How To Be WellnStrong

40: Becoming Who God Created You To Be | Dr. Maryann Diorio, PhD

February 13, 2024 Jacqueline Genova Episode 40
40: Becoming Who God Created You To Be | Dr. Maryann Diorio, PhD
How To Be WellnStrong
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How To Be WellnStrong
40: Becoming Who God Created You To Be | Dr. Maryann Diorio, PhD
Feb 13, 2024 Episode 40
Jacqueline Genova

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Today’s conversation is very special to me, because I’m speaking with my Aunt, Dr. Maryann Diorio, a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Health Coach, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant.  She is also a widely published, award-winning author of fiction for both children and adults. She has had a life coaching practice for nearly 25 years. Her passion is helping people be set free to become all that God created them to be. We discuss such topics as how to focus your thinking, how to discover your spiritual gifts and get clarity on your life’s calling, and the power of forgiveness.  

Suggested Resources:

Today's episode is sponsored by Plant Therapy, my preferred brand when it comes to purchasing essential oils . Be sure to use the code “WELLNSTRONG” for a discount! 

Join the WellnStrong mailing list for exclusive content here!

Want more of The How To Be WellnStrong Podcast? Subscribe to the YouTube channel.

Follow Jacqueline:

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send me a text!

Today’s conversation is very special to me, because I’m speaking with my Aunt, Dr. Maryann Diorio, a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Health Coach, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant.  She is also a widely published, award-winning author of fiction for both children and adults. She has had a life coaching practice for nearly 25 years. Her passion is helping people be set free to become all that God created them to be. We discuss such topics as how to focus your thinking, how to discover your spiritual gifts and get clarity on your life’s calling, and the power of forgiveness.  

Suggested Resources:

Today's episode is sponsored by Plant Therapy, my preferred brand when it comes to purchasing essential oils . Be sure to use the code “WELLNSTRONG” for a discount! 

Join the WellnStrong mailing list for exclusive content here!

Want more of The How To Be WellnStrong Podcast? Subscribe to the YouTube channel.

Follow Jacqueline:

Jacqueline: Well, first of all, Aunt Maryann, welcome to the podcast. I am beyond excited to be speaking with you. For listeners, this is really special for me because my Aunt Maryann, and I'm going to refer to her as this throughout the episode, um, is truly like a second mom to me and you are just, you're full of wisdom.

I'm so blessed to have you in my family and I'm just, again, so excited for our conversation today. As I shared with you last night, I didn't really prep for this one like I normally would just because. I feel like you and I could just chat on the phone and I can record it and it could be an episode in itself.

So I'm just excited to, to see where the Lord takes the conversation.

Maryann Diorio: Well, I am so excited, too, ever since you invited me. I have been eagerly anticipating this time. So, I think it's going to be wonderful, and I'm just so thankful for your precious listeners. I trust that we will be a blessing to them today.

Jacqueline: My mom has always called you a Renaissance woman because you do it all. You're a prolific writer, artist, musician, [00:01:00] you, you truly do it all. And I'd love for you to share with listeners a bit more about your background and how you found yourself in the life coaching space.

Maryann Diorio: Well, that's, that's a very interesting question. Uh, I had trained to be a college professor, foreign languages, which I loved from my first day of French class. And around the turn of the century, about 2000, the year 2000, uh, I began to hear more about life coaching and this was a new phenomenon to me.

Apparently it had been, uh, very successful in the business world, but it was starting to enter the mainstream. Well, since I am an encourager by nature, and that's one of the gifts God has given me, Um, I decided that perhaps I could use that gift in life coaching because coaching is a form of encouraging people to just follow their dreams and establish goals and stick to their goals.

So, um, I looked into it. And, uh, I [00:02:00] became more and more excited as I learned more and more about it. So I decided that I was going to get my life coaching certification, which I did. And so I started a life coaching practice and it has been just so wonderful working with people because one of my greatest passions is helping people become all that God created them to be.

I just love to see that dream come to life. inside them and and just take shape and then finally see them moving toward that dream. So, uh, it has been very, very, uh, helpful for me as well, just to see that very fulfilling. And a couple of years ago, I decided that I was going to get a certification in health coaching as well.

So I added that to my services. And while I'm, I'm not a nutritionist, I don't give medical advice. I do help people stay accountable to their goals. Like if they want to lose weight or if they want to exercise, I help them with that.

Jacqueline: I love that. I feel it, Aunt Maryann. Like, I got, well, [00:03:00] I inherited that sense of wanting to help other people find their passions from you, because even if I look back at my initial conversations with, with friends, one of the first questions I ask new acquaintances is, if you could be doing anything in your life right now, What would you be doing and I find it so interesting that a lot of people stop and pause because they've never really been asked that question and there's been a decent amount of conversations that I've had where you actually see a shift in the person's face when they actually realize, wait, like, I am really passionate about this and perhaps question, you know, why they may or may not.

