If you listened to episode 91, you might remember Gabrielle Nedzi. On that episode, she shared a small part of her story of leaving her husband and daughter to come to the U.S. from Venezuela as an asylee. Gabrielle’s faith touched me so much. I reached out to her and asked her to come on the podcast for a full interview.
In episode 93, you will hear more of Gabrielle’s story including her conversion to the gospel, meeting her husband and making the difficult decision to immigrate. Gabrielle shares how she keeps her faith being far away from her family and the miracles she has seen in her life. She also discusses how she continues to count her blessings and express gratitude. Over and over, Gabrielle declares her trust in God no matter what.
How to Listen
Episode Links + Quotes
“…they were the same principles and values that my parents taught, but now with a foundation in the scriptures.”
“I clean my tears and keep moving.”
“Every single person has their own story, and I’m thankful for mine.”
“If it’s going to turn out good, thank you. If it’s not turning out, that’s good, thank you too because it’s always learning, always learning from the good and bad. And we need the bad too, to learn and not make the same mistake.”
Hymn 241 – Count Your Blessings
SMM 091: How We #HearHim || Listener Discussion Show
SMM 019: Connection Through Trials + The Power of Vulnerability to Bring Women Together || Danelle Beckstrand
Follow Spiritually Minded Mom
Darla: You’re listening to the Spiritually Minded Mom podcast. This is episode 93: How to Trust God No Matter What with Gabrielle Nedzi.
Intro: Hi, this is Darla Trendler and welcome to Spiritually Minded Mom. My goal is to help you gain confidence in your ability to hear and follow God’s voice in motherhood and in life. Listen to hear interviews with all kinds of moms who are learning to navigate motherhood by partnering with our heavenly parents.
Darla: Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Mom podcast. I am so happy to be here today. I have a really special guest for you. Her name is Gabrielle Nedzi. And if you listened to episode 91, you remember that was the episode I did with 13 women all sharing how they hear Him. And Gabrielle was one of those women who came and shared a very small part of her story of coming from Venezuela and having to leave her family behind, and she just bore such a strong testimony of God’s love and I really wanted to know more of her story. And so, I’ve gotten to know her since that interview a little bit and now I’m bringing her on the podcast so that she has a whole half hour to share her whole story and you’re going to love hearing from her. So, she is an immigrant from Venezuela. And she’s also a mom of two and she really loves her family. She’s a daughter and a sister in addition to being a wife to her husband. And she joined the church in Venezuela in 2015, and I’m excited to hear more about her conversion story. And one of the things she also wrote about herself is that she’s always going forward, no matter the circumstances. And you will hear that she has faced some really hard things, and she does always go forward with faith. So, Gabrielle, thank you so much for being here and for letting me interview you.
Gabrielle: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m thrilled.
Darla: Oh, it’s so good. Okay, so I want to start off going way back and some of the conversations that we’ve had before this interview and in some of the things that we went back and forth talking about, you told me a lot about the love of your family. You love your family so much and especially your mom. So, tell me a little bit about your mom. What did she teach you about God when you were growing up? How did she help you form this great faith that you have?
Gabrielle: She’s so wonderful. She taught me a lot about God, and to love Him, to respect Him, and to be afraid of Him. I mean when I said that, to be afraid of is to be aware of his power in everything you do in your life. So, she is a real, real woman of faith. She is always grateful with Him and even though she’s not part of the church, she always taught us to pray to him and that he loves us. That he will hear us and our prayers. She is amazing. She, I’m going to tell you a story. My sister, my little sister, she is a YouTuber. She did, uh, some challenge that, I don’t know the name of it. Tag your mom or something. It’s more like an interview. It was like it was to talk about my sister. No, my mom was proud of us and everything, and my mom said one thing that touched me, she said, I know I love my daughters and they are spectacular and I’m so proud of them. And they are the best thing that I have and whatever they do, I’m gonna be behind them. Support them and be there for them. So yeah, we are very united. Even my dad, my dad is amazing. He is more like a mom, you know, the type of? He, he’s always, he’s always calling me and when I moved he’s calling me and, “Oh my dear, are you eating?” you know? “Did you have food, do you have enough money?” Even though I’m the oldest and even a little bit, I’m already a woman with kids, they treat us like little kids. They’re little girls. That’s why we are so United. We all felt the power of God’s love on us. That’s what they taught us to be united. To be, love each other, respect each other no matter what. Of course, we can have some argue, but that should be like two minutes and then love like little sisters. Yeah. Those are the values, the principles they taught us.
Darla: Well, I love, I love hearing about your family, and seeing what a great foundation that you had of God’s love, like you said, of supporting and loving each other in a family. So, I really want to know because none of your family joined the church with you. So I would love to know what happened? You joined the church in 2015 what led up to that? How were you introduced to the church and, and what helped you to develop a testimony?
