Nearly fifteen years ago, I came across two books that made an indelible imprint on my life: Calm My Anxious Heart (updated book with a 10-week Bible Study coming October 2020) and Intimate Issues. Later, I met the bestselling author and the two of us shared an hour of worship in a hotel room that shifted me forever. All this to say, I love Linda Dillow – as an author, minister and example of integrity and faithfulness. I’m honored to introduce you to her today.
Ms. Linda’s passion for the Holy Spirit and His work in the surrendered heart of His daughters is seen in every aspect of her life and ministry. Beyond her writing, she is a missionary and has traveled the globe as a Christian women’s speaker. She asks hard Biblically based questions and the themes she explores dig deeply into the heart and experience of her listeners. She and her husband Jody (who, by the way, is a masterful theologian and author of some of our family’s favorite books) have four children and several grandchildren.
I hope you enjoy getting to know Ms. Linda in this week’s Q & A. Before you go, please leave her a comment of encouragement below and then RUN . . . and I do mean RUN to your favorite online store and grab her books. (You’ll be so glad that you did.)
- If you could describe this season of your life in one word, what word would it be? Why?
Possibilities! Why? I recently turned 77, which means I am in the last season of my life yet my gracious God continues to give me opportunities to do what I love. My great joy is to teach God’s women His truth, especially about intimacy with Him and intimacy with a husband. So many opportunities have opened up to do this through writing and speaking. I thank and praise God!
- In terms of your career, before you knew you would be _______________, you almost . . .
Before I knew I would be a missionary/author/speaker, I almost, well . . . I can’t really answer this question because I became a Christian at 20 and was born running. I had been without direction and knew over night that my mission in life was to serve Christ. I married Jody Dillow at 21 and together we became missionaries in closed countries in Europe and Asia. My delight has been to teach and train women all over the world.
- In what ways do you ensure that your career path serves the purposes of God and encourages His people?
I stay in God’s Word and on my knees in worship. And I have a husband and best friend who ask me the hard questions and hold me accountable.
- Fill in the blank. I am not a very _____________ person.
I am not a very complaining person.
In the younger seasons of my life, I memorized many verses about being grateful and thankful and NOT griping and complaining. If you had known me twelve years ago, I think you would have said I was a grateful woman. Then my life was turned upside down . . . literally. I fell down an entire staircase in an airport and landed on my head and woke up a few hours later in a trauma hospital. Thus began the long journey of healing from a traumatic brain injury. One of the results of the injury was that it was as if someone had reached into my brain and pulled out all the positive thinking and inserted negative instead. I began all over again learning NOT to gripe and to be grateful. Living life was hard, very hard. I had thousands of “Gripes be Gone” bracelets made for me and all the women who long to move from griping to grateful. God is an amazing God and I can again say the word, “grateful” applies to me.
- Name your biggest strength and your biggest weakness? How has each served you as you’ve fulfilled your purpose?
My husband said my biggest strength is rational connection and practical wisdom. My biggest weakness is not accepting my limitations.
My purpose is to encourage God’s women and He graciously allows me to see into their hearts and give them practical help (like Gripes Be Gone bracelets) to apply God’s Word in their lives. I love speaking. I love writing. I love traveling overseas and feel so comfortable with people in other countries. I love being with my children and ten grandchildren. I love walking with wounded women through their pain of sexual abuse. And in my former life, before brain injury I could handle many things but now I can’t. But I just read over what I wrote and I said “I love” all these things so too often I say yes to things because I want to do them when I know I can’t do all that I used to do. God and I have had LOTS of talks about my accepting my limitations and I accept them but then something exciting comes along and Linda says too many “yeses” and not enough “nos.” I talk with many women in leadership and realize that brain injury and age are not the only reasons we as women have trouble accepting our limitations. I think struggling with this over and over has helped me understand others more.
- When is the last time you laughed so hard that it hurt?
With my friend, Lorraine, talking about night sweats — throwing off PJs, throwing on cold water! YUK! I’m 77, Lorraine is 64. Neither of us is supposed to have night sweats at our ages! We were literally on the floor laughing. I told her the only good part about sweats was my husband found a naked lady in his bed (me!) most nights. Lorraine and I wrote the book, Intimate Issues, together and are justbeginning to think about writing a book for women over50 — the sweats prompted it!
