Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Transformed Women: Meet Nedelka

Episode Resources

Watch this special video about Nedelka.

Leslie Basham: Nedelka Medina remembers being alone in an apartment in Canada . . . completely without hope.

Nedelka Medina: Because of the anorexia, I found out that I could actually go for days and still feel energetic. So I would push that boundary. It would be three days maybe eating just a little bit of fruit, then four days, then five. I would push my body to the point where it was taking my life.

Leslie: Today, hear how the Truth set her free.

This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, for Monday, May 14, 2018.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: The Truth will set you free. We've been exploring those important words of Jesus through several series this year here on Revive Our Hearts. Today, you'll hear a powerful story from a woman who started believing a lot of lies when she was growing up.

Of course, that had a huge effect on her relationships and every other area of her life. Then one day, she went on the Internet and did a web search on help for women. The Lord used that search to introduce her to Truth and help her discover true freedom in Christ.

Let's listen as Nedelka Medina shares her story.

Leslie: Nedelka grew up in Nicaragua with her parents.

Nedelka: I always sensed that they were there; that they loved me and wanted what was best for me. As a little girl I always knew that.

Leslie: Her parents were connected with the government and were often gone from the home, busy with political activities. That meant Nedelka spent a lot of time with household workers.

Nedelka: When I was at home, one of the chauffeurs at our home was trusted. He was there before I was even born, and he was loved. But at the age of six, he sexually abused me in my home. That happened for a period of two years. That changed the way I looked at life from that early age.

Leslie: When Nedelka was nine, there was a violent change in the government, and her family was in danger. They fled first to the United States, then finally settling in Canada.

Nedelka: At the age of nine we left, and I remember making a decision—that men were bad, and that I never wanted to have children.

I left my country with those thoughts as a little girl. That was something that even as a teenager—I was never going to be pregnant. And, even if I ever got pregnant, my thought was that that child would never be born.

It was very extreme what happened to me as a little girl, and it would never happen to my children. Therefore, I never wanted any children.

Because I had said to myself that men were bad, I added an element to that. I said that Hispanic men are the worst. So during my adulthood, I purposely did not want to be around any Hispanic men. I didn’t want them as friends. I didn’t want them as acquaintances or as boyfriends or as absolutely anything.

Leslie: When Nedelka was in college in Canada, her parents moved back to Nicaragua. The country was safe enough to move back, yet Nedelka’s mom was about to face some personal turmoil. She discovered that for many years her husband had been unfaithful. Nedelka’s mother came to faith in Jesus during this time of desperation.

Nedelka: When I would talk to her on the phone, she would say, “Jesus is my friend. Jesus loves you. Jesus saved me. I’m a new person.” I would not understand what she was saying. I thought she was crazy. First, she was a political person; now she was a religious person . . . crazy!

Marta: I didn’t know exactly what was the problem, but I knew there was something really wrong with her.

Leslie: This is Marta Cecilia Fiallos, Nedelka’s mom.

Marta: That time we had a group of sisters there. They were very faithful sisters who were helping me to pray for her.

Nedelka: She just kept saying, “We are praying for you.”

I had this hole in my heart. I had this bitterness and hatred toward men, my parents, and people who didn’t protect me when I was a little girl. I wouldn’t let people close to me. I wouldn’t want people hugging me. I wouldn’t want people to say compliments. It would make me feel very uncomfortable.

Because of all the memories and how my body felt, I wanted to punish my body. I remember looking at the mirror and thinking that I looked in a way that I didn’t want to look. I decided that I was going to change the way that I looked and felt. Anorexia was the way that I decided it was going to happen. I didn’t like the way certain parts of my body looked, so I thought if I stopped eating, it would change.

So at the age of eighteen, it got chronic.

Because of the anorexia, I found out that I could go for days and still feel energetic. So I would push that boundary. It would be three days maybe eating just a little bit of fruit, then four days, then five. I would push my body to the point where it was taking my life.

I decided that I was going to commit suicide. I remember wanting to jump from the second floor of the apartment, and somebody would come and knock on my door. Then I wanted to take pills, different chemicals. Then somebody came and knocked on my door.

It made me angry that they came and interrupted what I was about to do. So I said that anorexia is the answer.

It became more and more and more. It became seven days, eight days, and I would just eat an apple. Because it didn’t work out before how I tried to commit suicide, starving myself was going to do it.

I remember being in my apartment in Canada and putting black curtains around my apartment, closing the doors where light was coming through. It was dark.

I would get up in the morning, have nothing to eat, take a shower, sit on the couch. Whenever I would have a little bit of energy, I would grab my books, read, and just sit and wait. I knew that eventually I would not come back or get up again.

But I heard somebody that said, “Go to Nicaragua and you will meet me there.” When I heard that, I knew that it was God, but I didn’t know what that meant.

