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Psalm 147:11 says ‘The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.’ The day God created Dalia Johnson, how His heart must have swelled with delight. From that first moment, the creator of the universe knew what a joy Dalia would be to Him. He already knew of Her steadfast faith and genuine love. He already knew of the many that she would point to Him. Throughout her life, Dalia’s natural and incessant devotion to Christ has shone as a beautiful light for all of us to see.
Dalia valued family. To all who knew her, it was obvious that Dalia loved her family fiercely. She always made time for them. She treasured them. She adored her brothers and sisters, spending her free time with and showing her love to them. A proud older sister, she was often known to show off her siblings. She honored her parents deeply, always making sure she expressed her love and appreciation to them. Dalia’s grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins were precious to her; whether she was meeting with family members in Sioux Falls or traveling to Mexico to spend time with loved ones, Dalia’s love for her family mirrored the holy love of her Father in heaven. She put into practice the words of Psalm133:1: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”.
Dalia lived fully. She delighted in music, constantly practicing duets with her sister and best friend, Liana. Her talents shone in performances, leaving all of us mesmerized by her gifts. If you don’t know how many instruments Dalia played, you’re not alone—she seemed to learn a new one each day. She truly maximized the musical ability God blessed her with, constantly learning songs and mastering new skills. Dalia enjoyed playing hymns at home, before and after church services every Sunday on the piano. Here, her faith shone. Dalia also shared videos online of these hymns, using her talent on the piano and beautiful voice. These songs were more than music. To all who had the privilege of hearing her, it was clear that even Dalia’s music was an authentic and beautiful expression purposed not for her own glory, but for Christ who shone through her.
Dalia’s joy also extended beyond music. In high school, she became involved in theatre, and brought the same godly passion to her performances on the stage. Once more, her genuine enthusiasm and love for Jesus shone through her actions. Whether she was painted green and shooting fireballs as the Wicked Witch of the West, or eye-rolling and dancing through Pride and Prejudice, Dalia’s beautiful light shone. She brought laughter, learning, and growth to all of us, every year creating wonderfully bizarre inside jokes which left everyone in stitches. Dalia’s sense of humor was unparalleled: sarcastic, but never mean; smart, but never condescending. She was goofy, lighthearted, and kind. She used humor not to exclude, but instead through her laughter made every moment and every one of us feel special. All who knew her saw how special she was.
During her senior year of high school, Dalia wrote a poem for a school competition entitled “God Wins”. In this poem, she told the story of God beautifully to a captivated audience. Beyond everything, she stated, beyond time, space, and human thought is God. His presence sustains, empowers, and uplifts us. All is His. Through her eloquent words, Dalia described to all what she had come to learn so naturally: God’s victory is assured through all things. In all things, God wins. She spoke, assured and passionate, that God’s love underlies and transcends everything. She expressed her humble adoration and familial devotion to Him. Dalia’s poem illustrated something central to her character: she loved God. Her love for Him was boundless, unconditional, as natural as breathing. This deep and true love for her Lord impacted and drove all she did. She baked cookies with her siblings, she played the mandolin, she stifled laughter in the school library. It didn’t matter what she was doing. Dalia’s actions were devoted to her Savior.
Dalia’s unconditional and endless love for God was visible in her numerous acts of service for others. She routinely traveled to Rosebud Native American Reservation on weekends, giving her free time to shine God’s love and light to the children there. She embraced photography as a means of fellowship, service, and joy. She was constantly taking pictures, using her photography business as a way to capture and celebrate the beauty of God’s creation. Even when diagnosed with cancer, she never stopped sharing the gift of God’s love with us. Dalia’s strong faith and genuine joy shone God’s light brightly and fiercely to a broken world. She was light in darkness. She was a warrior in faith. She is forever God’s child.
Romans 8:28 says ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.’ Through all things, God is pulling His children closer. Dalia knew this. Through her life, so many saw God. Her genuine love, resilience, and kindness were His. Through her, God pulled so many closer to Him. Now, He pulls her close. Now, her steadfast faith has reached its fullness. Now, she receives the greatest gift, eternally sustained by the very presence of her Lord. Just as she’s always proclaimed so beautifully, God wins. He won through her life, her faith, and her love. Now, the God of the universe delights in pulling close his Good and Faithful Servant. Now, Dalia wins. God wins.
Dalia is survived by her parents, Carlos and Miriam; eight siblings, Quintin, Carlos Jr., Liana, Isaac, Nadia, Seth, Noah and Isabela;
In lieu of flowers, memorials may direct to: http://www.donorrise.com/rooftopmissions/newhome
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