of life. Stephanie has ADHD and is trying to raise small children. Dara helped her to accept who she is and where she is going. Dara led Stephanie through Search for Significance, a Bible study by Robert MeGee. Stephanie now is beginning to truly believe that she has worth aside from her performance or other people’s opinions. She is putting systems into place to help her to cope with daily living and she is now able to put reasonable boundaries on family members that were not respectful of her.
Jack and Amy had three children and were bringing home three more through adoption. They needed a sounding board to help them integrate these children into one big family. Dara was able to give suggestions and encouragement through the first stages of this life changing adjustment.
Ann raised and homeschooled her two nephews for most of their school years. Now they were grown and seeking a relationship with their birth mother and were make some poor choices. Dara was able to normalize the grieving process of empty nest and help Ann to see her need to let go emotionally of the nephews and let them take control of their own choices. Ann began to get excited about her own life and identity and what God has in store for her next.
Bianca grew up in abuse and never dealt with it. This monster was rearing its ugly head as she tried to raise two little girls. Trapped in guilt and shame and fear, Bianca needed someone to push her to find a counselor that would be able to help her overcome this past so that she could be victorious as a wife and mom. Dara was there to listen, ask questions, share from her own story, and encourage Bianca to seek counseling. Dara was able to give her a reference for a Godly Christian counselor.
After a conference where Dara spoke about marriage, Lynn approached her and said thank you for telling her that divorce was not the easy answer. Through God’s conviction and Dara’s speaking, Lynn has decided to go home and keep trying. She learned that if she behaves the same way that she has always behaved, the outcome will be the same. She is willing to try to change her responses and to read about healthy relationships in order to save her marriage.