Seven days after, I was in a plane going back to Nicaragua for the first time since I had left at the age of nine. I was twenty-three when I arrived in Nicaragua. My weight was very low because I was trying to die. When my parents saw me, they were shocked to see me how I looked. I was very thin, very fragile. I could barely talk.

Marta: She wasn’t the same daughter that I had left when we went back to Nicaragua.

Nedelka: I was ashamed that I was born in that country. Everything was foreign to me. But I was there because God had made an appointment.

Marta: I told her that we were going to go to a meeting with ladies that you don’t know, but it will be okay because we will pray for you.

Nedelka: I saw the love that these ladies had for each other, how they loved my mother, how they saw who they had been praying for for a whole year. They just asked me questions—how I was feeling, what was going on.

Finally, the meeting started, and there was a lady sharing her story about what Christ had done for her. She shared her story, her struggles, and how God had saved her. Immediately, at that moment I said, “Where is He? Where is God? I don’t have that God that she’s talking about.”

We went home that night, and I went back to my room and just started to talk to this God. I said, “You brought me here. Where are You? I don’t know You. I don’t have the God that lady in that meeting was talking about. Save me. Where are You? I feel this pain, this bitterness, this emptiness. Please, come and save me!"

I remember crying like I had never cried before, and then I went to sleep. The next day I woke up, and I was a new person.

Marta: We could see there was something different. I remember she told me that she wanted to eat something.

Nedelka: I felt hungry for the first time. I knew something changed. That bitterness, that hatred, that shame to be Hispanic, to be in that country, was no longer there.

I remember coming out and telling my mom, “I’m hungry. Give me some food.” I remember sitting down and having beans and rice. To me that was food that poor people ate, and when I saw that, it was beautiful. I was the poor one. The poor in spirit that needed to meet with God.

I ate that food. Then I walked outside into the garden. And for the first time, the sun and flowers and everything was beautiful.

I remember opening the Bible and just reading and reading and just feeding my soul that had been starving for so long. I kept reading and reading and I stayed in my room for days just reading and feeding on that Word.

I said, “Mom, this is amazing! I’m fed. I’ve met God. He’s right here in this book. I began reading the Gospels because I wanted to see who He really is.

I read how He corrected the Pharisee, and I would see myself as that one there. From the outside I looked polished, but on the inside I was as wicked as I can be.

At night I would read the Gospels and how Jesus shares, "If you would come to Me you would have eternal life—knowing Me is to know life." I read about living water. When I cried all night, I said that’s what happened to me. I was empty, so that He could fill me.

Reading the Gospels was what helped me really understand what had happened to me and who I was now in Christ.

Leslie: We’re hearing the story of Nedelka Medina, here on Revive Our Hearts. For many years Nedelka grew in her faith and served as a single woman, but deep down, those two lies still affected her: 1. Men couldn’t be trusted. 2. She could never have children.

Those beliefs greatly affected Nedelka when she met and married a godly man, Diego Medina.

Nedelka: The first month was wonderful. After the first month, things started to get really bad.

Diego Medina: She was very hard-headed and very opinionated.

Leslie: This is Nedelka’s husband, Diego.

Diego: She wanted to dictate what we would do.

Nedelka: He would suggest something, and I would say, “No, that’s wrong. We are going to do this.”

He would say, “No, this is what we are going to do.”

And I would say, “No, this is what we are going to do.”

Diego: So you have two forces, me and her, trying to lead this family.

Nedelka: I would just not follow or disagree, and it was constant fighting back and forth.

Diego: It was very difficult.

Nedelka: I sensed, “What did I do? Why did I get married? I never wanted to be married. I married an Hispanic man, and I never wanted to marry one because it’s difficult.”

Diego: I really thought that our marriage was not going to survive . . . and this was early in our marriage.

Nedelka: I said, “Okay, if I’m a wife now, what do I need to know about Scripture, specifically?” I remember going to the computer and saying: biblical wife or biblical womanhood. The first link that came up was Revive Our Hearts. I had never heard about the ministry. I didn’t even know what Revive Our Hearts was.

So I clicked, and it was an entire world in there—all the resources, all the things that they offer there. I started reading the articles. I started reading what does the Bible say a biblical wife should act and look like. I remember listening to the radio programs. I was devouring. I love reading, so I just kept reading article after article after article. It was exactly what I needed at that time.

I said, “This is exactly what I need.” So I went back to Ephesians. I remember seeing a verse there, Ephesians 5:22, where it says, “Wives submit to your husband in everything as to the Lord.” Those words, “as to the Lord,” jumped out from the pages and went into my heart. All the articles, all the programs that I heard, just helped me see what I was missing in my marriage at that time.

Diego: When I came home having a wife waiting, it was a miracle.

Nedelka: So as I read the many articles and listened to so many of the programs, I saw that Nancy was also an author and that she had written Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free.

So I immediately bought the book. Some of the things that I read in the book were that women were made in God’s image. That just meant to me the way the Lord made me, the way I look, it’s pleasing to Him.