- What has been the most difficult season in your life? How did you get through it?
When I first read this question, I thought, every season has difficulties. Three children (with the oldest 3) was exhausting physically. Four teens on the mission field was emotionally difficult. But, my husband looked at me and said, “Honey, the most difficult season in your life has been walking through the healing and fall out of brain injury.” He’s right. I look normal and women say to me , “Linda, no one would know you’d had a brain injury.” I want to laugh . . . no, I first want to bow and thank God because He is amazing and has done so much healing but I am not who I was. I may look the same, but no one sees what goes on inside my brain for me to focus and to stay focused. I can’t multi-task, and I have adult onset ADHD. I have seizures because of the accident (the kind of seizure where I black out and fall without warning) and the seizure meds have caused other issues . . . so I look the same but my brain is not the same.
How did I get through it? God’s Word and His Presence.
I deeply love God’s Word. Romans 5:3-5 and James 1:2-4 and the Book of Habakkuk (and of course many other portions of Scripture) have been my truth from God about trials. James (MSG) literally says that I am to consider my brain injury a sheer gift (MSG) to look at it as a friend (Phillips) and to consider the trial of my brain injury a joy — this is so opposite to the world’s way of thinking. I thanked God for my injury when I couldn’t think and couldn’t read the words of the Bible but I knew the truth of them in my heart. During the time in the hospital and the month or more in bed, I literally felt like I was being held by my God. To be held by my Beloved, there are no words.
- If you could make three wishes and there were no limitations on what you could request, what would you wish for?
I think of them more as prayers. My first is for the world, my second for my daughter and my third for me.
1. I sit at home with my mask and gloves by my side experiencing with the rest of the world the pandemic called Coronavirus. My prayer is that God will bring an answer for this virus and that as we wait for His timing that many will find Christ as Savior and many Christians will wake up to all they have in Christ!
2. My daughter has breast cancer and is going through chemo. Jody and I had our bags packed and were flying to be with her and her family. Hours before departure our plans were terminated because of the virus. Yes, I cried many tears — no matter how old your daughter is, you are still a mom! My prayer is for daughter’s healing from cancer and her protection from the Coronavirus.
3. At the end of his life, Jesus said, “I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:3) My prayer is to know any work the Lord has for me in this season of my life as I long to finish well and bring Him glory.
- If this were your last year on earth, what would you want to spend your time doing?
1. Be with my God telling Him how much I love Him, saturating myself in the Word.
2. Be with my husband, children and grandchildren, telling them how much I love them, camping, and walking in the mountains together and delighting in one another and God’s creation.
3. Continuing to share with God’s women that He loves them and longs for intimacy with them and encouraging them to pursue emotional and sexual intimacy with their husbands.
4. Like a friend who went to be with the Lord in 2002, I would spend much time memorizing all the verses in Revelation that are songs we will be singing to God and to the Lamb around the throne. I want to show up prepared!
- If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
Linda, please don’t be so busy with ministry that you miss intimacy with the Lord. Ask Him to take you deeper in all He is as Father, all He is as Son and all He is as Spirit. Ask Him to teach you how to deeply worship Him. You know how to serve Him but He longs for you to slow down and be still and know that He is God. Crawl into His lap and breathe in His fragrance and sense His deep love for you. Stop. Be Still. Listen. He longs for you to hear His personal voice to you.
Linda, remember that each day is a gift from God. Thank Him for every opportunity, for every experience. Don’t take your life for granted, it can change in an instant. Love God first with all your heart, soul, mind and strength as He asked and your neighbor as yourself. And Linda, remember that your closest neighbor is Jody who shares your bed and daily bread. Your love for him is not only exciting and adventurous but the Apostle Paul said first that Love is Patient, Love is Kind. Oh, work hard to practice that every day. Exciting love is easier than patient love.
*These blog interviews are designed only to be fun, informative and introductory. GB Ministries has varying levels of familiarity with each participant so their presence here does not equal our endorsement of or full alignment with theological doctrine or political perspective.