Be pursuing it at that point in time. So that's certainly something I I love to do as well. Just encouraging people to find their passions But with that too, I mean, you know, not many people are self aware and have a good handle on their own skills or gifts I'm certainly blessed to have discovered what my passion is at this point in life But for those listeners out there who don't [00:04:00] necessarily know what their passion is What advice can you offer them with regards to finding what their calling is or what their gifts are?

Maryann Diorio: Well, the first thing I would suggest to them is that. realize, recognize that God created you for a special purpose that only you can fulfill and that he has a plan for you. So a lot of people aren't aware of that. They're surprised when you say God has a plan for your life. Um, A lot of people don't even think about God.

And, you know, what you said earlier about the question you ask people, that's the first question a life coach asks. So that's great. That's great. Um, and people today, for the most part, I think follow the dollar instead of the dream. And that's very, very sad. In fact, I've had a lot of clients who come, have come to me in midlife and they just hate their jobs.

They hate what they're doing. And when we talk, the [00:05:00] reason is that they're concerned about the financial aspect of it. Now, certainly, you know, we have to think about that, but at the same time, I think our vision is our provision. And if we discover our vision, which is God given, God gives us our vision, then through that vision, we will be able to earn a living.

So, um, if people are saying, you know, what do I do? Where do I turn? How do I find my passion? Your passion is something that gives you great joy in the doing of it, and it also blesses people. People will say to you, wow, you know, what you did really helped me or really blessed me. So when those two things intersect, then you can be pretty sure that that's a sign of your calling.

Jacqueline: I love that, and I think God definitely, I mean, at least I've experienced, has given me signs of affirmation and encouragement through others. [00:06:00] You being my very first one, and for listeners, I don't share too much of my personal life, but I will say that you Aunt Maryann had a significant impact in the starting of Well and Strong.

It was following a breakup I had, and I remember I was just in a really dark place, , I didn't want to start. something new. I, I felt very alone. I, I felt like I was starting from, you know, ground zero and I'll never forget you had shared with me. You said, if this is something the Lord wants you to do, he will open doors and he will bless it and he will make away.

And. I held on to that Aunt Maryann every single day and it's just, it's truly miraculous to see what God has done with Well and Strong over the past three years. And even in this podcast, I had people, random people that I, perhaps spoke with once or twice in my life who randomly would drop me words saying, so when's the podcast starting?

Not even recognizing that that's something that I always wanted to create, right? So. [00:07:00] It's funny how God speaks through people and again, I think, you know, He really does open doors and I've certainly experienced that with well and strong and he does make a way so I

Maryann Diorio: Yes. It's so good. That's, that's, it blesses me so much to hear that.

Jacqueline: It's true. It's so true. So a book that I'm currently reading at Maryann, I have about You're gonna laugh. Maybe 30 or so books that I just asked for for Christmas that I purchased myself within the past two weeks and a lot of them are like motivational, inspirational books that help you just, you know, learn how to think more, more critically.

improve your focus. I'm a huge fan of John Maxwell and one of the books that I'm reading of his is how successful people think. That's the first among like 20 of his that I, that I have. And he said that he's found that to do well at a few things, he had to give up many things. And some of the things he gave up included limiting the amount of people.

In his inner circle, [00:08:00] um, giving up the concept of being well rounded. I think he stated that like 99 percent of everything in life he didn't need to know about. So focus is certainly something I've been struggling with in the sense of. You know, I guess trying to figure out what do I need to sacrifice more of in my life in order to get to where I want to be.

So, what advice do you have for listeners out there who are in, you know, there are certainly seasons of life, right? Seasons of busyness, seasons of rest. So how do you prioritize? Relationships and, you know, the important factors that make life worth living in seasons of busyness when we just feel so overwhelmed with work.

Maryann Diorio: Yes, and I can relate to that. I remember when my children were little, your cousins, there was one day I was particularly frazzled and I went to the Lord complaining and, you know, I expected a little sympathy, but he didn't give me any sympathy. He was [00:09:00] very loving, but firm. And he said, Maryann, you always have enough time to do what I have called you to do.

So I thought, well, Either I'm disorganized or I'm doing something that I'm not supposed to be doing. And in my case, it was I was involved in activities that God had not called me to do. And those activities were taking up precious time and keeping me away from what God had called me to do. So I think it's a question to, you know, to answer your question.

It's a question. Number one, establish what your values are. What are your top three to five values in life and then prioritize your activities around those values. And once you do that, then it becomes much easier to make decisions as to what you're going to allow in your life, whom you're going to allow into your life.

