Romance radio host Delilah is no stranger to tragedy. But anyone who has spent any amount of time listening to the 59-year-old star on the radio in the evenings knows she’s no stranger to using her own life experiences to inspire her listeners.
In 2017, Delilah lost her 18-year-old son Zack to suicide. His death, she said during a recent appearance on “The Dr. Oz Show,” sent her into “a rage.” And just a handful of years earlier, in 2012, her 16-year-old son Sammy died due to complications from sickle cell anemia.
Speaking to Faithwire over email, Delilah said it has been her Christian faith that has helped her continue on with life despite facing such heartrending despair.
“There are some moments when I would say I haven’t coped, times when the grief feels so fresh and raw and heavy that it seems impossible to carry,” she admitted. “This is when my faith carries me, for without it I’d be lost.”
Delilah added she “would never say” she is completely healed from the losses she has faced because “the holes left by those whom I love are still there, will always be with me.” Regardless, she said, she does her best to “build a bigger, richer life around the gaps” by “encircling them with people and experiences, and love, that makes the empty spaces less haunting.”
In September, pastor and writer Max Lucado told author Carey Nieuwhof, who asked him why Americans are so unhappy, that we need to “get other-focused,” rather than thinking so egocentrically.
“You can get other-focused, you can be kind to your neighbor, you can forgive the people who have offended you, you can serve one another, love one another, greet one another, encourage one another,” Lucado explained on Nieuwhof’s leadership podcast. “Put that to use and see if that doesn’t counterbalance this deluge of messages that we have to face on a regular basis.”
Delilah said those words from Lucado inspired her to care for and love others “without abandon,” particularly during the holiday season.
What does Christmas mean to Delilah?
To Delilah, who lives on a farm near Port Orchard, Washington, Christmastime “is a bright promise” in an often gloomy world.
“Christ was sent to the people of the world to save us from ourselves,” she said. “Christmas means that no matter how bleak the circumstances, no matter how poor the choices we’ve made, we are loved and worthy of God’s grace.”
Part of the reason Delilah enjoys the holidays so much, she admitted, is because it helps her to be “other-focused” — a skill she learned from her parents, whom she said “loved Christmas.”
For the entire month of December, the “One Heart at a Time” author said her entire childhood home and garage was “transformed into Santa’s workshop.”
She has made it a priority to pass those traditions down to her own 14 children, putting the story of Jesus right at the center.
“That’s the foundation I’ve tried to build upon with my family,” the radio host said. “Teaching my children how to prepare dishes and meals I grew up with and more, crafting and making, tree hunts and a big scavenger hunt on Christmas morning, like my dad often created, Christmas music and all the beautiful old carols.”
Delilah has also taught her kids how to make her grandmother’s pecan pie and candied yams, two must-have dishes during the Christmas season.
“At the heart of it all,” she said, “is that God so loved the world, that he sent his only begotten son — the reason for the season.”