Donna Tashjian | Forgiveness, Turning Our Baggage into Luggage, & Creating the Life of Our Dreams
Parental abandonment, teenage rape, raising a child by yourself at 15 and learning to turn your baggage into luggage, all this and more in this week’s episode of the remarkable people podcast.
Hello friends. Welcome to this week’s remarkable episode of the podcast, the Dongen story this week, Donna opens up to us and talks about how her biological father abandoned her at birth, but thankfully her mother remarried and her dad, her [00:01:00] stepfather showed her and modeled the love. So she knew the relationship.
That she deserved what a man is and continued to help her grow and develop the story turns though, in her teenage years where she is molested by someone close to the family and becomes pregnant at 14 in this story, she talks about being a single mom. Raising a child that a lot of people gave her hardship about and over, and then talking about how she met the love of her life.
And she’s been married for over 31 years. She talks about taking our baggage and turning it into luggage healing and how the whole foundation is through Christ. So get your pen and paper ready unless you’re driving. And take notes during this remarkable episode, the Donna Tosin story.
Hey, [00:02:00] Donna, how are you today? I am. Well, how are you, man? I’m fantastic. And I am looking forward to our episode. I just told our listeners a small bit about it. So they’re ready with their notebooks and pens for you to share your story and the practical tips that they can use to grow their lives and better their position.
Sound good. Sounds good. All right. Then what we’re gonna do is let’s start off. Where were you born? Because where you’re born, what your family was like, your upbringing that all starts molding us as humans to who we are today. So what was Donna’s life like early on? Well, I was born in Missouri and, but I never really lived in Missouri that I recall.
So my, my parents moved and one of the Earliest things that I remember is I didn’t really my, I guess I was about five years old when my parents separated. [00:03:00] I didn’t ever, I D I asked my mom, did my biological dad have anything to do with me, cuz I had like no memories. And so there was really that lack of A male counterpart in my life growing up.
One of the things that I always felt young is as if somehow I wasn’t right or enough. and I found out later on my, my name is Donna. My biological father’s name was Donny. And apparently I was the first born. I was supposed to be a boy mm-hmm . And was it a boy? Nonetheless? And so I was really Don, I became, I became Donna and, but those kind of feelings of abandonment that happened and that I wasn’t who I was supposed to be.
It wasn’t. Was some feelings that I [00:04:00] had early on after my parents my mother had to work and support two kids. He did nothing. There was no child support. There was not any of those kind of things. So she was working a lot. And when I was eight, she met my new father who became my daddy. So that was a good thing that occurred.
Amen. And talk about that too. Some people, you know, the father is who. Basically has sex with your mother, but the mom and the dad are the people who love you and raise you. Yes. Is that how you understand it? Yes, that’s exactly. Yes. So and that’s how I difference between I say biological father because he was never a father.
You know, it was never a dad. What I, what I call a father, he was not ever that. And my new dad had three boys. He had been married previously. So now we had a blended family and we were just all supposed to get along. [00:05:00] yeah. That’s that’s Brady bunch non ideal in real life. yeah. so we had. So my brother and I, and then I had three new brothers.
So now I have four brothers and then the first year that they were married, they had a little girl. So now I have a new sister. She was born when I was 10. I was not really fond of her.
And so that there was just one of the things that I also recall through it all was the My new brothers would pick on me. I’m the young little girl and I. Was reacting to their harassment. And my mom told me if you quit reacting, they’ll quit bugging you, which was good advice. And the respect that it was true, they were looking to get a reaction.
And so if I [00:06:00] quit reacting there would be quit bugging me, but what it really began to TA teach me as I look back on it all is. That your feelings don’t really matter. It didn’t matter that it was wrong, that they were doing it. I just needed to quit feeling it. So learning to be able to figure out that, you know, your feelings don’t matter.
I already felt insecure. And so this was all a big pot of insecurity that was brewing . Yes. And I got a lot of questions for you already, but I’m gonna hold off as you continue in your story. Cause I think a lot of them are gonna be answered. So how old are you at this age? Where you get brothers? You now have a sister.
Where are you at in the timeline of your life right now? Yeah. When my parents got married, I was almost nine. I was eight. And [00:07:00] and then when my new sister came, I was 10. Okay. So that’s just the age where girls start to start changing between 10 and 12, typically in America. And then you’re going to the teen years where boys and girls lose their mind as it is
So what, what was that like for you going through this transition? Mm-hmm well learning, you know, going through all of that. It is amazing how many memories I don’t have. When I try to remember what things were like, but I. Don’t really recall the next few years, other than years getting through and surviving.