You don't want to allow people who constantly drain you. and you know, [00:10:00] just take the energy out of you. Um, we have to set boundaries with that, but it all starts with going with Jesus to Jesus about his plan for your life because he, he gave you that plan before he even made you. He wrote it down in a book.

The Bible says that in Psalm 139, I recorded this in your book in my, you know, all the days of your life. That's amazing to me.

Jacqueline: Yeah.

Maryann Diorio: So just establish your values. and establish your priorities around your values, and then it's much easier to make the daily decisions of what you should do, where you should go, whom you should associate with, and those kinds of things.

Jacqueline: Yeah, that's certainly a practice that I think I really started to institute within the past few months as I actually started to sit down and write my goals. . But you touched on something really important and that's boundaries, right? And I'm, I'm starting to realize that having boundaries is not necessarily something that's selfish, it's [00:11:00] actually an act of love towards ourselves. And something I've really been struggling with is I feel like in my heart of hearts, like I, I have a desire to help everyone. And I think that also, um, at least in my mind means like replying to every single person that asks me a question related to their health or always having.

You know, the, the desire to be there for someone, and I found in the past few months that I'm just not capable at being able to reply to every single thing, every single message I get, because I just, I don't have the time in the day, and I'm, I'm trying to reconcile the guilt that I feel, right, with the need to actually have healthy boundaries, so what is, um, um, Advice for, you know, perhaps people like me who, who may be like, you know, inherent people pleasers where we want to help everyone, but we just.

We just mentally and physically can't [00:12:00] I

Maryann Diorio: That's a really good question. And a lot of people deal with that. You know, I've dealt with it too. And I always go back to Jesus and the Word. Jesus had boundaries. He set boundaries for himself. He would go off to pray by himself. He would take time alone. Uh, he even sent the people home after they had eaten time to go, you know, it reminds me of Uncle Dom and I one time we were invited to dinner at this doctor's home and um, it was very nice dinner.

He was very gracious, but at 10 o'clock sharp he stood up and he said, good evening, I am going to bed.

Jacqueline: love

Maryann Diorio: And it was like, Oh, it really, you know, it took us by surprise, but, but he had boundaries. He was very gracious and kind, but he kept to his boundaries. Heaven has boundaries. Not everybody gets into heaven.

Only those who accept Jesus as their savior and Lord. So [00:13:00] boundaries are healthful and We have to realize that we have limits. And one time when I was in your shoes, the Lord said to me, you're not the savior of the world. I am. So that, that was a wake up call too. And we do have that desire to help, but we can't help everybody.

So again, I'm led by the Holy Spirit. You know, I have boundaries for my work, but. If someone calls up a family member or a friend who is in an emergency situation, then I will help that person. But if someone calls up just to chit chat, well, I can't do it at that particular time. I'll do it later, but I have to keep my boundaries or I won't get my work done.

So it's a question of being led by the Holy Spirit. Bottom line.

Jacqueline: No, that makes sense. And do you structure your day? so I find too that it's super easy for me to just get [00:14:00] distracted by like The ding of a text or an incoming email and I read studies that it takes I think over 20 minutes for your brain just to refocus on the task at hand, even after just checking your phone.

So one thing I'm trying to figure out, and it's difficult with the nature of what I do with content creation and social media and whatnot, but I'm really trying to structure my day, even if it's hour by hour and just focus on one sole task. Is that something that you do or have have found helpful in your work?

Maryann Diorio: Yes, definitely. Um, recent studies have shown that multitasking is not good for the brain. Uh, I set up blocks of time. For example, when I get up in the morning, I have my block of time with the Lord. So I do that first thing in the morning, and then I have breakfast, and then I set up my block of writing time.

So that's my time, you know, to, to write. And then I always leave open spaces. different blocks of time that [00:15:00] are open in case something comes up where I have to shift one to another position. So you can be flexible. I don't schedule every single moment. Then in the afternoon, late afternoon, evening, I schedule time for Uncle Dom.

We go take a walk or, you know, we do something in the evening and for the family, for our grandchildren. So it's a good idea to structure them. You be so rigid. That you get legalistic about it, but it is a good idea to have blocks of time where you do certain things, otherwise you wouldn't accomplish anything.

And then during that time, I turn off my phone, I turn off email, and I don't do anything but what is designated for that block of time. That way I can focus, because it is very easy to get distracted.

Jacqueline: I definitely have been more strict about my morning routine and just spending time in silence. But to that point, I mean, despite my dedicating that morning quiet time, sometimes I still struggle [00:16:00] with, I guess, discerning, am I hearing God's voice? In terms of what he wants me to do, or am I hearing my own desires?

