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Seeing God's Love Through Seasons of Transition

Acclaimed composer, worship leader, and pastor, Darlene Zschech has experienced her share of life’s mountains -- and valleys. In her recent book The Golden Thread, she talks about seeing God’s love woven through challenges and seasons of transition. She shares personal stories from her journey, and opens up about trusting god during her battle with breast cancer in 2013.

“I know how to worship, I know how to declare God's goodness, I know how to dig into the Word. But I had to go to a deeper place – What I found in my valley of the shadow of death…I found the presence of God. And I realized, when it says, ‘the valley,’ in Psalm 23 ‘of the shadow of death,’ you can only have shadow if there is light. And it's just a fact, that God doesn't leave us. Just because we're saved, doesn't mean we won't have troubles. In fact, God just says, Hey, they're gonna come but take heart. Take heart, I have overcome it all. I've overcome the world. So, That's The Golden Thread, talking about, the presence of God in every season. Not just on your good days, but every season.

In moments of weakness, being reminded of God’s strength gave her courage.

“I mean, it's not every morning I woke up going, Wow, life is wonderful! You know, I had a couple of very near-death experiences, not from cancer but from the chemo treatment.  I remember my girlfriend flying down and jumping into bed with me, and going, ‘There's this new song called You Make Me Brave, and you are going to listen to it.’ And I'm like, ‘No, I am not. I do not feel brave.’  And she's like, ‘No, you will listen to this song, and you will sing this song until you believe it.’  So, we played that Bethel song over and over and over, until I really got it in my spirit that actually, in Christ, I can do all things.”

Today, Darlene is cancer-free and she has a renewed sense of priority.

“I think cancer does change you. It's changed me. My kids are like, ‘Who are you, Mum?’ I'm not as hard on myself. I don't work as hard. I rest more. I say what I think more.  My value system has just tightened up a little, and I guess I know that I want to live for the praise of God.  I'm not worried about so much what people think…. And then I'm really about the local church. I feel like it's part of God's great solution. And I'm more than focused on being part of that answer.   I've kind of got no time for drama queens, or drama. And even with my own children I'm like, ‘Yeah, speak to the hand. Just go outside and sort yourself out and come back in.’ Whereas I used to be probably a little bit sweeter.  I think that's a good thing, you know. We all have a number of days on this earth. And you don't want to waste it, being buried in what people think. You don't want to waste it in not really getting about what you were put on earth to do.”

Darlene’s book speaks to people facing a new chapter in life.

In 2011, just before her cancer diagnosis, she and her husband Mark answered God’s call to plant a church. They packed up their home and moved to a new city, becoming Senior Pastors of Hope Unlimited Church in New South Wales, Australia. Today, their ministry continues to grow.

“God just said, Empty your hands. So, we just let it all go. And so, I realize you can't fill your hands with the new till you empty your hands of the old.  And we went on a journey. So did our children, our eldest daughter and her husband, they're like, ‘We don't even know where you're going, but we're with you.’ And we kind of all went like a little pack. And there were hard days, for sure but it's been incredible. And now we actually have campuses here in the United States, we have them in Australia, we have them across India. We're just opening a new campus in Calcutta. Starting with a new team of beautiful young people, and just raising them up and releasing them into leading others in worship. So yeah, I could never have imagined that this would be our journey."

The Golden Thread features scriptures and inspiring quotes as well as lyrics.  Darlene also discusses ministry and marriage, parenting and being supportive of her grandson who has special needs.  She hopes her story will inspire people to worship through adversity and encounter God’s love, especially in difficult times. 

“Because sometimes He can feel really far away. It can feel like Heaven is silent. But actually, when you take the time to take a breath and just say, ‘Jesus, I need you. I need to know that you're here,’ and you welcome the Holy Spirit; the raw and dynamic being of who God is, into your moment. You'll experience Him.  And that is my prayer; As people read the book and as they're struggling with whatever, that they will find that He is as close as their next breath.”

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