My parents struggled financially, so there was always work to do and chores and things of that nature. A big event happened when I was 14. If I can move to 14 years [00:08:00] old, when I was 14 years old, someone that was close to our family. Hurt me and I became pregnant. So and I grew up in the timeframe in our society when teenage pregnancies under any condition was not.
Okay. And so there was even more. Low self-esteem shame, embarrassment, hiding anger, resentment, all of these kind of things. And I’m a teenager. Remember when you talked about all of the , you know, and I’m a teenager, so you feel them to the NS degree? My mother hid me and I, and. Pre-internet guys, there was no social media on the phone to talk with your peers or to feel Nonis isolated.
There was no one. And so I did raise my little girl. I had her when I was 15 and I’m happy to say we still, we’re still a great relationship [00:09:00] today. There was some bumps along the road, but to say those years were hard. That’s, that’s just not enough strong enough adjective. But that’s what happened?
Well, let’s do this. I’m gonna ask you some questions and if the answer’s pertinent to now, we’ll go move forward. Okay. If not, we’ll continue in the story because the answers are coming. So my first question was you’re 14 years old and, and I don’t wanna use the term wrong. It sounded like you were molested or raped.
Is that correct? That’s correct. Okay. Let’s just pause there. Were you able to deal with this or does that come later in your story? Cause that’s huge emotional baggage. Let alone to carry that as a teenager and to be left with a baby and people are treating you badly for something you didn’t even do. So were you able to get help back then or concile it [00:10:00] in your heart or did you, did that come in your later days?
It probably came a little bit later. The thing that kept me sane yeah. And that’s a real, that’s not, yeah, no, that’s a real serious thing. Some people lose it. The thing that kept me sane and on track is I had a relationship with God. And that was all I had. I could not talk with my parents about how I felt they, they didn’t get me help.
They didn’t get me any kind of support. There wasn’t anything there. I was totally isolated. Yeah, they brush the individual under the rug or was that person arrested? What happened there? There, there, there was nothing. No, and it, it is never has never been talked about. Openly ever. And you know, that was a few years back so it still isn’t, it still was never talked about.
So no, nothing occurred. I, it was as if I was married from the Bible and I was just pregnant, you [00:11:00] know, it was just, just there. So there was never any repercussions. There was never anything other than. Now my life has drastically changed. Yeah. So let’s do this then there’s girls all over the world, listening to this who may be teenagers and pregnant.
Yeah. And the world says abort, that baby abort, that baby make your life easier. And that is not the right answer. That is totally not the right answer. Yeah. It doesn’t make it easier. No, it, I don’t know. And I’m gonna say this publicly, I’ve talked to a lot of women. Who’ve had abortions. Yeah. And I don’t know one who hasn’t been traumatized.
Right. You know, the people in the public don’t talk about it. Nope. But it altered them in a deep way. And the women that tried to move forward, it took massive effort. Yeah to heal from, right. And there’s still scars and the [00:12:00] women who don’t face it and go through the pain. I they’ve turned into really, really sad life stories.
And this is the ones I personally know. Right. I’m not making this up off of fricking, you know, government report. So that’s my opinion from what I’ve seen in life in history. So if you’re gonna encourage girls now, or even adults who are considering abortion, what would you say to them? And then tips being a young 15 year old mother.
What are some tips that kept you sane in moving forward? Easy questions, right? Oh yeah. Super easy questions. So the first is what would you say to the woman pregnant, considering abortion for whatever reason that the child was conceived? Two wrongs don’t make a right. And, you know if the situation was choice or not, and you’re all of a sudden having something that you didn’t expect, it doesn’t make it right by [00:13:00] ending.
The child’s life in that respect. And there are literally hundreds of thousands of people of childless couples who are looking for adoption. If you don’t feel capable of raising the child. So that is an option as well is to look on finding a way to give the child life. It’s not the child’s fault for whatever happened to you.
Is any of it easy? No. it, it, it doesn’t mean that that those kind of choices are easy when you find yourself in those kind of situations. But I, I agree with you. I am a women, I’m a life mastery coach for women. Who’ve been through trauma and part of it is abortion. And what that brings to a woman’s life.
So it is very, it is not the answer. I agree with you completely on that. So [00:14:00] the other question was what would I tell a some woman, and it doesn’t matter whether she’s 15 or older, it’s when you have that unexpected pregnancy that you don’t feel like you’re able to handle. It causes a lot of self doubt, fear about those kind of situations.
So. How did I, how did I make it? It was one day at a time. And , I have this thing about me that I wanted to prove everybody wrong. and so all the forecast that were about my possible future I was going to prove them wrong. And so I, I proceeded as if. Somehow it was going to work out. It was definitely difficult.
