An Interview with the Warrior Encourager – Raydiant, Marlo Hogue
I’m beginning a new series called Trials to Triumph. This series will compose of people’s journeys from a place of challenges and difficulty, to a place of triumph and victory.
Today I would love to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, Marlo Hogue. She is also known as Raydiant, The Warrior Encourager. And you will definitely get a sense of that when you are around her. Marlo is an International singer, songwriter, and speaker. She is the founder and visionary of Andanya International. Through this faith fueled business she uses captivating songwriting and compelling storytelling to encourage Warriors and those who do not yet know that they are,
“to Catch Breath and Press on to Experience God’s Heart, Hope, and Healing.”Raydiant Marlo
It is truly a beautiful mission. It aligns so well with what we believe and are trying to do here with ReeCreation Ministries. Take a look at what she has to say.
How did you end up in your current ministry?
I’m called to create music that captivates people with God’s heart, hope, and healing. Ever since childhood, music, and serving people have consistently been apart of my life.
As a Lupus Warrior of 22 years, a Dialysis Veteran of 3.5 years, Kidney Transplant Recipient of 15 years and 20+ surgeries under my belt I am a Warrior well acquainted with battle. Recently, God has been using these gifts and life experiences to help other war torn people of faith and those without faith at all to keep pressing on.
Can you share about the time you learned you had lupus?
I learned I had Lupus at 21 years of age. It was, at that time, one of the trying times of my life. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. It was very perplexing but answers were found.
What were the signs or symptoms leading up to the diagnosis?
As I look back now, I realize all the symptoms I had were signs that my immune system was in distress. Some of the signs were:
- Flu like symptoms that would I not go away.
- Extreme and chronic fatigue
- Acute sensitivity to sunlight.
- Constant Ulcers in the mouth.
- Butterfly rash.
- Intense pain in all joints.
- Thinning hair
- Severe anemia
The symptoms started during a fall semester in college. By what would be the fall semester of the following year, I was diagnosed. Was that long? Yes, it was for me. However, there are many who die because their doctors do not believe their symptoms and don’t refer them to the necessary specialist.
How did you feel or how did you react when you found out?
I was astonished to be diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease. However, I was grateful to finally put a name on what had literally brought me to the brink of death. It is frighteningly beautiful to be able to say, by name, what is trying to destroy you.
What changes did you have to make since learning you had lupus?
I’ve learned the significance of each step. For example, one of the side effects of Lupus is severe joint pain and inflammation, which affected me greatly in my feet. As a former Youth Ministry Director of 25 years I used to be able to travel all day with the youth ministry to conferences, workshops, camps, and etc. Now, it’s not happening.
Now my steps are more planned, intentional and calculated because within 1-2 hours my feet are in pain. Each step must have purpose. My time must be spent wisely. This is huge for me and really a GOD THING. HE is causing me to yield and allow HIM to consult HiM for ordered steps. How huge is that‼️🙌🏾
Past and present struggles:
In the past Marlo experienced struggles such as dialysis, kidney failure, and chemo/ shingles. She also endured 20+ operations, abrupt changes in appearances (weight gain, hair loss, constant health problem). She also dealt with severe joint pains, depression and job challenges. Marlo also experienced lost of friends due to their inability to cope with seeing her in this state of sickness.
Marlo also shares how with her form of Lupus make it challenging to make plans for events in the future.
“You can feel amazing in the morning with lupus and feel horrible by mid afternoon due to extreme chronic fatigue. The inability to control Lupus because it is spontaneous and sneaky can make it hard to maintain good lasting friendships. Because you cannot always plan on attending every important event.”
This is why Marlo is on strong medicine to keep her Lupus calm.
Another challenge, one I was surprised to learn, is the “disproportionate number of Women of Color, especially African American, who are dying of Lupus. This is because of genetics and Physician’s failure to diagnose them properly.” I had no idea that was happening. I do hope by sharing Marlo’s story, it can raise awareness around this issue.
Presently she continues to experience and encounter “People who behave as if my sickness is the most important aspect of my life. I am more than my sickness! Although Lupus informs how I live my life, Lupus is NOT my entire life.” I love that she has a greater sense of purpose and strong foundation of who she is as a Warrior for God, to not let this illness define her.
How has this disease affected your ministry / purpose?
Spiritually – God has used my health challenges to make me more sensitive to physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, sensitivities of others in a much more acute way than I was before. I notice things differently now.
Physically – Whereas I would be able to travel to sing / speak in a different location 5-6 nights a week, with my Lupus I now have to pace my singing/ speaking engagements farther apart to give my body time to recuperate.
What did you learn about God going through this trial?
I learned that when I requested to know Christ in the fellowship of His suffering, the power of His resurrection, and to be conformed to His death, it would require the end of me. The end of all I was, all I understood, all I thought, imagined, heard, it would all be crushed under the weight of who Christ is, and then I saw HIM.
The crushing has allowed me to be poured out in a way that has changed me forever.
What advice would you give to someone going through a similar trial?
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, trust HIM every step of the way. Trust that HE loves you. Trust that God desires that you be conformed to the character of Christ more than anything. You must come to a point where it is just you and God only. If you are there God is there too. You will get to see how much more you need to trust God. Then ask God for the grace to do that. He wants you to be able to!
Is there anything else you want to add, that you think our readers should know?
One thing of major importance: Surrender to the will of God. Second, God is more concerned with us being conformed to the character of a Christ than wealth, beauty,career goals, fame or anything the world holds dear. He desires that we desire HIS will, so whatever GOD has to do for us to grasp that HE will. Whether that means destruction of our bodies, houses, families, loss of job, or health, HE will.
From trial to triumph
What great advice. And what a great testament of overcoming trials, by surrendering to the will of God. Though it’s only recently that I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Marlo, our friendship actually goes way back to our youth. That was when Marlo and her family first shared their musical gifts with our church. Since then a friendship has formed, we have sung together, ministered together, and I have even seen her at the early stages of this battle, in the hospital. Through these years I have witnessed God move in her life and ministry in tremendous ways despite these obstacles she faced. She truly is a Warrior!
Connect with Marlo
You can be sure to expect more amazing things from Marlo in the near future. Currently she is working on her music preparing to release something nice in June. In terms of songwriting, she just recently composed music for a Youth Revival last month.
She also has a Saturday Series on her YouTube channel called “Memories of a Music Missionary” where she shares some of her experiences every Saturday from her travels in Europe as a Music Missionary. You can find one of the episodes here https://youtu.be/DDClpu0dieo or subscribe to her channel Raydiant Marlo Hogue.
It’s been such a blessing to have the privilege of hearing Marlo’s story of Trials to Triumph. If you want to learn more, or see her other works you can find her on the following social media www.instagram.com/raydiantmarlo or www.facebook.com/raydiant.marlo or visit her website www.raydiantmarlo.com. She is also available for Speaking, Songrwriting, and Singing so if you want to connect with her and invite her to one of your events you can do so through her website.