Rochelle Delain: Joy on the Other Side of Waiting
Meet Rochelle Delain. She is a 53 year old wife and mother of one.
Though we’ve attended church together for many years, it was not until recently that I learned of her story.
The Lord had already given me her name as an important part of this line-up, and I thought I knew exactly why: She’s an educated, Kingdom-minded businesswoman in our community. Of course, Lord. I was thinking. Of course, Rochelle.
Little did I know, her story was much richer than I originally thought.
It’s one that speaks to us in our waiting. I don’t know what you’re waiting on, Dear One, but pull up a chair. Let’s listen to Rochelle’s story…
I grew up, like most girls, wanting to marry and have a family. Having watched my parents enjoy a good relationship, the desire came naturally. I came of age and went off to college, so sure that marriage would come easily.
I dated some in college, but nothing long-term came about. The men I dated were not marriage-minded and, honestly, weren’t the type of men I needed to be in a relationship with. I was walking with the Lord, but I definitely made mistakes. There’s an old song that comes to mind: “Lookin for Love in all the Wrong Places.” I definitely did that for a number of years – even dating non-believers, which never turned out well.
After finishing college, I went to chiropractic school… and continued to invest time in people that weren’t right for me. A lot of these men were “Christians,” as in “went to church,” but they weren’t walking with the Lord. There’s a big difference. I was even warned by others during this season, but I wouldn’t listen. I wanted so badly to find “the one.” But in my attempts to do this, I kept opening myself to men who clearly weren’t “the one.” All of these relationships ended in heartbreak.
I finished chiropractic school when I was thirty. Now I’ll start working, and my Prince Charming will come I thought to myself.
But that didn’t happen. Weeks became months and months became years.
I became really hardened after years of this cycle. Even bitter. All of the dashed hopes, disappointments, and repeated heartbreaks were wearing on me. It stung the worst each time I was asked to be in a wedding. What’s wrong with me? I would ask in my heart. How can everyone except me manage to get married? Even my younger brother and sister married before me. I made the conscious decision to share in other people’s joy, but deep in my heart, these painful questions were constantly being whispered.
In my mid-thirties, still seeking to fill this desire, I ended up engaged…to one of the men I had been warned about. I was in such a place of desperation. I never felt peace about being with him, but I had hoped things would feel better as we moved closer to the wedding date. A few friends warned me, even after we got engaged, saying “There’s something that isn’t right about this guy. Are you sure you want to do this?” Still, I was going to go through with it, even though my own lack of peace witnessed with what they were saying. But God intervened. I wouldn’t have said that at the time, but He did. My fiance broke off our engagement four months before our wedding date.
I was devastated. Here I was, thirty-five years old, and had come so close to what I thought was going to fill this void in my heart…only to be crushed in disappointment all over again. I went into a deep depression.
But during that dark time, God was there. He began dealing with me, surfacing wounds in my heart that I had been unaware of. He showed me that there were things in me that were attracting this same type of man who was no good for me. I began seeing Truth during this time, but I experienced some very dark days. I even had thoughts of suicide run through my mind. Thankfully, I knew where those were coming from. Satan, I’m not giving you the pleasure.
This darkness is what prompted me to call my church home for counseling. I went through prayer counseling, which is an inner healing ministry process. It was during this process that clarity came. I had been reaching for the wrong people because some things in me were broken. I revisited past places of hurt, like the bitterness that remained because of my mother’s dying when I was nine years old. There were several wounds from my younger years that had all combined to produce a pattern of unhealthy relationships in my life. Though I knew the Lord, there was something I was reaching for inside that I ended up reaching for in these men, where it would never be found. I found out there was nothing “wrong” with me – my heart just needed healing.
What started as a dark depression became a season of healing. I was seeking the Lord, and He was revealing truth. He began changing me. I dated a man briefly during this season – it was brief because I quickly saw the markings of every other man I had been with. I knew he wasn’t for me, and I broke it off. God had brought clarity and was using it to change my taste. I was no longer attracted to men who would be dead ends.
For about two years, I didn’t date anyone. I knew the Lord had led me to a season of just me and Him. At some point, I had made a decision. God, I’ve messed this up so many times doing it myself. I want an arranged marriage. I want You to choose my husband. I don’t want the dating scene anymore. I don’t want my heart broken anymore.
During this season of just me and the Lord, I had a dream that I married a man who had a daughter. I felt like it was from Him but didn’t tell anyone except my roommate. Around that time I ended up going to a singles home group at church. One night while we were all together, I had a prayer request and a woman there named Marian interrupted me, saying “You need a husband. Would you like for me to pray for you?” I said “Yes” without even thinking about it. So she prayed, asking God for my husband.
Six months later, we had a new attendee at our singles group one night. A handsome man named Ron joined us for the first time. We talked some during the gathering. Then, while we were sharing prayer requests, Ron mentioned something about his daughter. My ears perked up. That was September, and he didn’t come back in October.
I saw him at church and told him I missed him at home group. At the time I was a home group assistant and was in charge of following up with people. So I told him if I had had his number, I would have reached out (not really meaning anything by it, just fulfilling my responsibility). So he gave me his number… and then asked for mine. I was still fearful of another relationship at this point – and probably a little cynical, too. I gave him my business card so he would only have my work number. 🙂
A few weeks later, he called me at work, asking me out on a date. I agreed to go and was very excited. But then, fear crept in. All of my past disappointments reared their ugly head, causing me to second guess myself. The fear was so real that I almost backed out of our date altogether. I confided my feelings to a friend, who told me to step out and go on the date anyway. I decided to push through my fear and give it a chance.