I worked I moved out, I lived with my parents and paid rent until I [00:15:00] was almost 18. By the time I was 18, I had graduated high school and I was full-time employed by the time I was 18. At that time, I had a three year old. And so I was working full time. I had my own apartment and I was going to college one night a week.
So I was busy and I was determined to try to be better and have a better education, a better paying job to be able to provide for my daughter. And if it was just her and I, that’s what I was going to have. I said, if it’s you, me and God. For the rest of my life, that’ll be fine. That’s not what happened, but that was a attitude and a choice that I made to help me to move forward.
And let’s talk about that also. So a lot of our community is all over the world and not everybody listening has a relationship with God, but they hear us talk week after week about God mm-hmm . And I know in my personal life, even with the. [00:16:00] Crazy stressful, tragic, painful things that could have happened in anyone’s life.
My sanity like yours was in God. I just knew he was there and he loved me and he was with me. And there’s times where even you’re, you know, God’s there, maybe he doesn’t love me. Maybe he just doesn’t even like, or he loves me, but he doesn’t like me. Right. Cause sometimes Sam tries to mess with your head mm-hmm but you’ve mentioned that twice.
So talk about your relationship, go with God. When did that start? And, and how did you get that faith that, you know, he’s there? Yeah. Well, I grew up in a household where God was part of the household. It leaned a little bit more toward religious, which to me, when I say religious that’s laws and, and, and rules, not relationship.
That’s what I mean by the difference in that. Yep. But I. When I was 12, I had a, a time in, [00:17:00] in church service that I was in, where I had an encounter where God, where he became very real to me, I was 12 years old. I remember the day I even remember what I was wearing. It was so, you know real, it was so real.
So I began to discover who God was to me. And when you’re in the middle of crisis, It doesn’t matter if it was your parents, God, or your neighbors or your grandmother’s God, when you’re trying to figure out how to survive, it becomes real. So I talked to God every day. I prayed, I did journaling. I read the Bible.
- Made his word real to me. And I stood on the Bible verses and promises that I felt like he was speaking to me. One of the ones that I said almost every day, it’s from the old Testament is your seed will not beg for bread. Cause I didn’t know if I was gonna eat. So, I mean, this is, [00:18:00] this is practical application where I am applying.
It’s not just. Going to church and it’s, it’s an every day, moment by moment. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It’s that kind of relationship by digging in when there’s no other choice. I really don’t. I really firmly believe I wouldn’t be alive today. Cuz it was so hard during that period of time.
Yes. I sorry about that. I had my mic muted, ladies and gentlemen. I apologize, but no, Don, I definitely echo that. And the distinction between, if I say the word church, every single human who just heard that listening has a different image in their head. Yes. Some positive, sadly, most negative. And it’s because church is an imperfect place led by imperfect people on this earth.
And there’s a lot [00:19:00] of opinions that are presented as truth within the church. Yes. But like Donna said, I encourage you even if you don’t yet believe in God, read the Bible, start in the new Testament. Maybe John, just start reading and ask God to show himself to you. Yes, because the Bible is a living book.
Yes. And you can read the same chapter over and over again, and truly continue to see new things in a, in just a beautiful way. But that relationship that Donna had with God that got her through is the type of relationship that I know I had and it got me through mm-hmm . So when you’re hearing her story and she references, God, don’t take that lightly.
It’s huge. It’s the foundation of everything. That she’d get the strength from. So thank you, Don, for being so open and sharing that. So you’re going to school mm-hmm one day a week, which is huge under any circumstances when you’re working full [00:20:00] time. Now you have a three yearold and you’re paying all your own bills.
Mm-hmm where does first off between birth and there. Did we miss anything? I don’t think so. Okay. And the individual that did this, you said no recourse, nothing happened to them, right. Do you still know this individual? Yes. Do you communicate with them? No. Okay. Now again, I’m not trying to be cruel, but most of the time molesters continue to molest.
So. Did you ever think about turning this individual in to stop this cycle? Or is, is it just like you have peace? That’s not what you’re supposed to be doing? No, I didn’t feel like that was something I was necessarily supposed to do. And it was someone close to the family and so there was a lot. Of stuff.
And I’m not gonna go into on here. Yeah, no, if they don’t wanna do that. And I know there’s [00:21:00] legal reason, reasons beyond personal, but yeah, but if this is a real concern, cuz there’s some people that have family members, oh, I don’t wanna turn to my brother or I don’t wanna turn to my uncle. And then there’s sometimes it’s your pastor and oh, it’s a godly man.
Look how much damage I do. No, you’re not doing any damage that monkey did the damage so, but I just wanted to make sure that no there’s people listening in the same position that you need to realize the cycle does continue. That is something to definitely consider it. Wasn’t something I was concerned about in my particular situation.