So, how can we put ourselves in a place where we actually, first of all, can hear God, and I guess secondly, know that it is in fact Him, right? And not just perhaps what we want.

Maryann Diorio: Right, right. And that's an excellent question. It's critically important. The Bible says that those of us who are born again in Christ, we are called God's sheep. And scripture says that my sheep hear my voice. That's what Jesus said. So That's the truth. If we're struggling to hear his voice, it is very likely that we haven't learned how.

A newborn baby learns his mother's voice, right, by hearing it over and over, by spending time with his mother. And that's how we learn as children. We learn to recognize voices by spending time with people. [00:17:00] Well, there are four steps you can take. to help you to hear God's voice. And they, they really work very, very well.

The first is to quiet yourself down. We have to be quiet and still. So I like to go find, I have a place in, in my office, my little prayer corner, my prayer chair, I call it, and it's very quiet there. So Quiet yourself down. You can do that in whatever works best for you. Put on some praise music in the background, instrumental music, or just nothing.

Just sit quietly until you calm your soul and your spirit and you're not subject to distractions because distractions will keep us from hearing God's voice. And Satan will send us all kinds of distractions so that we don't hear God's voice. So the first step is to quiet yourself down. Be still. The second is to fix your eyes on Jesus.

It's called vision. I like to picture myself [00:18:00] walking along the sea of Galilee with Jesus and I'm asking him, I'm asking him a question. And then, you know, at some point we'll sit down and just chat on the lawn by the, by the sea of Galilee. And. I ask him a question and then I listen for the thoughts that come into my mind.

I can trust that those thoughts are from God because I've already stilled my soul, quieted it down, and fixed my eyes on Jesus. So, the thoughts begin to come into my mind, and that's the third step. It's called spontaneity. Then I take my journal, and I write down those thoughts. And those are the words of God to me for that day.

So the four steps are stillness. vision, picturing yourself with Jesus, maybe in a chair sitting next to you. Also, tune [00:19:00] into spontaneity, which is receiving the thoughts that come into your mind, because God speaks to us in thoughts, primarily in thoughts. And then write down the thoughts, put them in a journal.

And that is your answer. And you will be amazed over time when you go back, you will recognize God's voice. You'll begin to recognize it. It's a quiet, still, small voice, 

Jacqueline: yeah, one thing I started to do as well this year is, is have a prayer journal, and it's just been such A wonderful reminder. I mean, you and I have had many conversations about this because I feel like, you know, I'm in a season of waiting right now in my life for certain things that I want, and we spend most of our lives in that waiting season, right?

So I think during this season, it's challenging when, you know, you can look at other people and see what they have and question, why hasn't God given me this at this point in my life right now? But then I stop and I look back and I say, [00:20:00] But look what he has done and look at situations in the past where he has come through where I didn't think, you know, there could be a way and that just reminds me that he is working in the waiting.

And I mean, even too, if we look in Psalms and we look at, what David wrote, I think like David's witness to the power of God in his life was only enhanced. I don't know. That is your favorite one. But it's not the, uh, head that's in here. It's, um, A. Let's, uh, let's talk about the, uh, the the, uh, the story of,

Maryann Diorio: Yes, yes, you are applying a very important principle of rehearsing your victories. That's what David did. And when we do that, it encourages us during the waiting time because we know since God came through for us before, he'll come through for us again. And that's true. Very, very true. And the thing we have to remember also is that God is good.

And everything that happens in our [00:21:00] lives, including the times of waiting, are for our ultimate goal, good, and for his ultimate glory, always. And the more we get to know God, the more we learn about his character, and the more we can trust him. Just like with a person, you know, we get to know a person more and more, and we can determine if that person's trustworthy or not.

But God is perfectly trustworthy.

Jacqueline: I mean, We are human, right? And anxiety and fear, you know, will come. We all experience that at some point in our lives. And again, you and I have had many conversations on this very topic, but I'd love for you to share your wisdom with listeners on, how do we deal with that anxiety when it, when it comes and we just feel paralyzed, whether it be in the waiting season, whether it being during a hard season, how do we deal with those feelings?


Maryann Diorio: strike all of us at some point in our [00:22:00] lives. And scripture says that fear is a spirit. So it's an evil spirit and we have to deal with it in the spirit realm, really to eradicate it at its root. I remember, um, I, I've struggled with fear over my life, especially in the earlier stages.

And I remember one time when Leah and Gina, your cousins were out, it was, they were in high school and they went to some high school social event and I was attacked with terrible fear. My mind was being bombarded with horrific thoughts, you know, about accidents, all kinds of things. And I remember that day we have had a whole.

a hallway in our old house, and I walked up and 


Maryann Diorio: down that hallway for three hours straight, speaking the word of God. And there's a scripture, one scripture especially, that I would confess I would speak, and it is, God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, [00:23:00] love, and a sound mind. And that's how I resisted the spiritual attack of fear.