Gabrielle: Well, it’s hard to think. In 2014 I went to Cancun. And I met a family who was, uh, members of the church. They were so kind and so good with me and I keep, you know, like the, I want to know a little bit more about it. At the time I was single and I make myself like go and I said to myself, okay, 2015 it’s going to be my year, because before that I was always the one who if my sisters call me and say, “I need your help. I need you to be here right now.” We didn’t leave like nearby. We were like 45 minutes apart and I just dropped everything. I grabbed my car and drove to my sister’s home to take care of my niece and my nephew. I was like more like the mother of everyone, you know? And I said, no, now is my time. It’s the time for me. It’s a time to find a husband. That was the only thing. And then I was like hunting the church because every time that I drove by the chapel, it was closed. One day I saw people inside and I stopped and went in and was like asking, I want to know how this works.
Darla: They were so happy to see you. I can guarantee it.
Gabrielle: Yes. The missionary was like, Oh my gosh. Then we’re setting an appointment to, you know, to the, to the first class to the first lesson. And I really love my missionaries, they were like so beautiful. And he wrote in the, in the Book of Mormon, well, well sister, you’re going to be baptized on April 18th. And I was like, if I don’t like it, why did you put any, any date? And then he told me, you don’t need to be worried. You’re gonna love it. And in fact, I loved it.
Darla: So, did you get baptized on April 18th?
Gabrielle: Yeah, of course! And at that moment I didn’t tell my dad that I was a part of the church. He is good, but he’s like, Hmmm. And but my mom was like, if that makes you happy, if that’s what you want, go for it. And the church brought so many change on me. I love the church. I love the principles. I love the, I love the conferences, the general conferences. The first time that I heard of General Conference, I was like oh my gosh! It was like amazing. And it was like, open eyes. The good part of it, it was like they were or that were the same principles and values that my parents taught. So, but now, with like uh, a foundation in the scriptures. And that was amazing. And in that first, um, General Conference, I saw my husband for the first time.
Darla: You met him watching general conference?
Gabrielle: Yeah, he was in the stake watching General Conference too, and I was like, Oh my gosh, he’s cute. And then I thought, he probably is married. Everyone is married here. Yeah. And then I asked one of my friends from church, and she told me that his name is Miguel, and yes, he is grandson of someone who went to our ward. And then she told me, yes, he’s single and I was like, oh my gosh.
Darla: So, this was like love at first sight at General Conference?
Gabrielle: Well, on my side.
Darla: I love this story.
Gabrielle: And then, a mutual friend got married and I went to the wedding party and when he walks in, I was like oh my gosh. He’s here. And that night, we started talking and from that night till 2018 we never been apart from each other. We started talking, and my feelings were like I knew him forever. I dunno where he was. It was the same for him. I mean we felt so good together and we got married in 2016 we got Amelia in 2017. It was like something like *that*.
Darla: So, the beginning of 2015 you’re like, this is my year. And you found the gospel and got baptized and met your future husband and within two years you have another child. You have this beautiful daughter Amelia. She is beautiful. I’ve seen pictures of her. That is so good. Such a sweet story.
Gabrielle: Yeah. I said that, she was like I got the Wonder Woman.
Darla: Oh, that’s so sweet. Okay, so, so at this time you were living in Venezuela, and there is, there’s a lot of things going on. And in 2018 you made the decision. You just painted the picture of how much you love Miguel and Amelia and this great life that you’re trying to build. You found the gospel. But what led up to you deciding to leave? And you left them behind in Venezuela to come to the United States in 2018. What, what was going on there?
Gabrielle: It was like, he, he didn’t have a job at that time and our company was almost shut down. And um, at the time, it was hard for my family to send us money-
Darla: Because your family was in the United States, right? Your family had already immigrated. Okay.
Gabrielle: Yeah. And uh, when the change of immigration laws and everything, they told me you need to come. Already my son was already here. They told me you need to come, and we are going to file your papers right away. And hopefully we’re going to have, uh, Amelia and Miguel as soon as we can. And well, that’s what happened. I really, thank God for his part of our decisions too because he, even though, we bought a ticket to Chile for Miguel. He was, he will be the one who immigrate first in the first place. But then one day, like, uh, a week prior to his flight, we heard that the air company, they just shut down.
Darla: So, the company that he was going to fly from Venezuela to Chile, they closed?
Gabrielle: They closed, and we lost the money. Those are so strong signals from God. That, no, that is not your path. You need to wait for something better. When we make the decisions for me to come here, everything go so smoothly. So, like, it’s meant to be and since today everything is meant to be, because that’s how God wants it to be done. And my mom always said that to me. You need to follow your prompt. That’s how she said it. You need to follow the Spirit. The spirit is always talking to you and telling you what things you need to do and what things you don’t.