Okay. Then let’s just talk about how you moved on then. Right? Cause we’re gonna get to a 0.2 I’m sure. Forgiveness like being, being able to not want to stab that person rip off his face. So let’s just keep moving forward. You’re 18 working, going to school and have a beautiful little. Yes, forgiveness was definitely part of the journey I knew God’s words.
So I knew forgiveness was part of, part of the process. It is also the [00:22:00] way that. God has shown it to me as forgiveness is, is like peeling an onion, especially when there’s severe trauma is like it’s layer at a time and you cry with everyone and it doesn’t mean that you haven’t forgiven just because something shows up again that.
Would be a trigger or to remind you of the past. So learning to be able to work through forgiveness. When my daughter was three, I met my future husband and we dated for three and a half years, and then we were married. So he was in the military. So we moved from the state that he met me in to, to his home state, but that was also a transition for me to find a man that could.
Respect me and understand who I was in the middle of it. Dating was awful. Most men that I [00:23:00] dated, well, I called them men loosely, if I may be so blunt. No, I think you be totally open expected me because I had a child that therefore I was an easy mark. I was actually told I bought you dinner and you’re not putting out.
Yeah. So So I had a lot of trust issues. nonetheless when it came to men. And so my husband was my future husband was very patient. He, I told him everything right. Pretty much right away so that he knew who I was. And and we have been married this year 38 years. Amen. That is awesome. That sounds like a great man too.
So, so that was one of the questions I had because a lot of times when we have trauma as a kid, if it’s unresolved, not even to your teenage pregnancy, but just your [00:24:00] father kind of abandoning you. Mm-hmm a lot of times men and women, not even conscious, they gravitate towards those same broken relationships.
So. What do you think it was Donna that kept you from making, you know, 95 out of a hundred women, 95 out of a hundred men go right back to that same broken, dysfunctional relationship. How did you get in that 5%? Like what did you realize it? And consciously look for something different. Was it purely God’s grace or what, what happened?
It was definitely God was involved in it all. But every time I would date someone that trying to find the right words didn’t have the character that I deserved. There, I, I only can give it the credit to God as, because I knew [00:25:00] how I deserved to be treated. And it wasn’t the way I was being treated.
I remember the first time my mom asked me how I felt when I was dating Lee. And I said, well, on the other night, when we came home from the movies, I fell asleep on his shoulder. Now I never fell asleep around any man. That wasn’t okay. So it showed that I, the trust and that had developed and the comfortableness.
So it it’s a period of time to be able to know. Because inherently, we really do know how we deserve to be treated. We just don’t know, believe it’s possible, but God had, I give God all the credit. I should have been at 95% stat that happens. And I wasn’t. Yeah. And I think the key is now what you said deserve to be treated, deserve to be treated.
You must have seen that modeled. And [00:26:00] it had to be learned. So did your stepfather, your dad treat your mom well, is that where you think? Okay, so they just celebrated their 50th anniversary. that’s so awesome. So that’s where you saw the modeling of this is how a man should be. I I remember I was, I was just about, I was just about gonna have my little girl and my new dad.
My daddy came in the, came in my room and I was crying and he said, I know this is hard, honey. But you are beautiful and someone is going to love and appreciate you. And so those were the kind of words that he said in the model that he gave me of how a woman should be treated. So yes, I, that is another thing.
And then how my husband treated me also, my future husband treated me, had a lot to do with how I was able to heal and trust when we got married in [00:27:00] the years that we got married. The, it was normal for marriage vows to contain the word that the wife would obey the husband and I looked at him with all my red hair and blue eyes snapping I’m like, I’m not promising to obey you.
And I’m like, I love you, but I cannot promise to obey you. and, and he understood where I was coming from, but that wasn’t okay for me. No. You know? And so I was still learning to trust. I was still learning. To receive love mm-hmm to learn how to receive love and that it, you know, and so that definitely was a process and my father, and then, then my husband had a, a big contributing for God showing me love in human form.
Yeah. So to anybody listening, male [00:28:00] or female, You never know what goes on behind closed doors. I, I think you’d agree with that. Donna mm-hmm yes. People can look shiny and perfect. I know they have a great relationship and on the other side it’s terrible. Yep. But when you see true love and true respect model that, and that’s what you should be looking for in your life part.
Not, not life partner, like in the worldly way, but your husband or wife. Right. Because some of us didn’t even grow up knowing a, a godly family or a, a healthy couple. I didn’t see a healthy, I mean, I don’t wanna say that, but the close that, like I spent a lot of time with, I didn’t know, a Christian godly, healthy couple.