And after that, Three hours of resisting and fighting the good fight of fate, the fear immediately disappeared, and it left because it was an evil spirit. Now, it affects our soul. I mean, there's certainly things that happen in our soul that we need to address, but it goes back to what you said, John Maxwell's book, how we think is so critically important.

Scripture says, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. And when we're attacked with thoughts of fear, You know, most of what we fear never happens, but when we're attacked with thoughts of fear, then we use the word to fight the fear, but we also have to reprogram our thinking about the fear and not give into it because it will paralyze us if we give into it.

Jacqueline: Yeah, I mean, there's been so many [00:24:00] situations where I feel like I have called you in, in that very moment and, and for listeners too. So I call my Aunt Maryann whenever there might be an issue that I don't necessarily want to share with my mom. So like, even a few months ago when I was at volleyball and I, I hit my head and I just called you crying because I had.

So many concussions in the past and I immediately was so scared that I just suffered another concussion and right away I just remember you telling me like you are healed, you are whole you are fine And even to just the act of hearing you say that like hearing truth just changed my perspective of the whole situation even for times when i'm by myself, just Speaking truth over myself, right, with those verses really does change your perspective.

Maryann Diorio: It doesn't. You're touching on something critically important for those of us who are in Christ, and that's where it really begins. That's where we get the power. And the authority [00:25:00] to fight against the evil spirits and the spiritual warfare out there. We need the power of Christ, and we get that when we receive Christ as our Savior and we're born again.

At the same time, you know, truth, there's a difference between truth and fact. Truth is the Word of God. Truth is the Bible. Jesus is truth. And the Bible is the Word of God, the expression of Jesus Christ. But fact is something that the devil can use to weaken us, to distract us, to create fear in us. Just to give you an example, okay?

So let's say a person receives a medical diagnosis that is not a good diagnosis, okay? We understand what that's like. Well, that is a fact. The test shows it. You can't deny the fact, [00:26:00] right, in the natural. But God says that we were healed by the stripes of Jesus. That's the truth. Now, a fact is temporary.

That means it can change. It's changeable. The truth can never change. It's eternal. So if we believe the truth more than the fact, we will see the truth manifested in our lives. But if we believe the fact more than the truth, we'll see the fact manifested in our lives.

And those of us who are in Christ, you know, understand that.

So that's why we fill our hearts with the truth, and we choose to believe the truth, no matter what the fact looks like. And people who have done that have been miraculously healed,

because they believe the truth. And, but the thing is, we have to build our faith. God gives every person the [00:27:00] measure of faith.

We all get the same amount of faith. But it's up to us to exercise it and develop it. It's just like, we all have the same number of muscles, right, in our body. But some of us have flabby muscles, some of us have toned muscles. It depends on exercising the muscle. That's where the difference occurs. And it's the same with faith, 

know. So truth will always prevail over fact when we believe truth. And truth is eternal, it never changes. Fact can change.

Jacqueline: Yeah, no, I couldn't agree more and that has given me so much peace too, even with my mom whenever I'm anxiously awaiting her blood work results or, her tumor markers, you know, I immediately see that, you know, new test result posted and when I used to get, you know, when I would see that in the past, my heart would start to race and it still does sometimes, right?

Like, I can't always control that, but I think the way that I look at those results just based on everything you said has truly changed, right?

Like, yeah. Jesus already knows like [00:28:00] what they will say again. He is in control and you know, the fact is whatever a marker is, right? But that's not the actual truth.

And I think and I think it's so important too for people out there like Who are facing a cancer diagnosis or, any other chronic illness to not accept. What their doctor says is truth, and you and I have had many conversations about this, but even from a scientific perspective, there's literature that has shown that, you , people fare worse when their doctors are negative, or, you know, pronounce negative, words over their patients, so it's really important to, first of all, work with the doctor who is supportive and speak words of life, but also too to reject anything that isn't truth, right? And not internalize it.

Maryann Diorio: That's right. And a lot of people don't realize that when Jesus died on the cross, he took not only our sins, but our sicknesses. That's what the, the stripes on his back represented. And he took 39 stripes [00:29:00] and, um, If I understand correctly, there are 39 categories of disease, so he took a stripe for each one.

So in the atonement, which is what Christ died to do for us, he not only gave us forgiveness of sins, but healing for our bodies. That's what communion represents. We take the bread and the wine. The bread represents the healing for the body, and the wine, the forgiveness, his blood, the forgiveness of our sins.