Darla: That’s the thing that intrigued me so much about your story is that you, you’ve always, from what I’ve seen of it, you just, trust God and you make decisions, with him, and you trust him. And another thing that, and this was something that in the, in the episode with the group that you shared, two things I noticed, you always talk about the love of God, and you always talk about gratitude. So how, how does gratitude play a part in your everyday life? You’re away from your, from your family. You’re away from your husband and your daughter. Where does gratitude come into all of that?
Gabrielle: That gratitude comes on the promise that we’re going to be together. I know that is a promise from God to me.
Darla: You felt that in your life.
Gabrielle: Of course. I need to do my part every day. He gave me the strength, and uh, confidence to believe that, but I need to do something. You know? I cannot be like sitting in Miami. I need to seek. I need to the ways to make sure of the promise. And that’s why I’m here in Utah, because I, the family that I’m living with here in Utah, he’s in the same situation as me. He just, he is an immigrant, he left his family in Venezuela, he has two beautiful kids and a beautiful wife too. He was asylum approved too, and here, he has a friend, who is a member of the church too, and he is helping us. He helped a lot of Venezuelans here. So yeah.
Darla: So, you, so you left your family in, in Florida and came to Utah so that there’s a better hope of getting your husband and your daughter here?
Gabrielle: Yes. To make, to make the time shorter. I mean in Miami maybe it’s going to take like, three years. It’s a lot. And here hopefully it’s going to be like a year or nine months.
Darla: Okay, so, so it speeds up the process for you. So, here’s another thing I’ve thought about with your story. Um, you know, you, you said in that last interview that that chaos is kind of a part of your life. Like, being in a little bit of turmoil being away from your family and I’m sure that loneliness, I mean you are alone in Utah without any family support. How do you get through those hard times? The dark days?
Gabrielle: I cry, a lot. But then, I clean my tears and keep moving. Because, I, one of the hymns that I love is that, Count Your Blessings. And then I remember, and I start counting my blessings. I have a family that loves me. I have two beautiful children. I have a mother that loves me. My sisters, they are, they are always supportive. And I mean with the technology I’m just a touch away from them. And I always talk to my husband. And the other part that gives me peace and calm is that my daughter is with the best people. She is with her dad and with my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law, and my father-in-law. And they love her. My mother-in-law, she’s a member of the church. She is so well caring, and they love her. And when you see that your child, is in that good of hands, that takes you away, like, the world from your back. I mean, I’m so blessed in every single way. Even in the hard time. Even in the darker days, I’m blessed.
Darla: Yeah. I just love your faith. It’s so inspiring. So, so here’s a question I have for you. Most of my listeners, they live in the United States or Canada, and, you know, we’ve grown up here. We’ve had the gospel. I mean that’s my situation. I had the gospel my whole life. What would you want someone like me to know about your experience coming in? Gaining asylum and the process and all of that. What would you want us to know so we can reach out and help?
Gabrielle: Yeah. Every single person has their own history and uh, I’m thankful for mine. Mine even sounds hard or you know, like chaos, no, mine is so good. I had, I mean, so many Venezuelan people walk miles and miles and miles to get a better life. I was blessed because I have a visa and I could buy a ticket to fly here. There are people in extreme poverty. They just walk and walk and walk and even they have to have to see people or their kids or their spouse or any relative, a loved one die in the middle of nowhere because between Venezuela and Columbia, they need to walk like the mountains in Utah, with freezing temperature. And they are not prepared. With no clothes, with no shoes. I mean, that’s why I’m blessed because even though I’m an immigrant, yeah. I was like the best class of immigrants, it’s hard to say that. It’s like, but, it’s true. So many people have died on their way to find, a better life. And so many people, when they got there, has died too. And alone without family, without no one to help them to support them. So that’s why I’m so grateful. And that’s why I know God loves me. And as an immigrant, I have another background. I was raised in a different way. Uh, as a Latin person, we had many different struggles, than the State or the Canada people. So we need to fight in different anyway. And that’s why it’s so important to keep faith, and to know that God loves us.
Darla: He loves each of us. I love what you’re saying. When you’re telling these stories about other immigrants, who were much worse off than you are, it reminds me that we all have a story. Everyone has a journey and a story and different challenges, and we can learn from each other. We can take the time to find out where someone else is coming from and what you know, what is motivating them to have a better life. It puts your challenges in perspective and helps you to have that gratitude. Like you said, I have loved that. What kind of, what kind of miracles from God have you seen since, in this journey that you’ve been on to have a better life?