Isn’t that sad? Yes. And I didn’t see that till after I was in college and it was very, very hard. Now that doesn’t mean I had no great people and they had great marriages, [00:29:00] but. That like depth of modeling behavior at the expense of themselves and that sacrificial humble love, you know, I just didn’t see that.
Right. So if you’re listening, listen to Donna, have the proper biblical model in your head, not the world’s model. Yes. And don’t compromise. Compromise is always bad. So, alright, so now you meet this magnificent man and you said he’s military. So military usually equals travel. What was your marriage and, and bring us through from there.
Well, he, he was just about to get out of it, of his his commitment to the military when we met, he extended six months, so he could still be near me and then he got out and he moved back to his home state and shortly thereafter I followed and we were married. So so no, we didn’t have a [00:30:00] lot of travel.
He He worked, he got his job back from the company he worked at prior to entering the military. And and then I got a job at that point. My daughter was I see, she was five when we were married. And so, you know, six years old, probably at that point, you know, starting kindergarten age. Yeah.
Kindergarten age. And, and so getting our own place and All of those kind of things. And beginning to develop a life. A year after that we had our son. And so, Hey, congrats. Um, We had a little boy and my art there was a bit of a, an adjustment because my husband came into a ready, made family with an older child.
And so there was some adjustment with my, our daughter, which he did adopt. He adopted her and [00:31:00] and so learning that, and then, you know, she didn’t really want any other children she wanted to be the only one. So then she had a bit adjustment. She was seven when he was born and then two years later we had a little girl, so, oh, oh, princess status is not alone now, right?
Yes. Princess status is not alone. So yes, she was called princess and the other one was called princess. So yes, there was some emotional stuff going on there for my oldest daughter, which already her conception and my years of crying without even realizing it did have an effect on her as well. That is the one thing that she hates the most is to see me cry.
And for her whole pregnancy, I just about cried. So it is interesting also all of those kind of relations that you see begin to see correlate between that and children being loved and [00:32:00] wanted. And I always thought always wanted her, but man, the hard situation was hard. So Then we had a little girl we were involved in church and life progressed.
I now there, I mean the next years were pretty much raising children and all the things that go along with that, I spent a good, good amount of time, really digging in and getting more healing on what had happened to me in the past during those years. Mm-hmm did you see it bleeding over into your life?
Like, did you see the negative effects bleeding over your life that made you pursue the healing? I don’t know that that was the motivation. It was coming from the place that I wanted to be. I, I believed I had a calling from God on my life to help people. I have a well, [00:33:00] I’m an ordained minister.
I’m a pastor who loves and cares for people, but that wasn’t happening at that stage in my life. And learning to be able to, I knew I needed to know how to, excuse me, be all be the best me I could be so that I could in turn help people cause hurting people just hurt people. And so learning to be able to it was my quest to serve God that brought about the need, the desire to completely Part of the process that I discovered is is that you don’t know what you don’t know that needs to be healed.
Mm-hmm it’s just normal. Right? and so you going through that process and that’s generational too. If you’re listening to this and you’re 60 or 60, 40, or. You have a completely different take on what Donna just [00:34:00] said. Yeah. So just realize hurting people hurt is super important to recognize.
Doesn’t make an excuse, but it helps you understand, so you can be free and you can help them be free potentially if it’s the right scenario. But a 60 year old hearing that is just like, suck it up, be a man or be a woman and move forward. That’s. A 40 year old is like, Ooh, that hurts. I gotta figure out how to fix it, get through it.
And, and then I’m gonna go on, but still don’t complain. Don’t wh don’t shut down. Just keep moving forward. Be tough. 20 year olds are like life stops and I need therapy and I need to work this out and it’s just a same people. Good people, different problems. But the mindset of the generations is different.
Is that what you see Donna? Cuz that’s how I see it. The younger generation today is much more apt to seek [00:35:00] help than my, when I was that age. Yes. So I agree with that, but I have noticed that for women anyway, between 38 and 48, there is a, who am I moment in their life and how, how do I heal from stuff?
Yes. So there is something that happens in that decade. Even more than others of I remember, you know me saying I’m so-and-so’s wife, I’m so-and-so’s mom, but who am I? Who am I? And how do I find out who that person is? So all of that kind of stuff also occurs through through those and through those decades.
So during this point in your life, this time, period, what did you learn that you want to pass on to our listen? To help them at least start the process of healing. The biggest thing [00:36:00] I learned was how much God really loved me and learning how to receive that. Love. I mentioned my name. May I share with you what God showed me about my.
Hundred percent. And this is your show, man. It’s God’s world God’s podcast, but this show features you whatever you want. Well, as long as it’s moral, we’re good. I don’t care about legal. I care about moral. I was in the middle of a, of a program that I now instruct others and it’s called search for significance.