So, a lot of people aren't aware of that, and one reason is that we don't hear that taught much. We hear a lot taught about forgiveness of sins in churches, but we don't hear much taught about healing of the body. And scripture says, faith comes by hearing, and that's a very important principle. Whatever we hear over and over again, whether it's true or false, we are going to believe.

That's the way God made us. So it's really important that we hear truth over and over again.[00:30:00] 

So our lives align with truth because it's the lie that destroys us when we believe a lie. But when we believe the truth, we're set free. And we are healed in every area.

Jacqueline: So true. So true. What is your advice for someone who has been facing a chronic illness for years, right? And they've been praying to the Lord for healing and they just have not, have not experienced that.

Maryann Diorio: I think the first thing is a change in the way they see themselves. Okay. A lot of people think that healing is in the future, but healing is now because God is outside of time. He is eternal. So healing is now and. We need to see ourselves as already healed, not something that's going to happen down the road.

When Jesus [00:31:00] died on the cross, right before he gave up his breath, he said, it is finished. What he meant was that his work on the cross of forgiving sins and healing people was finished. Now it's our job to receive what he did. It's a gift to us, but like any gift, unless we receive it, We have no advantage of that gift.

You see, if I give you a gift, if you don't want to take it, then it doesn't benefit you. But if you take it, then it will benefit you. And that's the same with salvation, healing, and forgiveness of sins. Jesus offers it, but we have to receive it. So, if someone is facing a chronic illness, that is a very difficult position, and it's a painful position.

I can certainly empathize with that position, but I want to say, anyone out there who's facing that, know that Jesus died to heal you, and that in his eyes, you are already healed, and just turn to [00:32:00] him, and if you do not know him as your savior, receive him as your savior, because what happens when we are born again, and let me see if I can explain this very simply, we are made up of three parts, Spirit, soul, and body.

We are triune beings. We are made in the image of God. He is a triune being, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So we have a spirit, we have a soul, and we have a body. Our spirit is who we really are at the core. Our soul is our mind, our will, and our emotions, and then our body is what I call our earth suit. Now, our spirit When we are born physically into this world is separated from God.

Why? Because of the fall of man, the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden. Okay, they sinned and rebelled against God. And when they did, they lost their connection with God, the father. [00:33:00] But God the Father loved us so much, he wanted to reestablish that connection, that, that fellowship. So, the only one who could reestablish it was Jesus Christ.

Why? Because Jesus is both fully God and he was fully man. As God, he could take the load of our sin. And as man, he could represent us because we were fallen, we could never pay the price of sin back to God. So Jesus love did that for us, and he took both sin and sickness from us. Well, when we receive his gift, he gives us a new spirit and we become reconnected back to God in the spirit realm.

And Jesus comes to live inside our spirit. So everything we need, including our health, is in our spirits. And I would say to those, you know, who are chronically ill, first of all, [00:34:00] receive Jesus into your heart, into your spirit, and then the health will be in there and we draw on that. That's what faith is.

Faith is drawing from the spirit realm what God has given us and bringing it into the natural realm. And how do we bridge the gap between the natural and the spiritual? By faith. That's the bridge. Faith. The bridge. So there is hope. There is hope. No matter how sick you are. That's nothing for Jesus to heal.

It's nothing for him. It's very simple. Just believe. That first of all, he wants to heal you. A lot of us, you know, we were brought up to think that God heals whomever he wants to. Well, if you read the scriptures, Jesus healed everybody who came to him, everybody. So he wants to heal you. He wants you well, Jesus hates sickness.

He doesn't want anybody sick. A lot of people think, well, he made me sick to teach me a lesson. Jesus did [00:35:00] not make you sick. He did not make you sick. So there's hope. And I would say, he turned to the Lord. And believe that you are already healed.

Jacqueline: I love that. And on that topic of hope, it's, it's easy to praise God when everything is going well, but not so easy to praise Him in the storm. Yet, it's really in the struggles of life that I at least have found myself being closest to Him.

Maryann Diorio: Yes.

Jacqueline: So, for those people who are in a difficult season of life, again, maybe they're still waiting on an unanswered prayer, what would you tell them to do in order to keep a sense of hope alive?

Maryann Diorio: Two things that the scripture commands us to do. The Bible says, first of all, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Now, it doesn't say for everything. It says in everything. So in the middle of whatever [00:36:00] trial you're going through, thank the Lord that he is with you and that he will get you through.

He promised to do that and he will. And then the second thing is to rejoice in the Lord. And what that means is just praise God in the midst of your trial. Now, we don't feel like doing that. You know, especially when we're down and depressed, we don't feel like praising God. But that is the very moment that we need to praise Him the most.

