I’m so excited about today’s interview with one of my favorite insta friends!! I have been following Delaine for a long time now and just love her energy and light. A recent college grad and lady with a heart for service, she is doing so much good in her community and world. AND she’s a music minister, so she’s a girl after my own heart. So blessed to know her and be able to hear her story!!
+ For those who aren’t familiar with you, please introduce yourself.
Hello! I’m Delaine! I’m a 22-year-old young adult minister out in SoCal, living out my Catholic faith as boldly and genuinely as I can. I love Jesus, music, and ice cream (milkshakes preferred).
+ When did your relationship with Christ first take root in your life? As a young person, how did you grow to take your faith on as your own?
I’m a cradle Catholic so I was born & raised into the Catholic faith by my parents but didn’t go past my first communion, as a child/teen. I remember not really understanding what exactly was happening during Mass or what really happened during first communion. I first got a taste of ministry & volunteering around the end of middle school to early high school where I was in a ministry at my local parish, but something just didn’t sit right. It was freshman year of college where I really felt my relationship with Christ take off and since then it has been such a wild and extraordinary life with God. I felt that burning and decided to sign up for RCIA and was confirmed last year as an adult, where things really got crazy. God began forming my servant heart and really weighed my heart with service. I surrounded myself with a vibrant Catholic community made up of young adults just like me, who guided, and walked with me these last few years. I began filling my life with service in the church, breaking open Scripture, spending loads of time in prayer, opening myself up to God, and giving Him my simple yes to His Will.
+ How do you intentionally choose joy in your daily life?
This is one that is a little difficult for me: Growing up I might have been a jolly child but as preteen + teenage years, I wasn’t exactly joyful. Growing up, my parents always told me that I was very wise and aware as a child. I knew some harsh realities of life that most kids at my age weren’t aware of yet. That in turn kind of made me a very skeptical, cynical, pessimistic teenager. I still loved to laugh and make people laugh but choosing joy was definitely hard for me. Nowadays, my faith, my relationship with God has definitely shown me how to choose joy, and a lot of that is rooted in prayer. Now, I want to be that light of Christ, I want to radiate God’s joy, to spread His Love, and Good News without having to even say any words. So, I wake up, I pray…I pray to be His joy to the people around me and for myself. A bit unintentionally because these past few years I have grown in my relationship with Christ, I have pruned out branches of my life that hold me back from choosing joy. I’ve pruned out people who might’ve been toxic to me, pruned out habits that were not God-centered. It’s been a process, but I think my life, my family’s life, my friends’ lives are all better because my faith has transformed my hardened heart to seek joy before anything.
+ You have a beautiful heart for service. How do you find ways to serve those around you in everyday life?
Thank you! Agh, that’s honey to my heart. Serving others is definitely something I feel extremely called to. What I mean about that, since we’re all called to serve one another, is that I’ve felt God calling and drawing me to minister, to be a minister to my community, to my friends, to everyone that might come across from me. So, in formal ways, I’ve recently become 1/2 of the young adult ministers at my local parish. I’ve felt this recent call to minister to people that are in similar seasons in life like me but also to allow God to work His works in us young adults. I think it’s incredibly needed and something that isn’t available everywhere. In other ways, especially in this last year, my main service to friends and family has been to grow in my relationship with Christ before prioritizing anything else. The more I pray, the bolder I become, the more I’m open to conversations that are Christ-filled, that call us to action. So yes, I think by my devotion with God, living out my Catholic faith boldly, and fearlessly serves my friends and family in the best way possible. I think outside of my family and community, people who just see me at my part-time job or passing me by in public, living out my Catholic faith physically by even just smiling, asking a worker who is serving me how their day is going, or offering someone to do something for them can go a long way.
+ In a world that is so prone to judgement, how should Christians approach people with different beliefs, backgrounds, and cultures?
Something I’ve learned as I confess being judgmental almost every time is that we’re all guilty of it. We’re sinners. However, God is the judge in the end. I’ve always kept that in mind whenever I do catch myself judging myself. However, I slip up, I do judge others, but the key part is that I do my best not to let my judgement crossover into my action, my attitude towards that individual, or how I treat them. As Christians, our calling is to love unconditionally. Christ lives in every single person on this planet. Remembering that has definitely helped me to seek Christ in the individual in times where I’m judging them, and I need extra graces to treat them the way I’m called to treat them. God is Love–we’re called to meet people with that Love. Maybe that comes as a smile, or hearing someone out, letting them know they are heard and respected. If the situation calls for you as a Christian to speak up, speak with God’s grace, Mama Mary’s gentleness, the Holy Spirit’s natural Love. Meet everyone with God’s Love, I’d have to say is the best way to approach anyone and everyone, and remember their humanness, God’s breath in that very person.
+ As a music minister, I have found, time and again, that music has the power to transcend so many things. It’s really a universal beauty! How have you helped serve those around you in this beautiful way through your love of praise and worship?