And it’s finding our significance in what God says about us. Not about what the world says or about. Life has done to us. So that was the premise of it all. And so one of the things that I was talking to God about was my name and how I felt abandoned and unwanted from a very young age. And he said, you need to look up what your name means like, okay.
So I [00:37:00] went and looked up my name and my name means gracious lady. And that’s what Donna means. And he says, well, what does gracious mean? And, and I look that up. It means to be like, God, And he said, he thought you was naming you after him, but he was, I was really naming you after me. And that was a very powerful moment where we, and only God can do those moments where they speak to heart issues, that you’ve had to be able to understand that we find our significance in what God says about us.
Just to briefly talk about what that program is, is the world system is set up that I am significant by other people’s opinion. And. My performance and that equals my value is what other people’s opinion of is me and my performance. But what God [00:38:00] says is our value is what he has said about us. And shouldn’t it be the one who created us who determines our value and the price that was paid for us.
Determines the value that we have. It isn’t other people’s opinion. I often say rejection is a big thing for a lot of us who have had pain. There’s all kinds of rejection that we face. And do we realize though, that there are a whole bunch of different kinds of cars and music, genres and art and all kinds of things.
If. Every one of them is somebody’s opinion on what it should be. And so why should somebody’s opinion, which is really what rejection is, is they’re saying, this is my opinion about you, but it doesn’t make it true. It’s just their opinion. So learning to be able to process rejection in a different way and [00:39:00] what your performance was a big thing.
I was a big workaholic. I always had to prove my worth. You can, you, you can’t do that. You, you just exhaust yourself in learning how to do that. Does that make sense?
Yes, 100%. That makes perfect sense. And I’ve experienced that in my own life and I’m sure many of our listeners have sadly experienced that as well. So for the people out there who are listening, I’ll put a link in the show notes. If you’ve never done. We’ll put a link to a good there’s th there’s probably a thousand sites that do what’s your name mean?
And probably right now, 950 or trash. So I’ll try to find a link to a better one. That’s more mm-hmm BA back to the basics of Hebrew and Greek and Latin, and you can, you can actually see what it means. But now you’re in this place in your life [00:40:00] and you’re finding, you know, God loves me. He is the creator, and he’s the one that created me.
And I’m perfect. Exactly. Mm-hmm, how I am.
But there’s people who are just every day, it’s drilled in their head that they’re worthless and they have no worth what the, what’s the message you have for those people, Donna?
Yes. There are people that are constantly hearing it. And the main, the main thing that the person they’re hearing it from is probably themselves. I recently, I also have a podcast and I recently did an interview and the woman started the interview with, I just got out of a 20 year abusive relationship.
And she said every day, this abuser would say I was stupid and fat and worthless and never amount to anything. And she said, and I realized that I didn’t want my [00:41:00] daughter. Growing up hearing those kind of things. So I looked myself in the mirror and said, you’ve really gotta stop
And so I loved that because so many of the time I. Other people may say those things, but what’s most devastating is, is when we say it to ourselves. So when I heard those kind of comments or words or little digs, you know, those ones that they do with a smile. Yeah. Those when I would hear those kind of things, I would turn away and said I was made in the image of God and he loves me.
And it’s gonna be okay. And that’s what I would do on the inside. Not to them to counteract what’s hearing because I was putting God’s word in my heart every day. I was, you know, it is an [00:42:00] intentional choice to counteract the negative that we hear, because there’s always gonna be somebody who disapproves.
There’s always gonna be somebody who can be critical. It is choosing how much influence you, let those people have in your life. But the biggest thing is what are you saying to yourself? Declarations affirmations, you decree a thing and it shall be established. That’s God’s word. If you decree it, it will be established.
It doesn’t matter what the other person says. What are you saying? That makes all the difference. Yeah, there’s super power to what we speak and speaking life and being positive. You know, we’re not talking about, don’t get confused with what Donna’s saying with the there’s people who tell you prosperity doctrine, no matter what you’re gonna be blessed and rich and this and that, and donate money to me and, and you’ll get money and that’s crap.
But [00:43:00] when, what Don is talking about, the freedom, the speak in life, the loving yourself and God blessing you. And it will return all the time without question. So there is a distinction there and you can reach out to Don and I, if you have more questions about that, so now you’re married, you have three children, your husband, and you are working mm-hmm and you finally get to the point where you’re like, I need to get some help.
and, and kind of unload this stuff. I’ve been carrying mm-hmm . Where does your life go from there? And what kind of steps did you take to heal and what kind of results did it bear? The steps were going through predominantly the program that I mentioned. And a lot of, you know, someone said to me once you know, when I was sharing my stories like Donna, you’re a walking miracle and [00:44:00] you know, I thanked them, but I walked away and said, this miracle was a daily choice. To choose to speak life.
