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Dory Oda

Christian Speaker
Franklin Indiana 46131

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It's never too late to finish well.

It's never too late to finish well.

Contact Information

Franklin, IN 46131
United States of America

Speaking Ministry Details

  • Salvation Date
  • 1973
  • Home Church
  • Franklin Community Church
  • Relationship to Church
  • Member of
  • Speaking Experience
  • Just Starting (0-9 events)
  • Fee Range
  • Love Offering

More About Dory Oda

My Story: How Friendship Saved Me

May, 2000. In-vitro fertilization helped us conceive a baby.

July, 2000. We miscarried. We were devastated.

February 13, 2001. I had a complete hysterectomy 7 days after our baby should have been born, and we were left childless.

August, 2003. Our pastor left our church, then our associate pastor left right after that. As head deacon, my husband was in charge of the church and search committee, uncompensated, for 18 months. It seemed everyone could leave but us, and I was mad at God.

March, 2005. We called a new pastor and were disappointed. 

August, 2008. We left the church we’d helped start, and entered  Franklin Community Church, unaware we were the walking wounded. My heart had never healed.

October 2012. Diagnosis Parkinson’s Disease at age 51. I alternately cried and raged for 5 straight years and couldn’t stop. 

October 6, 2016. My husband lost his job of 31 years, forced into early retirement, replaced by millennials. Hurt yet again.

March 19, 2018. Forced to take disability; we lost medical benefits.

After my Parkinson’s diagnosis, I went from mad to lost and alone, broken and empty, in between cycles of raging and anger at my disease. I was a child of God and I knew He loved me. After all, Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, and He Knows My Name, right? But I couldn't break out of the emotional pit I was in.

I regularly attended Sunday services and our small group. But my conversations, my words, my relationships only went so deep. I was literally unable to communicate my pain. And no one was pursuing me because I looked okay on the outside. I tried to read my Bible, and told myself and everyone else that I was okay. Inside, I knew the truth:  I wasn’t okay, but I didn’t know how to fix it.

I was alone and we are meant for community. 

I was surviving and we are meant for fulfillment. 

I was heartsick and we are meant for joy.

I wasn’t functioning as a part of my local community of believers and thought no one cared. I thought I was being selfish if I shared my pain; I thought my grief was sinful, but I couldn’t stop grieving. I wondered what I did to deserve this disease, but, at the same time, I knew I didn’t serve a vengeful, reactive God. Simply put, I was at a loss and I was losing ground week by week.

And then God saved me from the crying and the pain and the raging that had become a familiar, almost comfortable place for me. Five lonely years after my Parkinson’s diagnosis, He literally saved my life the day Robin Moore announced in church that she wanted to see if there was interest in a women’s ministry. She said to meet after church if interested.

Some part deep inside of me must surely have known I needed fellowship and love. On a conscious level, all I knew was I needed to be in that meeting, and it’s all I thought about during the whole sermon.

The meeting was well attended and we were all invited to join the women’s ministry committee. That was all I needed:  an invitation. 

I can’t explain what happened next, except to say that God’s Holy Spirit began working miracles in my heart and bringing joy to my spirit.  Before long, it started spilling out of me and onto everyone around me!

Ministry was the beginning of the miracle. I volunteered my time, my limited energy and strength, and all my talents to this committee that eventually grew to six women. Every time I thought I was all used up, God somehow replenished me, refilled me, and gave me new ideas that were enthusiastically embraced by the committee. I learned that every time ministry empties you, God fills you right back up... if you let Him.

Over time, I got to know these five other ladies like they were my own sisters. We exchanged literally hundreds of texts and phone calls and attended dozens of meetings together. We prayed together for the ladies of our church and for each other. Slowly, text by text, meeting by meeting, my fences came down. People don’t know you need help unless you tell them, but I still didn’t know that.

Pretty soon, I felt safe enough to talk, and when I did, these five ladies started loving me for no good reason except that the Spirit of God made them beautiful; made them want to love me. And because my fences were coming down, I could start to see and feel the love. I began to accept it, and then I began to return it.

And finally, I started giving myself away; giving out of the abundance God had provided me and I found it brought me joy. I wrote notes, gave gifts, prayed with friends, prayed for loved ones, cried out to God with tears for the plights of those I loved, and uplifted and encouraged my brothers and sisters in Christ as God gave me opportunity. His bountiful, unmerited, abundant, sweet grace was filling me up and I couldn’t contain it or use it all. It HAD to spill out and over onto everyone I met.

And now? Now I am so blessed that I don’t have words to describe it. I am blessed by the beautiful sweet spirits of the ladies on this committee. I am blessed with the friendships of women who pursued me when I couldn’t speak my need, and who kept pursuing me with love even before I could respond. I am blessed to give until I am spent. I am blessed that on an ordinary Sunday, five women walked into my life and decided to stay, that these five women risked being rejected to love me before I could love them back.

I am blessed because in ministry I learned to love and I learned to accept love.

Open your hearts to ministry and you will be filled beyond overflowing. God is faithful, every single time. Trust Him and be filled up. You don’t have to know how. You only have to take one step and He will meet you there. 

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