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Jesus

My Declaration of (In)Dependence

 
 

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

 
 
In the course of my life’s events, it became necessary for me to dissolve the emotional, mental, physical, social, and spiritual bands that connected themselves to me, and to receive the power of Almighty God which He freely offered me.
 

 
I now hold the truths of the Bible to be self-evident, that I am created in the image of God and that He has endowed me with certain inalienable rights. Among these are eternal life, earthly freedom, and the pursuit of Him, which leads to true happiness.
 
 

Such was my suffering, which led me to declare my independence:
 
 
 

For my 33 years, I struggled with whether I was truly saved. I had done all the “right” things in my Christian life—I had always been in church, but that’s all I remember. I had gone through seasons of certainty, where I said, “Yep, I’m good.” To seasons of uncertainty, “I’m not so sure.” Every time, I rationalized it away.
 
In 2009, I admitted I was not 100% certain I was saved. This troubled me more than ever, especially given all the growth and freedom I had experienced the previous five years in recovery. Still, I did not want to continue with this inner restlessness any longer. I wanted to be certain. I wanted to have the assurance and the memory that I had truly accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
 
On that Sunday afternoon, I realized that through all my life struggles, I had come to love God so much that it grieved my heart to even consider the possibility that He could look at me at the end of my days and say, “I don’t know you.” That thought alone was enough for me to take the biggest step in my recovery from codependency. I ignored all the self-criticism in those moments and the “What would people say?” Once and for all, I did it. I prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior – at the age of 33, with my accountability partner by my side. I am now 100% certain that I will spend eternity with the Lover of my soul.
 
I believe that from the moment I was born to April 5th, 2009, God had been wooing me with his grace – that undeserved favor toward me, a sinner. On that day, I was finally at a place where I had come to love him more than anything. Swallowing my pride and making it official – no matter how foolish it might appear having grown up in the church – was my way of showing Him. The very next Sunday, I was proud and humbled to have my Pastor – Pastor Jay – baptize me as a public profession of my faith.
 

 
Therefore, I, Daphne Tarango, appealing to Almighty God in the name of my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, declare I am free and absolved from all allegiance to the enemy of my soul. All emotional, mental, physical, social, and spiritual connection between us is totally dissolved. I am a free person, and I pledge my life and my dependence to the One who came to set the captives free—Jesus, the Christ!
 
 

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). 

 
 
Come alongside… Tell us about the moment you declared your independence. What led you to make that decision?
 
 

2nd Graders, Field Trips, and Jesus


 
“This way, kids. Stay with us.”
 
“Joshua… Joshua, this way, please.”
 
“Come on, Jasmine. Time to move on.”
 
 
Oh, the joys of chaperoning 2nd grade field trips.
 
 
We don’t have all 16! Where’s Samuel?!?!
 
 
Nine girls, seven boys. Nine girls, seven boys.
 
 
I felt like I was corralling them as we walked along—trying to catch glimpses of sharks, goliath groupers, and sea anemones along the way.
 
 
I wanted them to enjoy the aquarium to the fullest—protected, safe, without getting lost and scared.
 
 
I was there for them.
 
 
Dear one, Jesus is there for us too–except He’s not just a chaperone. He is The Great Shepherd.
 
 
“This way, Daphne. Stay with me.”
 
 
“Daphne… Daphne, this way, please.”
 
 
“Daphne, time to move on.”
 
 
He doesn’t want to spoil our fun. He loves us and wants us to enjoy life to the fullest. His boundaries protect us, keep us safe, and help us not to get lost or scared along the way.
 
 
We might want to go our own way—and many times we do, but Jesus comes back for us.
 

If a man has a hundred sheep but one of the sheep gets lost, he will leave the other ninety-nine on the hill and go to look for the lost sheep. (Matthew 18:11-14)
 

 
 
When we’re weak, tender, sick, burdened, or hurting, He gathers us in His arms. He carries us close to His heart. He gently leads us (Isaiah 40:11).
 

 
 

***

 
 
At the end of the day, we made it back to school with all 16 kids. No major injuries–just a few cuts and scrapes along the way. I set boundaries–they felt loved. Some kids even fought to hold my hand.
 
 
“It’s my turn to hold her hand.”
 
