About Darla

My Personal Story

I was born in the front seat of my grandpa’s blue 1957 Chevy arriving just outside an Air Force Hospital. I was born to my Native American mother and my father of English descent.

At the age of eight months, my father relocated us to Tehran, Iran in the mid-1960’s. I lived behind iron bars on our windows and a brick fence around our backyard with razor wire at the top. We never left the house without the protection of a bodyguard.

I was raised by our maid Zafarah because my mother suffered from severe mental illness, and my father was away a majority of the time, working as an aircraft mechanic. Although I felt disconnected from my parents, most of the time, I would hear their prayers and songs of praise to Jesus. Just the mention of the name of Jesus brought joy and peace to their faces. During these special times, they would tell me about Jesus and his promise to never leave us. My parents created the foundation for my faith in Jesus Christ. Apart from giving me life, I treasure this gift from them the most.

In the middle of my sixth year, we moved back to the United States without Zafarah. I was devastated and terrified yet I suppressed my pain to ensure I would survive by obeying my parent’s words to be strong.

My parents loved God with all their hearts, and they tried to do their best. However, their hearts and minds were fragmented from the pain in their past. They were too afraid to let God and other professionals help them work through their pain. They lived in co-dependency and struggled to survive even though they loved God, prayed, and went to church. They also struggled to be available for me.

At the age of eighteen, I married a man in the hopes of starting a new life. I longed to be loved and have a family of my own. I was unaware of the symptoms and cycle of domestic violence and alcoholism. It did not take long for my fairy tale to become a nightmare.

For the next thirteen years, I tried to make sense of my marriage vows in the sight of God and my denied requests for help to escape. Feeling trapped, I resolved to try and make our marriage normal. I pretended to be happy while enduring infertility issues, miscarriage, an unfaithful husband, and abuse to myself and my children. I created a fantasy world to cope with my painful reality because I knew no other way.

This statement is a pivotal point in my life. I had come to a decision of life or death in my abusive marriage, but God intervened through the counsel of a pastor. A pastor who had supported his daughter’s divorce from her abusive husband. He had me read God’s word for myself concerning God’s design for marriage and the command Jesus gave his disciples after the last supper. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John13:34-35 NIV. At that moment, I realized I had been deceived and blinded by my oppressing beliefs, devaluing messages, and past hurts. I let imperfect people be my truth because I did not know God’s truth for myself.

I left my husband and went to a safe house for abused women to protect myself and my boys. They helped me break free from the legal, financial, and psychological chains of my abusive life over the next two years. After these intense years, my heart and mind focused on discovering whom God and Jesus were in a personal relationship by studying God’s word. In God’s love and care, the process of healing began. God revealed areas of my mind, heart, and soul that needed to be renewed by God’s transforming grace. My journey of faith and healing was not immediate or easy. In fact, even though I progressively grew in my faith in Jesus, I had to face and rise above another divorce, rejection, and depression. However, these challenges didn’t devastate my heart and life like the ones before. I realized Jesus would never leave me, even when other people choose to walk away. I knew I was not alone and he had made me strong.

The insights and revelations I learned through God’s living word brought a new significance to the past heartaches and abuse in my life. In fact, they have created the calling on the rest of my life–to be a champion for abused women and a Christian speaker. My mission is to show women how to partner with Jesus to move to the healed side of abuse through God’s transforming grace. I also help churches understand the core aspects creating and sustaining troubled Christian marriages. They can see through God’s guidance it is possible to live in a healthy marriage. They can live safe, secure and loved.

It is an honor to share the struggles of my faith journey to let you know you are not alone and the promises of God are not only true for me, but also for you. I know this because the same Jesus that lives in me live in you. I encourage you to let me help you learn how to partner with Jesus. Let him take the broken pieces of your life and create a beautiful stained glass masterpiece and shine a kaleidoscope of God’s grace on those around you.

“God created me—and you—to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion—namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life.”
― John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John13:34-35 NIV

Welcome to COURAGEOUS!  Your Healing Journey


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From struggling with faith, stress, hope, and love . . . to confidently thriving in Christ!

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