We went out, and there was definitely something there… but we didn’t go out again until a few months later. We both felt the need to take things slowly. I was guarding my heart very closely.
We kept this slow pace for a year…and it eventually became clear that Ron was the one. Our relationship grew, and we still allowed each other space at moments when it was needed. I knew God had done a work in me – because in the past, I had never been able to give space. I had been too fearful of losing the relationship.
In May of 2003, Ron proposed in the same home group gathering where we had first met. And in October, we were married. At forty-one years old, my wait for a husband had come to an end.
…And a new journey started. It came with surprises, twists, turns, and deep personal growth.
Surprisingly enough (to some, considering my long wait), Ron and I chose to give ourselves a full year of marriage before trying to have a child. We wanted time to get adjusted to our life together.
After allowing ourselves that time, we started trying. Over a year into this process, still childless, I began to get concerned. People were quick to remind me of my age, often mentioning adoption as an option. While adoption is beautiful, I knew in my heart that we were to have a biological child. And I thought of Abraham and Sarah – how he had God’s promise of a child but then attempted to fulfill that promise himself. For us, adoption would have been like Abraham’s human attempt to do something that was God’s alone to do.
Marian, the dear lady who had prayed for God to send my husband, was a strong encourager during this time. She spoke life over this dream of mine, reassuring me that God knew how old I was.
So we continued trying. We conceived around eighteen months into this and were ecstatic. We told everyone the great news!
Then eight weeks later, I miscarried. We were devastated. And again, people were quick to speak words that wounded. It was a very heartbreaking time that caused me to question whether I had really heard from God about having a biological child. I was forty-four years old and still waiting on this promised child. I wondered if this pregnancy had been my last chance.
But two months later, I was overjoyed to find myself pregnant again. Though this was a healthy pregnancy, it came with its challenges. I often heard [again] about my age and all the risks involved in carrying this child. I made a conscious decision not to give an ear to people’s negative words, including my doctor’s. I listened to praise music all the way to and from each appointment and kept myself continually focused on God’s Word and His promise.
After nine months of a healthy pregnancy, I gave birth to our son, Isaiah. At forty-five years old, I was now a wife and a mother.
I am now 53, raising my eight year old son. I love God’s sense of humor.
Being a wife to Ron and a mother to Isaiah has been the sweetest gift. Looking back on my years of waiting, I am thankful for the healing God brought to my heart during that season. In hindsight, I see great purpose in those years. They weren’t easy, that’s for sure. But they cultivated something in me that I wouldn’t have had any other way – they have made me the woman, wife, and mother I am today.
“A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.”
We can learn a great deal about the Kingdom when we look at Rochelle’s story…
Her journey speaks to our seasons of waiting. You know, we’re all waiting on something. It might be a spouse. Or a child. Or physical healing. Or an adoption. Or financial change. Or a different career. It might be countless prayers you’ve prayed for a loved one – prayers on which you are still waiting to be fulfilled.
When we find ourselves waiting on something – especially something that seems good and God-honoring – it’s easy to go down the road of speculation and comparison. Why can she have it when I can’t, Lord? Why did it come so easily for him? Why am I still waiting on the thing I was praying for fifteen years ago? Rochelle was no stranger to these questions.
There is no end to the list of things around us we can choose to latch onto if we allow ourselves. It’s in this place of vulnerability and non-understanding that we must ever-so-fiercely guard our hearts. Not only do opportunities for speculation abound, but our enemy is also quick to whisper to us in our questioning. He offers lies about God’s character, hoping we will agree with him, thereby inviting him to inhabit that room in our heart. Friends, this is subtle. It can take place in a matter of seconds.
Besides assaulting God’s character, our seasons of waiting can also tempt us to make the desired thing happen on our own. To pursue it our own way, with our own strength. This is what caused Rochelle to get into relationships with men who were no good for her. She was trying to make marriage happen for herself. And she is the first to say that it ended terribly every. single. time.
By His grace, it finally became clear to her that only God Himself could fulfill the desires of her heart. Her attempts were futile. Her decision to yield to God, to fully give herself over to Him in her waiting, brought unimaginable healing to her heart…and ultimately, prepared her for the fulfillment of her long-standing desires.
The journey brought her to a place of surrender, of total yieldedness to the Lord. Such a yieldedness, in fact, that even when God brought Ron into her life, she held him with an open hand. She left room for God to speak, even after they began dating. Friends, this speaks a powerful word.
It invites us to let go of our five and ten year plans. To hold our dreams loosely (Proverbs 19:21)… because He alone is our prize. It invites us to trust Him, in the deep places of our unanswered questions and prolonged waiting.
To trust that His heart toward us is always good,
that there is not a moment of our existence when He doesn’t see us,
that yieldedness is moving our life toward its destined fullness.
Thank you, Rochelle, for submitting yourself to the best Storyteller.
His beauty is woven through your years of waiting and fulfillment.
Dr. Rochelle Delain practices at
Healing Place Chiropractic and Wellness in Spartanburg, SC.
I encountered this song earlier this year, and it speaks such promise to our hearts when the waiting is long.
The story behind these stories…