It was a daily choice to believe what God said, not my doubts and my fears. And so that, that is, is the key. It was, yes. I went through this program, but it was applying what I was learning. It was daily choices. To stay and to face the fears to continue to forgive, continue to heal, continue to trust the results of that is what I’m doing today with vibrant living international is being a life mastery coach and helping women all around the world.
My signature, program’s called turn your baggage into luggage so that you can be all that God created you to be. So you can create a life. You love God called me and gave me this [00:45:00] program step by step on how to help women in a very short period of time, transform their life so that they don’t have to be defined by what has happened to them or words that has been spoken.
To them. That’s the results. The results are that all of my children live within 20 minutes of me, all of my grandchildren around me. They wanna be with us every day. It is a, it’s a family. That’s not perfect, but God is the reason. And the center for 38 years of marriage and all, you know, all the kids are married and then the grandkids.
So it’s just, I love my life. Absolutely love my life. Yes. And that’s beautiful. And not everybody can say that. So thank you for being on the show with us to share the house. Now you went through your getting help to today between your birth and today, [00:46:00] is there anything else significant that you wanna discuss?
Cuz I still have that giant question in my head. At what point in her life did she face the pain? And how did you forgive that person who abused you?
I don’t know that it was a point. Okay. That’s fair. I’m just saying that. Yeah. I, I, I don’t, I can’t define it as a point, but as a process I mentioned that when I was talking about forgiveness and the onion and when I I mean, I have encountered this individual since then. Because of the situation without going into it.
And so, you know, it’s sometimes there’s triggers and God brings some more healing. So learning to be able that it’s a process we want, we wanna step into a magic booth and [00:47:00] Jessica APRI, Cadabra, you’re all better. but it doesn’t really work that way. It forgiveness was I chose right away. To begin to forgive, and it was learning how to do that.
Walk by walk, stepping it out so that I could be where I am today. So how would you recommend somebody dealing with this type of pain to start the forgiveness process? My advice would is, is don’t do it alone. Find someone to help you through it. This isn’t something I thought I had people in my life that were there for me to walk alongside and don’t do it alone.
But the first step is it depends on where you are in your relationship with God. But basically is saying, God, that helped me learn how to forgive. [00:48:00] And because in the beginning you don’t even want to. you don’t want to forgive. So learning to, let me, help me to be willing, to forgive and let me find the people or the resources that can help me to learn how to forgive I’m here for that.
If you’re listening and you want some support in that. Yeah. And I wanna make this clear too. God never. Not through history, not today, not for the future. He never causes evil ever, ever. He may allow hardships to happen, but it’s only for our benefit and his glory down the road. Even though we can’t wrap our mind around that as humans, it really is.
God’s goodness. Cuz when you read your Bible, if you haven’t read your Bible, Cover to cover old Testament and new there’s few things. Soap operas are intense. There’s crazy stuff that happens in the Bible. [00:49:00] and God always works people through it who follow him to good to the, to the, the I’m using the word promise land.
But I mean, it, it always ends well, you know, we’ll have attorney with God as a. I I speak to a lot of people, especially women who ask that question, how, if God is good, how could this have happened to me? Yep. And that’s a question that, and the way that I answer it to add to your, your statement is if God was in, if God was positive, We would all be robots.
He would be making us do certain things. And because he gave man free choice. Yep. Bad things happened to good people because he gave us free choice because he didn’t want robots, but he can turn awful things [00:50:00] into good. When we give it to him and let him do that, it isn’t always overnight. But it always happens as we turn our pro our pain and our trauma and things that have happened to us over to God, because he’s always the answer.
He’s not the problem. Yes, I agree. I agree. I agree. And in the Bible, the old Testament is most of the stories. Yes. And the new Testament is the application, which we can understand better, but you have like the life of Joseph, the life of David and his children. So many bizarre things that happened in outright sin, and yet God turned it for good.
Yes. So, and there’s a verse in Roman says all things work together, work together for good. For those who love God. Yep. And those called according to his purpose. Mm-hmm . Yep. All right. So Donna. Where do we go from here? So you are healing, you’re taking classes. And now today you are a life coach helping women heal, but is there [00:51:00] anything we missed in your life story?
Or do you wanna pick up from here and say where’s Donna today and where are you heading? No, I think that covers the main things. You know, there’s always little, it depends on how long you’ve lived, how long your story is but those cover the main things to be able to. Highlight in my life.
