She submitted her story a couple years ago to be considered for the Your Life Still Counts project. At the time I didn’t know her at all. Yet her story immediately struck a chord in my heart. Something about her – was special.
Not because she had been dealt a difficult hand of cards in life, but because she had chosen to love the Lord with all her heart, and to believe that He fully loved her, regardless of her circumstances. She had chosen to not let her difficulties keep her discouraged, and instead, choose to seek God with all her heart and be used as a vessel to encourage others with the love of Christ. And she definitely encouraged me!
Through Dara’s journey of faith, she discovered that despite her limitations, difficulties, pain or frustrations, her life mattered to God. She mattered to God. And He mattered to her.
I finally got to meet this sweet young woman for the first time in person last week, Dara Gentry, and it was such a huge blessing. Her sweet personality, kindness and gentleness exuded from her smiling face, and I even got to meet her loving mom who obviously raised her to love the Lord. Truly, she is an inspiration and a shining example of how God can use all things in our lives to help others come to know about His saving grace and how valuable we are to Him.
I just felt led to share her story with you today, which is shared in Your Life Still Counts in Chapter Eight. She is just one of the twenty amazing women who have opened the door for God to turn their past, and their present, into a tool for glorifying Him, and who were selected to share their stories in my new book.
If you are inspired by Dara’s story, will you hop over and leave a comment of encouragement and prayer for her today? It will only take a few seconds. I know it would bless her so much, but it would also bless me. 🙂
Growing up with spina bifida and wheelchair bound has not always been easy. I don’t always like it and sometimes I wish things were different.
It can be lonely at times, feeling like nobody understands. Hurtful people planted seeds of unworthiness in my mind years ago. They said things like “People only talk to you because they feel sorry for you,” and “People only hang out with you so they get something out of it, like not having to wait in line.”
Although those comments have caused me to question people’s motives, I have learned that God does understand and He will always be there for me, especially when I feel like I am all alone in the world or the only one who deals with struggles. I do have limitations which at times can be very frustrating, but I have realized that because of my limitations, I have more time to stop and listen to people and to be an encourager to them. I have also learned that God is the sustainer of life and that He can use every situation to bring us closer to Him.
Years ago I was faced with yet another surgery related to my disability, which required going through my appendix. However, when the surgery began, the doctor discovered my appendix had ruptured and was shriveled. He explained it probably burst as long as ten years ago and could have been fatal, but it wasn’t. The fact that God had kept me alive was an eye opener. If I were not meant to be here, I wouldn’t be. Whenever I struggle with thoughts of depression or suicide, I remember that miracle and that God must have a special purpose for my life, whatever that may be.
Dara Gentry lives in Apex, North Carolina, and strives to inspire others facing challenges to remember that God understands their struggles and that He has a special plan and purpose for their existence. Dara has served on a writers group, making cards as a source of encouragement to others. She is pursuing a degree in creative writing and plans to continue encouraging people to be all they can be through Christ.
To purchase your copy of Your Life Still Counts and be inspired by all the stories of the women who have allowed God to use their difficult experiences to draw them closer to Him and equip them to minister to others, CLICK HERE.
* Karen Seigh is the winner of Pat Layton’s book Unstuck. Notified via email.