Oh amen, sister! I couldn’t agree more! Praise and worship is something so close to my heart. It was the way the Holy Spirit reignited that flame inside of me and called me back home, back to church, years ago. It was a praise and worship, little show that my parish was putting on, and my friend invited me to it. The lyrics and melodies left me with a curiosity for God. So ever since then, I’ve used my love for music, playing guitar, piano, singing to glorify the Lord through praise and worship. Right now, I play and sing at our LifeTeen Mass. There are times where I’ve had to step in and lead the music for mass, Holy Hours, some confirmation classes, and retreats. I think my genuine love for praise and worship is delivered through prayer and it helps others to enter in, as well. In other ways, I’m extremely blessed with a community that is drowning in musical talents! I’ve really taken advantage of that and have had praise and worship nights in my backyard where we just let the spirit flow through us. I think just by invitation, I’m able to serve my community.
+ How has praise and worship music helped you to grow to a deeper relationship with Christ?
Like I mentioned, it was the way God drew me back in. As I grow in my relationship, I still find struggles in life, of course. Sometimes, I find myself in places where I don’t have words for prayers and praise and worship songs take place of my own words. I can sit in my room for hours at a time with my guitar just singing praises because the busyness of that day had taken a toll on me and I just need to pray. Praise and worships music has brought purity and genuine Love to my music life, if that makes sense. I wasn’t listening to very crude or disrespectful music, but I did have some music that romanticized negative aspects of life, especially in the romance department. I was fantasizing about a love life that some of my music choices had cultivated but now that I mostly listen to praise and worship, I’m constantly reminded of what True Love looks like, I’m reminded of the glory I owe to God in every action and thought I do and have. So, praise and worship music has generally just been such a blessing for me in my relationship with Christ.
+ As a recent college graduate (Whoot Whoot!!) what are some major lessons you have learned in the past four years?
That is so crazy to hear! I still haven’t gotten used to it. The first is to stay true to yourself. From personal experience, I recognize how much that was a turning point for me. Two of my best friends went off to college an hour away from home so they dormed and I was commuting to school. Suddenly, I found myself as a freshman by myself. I had some acquaintances on campus and they invited me into their clubs where I was challenged and pushed to be like them. I found myself at parties and acting like them–ultimately someone I wasn’t nor, did I want to be that person I was acting like. It was freshman year that I recognized God’s voice calling me, drawing me in, and I returned to church. Within that first year of college, beginning to go back to church, and trying to live out my Catholic faith boldly, I was persecuted by those people I thought were my friends. I was challenged again, because I thought I had found myself, my purpose (which I did), but it didn’t seem like it was accepted. However, walking away from those groups, those people, staying true to myself and in turn, Christ, so much more life has been given to me, so much fruit has been bore. In the same sense, another lesson I learned in college was not to listen to the world. I felt pressured to finish my bachelor’s degree in four years, go to a big school for my masters, and to go to an even bigger school for my doctorate. I ended up finishing in four years and I’m very grateful for that, but I did not live out my four years of college in great health. I was always tired, always catching colds, drinking five cups of coffee a day. I overworked myself because I gave myself a timeline. As a timeline is healthy, risking overall health, isn’t. I also felt pressured by the world to figure out my life, to plan out my next ten years of life, and to stick to it or else I’d be deemed as someone that’s lost. All completely wrong, by the way. My mental and physical health has never been better because my understanding that I need to be patient with myself and God’s timing in figuring out what I want to do. The world will always have something to pick at in our lives if we try to live by its standards but that’s just a vicious cycle of unhappiness. We can plan for so many things in our lives but we’re always going to be thrown off my something because life just guarantees uncertainty.
There’s so much to say about what I’ve learned in my four years but before I write an essay, I’ll leave it at those two points. God has definitely brought so much transformation in my four years and that can be a whole different story.
+ Now that you are graduated, what’s next? Any big dreams for the future, Lord willing?
What’s next? I’ll tell you when God guides me there! Haha I’m kidding…kind off. I had huge dreams of joining the FBI but my yes to God and to building His Kingdom has turned my life upside down in the best way possible. I was supposed to be on a mission year this next academic year but God-willing, it wasn’t a part of His plan. So right now, I’m working part-time at a local restaurant, and doing some ministry work. Like I’ve mentioned, I’m currently a young adult minister. I’m praying about a mission year for next academic year; mission work has always been something on my heart. So, God-willing, I’ll be able to do some mission work. This past year I’ve focused so much of my prayer on guidance and clarity on where God wants me as far as careers and even these next few years. Other than mission work, God’s placed theology on my heart very recently. So, in a couple of years I’m looking into going to graduate school for my master’s in theology. With that, who knows? Become a speaker? Go further and get a doctorate in theology and become a professor? Or even a spiritual director has come to heart, as well. There’s so much beauty and excitement in living in God’s mysteries. It has brought me so much patience, so much clarity on what it does to truly offer myself and my life over to God.
+ What advice would you give to anyone entering a new stage of life?
Trust God. There is so much fruit in transitions in life and new stages in life. So long as we trust God in these new spaces, He will bring such beauty and fruit. New stages in life are so beautiful, so filled with opportunity to grow with Christ, to learn how to better pray, to invite God into places inside yourself that you hadn’t before, to love Him better. Growth is guaranteed when trusting God with wherever you are. The amount of growth that has been brought upon trusting God with this stage of my life has shown me the power and necessity of trust. God will take you to grand places in this stage and in stages beyond this one.