My guest this episode is MAJ Liliane Delva, USA. Liliane was initially interviewed for an article on Christian Mentoring that appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of COMMAND magazine. In this episode, Liliane talks about the significance of the 9/11 attacks on her Army career, how her parents immigrated from Haiti and made it a point to keep the family away from some of the voodoo practices they saw while living there, and she also talks about how trauma from a molestation as a child had a profound impact on her life, creating much fear and anxiety, before she followed that gentle nudging from God to get help and healing.
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As you listen to Liliane’s story, here are a few questions to ponder in your personal time or with a small group or mentor.
- Liliane discusses joining the military at a time when a military career was “marketed” as an opportunity for college scholarships and developing skill sets, and how the events of 9/11 caused her to reconsider what her military service really meant. How does her resolve to fulfill her commitment, to “not go back on my word,” align with what Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:37 to “…let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’”?
- Liliane was born and raised in Haiti where the “blending of different belief systems” including voodoo was common. With a “reverence for God” intact from her Catholic upbringing, as a teen Liliane determined to “find out and establish a relationship with God for myself.” How does establishing a relationship with God differ from merely practicing a religion?
- “The way we envision the word ‘father,’ and the image that we see regarding ‘father’ or ‘dad’ is very important because it can influence the way we see God.” Liliane says she sees in God the Father the same attributes that she felt from her earthly father in how he loved, cared, and protected her as an authority figure. What is your view of God? How does that impact your life—or the way you treat others, especially if you have kids?
- Reflect on these statements from Liliane: “God is really in everything we do, and He is really present in every aspect of our lives,” and “There is a greater strength in you than you realize that allows you to overcome, and that’s the strength you find in God.” In what ways do these thoughts amaze you, especially in knowing these are from a woman who overcame sexual abuse?