Gabrielle: There’s one in particular. When I got it pregnant with my first child, we always talked about Amelia. It’s time for Victor.
Darla: Victor is your son? Ok let’s hear about him.
Gabrielle: On the first trimester, I dunno the term in English. It was like week five or six.
Darla: So early on in your pregnancy?
Gabrielle: Yeah, I got chicken pox. So that was like a huge pressure. So, we went to all the specialists. Uh, and even the, I had a, I don’t know the name, the terminology in English. The liquid from my belly-
Darla: Yeah, amniocentesis.
Gabrielle: Yeah, okay. And I was like 21 years old and one of the doctors that, uh, I went to, she told me that, “If I was you, I would like, terminate the pregnancy. And my mom and dad and I was like, and my whole family was like, no, I don’t think so. We went to a specialist on uh, Neonatologist, I guess is the name of him, the specialist, and um, he tells us everything is good. He was developing, it’s good. He is good. What you need to do when he is born, you need to be like, aware of, maybe we cannot tell you right now. Maybe he will be born with some sight deficiency or a hearing deficiency, visual deficiency. So, everything was good. I had a natural birth, and he was the cutest boy ever in Venezuela. No, no, not everybody is like you know, a blonde and everything. We are like a mixture of, of many cultures and race. He was, like, even the whitest teeth ever with the gold hair, he was so beautiful. But then my dad, he is looking at him and he starts saying like, he’s not moving his right side in the same way. And he was like, you need to do something. We went to the doctor. We went to the neurologist. We, we get him to MRI. And we find out that he, he has some cysts in his brain. So, he has some deficiency, motor deficiency like in his right side. So, the thing is, what is the miracle we find out in the first, I mean at first sight, and we weren’t concerned and right now, he is like, beautiful. He just like does whatever he wants. He is like a full grown up teenager and he doesn’t suffer or have any cognitive damage. Of course, he can move his arm and leg in the same way as us. But the miracle is that we, we make that not a deficiency. We approached that as an opportunity, or um, you are not disabled. You are capable to do anything you want. And that is from God’s love. And all the knowledge that, even in the hard times, you go to him and he will give you the answers that you need, I mean, he is a miracle. Because I could have taken the advice from that doctor and terminate my pregnancy, but no, we are a fighter and we go forward. And we need to do whatever we need to do and let’s do it. No matter what.
Darla: I think, I think that’s a theme of your life. You are a fighter and you just keep going no matter what, because you know God’s love. And because of your faith. I think that’s so beautiful.
Gabrielle: And you know what Darla, when you know God, and you feel God in your heart, even in the hard time. you’re going to feel comfort and peace no matter what, and of course the support of, of my family was, uh, a huge thing.
Darla: Which he blessed you with, right? That was part of God’s love as well. Yeah. I love that. Well, Gabrielle, this has been so wonderful to get to know you and hear more of your story and your incredible faith, and I do have one final question for you. That is, how have you seen and felt your heavenly parents as your partners in motherhood?
Gabrielle: Well I guess I kind of already answered that question.
Darla: That’s true.
Gabrielle: I mean, they are beside me, and they are always, um, you know having that, you’re going to be fine. Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing it well and I trust them, and I trust that there’s signals and I trust there will. And it’s blind trust no matter what, blind trust. If it’s, if it’s going to turn out good, thank you. If it’s not turning out, that good, thank you too. Because, it’s uh, uh, always learning. Always learning from the good and the bad. And we need the bad too, to learn, and not to make the same mistake again.
Darla: That is so beautiful just to have that trust in him, no matter what comes our way and that, that’s a great example and you inspire me and just help me want to have that kind of faith. And I know you’ll inspire someone else, so thank you so much for taking time.
Gabrielle: No thank you, Darla.
Darla: I’m so grateful that we’re connected now. And, I will be praying for you that, Miguel and Amelia will be here soon and that you’ll be reunited.
Gabrielle: Thank you. I appreciate this opportunity to tell my story. Oh, I hope I can help someone else.
Darla: I know that you will. You definitely will. Thank you so much.
Gabrielle: No, thank you, Darla. Thank you.
Outro: I hope you enjoyed the podcast and if you did share it with a friend, I would love it if you’d leave a review and rate it on Apple podcasts. This actually helps more moms to find the podcast and to gain confidence in their ability to hear and follow God’s voice in motherhood for show notes, resources, and information about courses to help you be more spiritually minded, head over to spirituallymindedmom.com. For more motherhood inspiration. Follow along on Instagram, @spirituallymindedmom. Have an amazing day. And remember, you are beloved daughter of Heavenly Parents who want you to succeed and who want to be your partner in motherhood.