May 15, 2014

Why Hasn't Deanna Been Blogging?

Several people have messaged me to ask if I’m okay, since I’ve been so quiet in this space lately. I apologize for very little blogging and scarcely posting on the Adoptee Restoration Facebook page lately. The last thing I wanted to do was cause concern that I wasn’t okay.  (I'm sorry!) I am finally catching my breath for just a moment today to explain. Lately I have not had time to shave both legs in one day.

I’m more than okay! I’m thriving.

I have a new job!

Yes, I know. Complete shock! I’ve been a pastor for 27 years. And, Larry and I are still at Celebration Church Tampa as lead pastor…however – my role has changed.

After going through a very long process the last few months,  I went through a vetting process that was more intense than what Obama went through, I have been appointed the women’s director for our state. I am now the Women’s Ministries Director for the Pen-Florida District of the Assemblies of God.   

This is an amazing door the Lord has opened up for me.  It’s a real honor to serve thousands of women and teen girls, our state and our denomination. This position opens up countless opportunities for me to make a major impact in hearts and lives and I am humbled, and overwhelmed at the goodness of God.

Although Larry and I are still at Celebration Church Tampa, I will be working full time for PFDC (Pen-Florida District Council). My office is now there in Lakeland, Florida which is about 45 minutes from our house. For the first time in 27 years, I will not be working from an office right down the hall from my husband, or working side-by-side with him  in our daily ministry. I will still preach and teach and be involved at Celebration Church as I am able, and be known to them as Pastor Deanna, however my day-to-day pastoral role has changed as my full time job is now with PFDC.   My new job is very demanding and involves a lot of travel as well. 

So what does all this mean for Adoptee Restoration?

I’ve explained to our church what it means for them, so I’m going to now explain what it means for AR.

 I am still making the transition here and as such have been managing my full time job at the church, my part time coaching job, and going through the process for my new job going all at once. That is why I’ve been scarce here.
Last week when my appointment was final, I resigned my part time coaching job. Larry and I also began to make the transitions with my role at our church and explained that I would now be working FT for PFDC.      

My new job is going to require an enormous amount of energy especially leading up to October which is our main conference. I know I need an entire “life tweak” as it were, to be effective in my new position, HOWEVER…that doesn’t mean I can’t still do the things I enjoyed doing before taking on this role – I just need to make some adjustments. I’m still finding my way.

Here’s my plan going forward.


My pattern previous was to blog here three times a week. I can’t keep up with that right now, and do it well. I mean I could post a bunch of drivel, just to post something here but who wants that?  In order to post something that is of the level of quality of what those who read here really appreciate, I believe at this time I can handle posting here once a week.  I am not sure what day yet, as I am still finding my way.  Thanks for your patience as I figure out the best schedule.

My Book

YES! My story is still coming out as a book, in fact it will be two books in rapid succession. “My Story” will be released hopefully by the end of this year, if not then very early 2015. And very quickly on the heels of that will be the “what I’ve learned since then” book. Count on it! I have finished the first round of edits and am now preparing the second round to send to the publisher.  I will give updates here about the book and also exclusive ones through the AR Newsletter. (Subscribe by going to the box on the sidebar to the right, under my photo at the top.)

Adoptee Restoration Tampa Bay

Most of you know I lead a support group for adoptees here in the Tampa Bay area, that meets once a month. That support group will continue.  
What God Has Done

I want to share in a post upcoming all the ways that God has helped me since February of 2013 when I had the falling out with my first mom, and since last August 2013 when she died. Most of you know my story and are already aware of how broken I was over what took place. Although my faith was still strong, my life was shaken in a way that is really indescribable even for a wordsmith. 

After the February and August happenings, I made a decision to pursue forgiveness. It is a daily commitment, not a one time deal. Reminders pop up all the time (fresh triggers) of what took place and I have to make a daily decision to forgive and move forward. And, I got a help to do that too…from Jesus, from counseling and from this community. 

In August when she died, and I was in the throes of grief deeper than I have ever experienced, I asked God for two things. 

1) Revenge on the enemy. (To be clear, “the enemy” to me is Satan, not a person.) He's the one "person" I can legitimately hate and believe me, I hate him. He's such a liar with no other motivation than destroying lives. I asked God for serious damage to his kingdom.

2) An unprecedented harvest. A ridiculous this-has-to-be-God-because-it’s-so-much-bigger-than-you type thing. I wanted something to happen that would open up my life to make a greater impact on people, for the Kingdom of God.

God has answered my request!!

I am flourishing!

The enemy's kingdom is being damaged!

It’s harvest time!

Thank you for your patience and grace as I navigate these new waters. I know it’s not just a good thing, it’s a God-thing.

More than ever, I stand on what I have preached time and again in person and also here on this blog, to you. The story doesn’t end with what OTHER people do. They may try to control our lives, or the story but they don't have the last word!! My story has the power to end differently because of what I decide to do.  I can change my story’s ending by carefully selecting my response to what happens to me.

Respond rightly and watch the hand of God move!!!

Sometimes people do things that aren’t right, but as we do what is right, God blesses what’s left!

In scripture, Joseph (of the Old Testament) had family members that tried to harm him. They actually threw him in a pit and left him to die. Yet He did what was right and lived true. And God blessed him beyond his wildest dreams.
Of this situation that he faced, when the story ended and he was walking in victory he said to them: 

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

When I get to heaven, I want to sit down with Joseph and have a cup of coffee! The dude and I can seriously swap stories.   

Last August I was in so much pain, I never thought it would subside.

Today, I’m walking in victory, with God taking control of the pen and writing a greater ending to the story than I ever envisioned for myself.  Believe me, I had no idea the journey was going to go this direction for me.  If you would have told me just a few months ago that I would have this job, I would have said, "you're crazy!" God has a greater purpose and plan for us than we have for ourselves.

People won’t always do right, but as we give God control and allow Him to move in our lives as He wants to, He will work things for our good.

I appreciate your grace as I navigate this new journey.

I love you all.