And what was your next question? Where do we go from here? Yeah, where’s Donna. We always end the show with where are you today and where are you headed? You just helped us for 45 minutes, but where are you and where are you going? So we can help you get there. Well, I am working with I’m a life mastery coach, helping women to rise above the pain and disappointment of life.
And so that’s what I’m continuing to do. Vibrant living international is my ministry, nonprofit organization, helping women around the world. So that’s where I’m going with. This [00:52:00] is being able to expand the ministry so that more women can. Be who God created them to be and not be defined by what’s happened to them in the past.
Yeah. And I’m gonna bring this up. I wanna hear your take on this. So first off, if you’re listening, I mean, I’m sure Donna can talk to men and women, but her specialty, heart mm-hmm her purpose is with women. So if you have a question or you want more information, reach out to her links will be in the show notes, but Donna quickly, if someone wanted to reach you, what’s the best way for them to contact you.
The easiest way is my website. And that is the letter I vibrant living.com. There is a ask the coach question, ask Donna, you can click on that and, and reach me right away. All of my social media tabs are there too. You can reach me that way as well. Awesome. So we’ll put that link in the show notes, but let’s focus on this to end the show [00:53:00] unless you have something else, but this is what I’m thinking.
Percentage of growth right now. If you look at any study secular or, or quote, I always loosely use the term Christian. Like I love God. I believe in Christ. Hopefully people will look at me and say, that’s Christian. He’s Christlike. But most people call themselves Christians. They’re not acting like Christ yes.
So that’s why I’m very careful with how I use that term. But even the, the, I dunno if you’re listening and you didn’t know this, there’s a little fun fact for jeopardy. The disciples never called themselves Christians. It says in acts, they were first called Christians at Antioch. It was an honor. Other people saw Christ in them and how they behaved mm-hmm they didn’t go around calling themselves that that’s presumptuous and probably prideful sin.
Right. so, anyways, on the next level, this is my question to you, porn addiction among women. Is faster than men. [00:54:00] Okay. Adultery rates for every 10 marriages right now, seven are the women like, and I’m not saying it’s right. Men having an affair is wrong. Women having affairs wrong, but just in our generation, there’s been this shift and I’m seeing epidemic levels.
I’ve talked to counselors, we’ve had counselors on the. There is just Satan reaching in to these dark private spaces with women and in the droves, getting them to fall and ruining their lives and their husbands and their families to those women, listening to you. I’m sure you talk to them every day. What is the advice, the warning, the, the, Hey, if you got wrapped up in that, like, like, let me help you get out.
Like, are you seeing that in your daily life? And what advice do you have to those, those ladies or those women? No, I haven’t personally [00:55:00] really encountered much of that kind of situation in, there’s been a little bit in different women that I’ve worked with, but it doesn’t really matter too much men or women it’s seeking love in all the wrong places and learning that With today’s society, making things, trying to be, make things more equal is not always better when it’s things that hurt us.
Mm-hmm and so learning that they can really only find the completion and the source. I mean, even my husband can’t meet all of my needs to be loved. He’s a man. He just can’t, I’m not talking sex. I’m talking about that deep need heart that we want to be loved and accepted. That can only come from God.
Mm-hmm . There is something that cries out to [00:56:00] us inside of us. And when we reach to things. In the world to meet those needs, we will always be injured and hurt. And so it is, that’s why God hates sin, cuz it hurts us. It causes damage to us. And so learning to be able to look for your love and acceptance from God and not from things, not even from people because we will be disappointed and only God can meet that need.
Well said a hundred percent well said. And I think, you know, that verse in the Bible, shortest verse in the Bible’s two words, Jesus swept, it just breaks his heart. It breaks his heart and that’s why he came and died for us. So, so Jonna, thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for sharing your time and your life with us.
Again, Donna, what’s that website one more time. Give them to, again, just in case they wanna reach out to you. It’s the letter. I [00:57:00] vibrant living.com. All right. So reach out to Donna at I vibrant living and ladies and gentlemen, like our slogan says, don’t just listen to great content. People like Donna are willing to share their life experiences, and you could probably be in the show sharing yours, but do it each day.
The good. Repeat it over and over again. Cuz it’s that consistency that Donna talked about it wasn’t instant it’s each day peeling the layers back. Healing’s a process. And do it so you can have a great life in this world and more than that, an eternity to come mm-hmm so I’m David Paco alone. Donna, thank you for being here today.
My pleasure. Yes. And ladies and gentlemen, check us out in another episode of the podcast, send us any feedback like it, share it and again, get it. Hold of Donna. If you need some help and we love you, but more than we can love you. God loves. So thank you again, Donna and ladies and gentlemen, we’ll see you in the next [00:58:00] episode.
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