Because what that does is it shows us that we trust God and it drives away Satan. Cause he hates worship and praise. So we do those things, those two things, and we begin praising the Lord. And I find that if I'm attacked with, you know, discouragement, I immediately start praising God, whether I feel like it or not.

That's why the Bible calls it the sacrifice of praise because it's a sacrifice, but within two minutes, that discouragement. [00:37:00] because Satan cannot stand in the presence of worship and praise of the Lord. And I would say to those two, know that Jesus is with you, even though you may not feel him, you don't see him.

He is with you because he promised never to leave you nor forsake you. And the purpose of these trials is to make us more like Christ. As you said, you've gotten closer to Christ through your trials. That's because you've chosen to draw closer to him and not to go away from him. And that's important not to get angry and go the other way.

You see, God will not allow more than we can handle in our lives. And when he allows these trials, it's to make us more like Jesus. I remember one time I was talking to the Lord and, um, he said something to me. I never forgot. He said. Mary Ann, he said, my goal for you, my ultimate goal is not your [00:38:00] happiness, but your holiness.

But when you're holy, you will be filled with joy. And that's really true. You see, so God, whatever happens, God is in control and he's making us more like Jesus because he wants what's best for us, our good, our ultimate good. And even though we don't like it, we have to trust that it is for our good. And when we look back, we'll see that it is for our good.


Jacqueline: of my prayer journal. And that reminds me too, I mean, even in the book of Job, like, you know, we look at the whole conversation between God and Satan and, you know, God is like, look, look at my faithful servant. I'll take away everything he has, his family, his job, his, his riches, his very livelihood.

But at the end of the day, like Job still chooses to praise God and God rewards him with, you know, what he had and more. So. Really looking to the Bible has, again, [00:39:00] just helped me because there's nothing new under the sun, right? Our experiences 

Maryann Diorio: yes. 

Jacqueline: new.

Maryann Diorio: That's right. And the Bible is our manual for life. Just like you get a car manual and a washing machine manual, which we never read until there's a problem, right? But same with the Bible. We don't read it until there's a problem. But we need to read it every day because it tells us how to live and how to handle every situation.

Jesus is the answer to everything. He is.

Jacqueline: And my last question for you, Maryann, I mean, we could, we could talk for hours, but I feel like these are the topics that you and I spend the most time chatting about and hopefully it'll bless listeners, but for people out there who feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders, right?

How do, how do we, like, tactically just give that to God, right? And I think it stems from this need for control. I mean, I certainly have experienced this many a time with my mom, but like, how do we actually give our burdens to God? Hehe.

Maryann Diorio: it's a decision. [00:40:00] It may not be a feeling. We all do want to control our lives. We want to know what lies ahead, what's in the future. It's just the way we are. But when we feel that God does not want us to be stressed. He says in the Bible, my yoke is easy and my burden is light. He says, cast your cares upon me because I care for you.

We don't, our shoulders aren't big enough for these problems, but his are. So we give them to him. We just say, Lord. I give you this worry. I give you this concern. And then if it comes back, I give it to you again. And we just keep giving it to him. And then he fills us with his peace because he takes over and he will handle the issue or tell us what we need to do.

But we don't have to carry it around because it puts stress on us. And that's not good for us, 

as you well know, you know, and you, you teach that and that's true.

Jacqueline: [00:41:00] yeah, this is a conversation that I'm just going to replay whenever my mind wanders to these issues. Um, but I, I love you so much. I'm so grateful for your wisdom and your time today. And I, I know this conversation is really going to bless a lot of people. Um, but where, where can listeners find you?

Maryann Diorio: Well, my coaching site is celebration life and health, and my writing site is Mary and

Jacqueline: Wonderful. And for listeners too, my Aunt Maryann has written some incredible books which, sadly, I've only recently read in the past two years or so. I feel like I've let the past decade go by without making time to read them. And they are some of the most wonderful books. I love your series. Can you share a bit about, the one that's based on our family history?

Maryann Diorio: Yes, that, that's a really interesting series. Um, well, you know, I lived with your great-grandmother when I went to college, and during that time I learned a lot about our family [00:42:00] history in Sicily and, um, your great-great-grandmother. Had something occur in her life that was very tragic and very, very difficult.

And when I learned about that, it sparked an idea for the first book in the trilogy. So I just felt that, uh, she needed to be exonerated for what was done to her. And so, um, I just felt God leading me to write that story, and he did. So it's basically, it started with our family history. Now it is fiction, so that, you know, a lot of What's in there is, is not fact, but it started with a fact.

Jacqueline: I love that. And I will be including the links to those in the share notes as well. 

My last question for you, and this is my favorite one to ask everyone I interview, and that is, what does being well and strong mean to you?

