God’s grace and promises provide comfort for a woman during dark times.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Dale Anne Mondy’s road to Cross of Christ, Nampa, Idaho, isn’t what brought her to faith, but it’s where she found a home for a faith that held her up through a tumultuous life.
It started with GriefShare, a support group conducted by Cross of Christ for people who have lost loved ones. Dale saw an ad and felt compelled to attend. She’s been part of the Cross of Christ family since. “I’d been attending different churches, and this one is the one where I felt most at home,” says Dale. “Everyone is so friendly and nice and warm.”
Besides hearing the comforting promises of God’s grace, Dale felt the love of Christ through Cross of Christ members, who assisted her after an injury. “I couldn’t believe it, that people could love you that much,” she says. Their love for her is a reflection of the love Christ has for all people.
Dale, 69, was raised in a Christian home as the only girl with three brothers. In her younger years, her family moved a lot for her father’s job. The family went to church somewhat regularly, depending on where they were living.
Dale calls her family normal. “My parents stayed married and stuff like that. Some of my other friends didn’t get along with their mom or dad when they were teenagers,” she says.
Merriam Webster defines normal as “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern: characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine.” In a world plagued by sin, perhaps her story is normal, but most people hope they never experience this type of normal.
In Dale’s early teen years her family settled in Idaho Falls. There Dale’s life started to take a rocky turn.
Dale says she was a difficult teenager, “My mom was always thinking that I was going to get pregnant. She accused me of being a drug addict, even though I never did drugs. I started drinking a little bit with some of my friends. I wasn’t able to make it in on time for curfew and she beat me up and accused me of things I wasn’t doing and how I was going to ruin the family name if I ever got pregnant. I was raised with three brothers, and I felt like I had more rules for me than they had,” says Dale.
It was a vicious cycle. Dale’s mother was suspicious and accused her of things she didn’t do, and Dale pushed boundaries and fought back.
Dale had been dragged by her hair, hit with a frying pan, and shoved by her mother. “She was so mean,” says Dale. “I wanted to escape.” One time, she fought back a little, and her dad punched her.
At the age of 16, Dale was beaten and raped by a coworker. She says, “After I got raped, I wouldn’t wear makeup; I wouldn’t fix my hair. I wouldn’t look at anybody; I didn’t want to be with any boys at all. I didn’t want anything like that. My mom said I ruined the family name.”
Soon after, Dale and her mom got into another fight. “She kicked me out of the house, and I stayed over at my boyfriend’s house,” says Dale.
“I stayed on the couch.” Her dad threatened her 24-year-old boyfriend with jail and Dale with reform school unless they got married. So, they got married. “I just wanted to be somewhere where I wasn’t being hit all the time,” says Dale. But her new husband turned out to be controlling, jealous, and ultimately physically abusive.
“It’s been crazy from the time I was 16. I was panicked constantly, running, trying to find a job, trying to stay put, trying to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. I stepped up to the fight and I just did it,” says Dale. “But I didn’t do it alone; I had God watching over me. And, I know, because I would not be here if he didn’t.” God never deserts his children, and he didn’t desert Dale.
Dale and her first husband had two daughters together, Angela and Karrie. Dale left the marriage before Karrie was born after her husband beat her up while she was pregnant.
Dale married a second time. Her second husband was also abusive, severely injuring her on multiple occasions. They had a son, William, together. Dale left when William was 10 days old, hiding at a neighbor’s house with her children until she could safely get away.
By the time she was 21, she had three kids and had been married twice.
“I did the best I could. Mostly I was panicked. I was scared and running, trying to keep a job and keep three kids fed, just survive,” says Dale. “My life was a train wreck; it was terrible. God kept an eye on me, that’s why I’m still here. He helped me through it. I wouldn’t have survived if I didn’t have belief in God.”
Dale worked hard raising her three kids. She scraped by first by working for the Health and Welfare department until her job was defunded, then at a floral shop, among other things. She says she made sure they got to church occasionally. She got married a third time and then a fourth time at age 59. Her last husband died three years later.
In November of 2018, Angela, Dale’s oldest daughter, died from opioid addiction and alcohol poisoning. Angela got addicted to painkillers after a routine surgery. When pills weren’t available, she turned to alcohol. A year and a half later, in June 2020, Karrie, Dale’s other daughter, also died from an opioid overdose. Even though her daughters lived hundreds of miles away from each other, they both fell victim to drug addictions just shy of their 50th birthdays.
Dale says she knew her daughters were taking pills, but they told her they were prescription. She knew something wasn’t right, though. The addictions caused tension and created distance in their relationships. Angela stole medication from Dale’s mother who was suffering from cancer, and Karrie attended Angela’s funeral while significantly impaired from drug use.
While burying one daughter, Dale was watching the other go down the same path. “It’s like having your heart ripped out of you when you lose your children no matter what age they are and when you see them suffering from addiction like that. You just want to help them, but you can’t,” says Dale. “I prayed for them all the time and I prayed that God would give me strength to deal with it.”
In the throes of grief, Dale saw an ad for GriefShare at Cross of Christ. Dale isn’t sure what kept her going back to GriefShare or what prompted her to pursue the Bible information class after attending the support group, but she said she needed something to hold on to and God’s Word and promises were providing it. Her faith grew stronger as she heard the message of Jesus’ love. She became a member of the church in September 2020 and began to hope that her daughters had a spark of faith and were with Jesus in heaven.
Dale will attest to the power of God and prayer: “I prayed all the time. Even when I was without a church, I was praying on my way to work for God to help me not lose my temper and to not be a wreck. He always helped me find my way and didn’t let me be in my own way,” she says. She believes prayer works otherwise she wouldn’t be here.
Finding a church home where she can be lifted up with God’s grace and promises has helped keep her strong. “The church helped me. They still do. I love going to church. I don’t want to miss it,” says Dale. “I love the pastors, their messages, and their enthusiasm about teaching the Bible to you.”
Author: Amanda Klemp
Volume 108, Number 10
Issue: October 2021