So what I had believed about how I looked, my body, and how I wanted to destroy it through anorexia, it was freeing that I didn’t have to be ashamed of how the Lord designed me. That was something that just changed me as I read that.

I learned God made men and women and men are good. They are something the Lord made in His image. Men are not bad because they are men. Men are bad because we are sinful.

The book just helped me to see in a bigger picture what the Lord was saying in His Word. It set me free. There was a revived something in me, and it brought fruit.

Diego: It was a radical change. There were hardly any arguments, and when there were, they were very civilized. We were able to talk. It was just radical.

Nedelka: I remember this very specifically. It was chapter 7 where Nancy talks about several lies that women believe about children. The first one she mentioned was about that I would determine the size of my family or how many kids I wanted to have or in my case, I didn’t want any children.

All this time I thought I was in control, that I was not going to have children. So when I read that section in chapter 7, I realized that the Lord was the one, up to that point, who had not given me any children and that I was never in control.

That was the first thing that the Lord used in my life to help me see that I was not in control, and if the Lord wanted me to be a mother, He was going to be the one to bless me with children.

For the first time, I felt and awakening regarding children. When I read that in the book, I realized that it was the Lord working in my life. That helped me to see that I’m not in control.

After I continued reading and searching the Scripture, I realized that children are a blessing, that children do come from the Lord, and I was open to the idea. “Lord, if You want me to be a mom, You’re calling me to be a mom, then that’s exactly what You are going to do.”

Then I knew that if this is something the Lord is awakening in me, a love for children, and I’m not having biological children, is it a possibility that the Lord might want us to adopt children?

Diego: Hearing the biblical perspective in adoption and reading the Bible verses about how we were adopted into God’s family, how through adoption we are saved and welcomed into His family . . . We can call Him Father because we have His Spirit. We can call Him Abba Father through this wonderful process of adoption that we become children of God. It just started changing my heart.

Nedelka: So we adopted our first three children. They were a sibling group. Then two years after that, the agency called us and said there was a baby. Caleb was adopted about a year and a half after that. Then we thought we were done, but the Lord had a different plan. Mercy Lila came a year after.

As a mom, having the opportunity to influence my children, to teach them, to correct them, to see them flourish and grow and learn, I was made for this. This is the highest calling—to be a mom and to be home with my children and to see what they like and just what God is doing in each one of them. It’s a blessing.

My mother prayed for me for an entire year that I would come to the knowledge of the Lord. Knowing that it was a burden for her, that her daughter did not know that Lord. It has been the best gift that my mother has given me. I hope that I would do the same with my children.

My hope and my prayer for my children is to know the Truth, to know the giver of Truth, to know His Word, and that I would hear what a joy it is that my children are walking in the Truth.

Four years ago I made a decision as a mom that my children would memorize and know God’s Word as much as I’m able to teach them. And that’s my hope, that they would know the Lord, that they would know His Word, and that they would love Him more than anything.

Nancy: I had the joy of meeting Nedelka and Diego when Revive Our Hearts was hosting an event in San Antonio. It was so sweet to get to know this precious family and to see the fruit that has come from the transforming work of the Truth.

Nedelka Medina has been telling us today about some of the lies that she believed and the disappointment that came from believing those lies. Then she told us how the Lord set her free as she came to know and love the Truth. Now she's passing that truth on—adopting children, investing in their lives, and serving in her local church.

Now, at one point Nedelka was desperate for truth, and she typed "help for women" in her web browser. That's what led her to ReviveOurHearts.com. The reason that Revive Our Hearts was there for her in that crucial moment was thanks to listeners just like you, who give to help make Revive Our Hearts possible.

So when you support Revive Our Hearts, you're helping us connect with countless more women, just like Nedelka. They are desperate for truth. They are looking for help. And we want to be there with the Truth of God's Word.

In order for our ministry to continue the kinds of outreach that meant so much to Nedelka, we're asking the Lord to provide at least $680,000 in the month of May. That allows our current outreaches to remain strong. It will also help us to take advantage of some new opportunities to be there when women around the world come searching for help.

Would you take a moment and stop and ask the Lord how He's want you to get involved? Then let me encourage you to send a gift of any amount, whatever the Lord places on your heart by May 31, to help meet this fiscal year-end need that we are trusting the Lord with.

To make your donation, just give us a call at 1–800–569–5959, or you can donate online at ReviveOurHearts.com. Thank you for your role in helping to spread the Truth that is setting hearts free around the world.

Leslie: Thanks Nancy. 

If you were moved by Nedelka's story, I hope you'll check out the video that Revive Our Hearts team made with her and her family. You'll find it at ReviveOurHearts.com. Maybe you know someone who would be encouraged by the story. You can send them a link of the short film, or share it on social media. Again, you'll find the video at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Tomorrow, Nancy will talk about the value of encouragement. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is proclaiming the Truth that sets women free. It's an outreach of Life Action Ministries. 

 

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