 
“You already had a turn.”
 
 
“Mrs. T., when can I hold your hand?”
 
 
Dear one, hold Jesus’ hand. Stay within His boundaries. You will feel His love.
 
 
 
 
Come alongside… Have you ever been a chaperone? What was that like? Has anyone ever chaperoned you? How has God shepherded you? What is He trying to get across to you? Please share with us in the comments.
 
 


 

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First Christmas

This Christmas is especially meaningful to our family. It will be our first Christmas with our three children, whom we adopted in August of this year.

 

We have been trying to point them to Christ during this joyous season—they haven’t had that influence in their three-and-a-half years in separate foster homes.

 

As we’ve decorated the house, we’ve stopped and read passages from the Bible. We’ve also created a book for them that explains the significance of our traditions:

 

  • The Christmas tree
  • Candy canes
  • Wreaths
  • Poinsettias
  • Gift-giving

 

And most importantly, the manger scene where baby Jesus came into the world.

 

As we’ve read to them, their eyes have filled with wonder and delight. They continue to look around the house in awe of a holiday that truly is more than lights and commercials. Everything we have done—and will continue to do—celebrates Jesus.

 

I know it is a turning point in their lives. It is for me too.

 

Explaining the real meaning of Christmas to a child—our children—has re-ignited a passion in me for the holidays. I find myself getting lost with contentment in the bundles of joy God has brought to our little family.

 

In many ways, it’s my first Christmas.

 

Is this a glimpse of what Mary felt on her first Christmas with the Christ of Christmas? Did she gaze at the marvel of God in her arms? Was she silenced by the Son of God on her chest? Did she whisper in His tiny ears that He would save us from our sins? Did she celebrate Jesus—God with us?

 

Truly, it was her first Christmas.

 

Throughout history, many families have celebrated their first Christmas—not one filled with lights and commercials but one that lifts up Jesus—God’s first and only Christmas to the world.

 

Forever, we will share the merriest story of all. Forever, we will treasure all these things in our hearts (Luke 2:19).

 

Thank you, Jesus, for that first Christmas.

 

Come alongside… Tell us about your first Christmas celebrating Jesus. What are your traditions?

 

 

A Co-Dependent’s Holiday Prayer

 
As a recovering co-dependent, I cringe at the onset of holiday season. I know—I probably shouldn’t say that–after all, the holidays are a joyous time. We celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
 
 
CoDAHolidayPrayerrev
 
 
That’s not the part that makes me cringe. It’s all the…

  • Expectations.
  • Hustle.
  • Frenzy.
  • Event after event after event.

 
 
Starting around Thanksgiving and through mid-January, stress and anxiety overwhelm me.
 
 
This year, I figured I would be proactive and pray continually. This is my…
 
 

Co-Dependent’s Holiday Prayer

 

 Father, thank you for this joyous season.

Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me

So that I could live forever with you.

 

God, you know how anxious I get during the holidays.

Help me not to look for approval from anyone—

Not about presents, events I plan, events I attend,

Not even about the way my home should look.

 

Help me not to let anyone’s frenzy zap my serenity.

I might feel the urge to rescue others from their over-commitments, Lord.

Help me to restrain myself.

 

Help me not to try to please others by putting myself and my family on the backburner

While spending so much time on what others might want.

 

Lord, give me the freedom to let my family be themselves—

Not to control their behaviors and appearance.

 

Help me to be myself,

Regardless of what others might say or think.

 

Lord, help me to demonstrate the true meaning of giving—

Not giving to others as a way of gaining their approval and exceeding their expectations.

 

Open my eyes to my own feelings as they arise.

Help me to step aside and regain my focus as I need it.

Show me what I truly want this season—a simple life that celebrates You—

The greatest gift of all—Jesus.

 

Amen.

 
Come alongside… What part of my prayer resonated with you most? Will you share this prayer with others?
 
 

New Article Published: “What’s the Word?”

My latest article in Mentoring Moments for Christian Women is “What’s the Word?”

 

I wrote this article as part of this year’s “Jesus is…” series at MMCW.

 

 

 

 

I hope you will read, comment, and share with others.

 

And if you haven’t already subscribed to Mentoring Moments, I encourage you to do so.

 

Big hugs,
Daphne

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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