Maryann Diorio: Well, it means a lot to me. The word well means wholeness and [00:43:00] soundness in spirit, soul, and body. It's not just our bodies and you address the other elements. Health really starts on the inside.

And it's reflected on the outside. So we can do everything we can naturally for our physical body. Take vitamins, exercise, all that.

But if we have turmoil in our souls and we have anger or unresolved issues, Those issues are going to affect our physical body. So health has to start on the inside. We need to deal with those things. Unforgiveness is a very, very big one. Very big one. In fact, um, I attended a church where I was a prayer team leader and they had people coming up for prayer.

And one lady came up and she had cancer. And she asked me to pray for her. And as I, to pray. I always ask the Lord how to pray for people. And he said she has [00:44:00] unforgiveness in her life. She needs to forgive first. So I mentioned that to her and she said, yes, there is someone I haven't forgiven. And I said, well, the Lord wants you to forgive that person.

And Uh, I would tell your listeners to forgiveness is a decision. It's not a feeling we get confused sometimes and we think, well, I don't feel any forgiveness toward that person, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that we make the decision to forgive. Well, when we let go of unforgiveness, healing can flow into our bodies.

in a mighty way. So if there's anybody out there who hasn't forgiven someone who hurt you, remember that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. That's a quote from someone. And yet you're the one who dies because you're not forgiving. And oftentimes the person who hurt you doesn't even know that, that you were hurt or [00:45:00] that you're Bearing unforgiveness.

So unforgiveness is a big one in health. Make sure that you forgive those who hurt you.

Jacqueline: I share a lot about that. Or I have shared a lot about that in previous episodes. I've, I've spoken with Chris Wark, who's a big advocate of forgiveness and the healing journey. , and I mean, you'll look at cases of people who are, you know, otherwise, like, appear to have the perfect lifestyle from a physical health perspective, but still go on to develop cancer, and then you look at their emotional health, and you realize, hmm, like, something's not quite right, and it does make sense, so healing, Truly, you know, expands beyond the physical.

So I, I love that. And I mean, again, you and I have talked about the topic of forgiveness many a time, and it's not easy. It's really not easy. And I, I struggled with that for a few years. And it, it truly is a decision. And I think once we decide that we forgave a person over time, just like, you know, the faith muscle, I [00:46:00] mean, you train your, your feelings to go along with your decision.

So there's, it's, Circumstances where years ago, my body may have reacted, you know, tensed up if I saw a person or I heard a person's name. And now it has less of a stronghold over me because I remind myself that I just made that decision to forgive.

Maryann Diorio: Yes, yes. Well, you know, I just want to share this one thing the Lord just brought to my mind. You know that about 30 years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And forgiveness played a huge part in my healing. In my case, interestingly, I had, I found it easy to forgive other people, but I couldn't forgive myself because I had made a job decision, a career decision that I thought, you know, was the wrong one.

Now, as I look back, it wasn't, but at the time I thought, and I, it was the wrong one. And I just could not forgive myself. And I remember going to the Lord one day and he said to me, who are you not to forgive [00:47:00] yourself when I, who am God, have forgiven you? And I said, yes, sir. You know, uh, really? I mean, that was putting myself above God, which is idolatry.

So I repented and I said, Lord, I choose to forgive myself. So if there's anybody out there who's struggling with that too, sometimes we find it hard to forgive ourselves for something we did know that God's grace covers all that and that he can forgive and we can forgive through his power. So make the decision to forgive.

regardless of how you feel. And forgiveness is not letting somebody off the hook. It's putting that person on God's hook, but then praying that God will have mercy on that person because he had mercy on me.

Jacqueline: And then you just, you'll experience a peace

that surpasses all understanding and truly, like,

I I've definitely experienced that. And yeah, I think it's, again, just [00:48:00] from my experience, it's a lot more difficult to forgive yourself. And I've also found it to be more challenging forgiving someone.

Who has hurt someone I loved or I love more than myself.

Maryann Diorio: yes,

Jacqueline: But I think those cases are the ones that truly take all the more effort at exercising that muscle. And then again, just spill over effects. Next time someone offends you, it's, it's easier, it's easier to overcome.

Maryann Diorio: yes. And think of it this way. Forgiveness is freedom for you. 

Really, it's freedom. 

Jacqueline: I love that. Well, Aunt Maryann, I have really enjoyed this conversation with you. I'm so grateful again for all of your wisdom and your time. I'm so excited to share this with listeners, and I hope to have you on again soon. I mean, there's just so many topics we can cover, so 

Maryann Diorio: I loved it. Thank you so much. And I love you more.

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How to hear God's voice
Speaking truth over your life
The difference between fact vs truth
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Praising God in the storm
How to keep a sense of hope alive
When the weight of the world is on your shoulders
How to give our burdens to God